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The Upcoming GDR3 Windows Phone 8 Update (via Microsoft TechNet)

via Microsoft TechNet

The Upcoming GDR3 Windows Phone 8 Update

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 | by Anthony Bartolo 

​While most Canadians were sitting down with family and friends to share a meal, Microsoft was busy announcing details regarding their upcoming 3 major update for Windows Phone 8. While the announcement was targeted towards developers being able to aquire the new update ahead of time to ensure thier applications worked well with the new update, details regarding the upcoming update were made official.  

 

The upcoming General Distribution Release (GDR) 3 hase three major goals in mind:

 

1. Enable incredible new Windows Phone devices

 

6inch_StartScreenProductivity.jpg 

 

Screen size on smartphone has increased in recent you with devices now hosting 5 and even 6 inch screens. The new update enables Windows Phone to utilize larger, 1080p HD displays making the device even personal allowing for six Live Tiles across instead of four.  THis gives you the capability to pin more of the people, info, and apps that matter to you. Built-in apps and Hubs like email, Photos, People, and Music and Videos will also be carefully scaled to take full advantage of the additional real estate on 6-inch screens.

 

Along with larger screens, GDR3 3 will include support for more powerful processors such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor. The added horsepower will increase performance on new Windows Phone 8 devices allowing applications and games to run faster and better than ever before.

 

2. Enhance the platform with new capabilities for current and new users

 

GDR 3 brings Microsoft's answer to allow people to drive with less distractions with A new feature called Driving Mode. 

 

DrivingMode.jpg 

 

Driving Mode limits notifications on the lock screen such as texts, calls, and quick status alerts until you’re safely parked.  Driving Mode can also be configured to send automatic replies to people who call or text when you’re behind the wheel, to let them know you’ll get back to them.  A great feature especailly for new drivers.

 

Mobile Accessibility also recieves and update in GDR3 enabling Windows Phone to be made easier to see, hear, and use. Included are apps such as screen reader which make it easier for blind and visually impaired users to manage calls and contacts, send texts and emails, browse the web, make Skype and Lync calls, and hear notifications like alarms, calendar events, and low-battery warnings. 

 

3. Improve overall quality

 

Internet sharing is also made easier in the upcoming 3rd update for Windows Phone. Added is the ability to pair your phone and Windows 8.1 PC or tablet over Bluetooth by simply tapping your hotspot name. No need to enter a password or dig out your phone and turn on Internet Sharing as it is all done for you.

 

There are hundreds of under-the-hood performance tweaks and enhancements included in GDR3.  Some additions were suggested by current Windows Phone users to better suit thier needs. These additons include: 

 

  • Better Bluetooth: Improvements made to connection quality for Bluetooth accessories.
  • Better storage managementNew storage settings make it easier to free up space on your phone and manage temporary files. A new category view shows what's taking up space at a glance.
  • Easily close apps: The App switcher quickly closes apps when you're finished with them.
  • Wi-Fi access out of the box: You can now connect to Wi-Fi during phone set up, so you can start conserving cellular data right out of the box.
  • More useful ringtones: With Update 3, you can use custom ringtones for more things—including instant messages, emails, voicemails, and reminders. You can also assign custom ringtones to contacts for text messages, so you'll know who's texting you without even looking.
  • No more twist and shout: Does your screen keep spinning when you’re trying to read emails in bed? Use the new rotation lock option to keep it fixed in place.  

     

Availablity of the Windows Phone 8 GDR3 update will be announced within the coming weeks.  Specific timing will depend on a number of factors including your carrier and phone model.