Windows Phone 8.1 Blue Icons

Joe Belfiore accidently leaks a future version of Windows Phone. Is it GDR3 or Blue?

There’s a handful of you out there rocking with the latest GDR2 update on your handset. If you bought a Lumia 925 or 1020 it came with it onboard from the unboxing. While the rest of you folks with devices from the Windows Phone 8 launch are slowly getting it. What’s on the horizon for future updates? We have GDR3 and Blue (aka Windows Phone 8.1) coming within the next 6 months. We also now have our first look at one of those courtesy of Joe Belfiore.

Earlier today, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore tweeted a screenshot of his Windows Phone Start screen. He was trying to show off the new official app for baseball fans called At Bat 13. What he didn’t realize was he also accidently shared a future version of Windows Phone.

Look down at the status bar on your device. This is the area where you see icons indicating things like signal strength, battery power, time, Wi-Fi connection, and more. If you look at yours right now you’ll see them spread out fairly evenly across the top. Or at least they would be if you had all icons on at once. But you probably have signal strength on the far left, time on the far right, with probably Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in the middle.

GDR2 vs Blue

Now look at the screenshot above that Joe Belfiore tweeted. You’ll notice all of those icons are grouped to the far left of the status bar with only time on the far right. Yours shouldn’t be like that, if it is contact us right now because we want your phone.

Some other sites and blogs are saying that’s GDR3. It could be, but we don’t think so. We have it on good information that what you’re looking at is Windows Phone Blue.

Source: Twitter Via:

Thanks for the tip Nishy!


Reader comments

Joe Belfiore accidently leaks a future version of Windows Phone. Is it GDR3 or Blue?



Virally building expectation. Said that I hope that by the time WP 8.1 will ship we will have the ability to see the battery status indicated in %...

We've been calling out for this new feature, glad to see they're listening to us. It made no sense to have the WiFi signal in the middle and not the left

Are all the posts in this particular thread supposed to be sarcastic? I am having a hard time deciding...

I'm hearing rumors that Windows Phone 8.2 will flip the direction of the vibration icon, which will finally give us something to show off to our Android and iPhone-toting friends.

Finally there is going to be something that i can tell others how different WP is other than telling them it's so hard to find a new phone with 480 x 800 on a 4.7" running dual core with 512MB in 2013 2H. 

On a more serious note, I'm thinking of holding out on the 1020 so I can get the new generation of devices that will be able to run this new status bar.

he is well aware of this site along with the others that nit pick every minor detail in every picture or try to decode each statement him and his team make

I don't think any of the "leaks" by Microsoft or Nokia are accidental. They're all calculated so that the bloggers of the world start a buzz about possible upcoming features or hardware. A nice way to get free advertising.  Do you think anyone would buy the Lumia 1020 solely on the ad campaigns had specs and images not "leaked"?

Very true, absolutely nothing wrong with it. In fact, it is a great idea given the way word spreads in todays blog and social media environment.

The reality is that for those of us in software dev it is easy to forget which build you're running and which minor changes were released in which build. It is entirely possible that something like this was accidental.

Maybe a notification icon can sit in the middle now? Or a background downloading one? Both would be welcome.

Not really sure what you mean by that.
Does iOS5 include iOS 4 updates?

GDR2 and GDR3 are normal WP updates, just a bit smaller than Blue that will be coming after the two in next year.

What I meant was that the codename Blue referred to the entire group of updates this year leading up to WP 8.1. I was questioning the use of the word Blue vs 8.1.

Is there some concreter info than that the status bar has some movements? Of course it indicates that there are changes, but concreter information would be great :) (I don't mean to be negative/harsh :) )

instead of adding yet another icon to the top for the battery percentage, add the percentage inside the battery indicator icon, then make the bar the shows full or half or 1/4 more transparent....saves space and get both in 1 icon. shouldn't be that hard. it was done with Windows Mobile 5, 6 and 6.5

Wow...the icons re-arranged...that's a real innovation...

Yeah, I get the point of the article. It's news. However this just makes me feel more and more that WP8.1 will be another cosmetic make-over like the 7.8 was for WP7.5. I have very little faith that Microsoft will listen to any of the top and ancient requests of its me pessimistic..

