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February 3, 2014

Getting creative with your Lumia 1520

The Nokia Lumia 1520 has a whopping 6-inch 1080p full HD screen, that’s ideal for consuming media. But it’s also ideal for making it. That screen is also a canvas, or a musical instrument, or pretty much anything you want it to be.


Maybe take some time away from watching video, reading magazines and books, and make something new instead?


I’m avoiding photography here, because we talk about it all the time on Conversations.


How about expressing yourself in a different medium?

All the fun and no mess 

Microsoft’s Fresh Paint is the stand-out app when it comes to getting active with some brushes on your phone. The app, which also comes in versions for Windows 8 PCs and tablets like the Lumia 2520, has the additional virtue of being totally free.


You can use it to create completely new paintings and sketches, or use a photograph from your camera or the Net as the starting point for a creation. Fresh paint is a ‘natural media’ style painting app, so the virtual paper has a grain, and your virtual paints create brush strokes and merge together as you use them.


The app has garnered a lot of fans with some incredibly talented artists among them. So rather than subject you to my splodges, here’s a video from the app’s creators.



The team also has dedicated Pinterest and Facebook pages.


Little stars

Getting creative with music deserves its own separate post (one that the team’s already working on). That said, I’ll just spend a couple of paragraphs to introduce Virtual Instruments, simply because I had a lot of fun playing with the app alongside my young nephews.


It won’t come as an enormous surprise that this app allows you to simulate musical instruments. With the free version, you get access to steel drums, a piano and an acoustic guitar. The full version of the app unlocks almost a whole orchestra from a harp to a banjo.


The app lets you tap out tunes with your fingers on an onscreen keyboard. You can either make your own mess, freestyle (my nephews’ favourite), or attempt to learn a popular tune. You get four of these for free, while paying for the app unlocks about 30.


I don’t think it’s likely that you’ll progress from Virtual Instruments to concert pianist in a hurry, but it’s great fun and could well unlock a young user’s passion for making music.


Write on

Here’s one last pair of showcase apps for creativity with your Lumia 1520, focusing on other branches of the arts entirely.


Poetry and Motion writes poetry from an infinite collection of fridge magnets. It will put together a grammatically viable sentence from a vast dictionary. It might be able to create poems, eventually, but perhaps it’s more useful as a little bit of inspiration. If it hits on something you like, you can tweak it, word by word, then store it in your favourites or share it with your friends.


Lastly, no serious creative can be seen without their Moleskine notebook. And no artistically inclined Lumia 1520 owner should be seen without the official Moleskine app. As stylish and cool as their physical counterparts, virtual Moleskine notebooks are ideal for jotting down creative thought, jottings and diagrams. The app’s design follows the stylish look of the real thing and can be created in ‘notes’, ‘weekly’ and ‘passion’ formats, to suit different types of notes.


How else are you getting creative with your Lumia?

image credit: Peter Alfred Hess