Windows Phone 8.1 GDR 1 makes another appearance, one step closer to release

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 Lock Screen app has finally be released. With Cortana and a ton of other features, read our review here, the 8.1 update is a huge improvement to the OS. But, the fun doesn't stop there as we have learned today that the first update to 8.1, GDR 1, has made another appearance on the Windows Phone OEM portal.

That's right, Microsoft is steam rolling ahead with Windows Phone updates and the rapid release cadence is alive and well in this division of Microsoft. To keep Windows Phone moving forward, GDR 1 of the next iteration of Windows Phone is nearing, or may have already hit the RTM phase. The best feature coming in this update is the addition of native folders for the OS and we have already seen some of that documentation leak.

The reason we say it may have hit RTM is that one source has told us that this has occurred but we have yet to find another source to verify this claim. So, take it with a pinch of salt that it has hit RTM but we have had multiple sources tell us, late last month, that RTM was going happen in the near future.

We don't have any specifics on when this update will roll-out but seeing that Microsoft is already communicating the update to OEMs, it shouldn't be too far into the future that this update will hit your handset.

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.

Image via WMPU

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soulburner said,
So how soon will this update be available after Cyan finally arrives to all Lumias?
Through the preview channel, perhaps as early as next month.

Still waiting for Cyan too for my Lumia 1020. Wtf, why is it taking so much time ? I could have understood a delay of a few days, but we've been talking about this update since months, and the status is still Under Testing...

It was in testing a.k.a developer preview phase. The mainstream support just started on 24th June, so that makes it merely a month.

Also, cyan is already rolling out and is available on most 625s, 925s and some 1520s and should hit all lumias very soon.

NTP is something that should have been there since day one, Speaking of things that should have been done years ago I hope this update will improve the pathetic vpn support. why the **** they chose to only support ike2 ill never understand when SSTP is the default server 2012 remote access vpn and for good reason its ridiculously easy to deploy no AH GRE or ESP to mess around with just tcp 443 and its virtually impossible to block allowing tunneling even on the most restrictive networks.

So yeah SSTP hurry the **** up WP team

This are some of the new features in GDR1:

- Support for WXGA 800 x 1280
- Improvements to video capture meta data tags (not sure what it means)
- Support for Network Time Protocol (NTP)
- Partners can now configure the settings for C+G dual SIM phones
- Disable voicemail phone number display
- OEMs can set a list of MCC/MNC pairs for the purchase order (PO)
- OEMs can configure a phone book entry for Cortana to allow users to start speech from a car
- Something with Phone cover settings
- OEMs will be able to hide the "Automatic search for updates" function
- Something with building images with user-managed software buttons
- Support for entity extraction in the Messaging app

This comes from the documentation mentioned in the article. So, this probably isn't everything, as consumer features might be missing.

One of the rumored features of WP 8.1 GDR1 is the ability to have 'folder tiles' on the start/home screen.

I sure hope they're bringing that same feature to Windows 8.1 Update 2.

ians18 said,

That is Nokia App Folder, not native app folder functionality, which is said to be coming. Besides the Nokia App Folder is Lumia only.

And it works with certain apps only....

I'm waiting for it as well.

Actually waiting for a refurb 925 from T-Mobile because mine keeps freezing (3 months old). I thought it had to do with 8.1, so I went back to 8.0 and it still freezes. Great phone none the less, wouldn't mind if the camera lens was placed higher up, big hands.

First thing I do with a new windows phone is to flash it with the default rom for the uk instead of a carrier variant using Nokia care suite. That way you get updates asap.

They need to standardise the firmware features like glance, double tap to wake, and others and slap them into the OS itself. Then have each phone manufacturer mark what is and what is not compatible with the device and just hide those features from Settings if they're not supported.

Surely it will get things moving faster than just waaaaaaaitng for a firmware for so many months even though the OS itself has been done already.

It WAS an exclusive by Nokia, now that Microsoft owns them they can decide whatever they want with it. It makes more sense for them to bring those exclusive Nokia features to all OEMs to help grow the market.

Another thing MS really needs to do is license Nokia hardware itself just like AMD and Nvidia do with graphics cards and Intel does with motherboard chipsets. They create reference designs and sell it to the OEMs with the requirement that it runs Windows Phone.

I expect Cyan will be the last firmware for Lumias to have exclusive WP features, there's no reason to keep that going, not when you want to bring in as many new OEMs as they are unless they plan to just let every OEM have the same level of interaction with WP that Nokia had which allowed them to do these features. That I doubt a lot though, so the next thing is to just take those and make them part of the OS now going forward, maybe in one of the GDRs, it could be what we see as part of GDR2 since this first one, so far, only seems to bring us native folders as a feature.