You are pessimistic.  8.1 will more closely resemble the Mango update, which was hands down a great update at the time.

I am. But I've had a WP7 before the WP8. I already know how the house works. And based on past experience (specially with the 7.8) I can have no optimistic thoughts. Specially when they managed to omit stuff from WP8 that was demanded since WP7.

It wouldn't be smart for him to reveal that much detail this far in advance especially since we have only a vague idea of when Blue is scheduled to be released. Most of us are still waiting on GDR2. Think about having to wait 6 months for something he showed before it appeared on your phone.

Can't see any change. I can make my icons rearranged even in normal "GDR1" without GDR2 and Blue. Not a news for me. Both screens look the same.

Moving feature icons doesn't impress me...I'm still waiting for the features every other OS has that Windows Phone should've had by now, like custom notification tones.

Since we can assume that MS isn't devoting an entire update to moving icons we can be sure there is more to this update which is NOT GDR2.
The reason to get excited is that whatever update this is, it is testing in the wild. Be it GDR3 or Blue 8.1.
So whatever features it has it is good to see actual evidence they are working on it even while we wait for GDR2 to come out. MS isn't resting. Just grinding away.

Could be.  I hope that means they also let you show the status bar, in its entirity, all the time.  I hate having to swipe to see that stuff. 

 We have it on good information that what you’re looking at is Windows Phone Blue.

Ehhhrm how about no? GDR3 is in testing right now... now guess what Joe is doing! Testing GDR3...
Joe is not that dump to actually leak Blue. He has many phones, this one is his GDR3 device.


I wouldn't call him dumb, but he did leak Nokia's future hardware on number of times. Including latest pictures taken with 1020 few weeks before it was announced.

He didn't leak anything. The notification location is irrelevent. The only thing this leaks is that Microsoft is working on updates and we already know that.

Am I missing something? Why is the location of status icons such a big deal? We know updates are coming. We know some changes will come with these updates. Why is icon location exciting or worthy of news? Is the location of the icons a game changer for the OS?

Actually I didn't miss that. I mentioned that we all know updates are coming and with those updates change is coming. What I don't get is why all the excitement over the location of status icons. As some have mentioned before, its not a huge "omg" change. I would be more excited if Bellifore "accidentally" leaked the notification hub. We know they are working on updates. Why is a picture of the status icons such a hallelujah moment? This news isn't going to wake up apple and android users and get them to switch.

No, it is not game-changing. But, that is not the point of this article now, is it?
At least that tells us that Microsoft is already working on more future updates? At least it gives me a more sense of certainty that Blue is not merely a "plan" anymore, but it is indeed already in existence in one of the developer's personal phone. I personally think this is a good sign considering so many complaints about Microsoft being so slow on releasing updates.

I'm not following the importance of this article either. Anyone who doesn't think they are knee-deep coding blue is crazy. Even if they weren't, what would moving the icons a bit prove anyway? That can be done in five minutes.

The only possible significance i can think of is if the center is being cleated for a notification list indicator.

But it would have been nice if WPCentral was a little more clear on what point they ate trying to make, or if they are just pointing it out because its a change buy understand how minor it is.

Exactly what I was thinking. The updates are coming. We all know they are. Moving the icons isn't going to make any apple or android users switch to WP. If the news is they are moving icons to make room for a pull down notification center then that would exciting news.

Whatever it is I hope it will bring orientation lock... I still can't believe we're left without that simple and very useful thingy... 

There not stupid. This is all he does is WP. He knows that he's doing. Showing us a pic with icons a quarter inch away from there they usually are doesn't matter. No leak. We already know he uses the latest software. That's his job. Case closed.

Yes, incase you haven't noticed Samsung has been very Reinvigorated lately with there apps. I have recently learned they have released 7 not 3 apps in the past few weeks.

Um, ok.  Struggling really hard to see what's newsworthy about this.  Almost a year out from the release of WP8 and still no substantial updates or a firm date for 8.1 release.  It's like Microsoft likes getting laughed at.  They better hope Nokia stays in the Window Phone game.  Once Nokia goes might as well wrap up this little phone experiment and go home because they release more worthwile updates for WP than Microsoft does.  What a shame.

