Preview for Developers

Download the Preview for Developers and get GDR3 right now

Earlier this morning Microsoft outlined their new Windows Phone Preview for Developers. Remember the Enthusiast Program announced with Windows Phone 8 in the summer of 2012? This is basically it. If you’re a registered developer for the Windows Phone Store or a member of the Windows Phone App Studio Program you can download GDR3 starting today. That update is now live. Link below.

We’re in the process of downloading right now, so we can’t completely comment on the progress overall process. But so far after downloading the Preview for Developers app from Microsoft we’ve had no hiccups. Head to the Store and download the app, but first note these requirements from the app:

  • You must meet one of the following three requirements: (a) have an active Windows Phone Dev Center account; (b) have an active App Studio account; OR (c) be running a registered developer device (‘dev unlocked’ phone)
  • Updates will only include the Microsoft update, and not additional OEM drivers/firmware
  • To ensure the best experience, your device must be running the latest OS release (currently 8.0.10322.71) or greater to receive early updates via this program
  • You will be required to accept additional terms & conditions within the app prior to opt-in
  • You CANNOT REVERT to a prior OS version once you have taken an update via this program

Key features:

  • Access to latest pre-release Windows Phone updates
  • Ability to opt-out of pre-releases and only receive production Windows Phone updates  

Ready to take the plunge? Head to the Windows Phone Store to download Preview for Developers from Microsoft. After downloading, head into the settings of your phone and go the phone update section and do a check. You should begin downloading GDR3, but not any other OEM features like those that will be found in Bittersweet shimmer. Don't forget to check to what's new in GDR3 and head to the GDR3 Forums to talk it out. 


Thanks for the tip JD!

QR: Preview for Developers


Reader comments

Download the Preview for Developers and get GDR3 right now



I am stuck in 100% preparing to install!!! ARGH!! GET ME GDR3 NOW!!!\

Sam , I am glad to confirm that it is possible to install the preview on multiple phones with an app studio ID.

In Slovakia and Czech Republic, amber update is still not available. WTF ? low end phones have amber for one month now. Nokia lied, that amber will be available for all phones at end of september. Now it's 14th October, still nothing...

I had expected that. Indonesia too, some users diidn't receive  that when after Sep 21, 2013. I updated my Lumia 520 using Nokia Software Update Retail on Sep 9, 2013, the result was great. I updated again to GDR3 using Preview for Developer two days ago, it worked great too. Official update is too long and they can't give it on time for all countries at once.

There actually was a cumbersome way to attach documents by going through the skydrive app. I don't think many people discovered this. Only downside is you can only attach one document to an email.

Yeah.. It is the sharing feature of Skydrive.. But convinience is the rule nowadays and FINALLY we will have the ability of doing this without any problems

can anyone confirm if you can attach documents (multiple or not) to an existing email thread (when replying to an email)??

I'll do one better, I don't see ANY way to attach a word doc to an email after loading GDR3.  Am I missing something?  Pressing the paperclip does what it always did - shows items in your photo folders.  That's it

Correct. The only thing "new" about attaching documents to emails is that you can do it through the office hub by long press, share. This is like it was before but not limited to Skydrive anymore. Either way this is a pointless update. We NEED to be able to attach documents FROM THE EMAIL hub, both when drafting a new email AND when replying to an email. I do not understand at all how MS does not see this... AFTER 3 years they are still blind to this.

Thanks for clarifying.  Yea, like I said, I didn't see any change.  I was assuming it was going to be FROm the email app.   if not, I agree its almost useless.
This sort of stuff is indeed frustrating.  Seemingly obvious things are just not being added fast enough.  This is a multi billion dollar company, and this platform is going to be a key to their survival.   Yet, you can't help feeling like there's a small staff of like 10 developers working on the entire platform, sitting in a lonely corner of the first floor next to the mailroom in a crappy outskirts office building of Microsoft's.

Exactly. No vision for real world use. I still don't understand how a business as large as MS where indoubtedly many employees use WP can forgo being able to email office/pdf attachments from the email app or when replying to an email. Really boggles my mind.

haha, it really does.  I mean OFFICE is a large part of their revenue.  WP is a key platform.  What are they waiting for.
I go back to that image of 10 mediocare developers in a dark corner working on WP.   There just CANNOT be the resources allocated to this project that we all assume.   
When I worked for AT&T as a young lad I worked on their billing system for a few years.  There were hundreds of developers on that project.  We were churning out updates and changes monthly.  Building new features, new billing options for the customer.    it was in constant flux.   So what is Microsoft doing with these cash reserves sitting off shore?   We get "tweaks" once a year.

Are there OS level restrictions that would prevent an outside developer from essentially recreating the standard Mail app yet with the ability to add Office and PDF documents? Developers created a universal search app for the phone... I'm hoping they could make this happen also?

I don't know Malcolm.  I develop Azure, SQL, and NT apps with Visual studio.  No WP apps at this time.   Good question but I'm guessing no or someone would have done it by now.

Yes, there are many restrictions on the API usage. They dont want developers to have more access into certain level of built-in apps like the email because they afraid windows phone will contain malware like android.

Seriously, a phone whose key features include Office integration ...
Yet, it cannot attach office documents from the e-mail app itself. It would be a joke if it weren't true. 

You had to save the document to your phone first then send via email through the office app. Otherwise it was just a link.

There really is no reason not to do it.  Signing up takes seconds and if free.  They want enthusiasts to get the updates early so let's do it!

There is that . . . . but . . . . . I am willing to take the risk because once the update comes out it should have go back under warranty at that time.
And if I brick my 8X then I can justify buying a 928.

