Microsoft’s Windows Phone keynote Wednesday brought with it the official announcement of Windows Phone 8. The updated version of the operating system is headed to phones this fall, however it won’t be headed to any existing Windows Phone devices simply because those device’s hardware won’t be able to handle the features set coming in the update.
That news was particularly upsetting for Nokia Lumia 900 owners. The flagship Windows Phone launched just a few months ago, and news that it wasn’t going to be updated to the next full version of Windows Phone left many customers unhappy.
Although the phone won’t be getting Windows Phone 8, Nokia doesn’t plan to abandon Lumia owners when Windows 8 hits the streets.
“Nokia and Microsoft are going to continue to support our current Lumia portfolio with some really cool stuff,” a Nokia representative told Mashable. “The most visible is the upcoming Windows Phone 7.8 update – which will bring a number of Windows 8 features, most notably the new, more flexible start screen, to the current portfolio of Windows Phone 7.5 devices.”
Besides the updates start screen, some other updates to the Lumia line outlined during Wednesday’s Windows Phone keynote include:
Nokia’s new camera app will add enhancements to your smartphone’s camera, most notably a new Smart Group Shot mode that lets you take a series of photos of a group of people and then select the best facial expression for each person from the group of photos, combining them all into the ultimate picture.
The camera app also adds features such as a panorama mode, self-timer, and an action shot mode for capturing fast-moving shots.
Worried about how much data you’re using? The Counters app allows you to monitor your phone usage and set limits on things like cell time or data usage to prevent yourself from going over limits and accruing overage charges.
PlayTo lets you share content such as music, video, or pictures on your smartphone with any other DLNA-enabled device on your network such as TV or Blu-ray player.
Words With Friends and Draw Something are also headed to Nokia’s Lumia line later this year. The popular Zynga games will be exclusive to Lumia phones for several months when they launch before becoming available on other Windows Phone handsets.
The camera app is expected to be in Marketplace for the US and China by June 22, and then roll out to other countries in July. Contact Share and Counters will be available in China by June 22, and then will be available in other countries by July.
Are any of you currently Lumia 900 owners? How do you feel about getting Windows Phone 7.8 rather than Windows Phone 8? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.