Tour of Nokia’s Glance screen on the Lumia 925 and Amber update

We’ve reported quite a bit on Nokia’s Glance screen in the past but we also know some of you are new to Windows Phone and may have picked up a Lumia 925 this week or a Lumia 1020 next. If that’s the case, you may not be familiar with how to enable Glance (or even what it is) and all the options that it has available to you.

So we whipped up a little tutorial video to show you how to enable this feature (it’s not on by default, though we don’t know about the 1020 yet) and configure it for your liking.

Glance, for those who don’t know, is Nokia’s always-on clock for their Lumia line. It launched with the Lumia 925 but will be available on the Lumia 1020 for launch and other Lumia series devices when Nokia’s Amber update rolls out later this summer. Basically, a clock is fixed on your otherwise-off display and while it of course uses battery, it’s quite unassuming for usage.

The clock is quite ingenious too as it auto-turns off when in your pocket and turns on when you pull it out. Likewise, you can set it to be off, always on, peek or timed. We detailed ‘peek’ last week, as that is the one that allows you to hover your hand over the phone to turn on the clock for 60-seconds. Timed will turn off after about 15 minutes and always on or off are self-explanatory.

Likewise you have a setting for “night mode” where the display won’t be as bright and instead of a grey clock, it’s a deep red, making it less distracting and easier on the eyes (very nice for movie theaters). You can even set at which times you would like night mode to kick in and turn off, which is a nice bonus.

Other alerts that are shown on Glance include vibration and when it is charging.

And that’s it so far for Glance from Nokia. Who knows what else they will add to it in future updates, but there is little doubt in our minds: it’s one of the most useful and elegant looking features we’ve seen recently on a smartphone.

Daniel Rubino

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.

