Skip to main content

Nokia working to bring more enhancements to Lumia line through Glance and Touch?

Nokia has been churning out quite a few updates lately for its Lumia Windows Phones, especially for those with the Amber update. The last few system app changes, notably Extras + Info yesterday and Display + Touch for today, simply moved those settings into their own categories.

While that is seen as a fix for discoverability, there are few other deviations that have been noticed as well that may be a sign of things to come.

Update: Since publishing this article, we have had confirmation that more notification features are coming to Glance

The first is in Glance, which controls the on screen clock when the display is “off”. One feature that many users would like to see with Glance is for notifications. Currently, Glance only presents the time, vibration setting and charging status (if plugged in). While it’s very useful, users clearly want the ability to show notifications for things like alarms, email, SMS or more.

With yesterday’s update, there is now a toggle switch for “Clock and notifications” (see above). At this time, the setting disables completely the clock and notifications, but leaves Glance enabled (you can disable it via the drop down menu). That's an odd choice as Glance without Clock and Notifications displays nothing. It appears that Nokia is working on some changes for Glance, we’re just not sure what it will entail.

Windows Keys

New 'Windows keys' setting?

Likewise, the update for Touch moved it into its own category. But now there is a new addition to the description that falls below the category listing: ‘Sensitivity, wake up and Windows keys’. What is fascinating is heading into Touch, we only see two options: one for Sensitivity (Super Sensitive Touch) and one for Wake Up (double tap to wake). There is no third choice for Windows keys.

Some readers have speculated that this setting may enable the Keys to be used as blinking notifications, but we would think that setting would fall under Display were it to be true. Instead, this may be related to haptic feedback (vibration) or other options related to how the keys are used.

Either these are errors in the app updates, or more likely, Nokia will be pushing out another update through its system apps that will add more functionality to both Glance and Touch. What those changes will be, is anyone’s guess, though we presented a few possibilities. Needless to say, we’ll be keeping an eye out to see what Nokia does next.

Thanks, Matthias P and Chris Y., for noticing!

