Summary:

Nokia’s highly anticipated Amber update is beginning to roll out for all Lumia smartphones running Windows Phone 8. It includes camera and browser improvements, and enables your phone’s FM radio.

Lumia 925

If you have a Nokia Lumia smartphone running Windows Phone 8, the wait for Nokia’s Amber update is over. Ian Delaney, editor of Nokia’s Conversations blog, posted on Thursday that the new Nokia Lumia Amber software has started to roll out.

The update is first coming to the Lumia 521, Lumia 810 and Lumia 928 in the U.S., as well as the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 abroad. Exact timing will vary by region, phone model and carrier, but Nokia expects the update to reach all Lumia phones running Windows Phone 8 by the end of September.

Amber is the biggest change to hit Lumia WP8 phones since they first launched. Among the new features are a new camera app and improved image processing. Nokia claims that improved algorithms offer better noise reduction, color reproduction, exposure and autofocus. And on the Lumia 920, controls to adjust the camera’s ISO settings from 800 to 3200 allow for improved low-light performance.

Nokia Glance Screen will be available for all WP8 Lumia devices except the Lumia 520 and Lumia 625 (which don’t have enough display memory). When your phone is inactive, Glance Screen places a clock, battery indicator, and volume status over the screen. And Nokia is bringing back the ability to flip your phone to silence the ringer, and double-tapping to unlock the screen.

Storage Check gives you a pie chart of your data usage, and an update to Nokia’s Here Maps makes it faster to use and install future updates. Finally, Amber includes improvements to Xbox Music and Internet Explorer, and enables your phone’s FM radio player.

Basically, if you have a Lumia running WP8, you want this update. Here’s how to get it: Your phone will automatically check to see if the update is available. But if you want to know now, you can open your phone’s settings page and tap on ‘phone update’ to force a manual check. Nokia is also posting update availability on its support pages.

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