GDR3 Bittersweet Shimmer

Unofficial changelog for Windows Phone 8 GDR3 and Bittersweet shimmer begins to complete the picture

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


Reader comments

Unofficial changelog for Windows Phone 8 GDR3 and Bittersweet shimmer begins to complete the picture



Yes. I think 8.1 brings folders/grouping & notification center, along with BT LE & unified store (if both are not in GDR3) and new hardware.

The best is the ability to close apps in one go from the multitasking screen. I particularly find it really cumbersome to close the Facebook app after I have used it for too long coz you need to get back to th news feed to close it with the back button.

Swipe to close should be an option in addition to the X, not instead of. Without the X people would be complaining that it's not intuitive or obvious, how to close an app.

What they need is either swipe down to close or double tap to close. I think swipe down was THE best solution to "unifying" things between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. That makes me remember how badly I want a charms bar!

Like the notifications on glance, now you essentially can have 10 notifications using glance and the traditional lock screen page. 
LIke attaching files through email, why they had backwardslogic method of having to go to the actual doc to attach is beyond me, hopefully there is a files hub somewhere that is visible, doubtful. 
Hopefully at some point, integrate skype fully and please make it easy to create a playlist on xbox music.  You know, go to playlist tab, have a "+" button there to create a playlist, makes sense, right?

if some feature requires new hardware then for that part: no
the same goes for the whole next year
WP 8.1 Q1 2014
GDR "Spring" Q2 2014

Drive Mode yes!
I was actually thinking of this Sunday while driving home and my friend kept calling. All phone should have this now along with Airplane mode, it's so silly not to specially with Ontario's new law where you can't be holding a phone while driving even if it's not in use!

We knew what you were thinking, you know Microsoft + NSA can even read your mind. :D
Same law here in Kuwait. :(

Would mind those six small tiles - or combinations of 1x2, 1x3 without the "blank" spaces... Or vertical ones 3x1 etc.

But it is possible to attach documents to emails, from within the Office hub.... Do you refer to being able to attach them directly from the mail app?

Yes, because people are too upset its all in a hub - which btw was WP7's launch mantra. Hubs Hubs and Hubs that talk to Hubs.

How about replying to an email with an attachment? There shouldn't be just a single way to accomplish that by only going to the office hub, attaching files to an email conversation is a basic and vital task for any business phone.

Hubs are good, hubs are essentially libraries (like in Windows 7 or 8) but I agree with the theefman here, there should be a more logical way to handle attachments, and I'm glad it's finally coming. I just wasn't sure if the article implied there hadn't been a way to attach documents at all before. :)

I am greatly anticipating GDR3, but I wish (hope) they would provide additional ways to organize your tiles, ala Windows 8.

Not sure what you mean there, but I'm hoping Windows 8 becomes more like Windows phone 8, specifically scrolling horizontally should be banned and replaced with a vertical scroll like the windows phone home page. Horizontal swiping should take you to a different page, not more of the same page.

Has someone on user voice site requested a interactive tile update? I'd like to see that happen I hate having to press volume button everytime im on my phone everytime i wanna change a song.

I'm just saying have play skip and previous on the music tile so I don't have to press a physical button or dive into the music hub to complete a simple action on my phone.

I think parts of this concept are amazing but alot of it is redundant as well. Quick launch? What's the point of having start screen tiles with this then? Notification center?What's the point of having live tiles then? Alot of it takes away from what Windows Phone truly is. Just an opinion though :)

Completely agree with the interactive Music live tile. Also, I REALLY miss the Music tile from WP7 that continuously cycled artist artwork even when music wasn't actively playing.

