Everything you need to know about Windows Phone 8 ‘Update 3’ (GDR3)

Update 3 screens

Earlier today we wrote about Microsoft officially announcing Windows Phone 8 “Update 3,” the update previously known as “GDR3.” We briefly mentioned the new features found in this update, but ow we’re going to talk about them more in-depth. A Windows Phone update is a rare thing, and we’re sure you want to know every detail about what you will get.

Bigger screens, higher resolutions

As expected, this update readies Windows Phone for 5 and 6-inch displays. These displays will be 1080p and add an extra column of tiles on the Start Screen. Built-in apps such as Email and People will also be slightly changed to take advantage of the extra screen real estate. Gone are the days of using a bigger screen, but seeing the same amount of stuff.

MOAR POWER

Update 3 will also add support for quad-core processors. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 will now be supported, and we expect to see it on Nokia’s new devices announced later this month.

Driving Mode

A new feature called Driving Mode will make you safer while in the car. Driving Mode can limit the amount of notifications you get while driving, and can ever be set up to auto-reply to calls or texts while driving. You can start Driving Mode manually or tell it to start when you connect a Bluetooth accessory.

Accessibility

Update 3 adds a suite of new apps to improve accessibility in Windows Phone. These apps will make it easier to see, hear, and use the phone. One of the apps included is a screen reader for the visually impaired.

Better Internet Sharing

In Update 3 Microsoft has made it easier to tether to your phones internet connection. Instead of having to enter a password or turn on Internet Sharing you can just pair your Windows 8.1 PC to your phone and it will automatically turn on and connect for you. Simple as that.

Custom Sounds

Custom ringtones for instant messages, emails, voicemails, and reminders are all possible now. You can assign custom sounds to contacts for text messages as well. This is a simple feature, but one that many people have been clamoring for.

Close Out

Many leaks of GDR3 shows the multitasking screen with little (X) buttons to close apps. In Update 3 this has become official. You will now see the little (X) in the corner of an open app in the multitasking screen. Just tap it to close that app.

The Rest

You can now lock the rotation of your phone so it never goes into landscape mode. Better storage management allows you to remove temporary files and see what is taking up space. You will be able to connect to WiFi during setup and restore. Lastly, Bluetooth has been improved.

What do you think of these new features? We’re excited to get Update 3 loaded up on our phone. Will you be trying to download it today?

Windows Blog


  • Ahmad Samhan

    we need shorcut toggles and notifications :/

  • wes

    Notifications!! Wtf! Why won’t you give your OS notifications! Why are you shooting yourself I’m the foot?!