Microsoft officially announces GDR3 update for Windows Phone

Existing only in rumours and random leaks, the GDR3.0 update for Windows Phone finally becomes official and then some!

Microsoft has today made official the General Distribution Release 3.0, or the GDR3 update for Windows 8 devices. Up until now, the update was only part of internal testing and was rumoured through several leaks, but the update is now official.

The GDR3.0 update will bring support for 1080p screens with 5 and 6 inch screens. What will also come with the GDR 3 update is support for the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon MSM8974 quad-core processors. The update becomes official just ahead of a major Nokia announcement coming up on the 22nd, where we’re expecting to see the Nokia Lumia 1520, the first phablet from the company and a first for the platform as a whole.

Along with 1080p and quad-core support, Microsoft is also adding an extra row of icons to the user interface, but that is only for devices with large screens (5 inches and up). Windows Phone 8 Update 3 includes the ability to use custom tones for instant messages, emails, voicemails, and reminders. You'll also be able to assign custom tones to contacts for text messages. Windows Phone 8 users have also complained about a lack of rotation lock in the OS. Windows Phone 8 Update 3 introduces a simple switch in the settings menu to keep the screen fixed in portrait or horizontal mode.
Another major feature coming as way of this update is a Drive Mode, which makes driving a less distracting. It reduces notifications from text messages and calls and can even be configured to automatically respond to text messages and calls so as to not take your attention away from the road.

While the update should come out within weeks for regular users, with the rollout continuing over the next few months. However, if you’re a developer, you can get the update right away. Just a word of caution though, if you do opt for the update, you will not be able to revert back to an older version of Windows Phone 8 OS. Also, this update will only bring the updates from Microsoft. If you're expecting to get things like the updated Glance screen for the Nokia phones, that will be available when the official update rolls out

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