Ehmm I kindaagree with rockstarzzz....
because really? you complain about having to press physical button... so what about when you are in a place like the app list? or in games hub? or IE?.... dont you have to press the win button to go to start screen (yeah you have to press it)... or the back button, to stop and change music from a live tile?... and then of course search for the live tile, and you cant have it small, it has to be big to have the controls... isnt that more time consuming than presisng the physical button and tap on next icon?
or wait... do you stare at your start screen so much that you need that "dynamic" live tile?... do you really not use your phone more than just looking at your start screen while listening to music? you dont even turn the screen off? or go to some app? that sounds like a waste of money in a phone you dont even properly use.
again... your "amazing" idea doesnt even make sense... since it would be useful in like 0.01% of cases.
so yeah, android widgets would be your friend if you want that,.... i guess.

i never once made it a point to remove the current function of using the volume button, i merely stated that when your on the start screen you should be able to interact with the tile to hit the next song. i completely understand that hitting the volume button brings up the ability to use it from wherever but why delve into the music hub all the time if all you wanna do is go to the next song and your already on your start screen. theres no reason to attack what i prefer, i just think that it would be an added conveniece. i get it, it doesnt work for you and thats fine but lets not just toss ideas out of the window. and since live tiles are already like widgets why not just give them more functionality than just flipping, also your argument of do i just stare at my start screen is idiotic since the idea of live tiles is to glance at the start screen and get what i need....... Sorry but your entire reason for replying to my post lacks logic.

The only way to fit 3 rows of tiles on screens the size of the L920 is by resizing the existing tiles. Which means the "medium" tile will have to be 2/3 of the current medium (if you want to have an idea of the size, look at your "People" tile in medium size. The new size will have to be 4 squares).

Now.... if that's the size of the medium tile, then the "small" tiles will have to be less than 1/3 of the medium tile. Meaning smaller than 1 square of the people hub. That REALLY small.

And what about the double wide tiles? Will they be gone? Then why keep the "live tiles"? With tiles this size, forget about reading anything on medium sized tiles. If the double wide tiles are gone too...well, then just get rid of the live tiles all together and move into the widget solution like Android and Apple.

I SERIOUSLY hope that these new tiles are completely optional and won't be forced upon current Lumia owners. I most certainly do not want those new tile sizes on a screen with 4.7"

More on the screen isn't better, they are getting close to crossing that line of being too cluttered and a complete mess on the screen, specifically for the 4.5 inch devices. I think it makes sense for a phablet, but we'll see how it looks on a 920 and up.

I am imagining it is going to look like a complete mess to be honest, hopefully it is optional which i dont thin it will be. We'll see.

Take a look of this simple math:

1280 * 1.5 = 1280 + 640 = 1920
720 * 1.5 = 720 + 360 = 1080 (yes, I know...Nokia choose 768)
4 small tiles * 1.5 = 6 small tiles
2 BIG tiles *1.5 = 3 BIG tiles
1 WIIIIIDE tile * 1.5 = N/A, still the same, now 2/3 of the screen width (vertical)

I don't think that will be too bad on 4.5" + devices. Sounds pretty cool to me! Can see way more live content :-)
Super stoked about glance screen notifications - now that is VERY useful to uh, glance at..

I also hope it will be optional and I would be surprised if it wasn't, but don't forget that they will also reduce the spacing between tiles and put the tiles closer to the edge of the screen so that will help a little bit in terms of the tile sizes.

It'd be nice to be able to go forward after holding down the back button.  I don't know how many time's I've accidently pressed back and had it leave an app and lose whatever I was doing.
Nevertheless, these are all pretty cool things that I can't wait to see in action.

I just hope that in whatever update microsoft adds a notification center it isn't in a tile. I would suggest either swiping right on the start screen or having it in the multitasking pane (So you can acess it though holding down the back button). And a udpate to the music app would be awesome. It would be nice if it look a bit more like the one that is going to be coming out in windows 8.1.

Attaching files (except pdfs) has been there you just could only do one file per email and had to do it from the file itself, not from email. I hope this means easier time attaching files directly from email.
Custom tones I haven't seen anything concrete on how custom it is. People have mistaken the ability to change between different alerts as custom tones, not really add your own custom tones. I hope its the latter.

I dot think that 6 tile thing is ever going to happen.
If it had to happen we would have seen atleast a single leak for this. Lack of leaks proves that this is not possible. 
Also as a side note I love the current WP start screen layout and don't want MS to mess around with it. Probably an ability to set Background image for Start screen is the only thing missing in my view.
Ability to attach multiple documents to mail would be huge. That, Rotation lock and Ability to close apps would mean that WP 8 is finally reaching a bit closer to all the required essential features of a mordern smartphones.

