Nokia has just pushed out a nice little update for their popular augmented-reality app City Lens (which ironically is not a Lens on Windows Phone 8). Bumped up to version 2.0 (for WP8) and 2.1 (for WP7), the update brings a host of new features that in our opinion, go a long way in making the app more user friendly.
Both versions get the same new features, including:
- Sightline feature lets you switch your view to only what’s in your direct line of sight.
- Quick information. Now you can quickly view a place’s address without leaving your camera view.
- Freeze view lets you pause your view and study your options without having to keep your phone pointed at the target.
- Pin your most common searches and favorite categories to home screen so you can find what you are looking for at a glance.
We’re big fans of the “Quick information” feature, which allows you to tap a location and instead of directly opening Maps (a slightly time consuming process), it will now display a little bar with more information about the establishment. Once you’re committed to the joint in question, you can now launch Maps for directions, photos, reviews and whatever other info Nokia can pull down. That’s a big time saver.
The other great feature is “Freeze” which allows you to pause the augmented-reality view so that you can move the phone down to a more comfortable position (or show a friend). It’s pretty ingenious and even allows the above “Quick info” feature to still work when paused.
Pinning and Sightlines are just bonuses.
Overall, City Lens is consistently progressing to be one killer app. It’s great to see the continued updates refine the experience, often based on user requests and we can see ourselves start to use it more and more (as opposed to it being more of a gimmick).
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.