Microsoft details new Windows Phone 8 GDR2 update to clear up 'confusion'

Microsoft went into more detail yesterday about the contents of its new Windows Phone 8 update, internally called GDR2. It brings a few new features, improves upon some of the current features, and enables better hardware in the future.

To start things off, the update brings Data Sense to more Windows Phone devices and more carriers. Previously, only for Verizon Wireless customers, Data Sense lets users track how much data they've used on their plan so far in detail. More importantly, it can compress web pages while you're surfing the web so you can get up to 45 percent more data out of your plan.

FM Radio is a feature making a return from Windows Phone 7 into this new update. If your phone supports radio, you'll be able to access stations from the Collection tab in Music + Videos. In keeping with the theme of music, Xbox Music gets a slew of enhancements mainly in the cloud department. It's easier to download songs from the cloud to your phone, the collection syncs more often, and there's lots of fixes with previous issues like metadata being overwritten.

Camera also gets a small update, bringing improvements to what is displayed when zooming in and offering an option for certain phone models to choose a default Camera app to open when you tap the camera button.

Other minor improvements include support for .wav files in email attachments, group messaging on Verizon Wireless, CalDAV and CardDAV for Google services, and better handling of temporary "Other" storage so it takes up less space on your phone. Bluetooth fixes were made as well.

This Windows Phone 8 update is currently in the roll-out process. If you have the Nokia Lumia 925 or 1020, you're up to date. The HTC Windows Phone 8X on AT&T and Verizon's Nokia Lumia 928 started receiving it last week, and Lumia 822 started getting update notifications yesterday. The rest of you will have to remain patient for now as the update makes its rounds.

Source: Windows Phone Blog | Image via Microsoft

 

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41 Comments

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Crimson Rain said,
MS needs to stop posting these crap and tell us why we are not getting the update on FACTORY UNLOCKED phones yet ffs.

MS has no control over unlocked phones, that is still up to the OEMs. I wouldn't be surprised if the OEMs still have to make sure the updates won't mess up carrier networks in the areas those unlocked phones are sold in which may still mean cooperation between OEMs and Carriers has to take place before they flip the switch.

Factory unlocked phones has nothing to do with MS, so stop blaming them for the slow rollout. Your phone is still made by an oem that pushes the update out.

My unbranded 920 AU still has no update. This is BS, Nokia let the telco's f**k around with the update to their satisfaction and even after they check it off it is still held back for those who wen out and purchased a Nokia phone.

S3P€hR said,
I hope 8.1 would be a really big update because GDR2 simply isn't big enough. GDR3 is big in terms of hardware support. but not feature.

I'm pretty sure that 8.1 from the beginning was planned as a rather major update. So I think you'll be happy.

While it will take months for devs to start making apps to support the SMART devices. What is meant by "Bluetooth fixes" is actually quite significant and loooong overdue:

Support for Bluetooth SMART (also know as Bluetooth Low Energy) has been added in GDR2 (select devices). Bluetooth Smart is normally used in low power accessories (e.g. activity trackers and smart watches). However, there are currently no Bluetooth SMART accessories that support Windows Phone (almost all such accessories require a companion app of some kind). Updated apps are expected to be released in the next few months, and both Nokia and HTC are expected to release their own Bluetooth SMART accessories.

judging by the phone that are already in testing, I would expect these to be shown off in September and maybe October/November release for new devices with quad core and 1080 screens as wall as some bigger 6" devices.

Xbox music is a joke.... I think Microsoft is eventually going to scrap it, but somebody else in charge of it, throw money at it and start over... Like whey did with Windows Mobile switching to Windows Phone.

The WM to WP switch is turning out fine, slowly but steadily gaining traction where it would've lost if they'd stick with WM or completely abandon the mobile OS market.

I agree... I hope they do it with Xbox Music sooner than later... At there pace Xbox music is going to have such a bad reputation, that they'll have to rename it again...

vcfan said,
yes,im still waiting for the enthusiast program, lol.

They promised us it would come, but I think they need to discuss it with carriers.

WinMunkee said,
Well yeah if the carrier could care less. I'm hoping Windows 8.1 brings us our enthusiast program.

Or couldn't care less... but ya know.
Why don't we all say one thing and mean the opposite!

Can anyone elaborate on how the update process is rolled out? I see up above, the article mentions several Nokia models already have it, and the HTC 8x on AT&T & Verizon are currently receiving it, but what if I have a device such as the Samsung ATIV S Neo on Sprint?
I assume this rollout process is based on carrier, for the most part?

yes,its based on carrier. I got my ativ s updated a few weeks ago. since the ativ s neo was just recently released on sprint, it might come preinstalled with the latest os version. go to the settings->about->more info and see what it says for os verion. gdr2 is 8.0.10327.77, well at least the 10327 part. if not,go to settings->phone update,and check if theres an update available. if so,you can just download and install.

i got the update last week at some point and i can honestly say, i do not notice any difference on the device, and the Verizon phones do not come with the FM Radio as their hardware (due to CDMA) does not include the Radio

Correction as stated below sorry for the confusion, only the 928 it appears does not have the FM Radio Hardware.

Edited by Geoffrey B., Aug 21 2013, 7:52pm :

littleneutrino said,
and the Verizon phones do not come with the FM Radio as their hardware (due to CDMA) does not include the Radio

No.

eddman said,

All Lumias include an FM receiver except for 620, 810 and 928.
Actually they have the receiver (it's in the SoC) just not the antenna connection to the headphone jack.

I got the update 2 days ago, took me kinda by surprise the update notification.
But I noticed quite some already. My 920's battery lives longer (even though I enabled the clock thingy), the very occasional stutter here and there is now completely gone.
Much less touch input lag, there was some and it was quite noticeable, now it appears to be gone even though I know its technically still there. Everything loads/resumes faster. And much less grain and more smoother camera pictures is something I really enjoy (the grain was just to much on smooth colors)