Microsoft shares details on next Windows Phone 8 update

Since launching Windows Phone 8 in late 2012, Microsoft has already released one update to the operating system, which brought various improvements to messaging, WiFi and Internet Explorer settings. The update brought the OS version up to 8.0.10211.204, and was widely known by its development codename, "Portico."

You may also know it as General Distribution Release 1, the first of three planned updates to the OS for 2013 – and today, Microsoft posted release notes for the next update, GDR2, which will begin rolling out to devices over the next few weeks. 

GDR2 will bump up your OS version to 8.0.10327.77 or 8.0.10328.78, depending on your device and mobile operator. In Microsoft's words, the specific improvements on the way include: 

Xbox Music. It's now easier to select, download, and pin music. Plus, music fans will see more accurate metadata (such as song and album information) and many other performance improvements.

FM radio. Listen to FM radio right from the Music+Videos hub. (Not available for all phones.)

Data Sense. Stay on top of your phone's data usage with Data Sense. You can set a limit based on your data plan, or just keep track of which apps use the most data. (Not all mobile operators offer Data Sense.)

Skype. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) apps like Lync and Skype now feature improved stability and performance.

Internet Explorer. Your web browsing experience is now better than ever with improved HTML 5 compatibility.

Camera. Set your favorite Lens so it opens automatically when you press the camera button. (Not available for all phones.)


A range of further unspecified improvements is also promised, likely in the form of minor bug fixes and performance improvements. 

The next update on the horizon is – yep, you guessed it – GDR3, which is expected to arrive before the holiday season. It's not yet clear what improvements this update will bring to existing devices, but it will be significant in opening up the platform to new, more powerful hardware, introducing support for quad-core processors and 1080p displays

It's believed that more substantial changes to Windows Phone – including some of the "Start screen innovation" that Microsoft promised in its twelve month roadmap – will come when the company delivers the "Blue" update for the platform. That update, which is likely to take on the Windows Phone 8.1 name, is now not expected until early 2014

Microsoft announced this week that it will extend the support lifecycle for Windows Phone 8 from 18 to 36 months – guaranteeing updates to all devices until January 2016 – and promised to deliver a new "enterprise feature pack" that will greatly improve the platform's appeal to corporate customers, with features such as email encryption, auto-VPN and improved device management controls for IT administrators.

Source: Windows Phone 8 Update History

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Why the hell can't the phone count data usage without carrier support? I knows very well how many bits and bytes everything uses.

Guys, I know this sounds stupid, but because Windows Phone 8.1 is based on Windows 8.1, they need to wait till August for Windows 8.1 to RTM before they can work on Windows Phone 8.1

builds of windows phone 8.1 are already running on devices so I would say they are working on both at the same time, wp8.1 was probably a bit behind the w8.1 but now that all windows divisions are under one roof it will speed up the process for sure.

korupt_one said,
builds of windows phone 8.1 are already running on devices so I would say they are working on both at the same time, wp8.1 was probably a bit behind the w8.1 but now that all windows divisions are under one roof it will speed up the process for sure.

Considering that the guy responsible for WP is now in charge of W8 as well I am not so sure.....
Btw what happened to the announced "early adopter" program? Another great idea ended up MIA...

I hope the more accurate metadata from Xbox Music is true because after I copied 3 albums to my new Lumia 520 (my first Windows phone) it updated the info for one and split the album in two because one set of tracks had Deluxe Edition in round brackets and the other square. I ended up turning off the update metadata etc from Xbox. Which is a shame because it's a nice feature with the pics, gig info etc.

WP8 is such a bizarre experience for a newcomer. There are so many weird things that don't work. You can't copy contacts back to the sim. You can set custom ringtones but can't set a custom sound for incoming messages.

Looking forward to purchasing a WP8 device in the next month or two. Had enough of android and more specifically HTC with their "dump a phone after a few months with 0 or 1 updates"

None of that sounds overly interesting, we'll also have delays with OEM's and carriers testing. MS just need to release these updates, give everyone a time and "if you don't have it tested it's going to be your problem."

I wonder why a company like MS takes ages to support current generation processors and high screen resolution.. features they could have pushed to GDR3, but at least support the CURRENT generation hardware!!

I hope one of those updates includes the current zune desktop software. It needs to be re-branded as Xbox Music + Video and works with WP8 and going forward.

These are pretty small fry updates. Someone needs to fire a rocket up some asses to get this thing on track cus it really is Microsoft's last shot at mobile.

