More features for Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 uncovered

If you own a Windows Phone, this has been a good month for you as Windows Phone 8.1 has started to roll-out and the new Lock Screen app has finally been released. With Cortana and a ton of other features, the 8.1 update is a huge improvement to the OS. But, just because Windows Phone 8.1 is starting to roll-out, that doesn't mean the development cycle has slowed as we are starting to learn more about what the next update - known as General Distribution Release 1 (GDR1) will bring.

Besides the inclusion of native folders, which will be a huge help for those of us who have lots of apps, there are other minor updates that will arrive too. According to Nokia Power User, the following features will also be included in GDR1:

  • Under certain conditions, OEMs can change the default Live Tile layout
  • The Store now gets a proper Live Tile on the Start screen (for medium size and above)
  • Entity extraction is supported in the Messaging app 
  • Users can choose whether to display the number dialed when calling their voicemail (enabled by default)
  • OEMs can choose to allow or block the use of the SD card for phone updates (on supported devices)
  • OEMs can choose to show or hide the “automatically download updates” option on the device 

Based on the information in this list, we suspect that it was gathered from the OEM portal where the GDR1 reference was spotted yesterday. It's not a surprise either that these updates are rather minor - after all, the GDR updates have historically only been minor updates to the platform to fill in gaps between major OS releases. 

Unfortunately, we are still no closer to knowing when this update will be released. For those of you who are still waiting for Windows Phone 8.1, you can check out the status of that update release by visiting this link, here.

Source: Nokia Power User

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23 Comments

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That's something the FBI or police use to have easy access to see who you've been texting. At the NSA, we just monitor all of that remotely.

sanke1 said,

Yup even I am looking forward to that one.

Have you guys tried the app "App Folder"? I think the native approach will likely be something very similar. So I recommend using that app in the meantime.

PUC_Snakeman said,

Have you guys tried the app "App Folder"? I think the native approach will likely be something very similar. So I recommend using that app in the meantime.


Yes, I do use it but I guess, and hope, that a native one will be more integrated with the OS and allows to group any app you want.
But thanks for the tip...

There's a few nice additions in this update though, like folders for one, the phone cover option should be good for phablets. Probably a few more low level things as well that users won't notice right away but that developers will like.

Swapnil Rustagi said,
Why does this update put more control in hands of OEMs? The users should be allowed to handle phone updates and SD cards.

As long as there's ways to undo things, which in most cases there is, then it's just another way to make them a bit happy so they can make more devices for WP. It's always give and take in business at this level, MS needs more WP hardware and the OEMs always want more control so they can try and differentiate from each other (though at this point 90%, or more, of the Android hardware and UIs all look the same anyways).

Crimson Rain said,
> •OEMs can choose to show or hide the “automatically download updates” option on the device

WP turning in to Android. 0/10.

It only says the option can be hidden. There is always the manual check left, neither does it say if the option is disabled when hidden. It can still be hidden and enabled.

Matthew_Thepc said,
unless it's to prevent people from disabling it :)

I wonder what is the reasoning here.... Right now you, the owner of the device, can choose how to handle the process, why allow OEMs to interfere?

Cosmocronos said,

I wonder what is the reasoning here.... Right now you, the owner of the device, can choose how to handle the process, why allow OEMs to interfere?

The only explanation I can think of is if a business wanted to deploy WP to their employees and wanted to lock down software installations/updates.

Figure 8 Dash said,

The only explanation I can think of is if a business wanted to deploy WP to their employees and wanted to lock down software installations/updates.


Good point but it seems that only the option for the automatic download is affected therefore users could still update manually. Furthermore it seems to be an OEMs choice not something an administrator can set as a policy. Guess we will have to wait and see....


As bdsams states, posting that so far down in the comments of an older news article, and then somehow expecting that to make it to the front page, is wishful thinking, to say the least. I'm struggling to see what your complaint is.

If you want to get credit for information posted, there are plenty of legitimate ways of sending in your tips. Posting a comment to somebody else's story isn't one of them,