As I mentioned in my last post, the last of the ‘second generation’ of the original Lumia’s which included the 820 and 920 received the Denim update about a week ago. A couple of friends who own the 820 and 920 on EE also received the update (my 820 is on O2) so this appeared to be pushed out by Microsoft and wasn’t operator dependant. What was surprising for me was that the voice-recognition service Cortana was available as well. From what I’d read there was some doubt as to whether the app was going to be available as the CPU might not have been upto the job.
However, it was very nice to see once the update had completed – but when I tried to launch Cortana, it failed stating that my language settings hadn’t been set. The language and speech settings suggested that the correct speech add-on was already installed, which led to a few frustrating attempts to confirm the settings. I finally found the correct setting by going into settings -> speech -> speech language -> select your country language. This installs the add-on and if I remember correctly, the phone has to be rebooted (it reports that a critical add-on has to be installed). Once reloaded you can then use Cortana in the same way as the Lumia 830, ie. by pressing the search key and start speaking.
In addition, you get Lumia Camera – but not the version ‘5’ which has received so much attention. On the 820, the version number has hit 18.104.22.168 and at time of writing, there are no updates available. Rich capture isn’t available however, this is no bad thing as you still get all the settings to control aspects such as shutter speed, white balance and ISO value. The 820 still takes some excellent pictures with its 8MP camera, especially in automatic mode.
Something I have noticed in the two plus years that I have owned the Lumia 820 is that the four major updates which include the Windows 8.1 and Nokia / Microsoft specific features, thee hasn’t been and detremental change in the performance of the device. Compare this to the Apple iPad, where I have noticed that updating from IOS 6 to version 8 has slowed my iPad 2 down significantly and hit the battery life.
With Windows 8.1 update 2 (aka ‘GDR2’) on the horizon which will offer additional features such as Bluetooth HID profile for the connecting up of external keyboards, I hope to get a lot more use out of my Lumia 820.