Too little, too late for me, MS. Since you couldn't get a decent notification center out for my Lumia 920, I am trading in my work phone for a Galaxy S4. I love the Lumia, but it isn't working with being on call.

I love my Lumia 920 especially the camera but slow OS updates/non resolved bugs has made it difficult for me to stick to the platform. I can't wait to switch back to iOS tbh.

StandingInAlley said,
I love my Lumia 920 especially the camera but slow OS updates/non resolved bugs has made it difficult for me to stick to the platform. I can't wait to switch back to iOS tbh.

What unresolved bugs?

M_Lyons10 said,

What unresolved bugs?

Unfortunately, I have been hit with a bug that kills all of my non-stock live tiles from updating. No idea what causes it. I have tried all of the different methods to resolve this that I could find on the various forums on the web. Did a restore and that fixed it; for about 3 weeks. Pretty annoying bug. Live tiles and lock screen updating are some of the key features of the OS, so it's a bummer when they stop working.

StandingInAlley said,

Storage fix bug for instance.


They did say that fix was coming. Perhaps in GDR2? Can anyone chime in on that? I know it was on the way... I hope that helps.

NeoTrunks said,

Unfortunately, I have been hit with a bug that kills all of my non-stock live tiles from updating. No idea what causes it. I have tried all of the different methods to resolve this that I could find on the various forums on the web. Did a restore and that fixed it; for about 3 weeks. Pretty annoying bug. Live tiles and lock screen updating are some of the key features of the OS, so it's a bummer when they stop working.


On WP8? I'd heard of this bug on 7.8, but not WP8...

slow updates, ms have pretty regular updates this year alone will have 2 minor updates and one major update, wtf are you lot smoking, you think apple and Samsung are that great with updates on those phones???

korupt_one said,
slow updates, ms have pretty regular updates this year alone will have 2 minor updates and one major update, wtf are you lot smoking, you think apple and Samsung are that great with updates on those phones???

TBH I find ridiculous that FM radio was not there since the OS launch...

NeoTrunks said,

Unfortunately, I have been hit with a bug that kills all of my non-stock live tiles from updating. No idea what causes it. I have tried all of the different methods to resolve this that I could find on the various forums on the web. Did a restore and that fixed it; for about 3 weeks. Pretty annoying bug. Live tiles and lock screen updating are some of the key features of the OS, so it's a bummer when they stop working.


I actually had that problem happen to me multiple times. Its a bug that occurs whenever there are more than 22 apps capable of background tasks on your phone regardless of whether they are blocked or not.

Delete all the useless apps that you don't use and which have no need for background tasks and it will start working again.

http://forums.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-7/190258-2.htm

Sadly, it still happens. It is probably some piece of software that I have; I have two coworkers with Lumia 920s that are not affected by this issue. From what I have read online so far, the only sure way to fix it is to do a restore; but that only works for so long too. The fact that I cannot backup app data (game saves and what not) makes me hesitant on starting all over again.

NeoTrunks said,

Unfortunately, I have been hit with a bug that kills all of my non-stock live tiles from updating. No idea what causes it. I have tried all of the different methods to resolve this that I could find on the various forums on the web. Did a restore and that fixed it; for about 3 weeks. Pretty annoying bug. Live tiles and lock screen updating are some of the key features of the OS, so it's a bummer when they stop working.

I feel you bro. I had the same problem a few days ago and it was extremely frustrating not having live tiles, notification and lock screen update. Only time a tile updates is when you start the respective app as if permanent battery saver is enabled.

the solution is to uninstall or block some apps from settings > apps > background tasks
There is a HARD limit of 15 background tasks. If you cross it, you'll regret it.
once you get your active background app count below threshold, you might need to restart your phone once.

hope this helps.

Vonauda said,


I actually had that problem happen to me multiple times. Its a bug that occurs whenever there are more than 22 apps capable of background tasks on your phone regardless of whether they are blocked or not.

Delete all the useless apps that you don't use and which have no need for background tasks and it will start working again.

http://forums.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-7/190258-2.htm

it is max 15 and I believe it's not a bug but a feature to prevent batt drain.
what they failed to do is to mention this ANYWHERE or give you a notification. I found about it cause one app (stylesaint; +respect to its devs) specifically notified me about this.

Vonauda said,


I actually had that problem happen to me multiple times. Its a bug that occurs whenever there are more than 22 apps capable of background tasks on your phone regardless of whether they are blocked or not.