I just hope they fix this &*%# file duplication bug with SD cards. It was SUPPOSED to be fixed in GDR2 but I can vouch for the fact that it is not.

Awesome! Of the GDR3 features I was hoping to get the new tiles on my 920, and now I can sleep happy until I get the update :D Just throw in a real backup and its perfect :D

Daniel,, do you mean that three medium tiles will be supported by devices with a resolution of at least 1280 x 768, or higher than 1280 x 768... Because you said that devices like the 920, or 1020, will be supported, but they are not higher than 1280 x 768,, they are equal to... What's the deal❔

I would also like some clarification on this.  I personally don't think the 3 medium tile format will work well on 4.5" screens.

It's been 6 months since a Microsoft support engineer and I tracked down the podcast sync issues I was having to the music + videos app retaining an open file handle on podcasts after it had stopped playing them and thus borking the desktop sync process. 


Despite it being a pretty basic problem they've yet to fix it. Which is why I'm using a Nexus 4 rather than my 8X.


Fingers crossed for GDR3.

Lmao, sad but true, Mr. De la Vega has to get his store managers and employees to stop being so biased, what is unreal is that ATT doesn't even give a reason for the delay, 925 and 1020 have it, how hard could it be? Either they are purposefully trying to push the new rather than old, they are incompetent, or there are technical difficulties I am not aware of, I am leaning towards 1 and 2.

Let's just hope those experts over at XDA figure out how to manually update phones like we could in WP7....

Where is the separate volume controls for the phone and apps. This should be straighten out by now, every other os has always done this!

Lets hope they make it easy to turn rotation lock on/off. Having to go to settings and scroll through the list is horrid and a terrible UX.

Holy tits - you can finally, FINALLY add Office documents from within the email hub?! Hopefully they didn't F it up and you can add documents when replying to an existing email string... Cmon MS, please don't screw this up!!

I gotta get out of att .. We'll never get this update! At first I was so excited with wp8 and the future updates to really make this os competitive but since being on att all this news about updates just piss me of because now I know while on att we will always be dead last for any of these updates. I got one year left can't wait wp8 for would be perfect if I got timely updates but not if I'm on att

"3 medium or 6 small tiles on a row for phones with screen resolution higher than WXGA (1280 x 768) including Lumia 920, 925, 928, 1020 and of course the Lumia 1520."
Yes! Uber excited now! I really hope this is true, because ever since I saw the first leaks of the Lumia 1520, I was immeditatly jealous of the extra Start Screen space. Please Nokia, make it happen!

Hate to sound rude, but I can guarentee that isn't the case, seeing as it's just not possible to do that.

They're all really welcomed addition. Especially the press 'x' to close app, orientation lock, and attach file on email. But.. I think the press 'x' button to close app is outdated.

What about being able to select and upload Videos from the Gallery/mediahub from within whapsapp, 6tag, etc??? Don't understand y this isn't possible yet!

i cant imagine 6 small tiles working well on a 920 screen.  I may have to shave down my finger to get prevent accidentally pressing the tile beside it.    haha

These updates are well and good, but when is MS fixing its media indexing issues aka duplicate media files when syncing. Clearly it's something we're hiding our heads in the sand about. If not GDR3 then WP8.1 maybe? My L920 media player is choking with duplicated songs and listening to anything is just pointless.

When can we get a darned color wheel for our theme colors? The 20 options simply do not work perfectly for everyone. I don't understand why a color wheel couldn't be offered.

wish they  would implement a "Close All" function....
Really though, I don't know why they just don't implent swiping up to close apps. Everyone else has already ripped off of webOS...
Apple iOS 7
Android ICS and up
Blackberry Playbook
What's stopping us?!?!?! Honestly, an "X" is probably slightly quicker...... But I still want a "Close All"
That is all....

I really hope that they enable the snapping ability of Win8 into would be a nice feature on phones with 1080p+ displays.

Hope that Nokia Camera speeds up the picture taking alot, my 1020 is painfully slow. If you are taking pictures of children then you miss alot.

