Nokia is rolling out a new software update for its Asha touchscreen phones bringing new functionality and improvements.
The software update, available for Nokia Asha 305, Nokia Asha 306, dual-SIM variants of Nokia Asha 308 and Nokia Asha 310, adds several new features including enhanced support for Mail for Exchange. It also adds support for popular mobile instant messenger WhatsApp, and improved social apps, in addition to a new dedicated launcher for YouTube.
The update can be downloaded over the air through the Device updates menu in the Phone settings or by connecting the phone to a computer via the Nokia Suite desktop software.
Nokia had announced last week that the Mail for Exchange app was now available on Nokia Store for Nokia Asha users.
The app, which was initially announced in May, is compatible with the Nokia Asha 311, Nokia Asha 310, Nokia Asha 309 and Nokia Asha 308, will allow users to sync their email, calendar and contacts data with Microsoft Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010 Servers and Microsoft Office 365 Mobility Online Service through Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync protocol. Perhaps the update facilitates the installation of the app in the above mentioned Asha series phones.
With support for WhatsApp, Nokia wants to make its Asha phones a strong contender in the low-cost phones segment, with budget Android smartphones eating into its share. While one can install and use messaging apps much more easily on Android smartphones which come with a dedicated app store,Google Play Store, and support for running apps in the background, not all Nokia Asha feature phones support it out of the box due to their software limitations. It’s worth mentioning that a large number of users are increasingly using data based messaging apps over conventional text messaging so if Nokia doesn’t add these ‘smart’ features it’s likely that it will see its users abandoning the platform.
This also consolidates Nokia’s efforts to position the Asha series as a smart feature phone or indeed a smartphone.
Meanwhile, Nokia had also introduced two more apps that will encourage corporate users to adopt Nokia Asha phones in addition to offering Mail for Exchange support. Editori Text and Editori sheet apps allow users to view and edit Microsoft Word and Excel documents on the move. With the apps users can now modify, save and share documents or spreadsheets for quick review right from their Nokia Asha phones.