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • Ha I just saw that today in the options and wondered if I had missed it at first....It would be nice to see notifications on the glance screen!
  • Yes it would. Particularly when the phone is charging and when I pull the phone out of my pocket for a quick time check.
    One thing I think was overlooked in reviews about the Glance 'Peek' setting is that it comes in when you pull it out of your pocket, not just when you wave your hand over it. That's the way I actually find it useful anyway.
  • You charge your phone in your pocket? An 'or' would be more appropriate. But yea, there's still so much they can do with it.
  • I disagree.
  • 'Or' would mean either while Josh would prefer both so 'and' would be correct.
  • Lol ok. I'm not implying he is wrong, but in a hypothetical situation, where we are able to charge phones in pockets, it would be misleading. 'Or' is less confusing. But in this case, a comma before the 'and' would be correct as he particularly likes 'both' 'unrelated' situations.
    (Technically, we're currently able to charge phones, in our pockets, so ermm.... yea.)
  • My grammar teacher from 3rd grade would tell me that you never use a comma before 'and'.
  • .
  • That too.
  • I knew that was coming. But you just emphasised my point, your '3rd grade' teacher. 3RD GRADE! Basically, it's a myth. Do a quick bing search.
    If you've read and written a lot of journal articles and papers, you would frequently see commas before 'and'. There are situations where you have to do that or makes no sense.
  • I didn't realize it was that complicated of a statement.
  • You use a comma before "and" when there are two independent clauses.
  • I charge my phone in my pocket with the Brando Power Jacket if I'm out and my phone is low on juice.
  • he could be w/ this nifty gadget:
  • It would be nice to have a flikkering home button on every notification as also on the glance screen!
  • Someone tell me what the point of the glace screen is if it is going to contain everything the lock screen does?  What is the point of the lock screen if it is going to contain everything an app contains?  This is getting to the point where we will end up butt dialing again simply because our phones do so much at their lock screens, that they're essentially unlocked.
  • Lol good point. Maybe the lock screen should be the glance screen in the sense that it lights up when its out of your pocket or when you pick it up after it's been idle. (Made more sense in my head)
  • Glance is just that - an at a glance display of the time and should OS updates provide it, notifications.
    Glance shouldn't be the lockscreen.  Instead, Glance should remain as it is (with further refinement down the road) and the lockscreen should still be present as an added layer of security.  Yes, I know by default you are just swiping up and going into the phone but for some they have a security pin.  
    If I could look down at my phone (in Glance) and see that I have a missed call, text or new email before I wake up the phone fully and unlock it to check my live tiles it will be a huge time saver.  
  • I'd actually prefer for glance to be able to replace the lockscreen if the user desires it. Double tapping to wake could simply take you to the PIN directly, so even that isn't really a problem. What is tricky is that Lockscreen Images as employed by some Apps to convey information like the weather won't work in that scenario. I personally would love a scenario where I get the notification icons as displayed on the lockscreen into glance and could then simply go to the PIN by double tapping.
  • You have a good point. With notifications identical between the lock and glance screens, unlocking the phone becomes a matter of double-tap and swipe just to get to apps. Unless they somehow increase the functionality of the lock screen to set it apart, by maybe adding more information to it.
  • more info on lock screen? maybe they should add a directly access to the app just like in N9
  • I have noticed that the glance screen doesn't work quite as well as I expected it to. One, I thought that only the pixels that show the time would be on and the rest of the screen would be completely turned off. This turned out to not be completely true as I have noticed that in a dark room I can tell the difference from the screen being completely off. Also I defintely noticed additional drain on my battery. I understand that with a feature like this I might noce a little additional drain but this was significantly noticable. I have a 928 by the way. Have you guys nocied the same issues.
  • it's always on with LCD displays, that's how they work. some other displays are able to get pixel by pixel "onness" lol  Sorry for my english, tho some of it desastrousness is for humour purposes.
  • No worries about your English. You got your point across. The 928 is supposed to be AMOLED so that's why I'm confused about this issue.
  • This would be good news if i had the glance option in the first place....
  • Im still waiting for the GDR2 update
  • Fascinating.
  • still waiting for the millenium by the looks of it. 
  • Thank you for your scientific assessment Mr. Spock ;) No, seriously, it would be nice to a) Have Glance activate during notifications (email,6tag,WPCentral) & b) turn off capacitive keys during video playback etc
  • Because not everyone always gets every phone. Sorry to break the news. Lol. I'm waiting for it on my 920.
  • Thanks to AT&T  still waiting for GDR2
  • I got it, but no double tap on L620..... Bs.
  • Double tap to wake on my 920 make the display vibrate when I do a half swipe and hold my finger on the screen.. For 920 user : try to go on multitasking tab, then just do a half swipe and hold your finger, the display will vibrate lol
  • I have the double tap option (920) but I disabled it.  Otherwise everytime I pulled my phone out of my pocket I could inadvertantly enable the lockscreen, which I don't always want to do - sometimes I just want to know what time it is.
  • Love your replies Daniel! /hi5 I won't be stoking any update posts today ;)
  • Still waiting for Amber update too, but after this latest touch update. When I click on it, for a micro second, you can almost see that it wants to show something else, but then reverts back to the "touch sensitivity" option. Common Nokia. Release the Amber.
  • It shows this:

