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April 17, 2012

10 things you never knew your Lumia could do

Nokia Lumia 900

SUNNYVALE, CA, United States – For those who have recently bought a Nokia Lumia 900 or Lumia 710, we thought you might like an introduction to some of the clever ways you can use your new phone.

There are some great functions we want you to know about, that’ll enhance your phone experience and maybe turn you into a show off at the same time.

1. Take a photo without unlocking your phone

Let’s say you want quickly snap a pic by just taking your phone out of your pocket and pressing just one key. Here’s how: When your Lumia is locked and the screen is dark, press and hold the camera button. After a brief second, the phone app will come up and let you shoot photos to your heart’s content.

2. Scan a QR code without a special app

Most phones require a QR app to scan a QR code. However, with the Lumia 900 and 710, search is powered by Bing and therefore you can just tap the search button, then choose the icon that looks like an eye. From here, you can scan a barcode or QR code and be taken to the Internet destination to learn more. Very slick.

3. Make a video call using Tango or Skype Beta

Because the Lumia 900 has a front-facing camera, you can make video conferencing calls using the front facing camera on the phone. One added advantage of the Lumia 900’s front facing camera: it’s wide-angle, so you can easily talk with a friend by your side and the other party can see both of you.

4. Use the built-in FM receiver to listen to tunes via radio

This feature is hidden somewhat, but go to the Music application. As long as you have headphones plugged in, you can listen to FM radio on your Lumia 900 or Lumia 710. I love listening to NPR via my local affiliate, and the Lumia’s built-in FM receiver is perfect for this function.

5. Use Battery Saver when you need extra battery life

Sometimes, at the end of a busy day or at a conference, you need every extra ounce of life your battery can spare. If you want to eke out a few more minutes of stand-by time, check out Battery Saver.

In Settings, then Battery, you can enable Battery Saver which will discontinue your phone’s ability to get emails [EDIT: you can still make this happen manually] and a few other battery intensive operations. Calls and SMS still work, but Battery Saver has helped me out in a few situations. You can also set it to automatically kick-in whenever the battery is low.

6. Groups keep you close to who is important

In the Contacts application, you can create groups. I have one for my closest friends and one for my family, with a Live Tile assigned to each on my homescreen. That way, Facebook and LinkedIn messages for these people are updated, and I don’t have to filter them out the feed in my People application, which is key for me.

7. Use voice features on the go

I drive a lot and I always use a Bluetooth hands-free device to make sure I can keep my eyes on the road. When paired with a headset, Windows Phone can perform functions via voice such as text messaging and placing a call. For instance, to call my wife, I simply say, “Call Kimmy”; and opening and replying to text messages is as easy as following the voice prompts.

8. Easily find apps in the Marketplace without loading Marketplace

If you know the name of an app you want to install in Marketplace, there’s a fast way to get to the place to install the application. From your home screen, swipe left to reveal the installed apps list, then on the left, hit the on-screen search button and search for the application. Obviously, if it’s an app you don’t have yet, you can “search Marketplace” and be taken to the apps home quickly and easily.

 9. Find fun experiences around you using Local Scout

From the homescreen, click on the search button again. Hit the button on bottom that looks like the silhouette of a building. This is Local Scout and this amazing utility shows you places to eat and experiences to be had based on your physical location. Local Scout shows you places you may not otherwise know about and has helped me on a number of occasions.

10. Recall a business phone number by name

Let’s say you find a great pizza restaurant and you search for its phone number,  and make a call. Then, a few days later, you want to call them again – you go to your call history but you can’t remember the exact phone number you dialed earlier.

That’s not a problem on the Lumia phones. When you search for a business from Maps, then call it – the actual business name is archived in the call history, making it really quick to find the number in your call log going forward.

Share your knowledge

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