Windows Phone 8 GDR3

What’s coming next - Microsoft officially announces Windows Phone 8 GDR3 OS update

Windows Phone 8 GDR3 to be delivered in the coming weeks, bringing many new features to current and future hardware

This morning at 8 AM ET, Microsoft officially pulled the veil off of the highly anticipated General Distribution Release 3 (GDR3), the third and final OS update for Windows Phone 8 before next year’s 8.1 overhaul. This comes just days after AT&T in the US began to push out GDR2 for current Lumia 820 and 920 users and the nearly complete worldwide launch of that second update.

Microsoft updates their mobile OS through a series of updates, called GDRs, which are akin to the Service Packs of Windows desktop from years ago. In addition to full OS updates, GDRs are meant to add fixes to the OS for bugs, bring new features to current users and enable new hardware options for their hardware partners.

Windows Phone 8 GDR3

Windows Phone 8 GDR3 8.0.10512, expected to begin delivery to current devices in the coming weeks, will bring many new features to current and future Windows Phones, including:

  • Support for 1080p display for new devices like the Lumia 1520
  • Support for new processors including Qualcomm’s Snapdragon MSM8974 quad-core CPU
  • 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
  • Better storage management: New storage settings make it easier to free up space on your phone and manage temporary files. A new category view shows what's taking up space at a glance.
  • 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 Wi-Fi 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.

Microsoft detailed the new OS update on their official Windows Phone blog, noting that a lot of the new features were driven by user requests.


Back in late 2012 and early 2013, GDR1 (also known as ‘Portico’) was released. That update brought new texting features, improved Wi-Fi and messaging improvements. Starting later in the summer, Microsoft and their OEM partners delivered GDR2, an update that included fixes for Xbox Music, ‘Other Storage’ and more.

In addition to the OS updates, Microsoft’s partners also deliver accompanying firmware updates that allow the OEM to further customize the OS and improve hardware support. Nokia has prominently lead these updates with their colorfully named firmware including ‘Amber’ (GDR2) and ‘Bittersweet shimmer’ (GDR3). Nokia’s firmware has enabled new features such as Glance screen, call + SMS blocking, flip to silence, double tap to awake, new camera options and more.

Microsoft expects GDR3 to launch in the “coming weeks” and to continue delivery in the coming months.

Windows Phone 8 GDR3

Updates today for developers

Microsoft is also announcing a developer preview program, whereby they can get early access to these updates, including GDR3. To qualify, you will need to meet one of these criterion:

  1. Your phone is “developer-unlocked”
  2. You’re a registered Windows Phone Store developer OR
  3. You’re a registered Windows Phone App Studio developer

Microsoft will give further details on their developer blog later today.

Source: Windows Phone Blog


Reader comments

What’s coming next - Microsoft officially announces Windows Phone 8 GDR3 OS update



updating to gdr3 preview now its migrating data, will post some updates once it completes but the forum is probably best place to view info about this and the features it enables.

I installed GDR3e on my Lumia 521.
When I try to attach to either a new email or a reply, I am only allowed to selected files from Camera Roll, Screenshots, Mobile Uploads (SkyDrive), Photos or Saved Pictures (also SkyDrive).
I do not see any way to attachg an office or a PDF document at all, except by sharing the file from SkyDrive in a new email (this was always available).
Am I missing something somewhere?

exactly - i just took the plunge and got gdr3 on my lumia 920 and i'm seeing the same options as you - only photos.
i'm pretty sure these people don't know what they're talking about when it comes to email attachments - can only use the "share" option still (WP is still the handicapped 'business' phone...)

  • AT&T delayed one release and everyone is making it out to be the norm. They squashed serious bugs before releasing it so complainers should settle down.
  • While all the features are cool for GDR3. The coolest to me is the progress bar to the spinning update gears screen so I can see that something is happening. Such a simple yet great add.Thank you Microsoft!

Its sad, but my most anticipated feature is custom tones. Who sets a mellow tone alarm to wake up? I need obnoxious! Lol Also the phone storage was a must. I have maybe 20 apps and games, and only have 5gb left...I've reset 3 times just to free up space. I stopped downloading music from Zune...I mean, "Microsoft Music." :P

Has anyone installed GDR3 today successfully?  Trying to install it now.  Grinding gears of death.   Been about 30 minutes.
The nice thing is that this GDR3 sems to have a progress bar below the gears now.  That's great, but the progress bar isn't moving :/   

Got it by installing the Preview for Developers app from the Windows Phone store.
Installed without incident on my Lumia 521.

Still waiting for the volume level to be automatically lowered when headphones are plugged in. This would seem to be a no-brainer, but still isn't present.

The wait for GDR2 from GDR1 was a little long, but if updates are released this frequently from now on, I'd be very happy.
And does anyone know if this is a fully stable release or alpha/beta release?

They need to add an option to disable automatically showing incoming text messages on the lock screen. When my phone is locked, I only want it to show "New message received" or something to that effect, rather than the message itself. A locked phone should be just that, locked and messages hidden or not shown.
That's my only gripe with Windows 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.
jesus Daniel. you're missing TO in "I'll reply you later."
Btw "Professionalism? I do this job in my PJs and often drink while doing it." really was true considering you cant even qoute right "dingbat".

Installed without incident on my Lumia 1020. I really wanted the update just for the custom tones on messages but Twitter still seems to use the same tone as my email! I guess we will have to hope developers get to chose what sounds to use in the future. 

These updates are actually features I am happy about.  I am hoping AT&T is testing furiously and gets it out before I buy my new phone. Hah!

but wasn't it excluded from WP8 simply because they ran out of time? I would've thought it would be present in GDR1....

Not to be negative, but i'm not that impressed...
Ok, so now we are going to get orientation lock on WP8. But isn't that what we call basic functionality? I even had that on my Nokia N82 with Symbian.... And custom text tones too...
So..not to be complaining, but i still think theese functions should have been in WP8 from day 1.

I have downloaded and installed this update yesterday (I have a dev account).
There is not significative changes except the "x" button to close apps and custom the SMS tone, this is a shame.
I hope Microsoft begin to do more significative changes.

very useful update i hope in full version (notification center ,file manger ,camera improvement and shutter speed&fix yellow hue ,shortcuts in lock screen,more video player option&media info,improve IE save pass and download every thing ) Features make windows phone awesome.  i feel this is adream

Please, please separate volume control for calls and apps!!!!! This the only thing I would like to have for Christmas!! Please!!!

Ahh. finally. Thank you so much microsoft for providing the orientation lock feature. been dying to have this since i bought my 822.

Hi folks! You people might wanna think again before going ahead with the installation! I don't intend to be the party pooper, but a lot of bugs are being reported after updating to GDR3! For instance, many users are reporting their battery  draining fast - really fast (like 40% per hour) and one user said his call quality sucks bigtime! Just google "GDR3 errors". I wanna update my Lumia 520 but I'm having my doubts! Perhaps I should wait until the device manufacturers (Nokia, in my case) optimize GDR3 for each phone! One final warning - I think Microsoft released this update early so that they'd come to know the various bugs and deficiencies plaguing the update and improve on it. Windows phones already have a sucky battery. Can't imagine something worse! Anyway, please do comment if you face similar problems or if the update is a dream come true!

Still waiting on GDR2.  Country variant no blaming a carrier on this one.  Nokia..get off your ass and get the updates out already!