Windows Phone 7 wasn’t that popular when it made its debut, but after the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update, it picked up because WP7 lacked many features like multi-tasking, which were brought with the WP7.5 update. When Microsoft launched Windows Phone 8, they also announced that the devices on Windows Phone 7.5 won’t be able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8, but they’ll have access to another version which would have the version number Windows Phone 7.8. Everything went well after that. Windows Phone picked up a lot after Nokia announced that their primary OS of smart phones will be Windows Phone, ditching Symbian and the possibilities of a device from Nokia running Android. Anyways, after the initial launch of Windows Phone 8, Microsoft issued a GDR2 update which brought certain missing features and performance improvements to WP8. Today, Microsoft has made the next update, GDR3, official.
The update brings several changes, one of which is support for larger displays which would measure at 5 to 6 inches diagonally. Speaking of displays, the update also brings support for 1080p displays, which means we’ll soon be having devices from Microsoft’s partners which would have fullHD display panels on them.
The update also enables manufacturers to make devices sporting the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset, which powers the latest Android flagships. The chipset packs tremendous power, which would help the already smooth Windows Phone operating system to run more efficiently, minimizing lags.
Inside the operating system itself, a line now supports up to 6 live tiles, so that when devices with giant displays are available, users can make the most out of the screen estate.
Running apps can now be closed directly from the multi-tasking menu by tapping on the X button on each app’s thumbnail.
There’s also a Driving Mode included which doesn’t display anything except the navigation instructions, so that you don’t have a cluttered screen while driving.
Users can now disable screen orientation and set custom ringtones for IMs, emails, voicemails and reminders.
The update will be rolled out to consumers later this year, but developers can get access to the update to optimize their apps for higher resolution displays, as no significant changes in the APIs have been made.
You can get a subscribed developer to unlock your device, so that you can install the update on your device. Doing that would obviously void the warranty.
What are your thoughts about the operating system? Will you be trying out the update?
Update: Microsoft has confirmed that the ability to have 6 live tiles will only be available for devices with bigger displays, i.e. devices with 1080p resolution. All the rest will have just 4 live tiles at the max.