Today has been a big day in the Windows Phone world. Not only did Microsoft announce a new update to WP8, but they also made it available to download right away. The update is simply called “Update 3,” and it’s what we’ve been calling GDR3 for the last few months. If you have a developer account you can download it today, which is exactly what we did.
Update 3 is slightly bigger of an update than GDR2 before it. The biggest new features are under the hood, and right now no device can take advantage of them. Microsoft added support for 1080p displays and quad-core processors. You can guarantee we will see devices with these specs later this month. Now, on to the features we can all use on current devices.
The most noticeable change is in the multitasking screen. A new (X) button can be found in the top right corner of the app preview, and the tile icon is displayed next to the app name under the preview. Clicking the (X) icon removes the app from the multitasking screen and closes it with a nifty animation. You can see the difference below.
Users on other platforms are probably laughing at this new feature, but it’s a big deal for Windows Phone users. You can now choose custom sounds for voicemail, IM, text, and phone calls. You can also choose custom ringtones and text tones for specific contacts. It’s about time.
Drive Mode + Rotation
The other notable features can be found in the Settings. There is a new Driving Mode and Screen Rotation. The Driving Mode is very interesting because it can control how your phone notifies you of things while you are driving. By default it blocks notifications from all apps, save for calls and texts. However you can manually tell it to block those too if you so choose. Driving Mode can be set up to turn on when you enable a Bluetooth device.
Sick of trying to read in bed and your phone keeps rotating? Some apps have an option built-in to disable rotation, but now there is a new setting that allows you to disable it everywhere. These are the most notable features in Update 3, but you can read about the other new stuff in our post from earlier today. If you want to try Update 3 go here to find out how.