Much of the Windows Phone news lately has focused on the Windows 10 for phones upgrade, but it looks like Windows Phone users have one other update to look forward to before Windows 10 arrives.
Microsoft has posted documents for the Windows Phone 8.1 GDR2 on its official Windows Phone Developer site. This update is the follow-up to Windows Phone 8.1 Update, aka GDR1, which was introduced in July 2014. According to Microsoft, the changes that are included with GDR2 are:
Video over LTE
Customize specific settings and behavior for Video over LTE to meet mobile operator requirements including:
Restore Start tile layout
Append the OEM-defined Start screen layout to the bottom of the user's backed up Start screen layout when the user restores their device from a backup.
More phone languages
Include support for these additional phone languages:
Remove the trailing MSISDN digits on a SIM card
Use to remove the trailing MSISDN digits that are appended to the service provider name (SPN) in the phone UI.
Use voice domain for emergency call branding
Use to enable the voice domain to decide whether to use Emergency calls only or No service in the phone UI branding.
Create a SimbldIccidTable.xml to allow certain SIMs to disable one or more languages. For more information, see the Use SIMBLD to disable languages per ICCID section in Variant selection during runtime.
Key handling and ProvXML ordering improvements
For more information, see the Selecting the variant section in Variant selection during runtime.
It’s worth noting that according to Microsoft, these changes apply to “Windows Phone hardware development.” That means that there might be some software tweaks included in the update that don’t have anything to do with hardware changes. For now, though, all we have are hardware features related to things like video over LTE, which will let carriers customize the UI and UX of video calls made over an LTE connection.
So far GDR2 doesn’t look like a major update, but hey, that’s what Windows 10 is for. If anything, GDR2 will be a nice little update to satiate Windows Phone fans’ hunger for new software while we wait for the release of Windows 10. It’s not yet known when Microsoft will actually announce this GDR2 update, but the Redmond firm is holding an event at MWC next month, which seems as good a place as any for a new mobile OS update reveal.