GDR3 Bittersweet Shimmer

News this morning has come out regarding some more changes coming to Windows Phone 8 General Distribution Release 3 and Nokia's Bittersweet shimmer. Most of these features we have been aware of for some time, in fact we re-capped them on Saturday with the Glance screen information, but there are a few new tidbits to give a clearer idea of the big picture.

The info comes by way of Nawzil, who has been posting quite a bit of information regarding Microsoft and Nokia’s plans for the upcoming OS and firmware update. We have heard that GDR3’s features have been briefed by Microsoft with various people recently, so we’re not too surprised to hear information is now coming forward—leaks are leaks.

So what’s new? Let’s take a look.

Windows Phone 8 GDR 3

  • Support for 1080p display for new devices like the Lumia 1520.
  • Support for new processors.
  • 3 medium or 6 small tiles on a row for phones with screen resolution of at least WXGA (1280 x 768) including Lumia 920, 925, 928, 1020 and of course the Lumia 1520.
  • Close apps by tapping on the X on top right in multitasking view. The icon of the app appears below.
  • Custom tones for text or IM, voicemail, email and reminders (confirmed earlier by Windows Phone Central)
  • Screen Rotation lock: When auto-rotate screen is off, your screen will stay in the current orientation when you rotate your phone.
  • Driving Mode: Turns of all notifications except texts and phone calls when you're driving. You can also turn calls and texts off completely or set Driving Mode to text and automatic reply like "Hey, I am driving right now. I'll reply you later." Driving Mode can start automatically when your phone connects to a Bluetooth device.
  • Connect to WiFi in OOBE when switching on your new phone for the first time or after you your reset your phone, so you can restore your data even before connecting to a cellular network.
  • Attach Office files (.doc, .xls, .ppt) and .pdf files in email.

Nokia Bittersweet shimmer firmware

  • Glance Screen: Notifications in glance screen similar to the notifications on the lock screen. Choose from any of the 20 accent colours for night mode instead of just red in Amber. You can choose whether you want to keep the glance screen always on when charging, in Amber it is always on when charging.
  • New apps: Nokia Camera, Storyteller, etc.

If you’ve been following Windows Phone Central closely, most of that should be familiar. What is new is that WXGA (1280 x 768) devices will get new tile sizes, allowing 3 medium or 6 small tiles on a row. Previously it was assumed that only 1080P devices would get that feature, but at least according to Nawzil, current high end devices will also have the option. It’s not clear though how it will all work.

Attach Office files is also new and if accurate, a very welcomed addition. Not being able to attach documents has been a major sore spot for many in enterprise.

The Glance Screen improvements we already knew about but not so much the 20 accent colors for the display—that’s a novel and unique addition.

We should note that this is not a full changelog either for GDR3 and there are presumably other under the hood fixes included as well i.e. a lot of little things that help your everyday experience but aren’t as attention grabbing.

Microsoft and Nokia are expected to detail the new OS version and Bittersweet shimmer firmware later this month in Abu Dhabi.

Source:; Thanks, Devarshi R., for the tip