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Nokia Chat Beta for Windows Phone 8 gets a whole lot better with latest update

Nokia has today released a fairly substantial update for its Nokia Chat Beta application for Windows Phone 8. Version 1.1 of the beta includes numerous bug fixes, but also introduces new features and improvements to existing functionality. We last looked at Nokia Chat when the beta program was extended to cover more markets.

So what's new in version 1.1? Nokia has added a Tap+Send (NFC) option that enables users to conveniently share chat addresses, as well as details of anyone on the chat contact list and the app itself to another Lumia Windows Phone with NFC. Say goodbye to manually reading out and entering information to get someone's contact details. It's really easy to get started too. Simply head to the home screen menu and select Tap+Send to share the app or long-press and hold on someone on the chat list to share that contact.

The recipient must confirm whether or not they want to add the person shared to their contact list. If they choose to do so, the recipient will then send an add contact request to the person whose details were shared - really neat. NFC isn't all that's featured in this new release, here are the remaining highlights:

  • Share a Place - if shared with another Lumia, they'll see a touchable HERE map preview that links to place details, directions, and reviews
  • Performance and Visual Improvements
  • In a conversation with many messages, older messages are initially hidden and automatically become visible as you move up-screen, into your chat history (just like messaging on Windows Phone)
  • Message bubbles are now evenly spaced, allowing you to see more of a conversation on a single screen
  • Enhanced Login 

If that wasn't enough (what will please you?!) then you may be pleased to know Nokia has extended the program to cover additional markets. Here are the newly supported regions: Hong Kong, Macao, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The Nokia Beta Labs website notes that more countries will be added as updates are rolled out.

You can download Nokia Chat (opens in new tab) from the Windows Phone Store (Windows Phone 8 only, folks). Source: Nokia Beta Labs (opens in new tab)

QR: Nokia Chat

Rich Edmonds is a word conjurer at Windows Central, covering everything related to Windows, gaming, and hardware. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a device chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Sounds good!
  • I have a 920 and it says its not available for me! is it because i'm in italy?!
  • Try scanning the QR Code. It wasn't available in my app store either, but some how it works through the QR code. 
  • Multi platform?
  • I have never known anyone who uses these chat clients (?), but from reading the forum it appears a lot of people do. It seems to me (a non user) that there are just way too many...Dosen't it make it confusing to remember who uses what and which one to use to contact XX friend?
  • ^this^
  • @squatting I agree and a few months ago I declared an ultimatum to my friends that we should all just use one instant messenger. Eventually we settled on Skype and that is all we use now.
  • I cannot completely switch to these third party chat services until Microsoft allows these apps to integrate into the Messaging client of Windows Phone. The entire point of having the merged threads should be to allow other apps to use it. I don't want to open up different chat apps to chat with my friends who use different chat services, I want them all aggregated into the messaging hub.
  • My sentiments exactly.
  • +1000
  • what about Nokia Pulse? ...i found it lil too slow for an IM app so hope Nokia chat is more fluid and easier to setup.
    also, i dont like sharing my location with people so hope its off by default.
  • Yeah this to support Facebook and other chat services
  • Interestingly I was able to get in touch with relatives from Pakistan and UAE with this app, it seems they're using Nokia Chat on non-Lumia devices. All of a sudden this app became pretty useful for me.
  • Still no picture support? This would be my go to if it supported mms.
  • i wish this included google chat as well. I know their are a few google chat clients in the windows store, but i've found them all to be sub-standard. 
  • Portugal not included.