  • Well now that they've got Microsoft's billion dollar budget, they can afford to do a lot more
  • Not quite yet, that deal won't be finalized until 2014. No money or structural changes have taken place, AFAIK.
  • I thought Microsoft was going to buy 3 bonds for 1.5 billion right now which will count as part of the sale cash eventually
  • And Nokia exclusives for HTC Users (I would assume, if MS owns it?)
  • Hmm.. Atleast you people can change these settings.. My phone just sends me back to settings menu..
  • Still Waitng! now its September 06... where is the update At&T??? :/
  • Plz bring notifications on glance screen, I love Nokia I will miss u so much, u are my favorite brand in the world
  • I have a question. At my Lumia 920, at double-tap to wake it says that it shortens the life of my battery. Since the battery isn't really that good, I was wandering: can anyone tell how bad it is for my battery? And when you put the screen brightness on low, is that really so much better than automatic?
  • For me, even with double tap to wake and peek glance screen, battery survives longer then with GDR1.
  • Honestly, I have that enabled, I have the brightness on automatic, and I haven't noticed any changes in the battery life.
  • I've had glace screen set to always on for a couple weeks now without a nocible impact to battery life.  I've always had my brightness set to automatic.  Have always been able to get through a day. 
  • Okay, so I probably have to check the background settings, cause I don't get more than 8 hours out of it. Heavy user I guess.. And location and stuff? Got that enabled?
  • I've got the following settings:
    Wifi - on
    Bluetooth - on all the time
    Tap+send - off
    location - on
    brightness - automatic
    find my phone - on
    feedback- enabled
    Glance - always on
    Touch - High (no double tap)
    Display - sunlight and battery saver on
    Email - hotmail of course and to "as items arrive
  • I have double-tap to wake enabled and I can get 2-3 days on a single charge with light use.  It doesn't seem to have much of an effect on battery life to me.
  • I get around 50ish hours on a single charge with glance enabled and brightness on low (though I do have other apps running in the background). So not bad. In case you want to be sure, I would say download a battery app like Battery Pro+ that tells you your hourly battery usage as a percentage (ex: you are using 2% of your battery every hour). Try running the app with all those options enabled and see how much a difference it'll make to your hourly usage. I suspect it won't be much but try it out.
  • I'd recommend Insider as a complete package (battery status and more) but the one mentioned above is good as well!
  • disabling the search button? It would be useful before opening up games
  • That button is annoying (not that much because it's easy to go back to what you were doing most of the times, but still) tbh.
  • Also, on a partly related note, everytime I open the touch setting, for a split second I see the gdr2 settings (even though I've not received the update yet), before it reverts back to what it should be.
  • Me too. We've got some special phones. I think you and I are the chosen ones.
  • Ah. Same thing here. Good to know I'm not the odd one.
  • Same.  AT&T Lumia 920.  I tried for about 15-20 minutes to screen cap it last night (yes, I was bored) but I couldn't quite get the timing right.  Haha.
    We're all special little snowflakes!
  • I got a screenshot
  • I'm hoping that among future functionalities within the "windows keys" are "disable the search key" in certain aspects. I seriously never use it except to scan QR codes and it is really a nuisance when playing games that require landscape mode. (Glance...meh. I don't use it.)
  • Lumia is badly missing notification LED. Using illuminated key(s) for notifications would be awesome!
  • That is a pretty neat idea.
  • Would not work as one lamp (uh?) is making all the three buttons glow.
  • I could have sworn I heard that only the windows key lights up when charging the phone with a fully empty battery.
  • I've been wanting Nokia to do this for awhile now.
  • Windows keys for music control please. Double tap for stop music for example.
  • that would be great, or at least ussing the volume keys, isnt an app for that?? kinda like mediakeys for N9
  • I want Motorola type notifications. They looked cool by the way
  • Buy a Motorola.
  • this is somewhat unrelated to the article, but can ANYONE make a shortcut tile app for Nokia Settings? I would like to be able to jump into audio settings without having to scroll through a long list of settings everytime.
  • I noticed it to on updating my Lumia 920.  Notifications showing up on the Glance screen would be awesome.  I currently have my 920 set to have glance on always.  It amazingly does not impact battery performance significantly and it is smart enough to turn off when in pockets or flipped over.  
    As for the Windows Key settings hint....I totally agree it is likely in the wrong section to be a blinking indicator though I am hopeful that Nokia and Microsoft make this an option.  
    For it being under touch it would awesome to have the option to have the back button to have a third setting.  Current settings being Short press - back one screen, Long press - show all open programs,
