New details on Windows Phone GDR3 and 'Blue' updates leak

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| July 12, 2013

Nokia Lumia 920 high gloss red

Hot on the heels of Microsoft's decision to post details about the upcoming Windows Phone 8 General Distribution Release 2 (GDR2) update, some new information on a more significant WP8 update has been revealed. A report from The Verge claims that the Windows Phone "Blue" update is now slated to arrive in early 2014, a tad later than the previous windows we'd heard. The Blue update is expected to be a major update for Microsoft's mobile OS, bringing with it new features like better multitasking support, a notification center and improved versions of the built-in Windows Phone apps.

Before Blue, Microsoft is reportedly planning to roll out a third GDR update that's rumored to include support for the latest high-end mobile hardware features. That includes screens that measure 5 and 6 inches in size, 1080p resolutions and quad-core processors. Microsoft is said to be working closely with its hardware partners to make sure that Windows Phone supports those features, but so far there's been no concrete details on specific Windows Phones with those features. It's also said that GDR3 could include some features that get backported from Windows Phone Blue, such as a rotation lock. The GDR3 update is expected later in 2013.

The three GDR updates for Windows Phone 8 are considered to be minor compared to the Windows Phone Blue update that's due in 2014, but the GDR updates do appear to be getting more significant with each release. While the first GDR update included some Wi-Fi and SMS improvements, GDR 2 is bringing FM radio support to Windows Phone 8 and expanded Data Sense availability. The GDR3 update will be even bigger, bringing support for the high-end hardware that we're currently seeing on several flagship Android phones.

Meanwhile, the Blue update is slated to offer a dramatically improved experience for all Windows Phone 8 users. The bad news is that the update isn't slated to land until next year, and with GDR2 expected soon and GDR3 coming later in 2013, it looks like Windows Phone users may have to endure a bit of a wait in between getting new goodies to play with. The company was reportedly planning to bring more frequent updates, but GDR bugs and chipset testing delays are said to have thrown a wrench into those plans. Here's to hoping that Microsoft can indeed deliver the Blue update in early 2014 and breath some new life into Windows Phone.

Via The Verge