  • I'm wondering: does it consume a lot of battery? If it is consuming a lot of the battery I don't get: why would you use always on. I would think that means my screen is always on?
  • It is supposed to use very little juice.....
  • Means nothing. This has been available on N9 and many Symbian phones for years and it made no change on my N9 battery life. On N9 you could either have this on or off. Though it was more usable as you saw messages, calls etc all the time on the screen. Loved that. 
    Though it needs AMOLED screen to work effectively. On AMOLED screen every pixel emits its own light, there's no backlight. So there are just some pixels on a very dim light on on the screen. Clock switches place around on the screen on N9 just to prevent screen burning. 
  • Means something to me, never owned any phones you list. Your cooler than me, I guess
  • The way people talk about the N9, I wish I had one. If nothing more than to compare technologies.
  • I own an N8 and yes, the N8 have this and you can install an app called Nokia Sleeping Screen where you can add pictures and it shows you the picture when you block the phone (the picture is processed and converted into one with less quality). Here is a screen shot:
  • I honestly feel that in future updates, Sleeping Screen is where Nokia is trying to go back to.  I am sure there are likely some constraints in Windows Phone prohibiting it right now.  But with GDR3 update on the horizon, who knows.  Maybe even an update beyond that.
    I will say this, Nokia has been good for Windows Phone.  The necessity to accomodate Nokia, is really pushing Microsoft to flesh out the OS in directions they probably would not have, if left to their own devices.  When in a marketshare race against the likes of Google and Apple, it is really easy to get oneself trapped in a losing game of keeping up with the Jones; ie. trying to make Windows Phone match Android and iOS point for point, instead of broadening the diversification and differentiation gap.  And mind you, while there are certain key points where you would want to match iOS and Android on (ie. universal notification center), you would not want to spend all of your time, money and resources attempting continually follow in their footsteps.  Nokia's been good at keeping Microsoft just as focused on differentiation, as they are on closing certain gaps with the competition.  It has allowed Windows Phone to push way ahead of their competitors in other areas that they did not think to go themselves.
    I think by the time we get to Windows Phone 9 (likely in another year, or so), we are going to wind up with an OS that has all the best ideas from Windows Phone, and all the best ideas from Symbian.  And we will all have Nokia to thank for that. 
  • if left to their own devices
    Surface Phone?
  • I wish Nokia could integrate messages and calls on the glance screen if they can't make a breathing Win button happen.
  • I don't think this glance screen moves around, does it?   What are the chances of it burning in?
  • I have the 925 which i upgraded from the 920, and this cool feature seems to have very little impact on the batery. I used for a couple of days the 15 min off version, but now I'm using the peek mode. Really cool, useful and batery lasts fine
  • I hope they start making cases for them like Samsung does with their S4s
  • Haha you don't get it, do you?
    Nokia hardware is quality and though one. It does NOT NEED an ugly and heavy cases like lesser products like S4/iP5.
  • Lucky you, rocking the Halo game on a non-VZW phone. :)
  • Not on the 920?
  • Could be possible its missing it as Lumia 920 doesn't have AMOLED screen.
  • That would be a real bummer. My 920 would love it!
  • Its will be available for 920...but am sure will cause huge battery drain....lcd screens not friendly for these kind of features
  • It will be made available through the Lumia Amber update for all Windows Phone 8 Lumia Phones except Lumia 520 & Lumia 521.
  • Is it only for 92x and1020 or for all lumias ??
  • Is this feature definitely only available for the 92x series and 1020?  No chance for the 800 series phone running WP8?
  • I believe it will come to other Lumia devices, not just 92x. Corrected.
  • I have proof that it will only be available on Windows Phone 8 Lumia Phones except Lumia 520 & Lumia 521.
  • Does it switch to landscape mode when rotated?
  • no
  • That sucks.  I'm also wondering why it is on the bottom left of the screen.  There must be a reason, but it would be good to be able to also configure that.
  • It moves around, but indeed seems to stick more to the bottom
  • Windows Phone is typically used in portrait mode anyway so it makes sense, though perhaps would be nice if you could position where the time appears.
  • I use mine almost exclusively in landscape.  Apps that don't support landscape I don't use.  Home screen not supporting landscape blows, but I've gotten used to it somewhat.
  • Why would you do this?
  • Text is easier/more pleasant to read in landscape. As for the glanceable clock I was thinking that it would be nice to set it in a tray on my night stand. Setting it in landscape would mean it would be less likely to slide off and fall.
  • Bacon time! ;)
  • Hm. This feature (glance screen) will be available for Lumias running WP8, excluding ONLY Nokia Lumia 520/521. As Nokia stated it is "due to hardware restrictions"
  • Feature I've been missing since I had n8. I hope it shows missed calls and texts too.
  • It does not unfortunately. But it shows the vibration icon when you're in vibration mode, and the charging icon.
  • I miss the peek option on my 925.. Wonder why.
  • I don't have this feature on my 925 either.
  • Yes, you'll get display and touch update and get the feature. I got it after one day of having the 925
  • Hi jarnmark...same here then I updated Display+Touch and Peek appeared afterwards.
  • Would you please share on how you initiated that update? Thanks.
  • Does it move around to prevent burn-in? Can't tell in the video.
  • gfunk84, the time moves around after a bit and keeps doing that.
  • it's always been on older nokia phone late coming to windows.
  • If I remember my Treo Pro would show the time with screen off also.
  • +1 and Treo 800
  • I love this feature it makes it look so sexy. I'm not sure if its just mine, but when I charge my 925 the clock stays on.
  • A little of topic,,,I just updated to the 925 from a 521,,,has anybody else that's done this notice that the over all volume on the 521 seems louder than the 925's volume?
  • Well my 8X was certainly louder. And i dont know if it's just mine but my phone has this habit of turning the volume down all by itself. Im not sure if im being paranoid or its because i havent paid attention to it.
  • lol that was the best intro ever!
  • If Amber is finished, why must we wait? sniff-sniff
  • Agreed 
  • Anyone notice they already had Halo on the 925? Wonder if they did the trick
  • Nope, no trick, I'm just special :)
  • 920 do have amoled display.
  • 920 has LCD, not amoled
  • For those with same problem as me; with no notification of available updates frome store:
  • When will the rest of the family get this? Not all of us have the same phone
  • I love my 920's screen, but I do wish it were amoled. That would have made the phone lighter, too, perhaps.
  • Not necessarily. The bulk of the 920's weight is due to the inbuilt wireless charging. But an AMOLED does have its benefits like being more power efficient and greater viewing angles.
  • When it says that it turns off when in your pocket, does that happen for all modes? So basically does it still turn off when you put it in your pocket even in "always on" mode, or do you need to be in "peek" mode for that?
  • Should be best on AMOLED screen which are Lumia 820, 925, 928, 1020 
    On LCD I think still consume more battery 
  • Thanks for the tour. Can't wait for the update.
  • Does anybody knows which app is that on the lock screen that shows the temperature? 
  • Just got my 1020 and looking at the settings for Glance, I do not have the Peek option!?!?!?!??? I have the others tho, but not what I need. The device shows the clock the whole time.
    When I was at the ATT store, the guy there had the phone out and it was working on his unit, which semed like a new version, a sit still had the wrapping on the back, so I dont think it was an older build. Anyone know whats going on with this?
  • Has anyone tried to disable annoing vibration feedback at all?
  • nice feature, why didnt they ad that i have missed calls and messages or even to choose what to appear there, it will be perfect then
  • Agreed.
    Actually I thought that was the primary function of that, but basically is a floating clock.
  • Hey people. I updated my Lumia 920 to Amber, and have all the stuff, radio, camera apps, data app, but don't have freaking GLANCE SCREEN. Does anybody else have the same issue? It should be under display+touch, right? Swiped left, swiped right, up and down in that display+touch, but there is no glance. So can anybody help me? 
  • Have you downloaded the Nokia apps that update different parts of the phone? That's likely the problem. Even though you have "Display + Touch" in your settings, you may not have the update mechanism on your phone. Download the Nokia specific apps, there are articles on here about them as well as forum topics that will have links to it, you typically can't find them by searching in the marketplace among the other apps. You need to have those downloaded and updated and they bring further enhancements to your phone. There's several of them and you want them all, but to get Glance, download the Display + Touch one first to get the feature you want the most.
  • Thank you very much wild cat, that solved the issue.
    but how can i know if i am missing some other apps?  Isn't there some list of requreid apps or something, i tought that apps like this should be there by default.
    Tnx again for helping.
  • On the list that you likely found the Display + Touch app, there is a list for all of the apps. It's basically a way for incremental updates to features by Nokia and not have to wait for the larger, less frequent big provider approved updates that only come once or twice a year. Maybe not the best way because it's hard to find at times, but nice to get new features throughout the year. Anyway, look in the forums for the listing and if you have trouble finding it, instead go into the Windows Phone Store and download the SysApp Pusher app and then refresh it and you'll be able to see the latest versions of all the Nokia apps and you can determine if you're missing any. SysApp is a third party app, so it's just telling you the apps you may be missing, not an official Nokia app.
  • Tnx a lot!!! Have one more issue, and it's a big one, but don't know if you can help me. I have a Serbian sim card, phone bought in Germany, but  i don't get Mix Radio even though it is written in the Nokia Serbia specs. Can't find any list of Mix Radio available counutries. 
  • I wish this glance screen could show missed call , message notifications
  • I updated my lumia 920 and i saw the glance feature. But this future has coused my screen to go crazy most of the time stripes come out from the numbers and pop like the screen is breaking and i dont have the option to deactivate this feautre plz help.