Lumia Denim software update lets Cortana listen all the time, makes other improvements too

The next Windows Phone software update brings a number of small yet useful features to Lumia handsets. Dubbed Lumia Denim, the update follows the Lumia Cyan version that Microsoft made available in July.

Once updated, Lumia owners won’t need to tap a button to access Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant app. Instead, simply saying “Hey Cortana” will activate the assistant, similar to the “OK Google” command on some [company]Google[/company] Android phones. [company]Microsoft[/company] says this is possible thanks to the SensorCore technology inside Lumia devices. That’s just one of several new features, however.

Lumia Camera

The Denim update will also swap out the Nokia Camera app with the new Lumia Camera. It’s not just a branding change; the app is more responsive and gains some new functions including 4K video recording, faster capture speeds and a Rich Capture method to “shoot first and adjust the camera settings later for that perfect photo,” according to Microsoft. Lumia phones that support the Glance feature — a way to view notifications with the phone in standby — gain more potential information with the addition of Bing Weather and Bing Health & Fitness.

Microsoft’s newly announced Lumia 730, 735 and 830 handsets will ship with the Lumia Denim update pre-installed. Other supported Lumia phones can expect the software in the fourth quarter of this year.