    Nice to have:  Longer press - close all open programs.  I currently for whatever reason and not sure if others do this but tend to like to have all open programs closed.  I find sometimes having IE open on a webpage will cause battery life to get sucked up.  
  • You're absolutely right, I've observed this as well.  Leaving web pages open in IE will dramatically increase the battery consumption even when IE is not running or the phone is sleeping.  Having to close every single tab in IE and exit every single app by hitting the back button 100 times in order to get decent battery life is probably the #1 thing I'm hating about Windows Phone right now.  It should not be this way!!!
  • Here's the trick: in IE, open up the menu, choose tabs, and close the damn tab by press X. No need to back 100 times
  • I know this trick - closing IE is hell without it.  Unfortunately many back presses are still needed to close other apps.
  • Wow, Glance is a great feature. I'm still transitioning from Android - I didn't even know about this. Thanks WP!
  • Btw, this clearly shows differences between MS and Nokia. Even smallest fixes or improvements take ages for MS to deliver. While others are able to push them every few weeks or even days. Long way for MS to really become agile and be able to keep the pace with competitors.
  • It's a problem when a small fix requires an OS update. Google has tried to move away from that on Android, moving a lot of features to apps that update like any other app. Microsoft should do the same (they did that with win8). There's noreason the Mail app can't be updated on it's own without waiting for AT&T to approve some update. Only core OS features should be tied to the OS
  • one would imagine MS are not in the dark when it comes to Nokia's improvements of the OS. Presumably, any OS improvement has at least one pair of MS eyes on it at all times. They work together you know.
  • I'm sure they do. Still doesn't excuse Microsoft's habit of slowly putting together an update and then leaving it to the mercy of the carriers. Nokia has just been pushing these from the get go and the only one they put out there was Amber. Would be nice if Microsoft paid heed to this. It isn't like they don't know how frustrating it is for me to rely on a company like Rogers or AT&T to deliver a timely update.
  • I'm sure it wouldn't be so frustrating if updates were coming out more often. Perhaps it should be done as suggested above - WP should be compartmentalized and as many components should be able to update independently as possible.
  • I'd just like the option to disable the backlighting on the Windows keys.
  • How about releasing gdr2 first? It has said available on the Nokia page for a week and the update isn't there. Frustrating
  • I live in Latvia, but my phone is L620 finland country variant. In the nokia update page it still shows "Waiting for approval" for Latvia, but "Available" for Finland. I did get the update. So in the Nokia page check the country of your phone not the country where you are at
  • No its the right country, thanks anyway :)
  • Got an update on NL925 last night..
    it took about 10-15 minutes.
    Didn't notice any changes.
    Any one?
  • If you have CV handset then last nights 925 update finally enabled 4g!
  • I have 4g before the update
  • I wonder if these changes (if any) will be an update like these or if it is a prelude to updates coming with GDR3 like we saw with small app updates in preparation for GDR2.
  • I'd love to double tap keys like the Search button to activate... always hitting those or rather catching my hands on those as it rests in the corner.
  • Hi. Anybody noticed how 'flip to silence' seems to have disappeared?
  • I still have it, under "Settings > Audio > Swipe to enhancements > Flip to silence"
  • oh, thanks. it's still there.
  • Hi winphoneng, the flip to silence setting is in Audio-->Enhancements section.  That's where it showed up after GDR2.  I too, originally was looking for it under Display+Touch settings as I always thought of Audio settings as specific to my headset.  It makes sense though that is shows up under Audio once you see it there. 
  • Excellent news. Have you noticed that since the MS Nokia deal, there have been a lot of feature updates. To all the whiners who sounded the death knell for WP and Nokia..... Up yours!!!!!
  • Nice got the GDR2 by flashing my 920 and I'm glad to say I'm on par with all the updates now!
  • Still waiting for that damn update in Hungary. Shhhhhh!
  • This latest update didn't work for me. I don't see either one of the glance feature of double tap. When I go open up the touch settings, the glance setting pops up but disappears left than a second. I managed to screenshot it and it says glance and below it says double tap to wake up and below that text it says state and this reduces battery life, but doesn't stay up. Anyone else having this problem?
  • Notifications on glance screen makes no sense to me. That would just be like having a lock screen and then another lock screen. 2 lock screens is a waste of energy.
    The "Windows Key" is intriguing though. I wonder if it may be a notification light
  • Is the update available only for those having Amber?
  • Yes only for amber update users
