Windows Phone 8 GDR3 update exposed in set of leaked screenshots [UPDATED]Alex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
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Rumors of Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 GDR3 update have been circulating for much of 2013, claiming that the new software will bring with it a number of new features that include support for larger displays, quad-core processors, screen rotation lock and more. Today is the first time that we're getting a look at what may be GDR3 in action, though, thanks to a WPCentral forums user that claims to have gotten hold of a Lumia 920 that's running the update.
Screenshots show that the Lumia 920, which is said to have been purchased on Craigslist, is running the Nokia "Lumia Bittersweet shimmer" upgrade that includes the aforementioned GDR3 update. The images posted by user "xs2k" give us a glimpse at several of the GDR3 features that we've been hearing about for months now. That includes Driving Mode, which can turn off calls and texts while the user is driving and can also send automatic replies. Also shown is the screen rotation lock as well as the ability to close apps from Windows Phone's multitasking view.
In addition to the goodies that are previewed in these leaked screenshots, the GDR3 update is said to include the ability to restore a Windows Phone 8 device over Wi-Fi and several improvements related to using Bluetooth with vehicles. Also reportedly coming with the new software is the option to set custom sounds for text messages, voicemail, email and reminders.
Obviously these leaked screenshots can't give us a look at some of the bigger features that are coming with Microsoft's GDR3 update, like support for large 1080p displays and quad-core processors. However, the images do serve as evidence of other new capabilities like closing apps from the multitasking interface and screen rotation lock, two goodies that I'm sure Windows Phone fans are excited to finally be receiving.
So far it seems like GDR3 is a pretty spiffy little update. Not only will it give the Windows Phone crowd its first taste of the phone/tablet hybrid form factor, but it'll bring with it a number of smaller tweaks that ought to improve the user experience for owners of existing devices as well. The Verge claims that the GDR3 update is currently being tested by Microsoft and that it will make its debut on a mystery device known as the HTC Harmony as well as the Nokia Lumia 1520. The update is expected to be pushed to current hardware later in 2013.
UPDATE: Video is always better than still images, which is why it's good to see that WPCentral and xs2k have posted a four minute video showing the GDR3/Lumia Bittersweet shimmer update in action. Some of the new features demonstrated in the clip include the ability to close running apps from the multitasking menu, screen rotation lock and Driving Mode. Check the clip out for yourself at the bottom of this post.