Delete all the useless apps that you don't use and which have no need for background tasks and it will start working again.

http://forums.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-7/190258-2.htm


from your link, it appears it is different for different devices. I have a L920 black fully unlocked version.

The best thing one can do is to activate lots of bg apps and start stylesaint. Try to activate it's background agent from within the app. It'll tell you the limit.

Crimson Rain said,

I feel you bro. I had the same problem a few days ago and it was extremely frustrating not having live tiles, notification and lock screen update. Only time a tile updates is when you start the respective app as if permanent battery saver is enabled.

the solution is to uninstall or block some apps from settings > apps > background tasks
There is a HARD limit of 15 background tasks. If you cross it, you'll regret it.
once you get your active background app count below threshold, you might need to restart your phone once.

hope this helps.

It looks like once you get past that point, there's no fixing it. For example, I have disabled background tasks for all apps, aside from the six or so that I want to see updated. They won't update, sadly. As you said, I have to manually open the apps to get the tiles to update, and then, they won't update any longer. It's almost as if the phone is stuck in battery saver mode (it's not). It would be great if there were some logs that you could look into in order to see what was wrong. Sadly, even the iPhone has logs that you can view. I'm hoping that the next update will fix this, even if it's undocumented.

NeoTrunks said,

It looks like once you get past that point, there's no fixing it. For example, I have disabled background tasks for all apps, aside from the six or so that I want to see updated. They won't update, sadly. As you said, I have to manually open the apps to get the tiles to update, and then, they won't update any longer. It's almost as if the phone is stuck in battery saver mode (it's not). It would be great if there were some logs that you could look into in order to see what was wrong. Sadly, even the iPhone has logs that you can view. I'm hoping that the next update will fix this, even if it's undocumented.


that's not true. Try uninstalling junk apps. I don't have this issue anymore.
keep in mind games like ice age or qonqr can also run in background.

NeoTrunks said,
Sadly, it still happens. It is probably some piece of software that I have; I have two coworkers with Lumia 920s that are not affected by this issue. From what I have read online so far, the only sure way to fix it is to do a restore; but that only works for so long too. The fact that I cannot backup app data (game saves and what not) makes me hesitant on starting all over again.

Agreed. I think one of the most important features missing is the ability to back up and restore App &Game saves.

Beyond the usual performance/bug enhancements, all the 'noted' features from above should just be app updates. There is no reason why these should be called OS updates.

greensabath said,
Beyond the usual performance/bug enhancements, all the 'noted' features from above should just be app updates. There is no reason why these should be called OS updates.

Well, reworking the way the OS handles VoIP, for example, would kind of require an OS update...

And as stated above, we don't know what else was done under the hood. That feature alone implies that at least some work was done under the hood...

Maybe after six months, Verizon and T-Mobile will have a very different variant of the L1020 - quad core with 1080p - not that it would matter other than for bragging rights.

RommelS said,
Maybe after six months, Verizon and T-Mobile will have a very different variant of the L1020 - quad core with 1080p - not that it would matter other than for bragging rights.

Or maybe there'll be a quad-core 900 series device? 1000 for the camera, 900 for power? Not everyone will want/need the big camera, after all, and it'll make an already expensive device more so.

Chikairo said,

Or maybe there'll be a quad-core 900 series device? 1000 for the camera, 900 for power? Not everyone will want/need the big camera, after all, and it'll make an already expensive device more so.

Yeah, maybe it's me, but it seems kind of niche...

RommelS said,
No one knows ...best thing we can do right now is just speculate.

Well there is already another version of the L1020, with 64 GB, officially announced... But it another " Exclusivity".

Yep, pretty much another boring ass update from microsoft... its coming up to a year on wp8 (which already is basically the last version of windows phone 7 feature wise) and we're still basically with the same crap.

Timan said,
Yep, pretty much another boring ass update from microsoft... its coming up to a year on wp8 (which already is basically the last version of windows phone 7 feature wise) and we're still basically with the same crap.

October to July, what calendar are you using?

siah1214 said,

October to July, what calendar are you using?

And what phone are you using if you think it's the same as WP7 feature wise?

This should've been out months ago, makes me wonder why this process has been so slow. Maybe the reorg had the effect? Or maybe they had to pull people from WP to work on Windows 8.1? Or are the OEMs dragging their feet on firmware and driver testing/updates? Carrier testing also probably adds to it since some of the well known ones are so slow or flat out don't care anyways.

GDR2 should've been rolling out back in April. We should be getting ready for GDR3 now and WP8.1 should have been set for November, not early 2014.