  • But it doesn't show miscall or SMS notification. Its show only silent mode or alarm on such a notification's.. But also have a option for glace screen like peek or look after option.
  • What's weird though is that depending on whether you use "Display+Touch" to go into Glance settings, or if you just go into them directly, you'll see different options.  They need to clean that up still.
  • My DIsplay+Touch got updated today and is now just called Display... the old Glance and Touch settings are gone now :) I used SysApp Pusher to force the update - I guess yours will update before too long.
  • BTW, yesterday my phone completely ran out of battery and I noticed something I have never seen before.
    As you should know one of the big changes from WP7 to WP8 was that the phone wouldn't turn on automatically when connected to the charger immediately if the phone has no minimum of battery to stay on when using it connected. So it charges a bit before turning on automatically.
    For some reason this time the phone didn't show off the big battery charging image during this time but it remained off and the Windows button started blinking. Can this be related?
  • That was reported on a few months ago on the Lumia 925 On older, GDR1 phones if you had really drained the battery down and then connected the charger, there would be no activity at all until it had the power to boot up. So the blinking light is just a indication that you are actually charging before the phone can has the power to start up. People went crazy over this when it was spotted in some early ad for the 925 and thought it was sms notification :)
  • Yeah, I remember it. I'm just saying that maybe this could be somehow a sneak peek of what coming soon.
  • Bingo.
  • Love my lumia 928. The only thing I miss that my HTC trophy had was the setting to switch to speaker phone when I lay it face down during a call. That was handy.
  • I loved that feature on my HTC Radar, which is basically a mini version of the Trophy.
  • Since the Amber update my touch screen has stopped working several times. I wonder if it has to do with the new tap to unlock.
  • These features will be enabled after the GDR3 update.
  • I agree whats the use of having two notification screens?
  • Thnx WÅC crew for being stabil in news in these confusing WP times (with all the Nokia business going on)
  • I've already see those changes. I recently back to Lumia 920 (after losing the first one), and I"m impressed of how many changes had ocurred in two months. You wouldn't notice them, but two months without WP and now back, and you'll know about it.
  • Do the audio settings do anything other than flip to silence? There is no eq settings on my 521 even though description in store says there are.
  • I noticed today after I ran the update on my AT&T 920 that I now have a heading under settings for touch only, while display and touch is still available directly above it with the option inside to do the exact same thing as the touch option alone has. I imagine this will fix itself if I ever get gdr2?? AT&T??
  • All useless as ATT is stalling update for my 920.
  • Looked at one in O2 store today in UK, still not been able to sort the message and text tone problem thats been ongoing since windows 7  8-(  would love to be able to hear my own tones instead of just the few windows allows... hope now Nokia and Windows have joined forces something might happen with this ( PRETTY PLEASE )
  • Yes please!
  • Does anyone use 'night mode' for 'Glance' all the time?
    I like the red clock.
  • This is just ridiculous, I've been reading about this amber update for well over 3 months and still nothing from At&t. I understand that we usually get the phones exclusively for a while, but 3 months for an update? These features sound so good, but waiting this long is just an inconvenience.
  • Totally, the first reason for me to choose Nokia was because they were stop on with updates back with WP7. I have a Lumia 720 carrier free and there's no sign of GDR2.
  • Hi have 920 and 820 CV UK  both have GDR 2 and Nokia Amber updates 1/9/13 and 5/9/13, nice extra features,
    the tap to unlock and glance set on peek, windows phone is getting better at last with Nokia, what happens when Microsoft are in control ?.
  • Update my carrier free Lumia 720 for Gods sake Nokia.
  • BUT wouldn't be better to add sound profiles and call management ?
    seems just nonsense that a phone OS in 2013 doesn't have this elementary phone feature
    if those will be notifications light then praise me because i suggested that feature to MS :D
  • You know what really grinds my gears? Those buttons remaining all lit up when watching a YouTube video or any video, for that matter. It's like a freaking lighthouse beacon in the dark, hurts my eyes. Some option to modify that behaviour would be nice. Also, I don't like the clutter in the Settings now. That needs to be sorted out, organised into something logical, at least alphabetically if not into categories...
  • I was irritated by this as well, but i've noticed that when you put battery saver on, the buttons don't lit up. Maybe a tip for you? :-)
  • notifications on glance would be *awesome*  - make it so nokia - make it so
  • Glance needs an  "on power" setting,  if on power then disable clock always on. It lights up my rooms at night(i am aware of the red night setting)