U hope they fix the Bluetooth connectivity with cars. With each release and update its gotten worse so I can barely use my 8x in my car now.


Sarcasm...i's cool...

This is a shame! Why the hell does it take Microsoft so long to do just the basic things? Makes me want android back sometimes.

I don't think I like the look of the "X" above the apps in multitasking view. I don't feel like it fits with the "modern" design standards. I like that we will be able to close apps though.

I don't care what the x looks like if it works. Should have had the option to close open windows like this when gdr2 came out

Great! Sounds like Windows Phone will finally offer the same feature set and user experienced enjoyed in 2010's Symbian^3.

Well, GSM arena say that it will be. Fingers crossed because I don't want my 8x to be outdated so soon.

The quickest/easiest way to get this GDR3 fix is to buy the upcoming Nokia Lumia 525 in November. 525 will probably come with clearblack display, front facing camera and flash so it'll be a decent $190 phone.

I hope the make the extra tiles optional. I might like it, but I might hate it. The option would be nice for that reason.

I can't wait to be able to close an application without pressing "<-" many time.  When I forgot to close the GPS application my phone battery would drain in a few hours…
The "x" in the corner is nice but I would like a gesture like webOS (move-up the card/application off the screen). I want to use my phone with one hand (left). Reaching the top right of the application-card to press the "x" with my thumb, it's not always easy. 
We should be able to use our phone with one hand...
I miss webOS :( 
My two cent...
PS: I like my L920. I want to give Microsoft the chance to improve the WP8. Coming from webOS, I could have select iOS or Android,  but I select WP8 for the nice tiles. Microsoft please fix the tiles and notifications issues

If u love live tiles then try using apps like "pinbits" and "your battery level" nd u'll never even think of ny other os again. . #diehardwinphan

Finally!! I hope MS listens good to what users want! I was given a choice between the Xperia Z1 and Lumia 1020 and went with the Z1 for now, why? because the 1020 has less powerfull hardware (slow but good camera) and i still find the OS in general not finished, if they improve WP8 GDR3 significantly i will switch in less than a heartbeat to the latest Lumia high end device and hopefully it will only improve with WP8.1.

It's starting to look like when all of the other Lumia phones are getting GDR9, the AT&T Lumia 920 will finally get GDR2.

Its bs isn't it, att was first to market with 920 and will be last to update if ever, in Australia I have had gdr2/amber for months and would be very pissed off if was u, there is no excuse for this. I posted back in may that the update would take forever like wp7 updates and worse the Symbian Anna and belle updates and received huge backlash from ppl claiming it would be available by July and I knew shit, well I was surprised to get it in oz at the start of Aug but not surprised with your situation. Blame is solely on AT&T as Nokia made this available to carriers about the same time. Have heard that u may get it by Oct 23rd

I hope they also introduce Night Mode with GDR3, I hate it when I get disturbed with notifications when I am asleep.

Update: Currently, the only way to do it is by turning off your data connection.

I hope the six tile option really does come to 920 & 1020 as this would cleanup my homepage and reduce scrolling substantially, love this feature which I think is a step towards WP, RT and W8 merging. 1520 far too big for me to consider, would prefer a top end device at 4.5" or even down to 4"

I'm hoping we get NFC without annoying confirmations that ruin the whole point of NFC, Aptx BT audio, BT 4.0 LE, and Xbox Videos in the Xbox Video app. I'm excited the 920 gets 3 tile wide start screen; that's awesome.

"Glance screen will also have notifications, like the lockscreen." <-- does this means that it will show some messages and miss calls notification like the lock screen?

May be a stupid question but I cant find the answer. With this update will the 920's resolution be increased to 1080p from 720p?

Being able to attach files from email is not all of the problem.
We need to be able to attach multiple files when we send or reply.

the first picture of the yellow lumia looks lke not real
the phone is an at&t model
the model no shows its an indian phone
but in India there is no at&t carrier and no on contract phones

Very unimpressive.Will have to wait for 8.1 for the big features.Hopefully MS will deliver but my hopes are not too high.

If the iphone allows you to attach documents without having a file explorer why is it so hard for people to think wp8 can? You don't need a file explorer to attach documents in an email