By the end of this year, you should get two updates, three if you're using Nokia. Not bad actually, considering that all existing phones will be updated to WP9 or Blue.

Maybe they moved it to have room to show number of toast notification if you missed them. Just a theory

I love how calculating tech companies are bit this seems a bit far fetched, although if this isn't gdr3 how did he do it?

Can Samsung just hurry up and make a new Windows Phone??? All this Android love is not fair. Been holding out with this focus S for some time, and the Ativ S doesn't really seem like much of an upgrade compared to what they are doing with the Galaxy 4... I hear Nokia knocking at the door, maybe I should answer...

The first phone to come out this fall with GDR3 update is Samsung ATIV S2 :)
- 5" 1080 display
- 2GB RAM / 32GB System flash
- MSM8974 (Snapdragon 800)
- 2600 mAh Battery
- 128GB micoSD support
- Bluetooth v4 / FM Radio

Don't you put that on me Ricky Bobby!!! Now that I've said my good byes to Sammy, and planned my getaway with Noki Noki, you telling me Sammy gonna hit the gym and go back to school for a degree???? What kind of twisted mind games are you playing with me?! How true is this? I need to know, cuz my bags are packed by the door.

hahahhahhahaha, you are a killer man.
When you say WP, stick with the Big boys. Nokia FTW.

If it were Blue, wouldn't he have the ability to display mid-size tiles three wide? Thought I read that was coming in Blue, and it doesn't look possible here, unless the phone itself lacks the hardware to do it.

Good observation! Or could be that that rumor about adding another column of medium size tile in WP8.1 is not true!

Instead of flaunting, MS & Nokia should actually start rolling out the update on existing windows phone 8 owners. All they are busy with is flaunting the 925 & 1020 handsets.

I'm setting up for some big-time classic Rubino snarky reply, but honestly, I don't get it, where's the change? status bar icons moved slightly to the left? is that it? or am I missing something else?

Dude relax, MS and oems (not counting HTC.. Due to their shoddy testing) have done their part now its upto the darn carriers to start pushing the updates out. Though Oems should be pushing it out to unlocked devices...

We're always the last in the queue. Source: Me owning an unbranded Lumia 920 since 5th November 2012...

I'm pretty much lost respect for Joe. I think Microsoft should find room in the BS department for his skill set.

Although that hardly tells us anything real about Blue, are you just gonna hire that Nishy guy already?

Think he's using Samsung in this tease to stick it to Nokia over recent VP comments regarding sluggish WP development and app release schedules?

Both GDR3 and WP8.1 are being developed side by side, so it could be any one of them.
Some features of WP8.1 might be added to GDR3.

It's probably an accident that doesn't reveal anything interesting, just some icons in other place. If it was showing an awesome or waited feature, it would be awesome, but this is nothing and this news was kinda useless.
We already knew that the guys at Microsoft were probably testing the GDR3 on their phones. 
Not that you shouldn't be talking about it, you should and you are, but I'm kinda tired of reading about the GDR2 and GDR3 since they won't add anything that interesting to the current phones, the only thing GDR3 will bring that is really useful *to me* is the Orientation Lock, since the automatic orientation change is annoying sometimes. I'm actually really anxious for Windows Phone 8.1, this one will probably bring some awesome features. But, this one is just next year! =/
Oh, well, I'm complaining too much! UHAUHAUAHUHUAH

Orientation lock in GDR3? Maybe, I heard its in blue.
Obviously some people are excited about GDR2 & GDR3, with additions like FM radio, Google Calendar support, Amber features for Nokia and 1080p resolution, more than dual core support, etc.

I know! I understand!
Obviously I'm talking about myself, I'm not saying that my opinion is everyone's opinion. You can see that I emphasized the "to me" in my comment.
Take Datasense for example, I already have it. FM Radio, I had it in Windows Phone 7 and I've never understood why Windows Phone 8 didn't have it.
But I'm not saying that the updates are bad, of course they're good!

About the orientation lock, I read in a few places, but of course they might be wrong:

I don't get it. What is this news about? New colorful icons put on desktop screen??? There is hardly any change.