GP007 said,
This should've been out months ago, makes me wonder why this process has been so slow. Maybe the reorg had the effect? Or maybe they had to pull people from WP to work on Windows 8.1? Or are the OEMs dragging their feet on firmware and driver testing/updates? Carrier testing also probably adds to it since some of the well known ones are so slow or flat out don't care anyways.

GDR2 should've been rolling out back in April. We should be getting ready for GDR3 now and WP8.1 should have been set for November, not early 2014.


I suspect that a lot of under the hood work was done as they continue to migrate parts of the desktop stacks, etc. From what I understand, though the kernel was there, not everything else was completed. And as they improved VoIP support, sounds like some deeper changes were made.

As an aside, the last update was "Portico". Does this one have a name?

M_Lyons10 said,

I suspect that a lot of under the hood work was done as they continue to migrate parts of the desktop stacks, etc. From what I understand, though the kernel was there, not everything else was completed. And as they improved VoIP support, sounds like some deeper changes were made.

As an aside, the last update was "Portico". Does this one have a name?

From what I've heard, they've drop the code names and just call them GDRs now.

There's pretty much nothing in this update, definitely nothing that would require months of waiting. Nokia is providing more to Lumia phones with their Amber update. Another poor showing from Microsoft.

I expect a bit more to the update than what they are providing. There is basically nothing here to address the shortcoming of WP8 which means another long wait for GDR3 and THEN another wait for WP8.1 which will still not address all the missing features, as evidenced by the announcement of the enterprise pack that will come even later.

Dont know about you but that is no way to compete with the android juggernaut and the consumer darling apple.

efjay said,
There's pretty much nothing in this update, definitely nothing that would require months of waiting. Nokia is providing more to Lumia phones with their Amber update. Another poor showing from Microsoft.

Ignoring for a moment that this is a MINOR update...

You have no idea what has been worked on under the hood...

The Enterprise Pack is coming in Q1... How is that "even later"?

The Lumia 925 is available and has been extensively reviewed, there is pretty much nothing to the GDR2 update compared to current WP8 devices.

And the enterprise pack is slated for H1 2014, not Q1. That is after GDR3 and WP8.1. As in, even later.

efjay said,
The Lumia 925 is available and has been extensively reviewed, there is pretty much nothing to the GDR2 update compared to current WP8 devices.

And the enterprise pack is slated for H1 2014, not Q1. That is after GDR3 and WP8.1. As in, even later.


And under the hood work is still unknown on that device. The fact that it's on a device does not change that many architectural or otherwise deep changes were likely made, but not clearly visible...

I've seen both H1 and Q1 mentioned. In either event, it's another update people can pretend isn't coming. LOL

gdr2 has already been finalized by ms and is in the hands of oems and carriers, so please don't put all the blame on ms for being slow.

Guess I won't be getting the new Lumia 1020, I didn't realize 8.1 wasn't coming till 2014. This is going to bite Microsoft in the rear.

ahhell said,
OMG. You are so right. WP8 is totally broken and unusable!!
/s

Well, truthfully, it might well affect holiday sales. iOS and Android devices will likely have more new things going for them, making WP less appealing as a result. Just like Blackberry suffered for not getting their new phones out for the holidays, I think this will likely be less than ideal for MS and its partners.

Honestly, the 1020 now, Blue for the holidays? Good, big things that would've kept some nice momentum going

Chikairo said,

Well, truthfully, it might well affect holiday sales. iOS and Android devices will likely have more new things going for them, making WP less appealing as a result. Just like Blackberry suffered for not getting their new phones out for the holidays, I think this will likely be less than ideal for MS and its partners.

Honestly, the 1020 now, Blue for the holidays? Good, big things that would've kept some nice momentum going


New phones will still be coming out for the holidays, regardless of the status of the next update, and people buy phones, not OS Updates...

And to the OP, I doubt seriously that this minor delay will have any effect on adoption. Most consumers wouldn't even know the difference. And if they do, they no doubt will be watching announcements of what's coming in 8.1 by the holiday season. Which also supports my argument.

So, as much as I would love the update now, knowing that I'll be getting it is enough and consumer impact will be nonexistent.

KeR said,
Guess I won't be getting the new Lumia 1020, I didn't realize 8.1 wasn't coming till 2014. This is going to bite Microsoft in the rear.

You are so impatient my friend. 2014 is just around the corner. It doesn't make the Nokia Lumia 1020 unusable without 8.1 update.