You know you could already attach documents by going into the office hub first, selecting your document and sending them this way ;)

Just upgraded to GDR3 to realize that my main reason for doing so was under a false assumption. A false assumption that MS has any sort of idea what business users (who use email) might want in a phone...
Absolutely sad that MS can't get this figured out.

That is just sad. Very very sad.
WP team what are doing? Are you just sitting and hatching eggs? How could you even miss out on this key feature? I want to send files lying on my SD card through my Email countless number of times.
WP Team. Wake up. This is 2013 for gods sake!

Nope.  That was only to new emails.  No way to replay to an email and attach a document.  Maddening.
In fact, everything about the email client on Windows Phone is maddening.
Actually, Windows Phone is maddening.

Exciting times for WP8 ... Gears are going ...
I like how microsoft is pretending to play nice with the carriers. While true, most consumers won't know about this or do this, I think they are slowly phasing their rules in place.

"We can finally attach documents in email! HUZZAAAH!!"
Still not seeing that, unless I'm missing something. And yeah, I'm sure that similarly to how they responded to you, people are going to say "we've always been able to do that in the Office hub" but that doesn't help for PDFs (depending on the source- PDFs from another email or from the internet doesn't show in the Office hub, and connecting to a PC to download the PDF to my phone to email it just is not a solution).

Anyone see the System Phone Storage message from Microsoft :D That's the answer to everyone's other storage "issue".

It's still not possible to attach docs to your email (unless i'm missing something)
when i tap the attach button, it only shows me my photos.

If anyone is scared of the gears, don't worry it took 10 mins to get past the little progress bar - migrating data atm. Oh what would I do without you WPC! Thanks, you guys are the best! :D

apparently you cant, reading you have to go to the hub to do it?  ithought you could attach from email, i guess ill wait and see once my update is done. 

please, i just need  clarification: This WILL void my warranty, but only until the official OTA upgrade comes out... is this correct?

I tried "attach" from the native email app but it still only brings me to pictures.

So by "attach documents" I assume the process is to still open Office / Skydrive and "share" a document correct?
So it is attached to the mail account you choose as a document rather than sharing a link.

@Sam Sabri: Ive been looking for an answer all day... please, I just need  clarification: This WILL void my warranty, but only until the official OTA upgrade comes out, so once the official OTA and bittersweet shimmer come out, Ill be able to upgrade to them and the warranty will be back in order... is this correct?

If you are worried about it then the update is not for you. GDR3+Bittersweet Shimmer will be available within the next month or so... and coming to ATT a month or so after that.

Hey Sam,
With GDR3 update we can attach doc and ppt files through emais which are stored in phone memory?
I am still having GDR2 update and facing huge problems not able to send or reply to emails with out word docs and ppts which are stored in phone memory n sky drive 

Me too!!!!! I'm tiiiight! There's no way yo do it without WiFi?? Lol I don't want to wait till later when I get home!!

I dunno. I hit download and it tell me I going to download over Digicel (my carrier) cellular network and I hit ok and it start lol

I think you can change that out in settings -> phone update. Make sure the second box (something about downloading if data settings allow) is checked.

nope. sd card support on windows phone is limited to media only (music, photos, videos, podcasts). even ringtones and documents are system bound.

That's what I'm afraid of, of that happening for 8 hours and still spinning. And that program that Nokia has to fix it is only for windows, and I have a mac, so...

If you have surface pro 2 then why even mention what you said before? Sure that program is windows only, and you have a mac...but you have windows too. So really no point in saying anything about the mac.

"-Ok class, for this test you'll need a number 2 pencil.
-Teacher, I have a pen.
-Well you'll need to get a pencil
-Oh, I have one of those too.
-...Well then shut up and take your test. Stop wasting my time."

Quite honestly I don't know or care when surface 2 is coming out. When you say you "got one" it implies you, well, got one, rather than not getting one. But if that's the case then refusing the boot camp, a pretty simple and reversable process, is just silly and maybe you should just wait for the public release

I meant the process that Nokia made to fix the gears issue is too hard for an average consumer, as some who only have a mac can't do that process unless they purchase windows.

Yeah, mine upadted too, all together it again took about 30 minutes :) I like the app closing thing. Also, would be nice to have a tile for the screen rotation lock

Mine took literally less than 10 minutes after it started to install (the rotating gears). And now I have the all of the new features except the ability to change the glance colors and see notifications from glance. But that will come all in due time from Nokia!

Microsoft did this JUST in time, after the whole  AT&T GDR2/Amber update fiasco.  Prior to today, I have been looking at Nexus 4 devices to see how cheap they are because having access to vanilla updates is important (to me), and was one of the main reasons I was lured into Windows Phone from Android back in WP7 days with my Arrive.  After hearing about the enthusiast program, they lured me in again, but after AT&T screwing things and Microsoft seemingly going back on what they announced, I was ready to jump ship.  In the recent 2 months, Microsoft has been demonstrating (to me) that they are taking this platform as more than a "pet project", and are listening to people.  IDC about app count or all the bells and whistles of other operating systems, but just seeing that they are paying attention is enough for me to wait for them to deliver the particular things I'm waiting for (which is really onl NFC payments and Cortana). 

It took them 3 years to come out with the ability to attach files in email. not just this feature.

No it took them 3 yrs to make anyone able to do it could always do it thru the hub, or skydrive

same here. this and rotation lock were the stuff I most cared about and both have been disappointing (rotation lock hidden in the settings, wtf??)

I think they need to fire someone in the Windows Phone Department. Joe Belfiore never listened to us.

This reminds me so much of old webOS' Preware times ... I'm gonna be a coward and will wait for you guys to try this :P

The spinning gears of doom now has a progress bar! (Windows phone team hates percentages don't they) mines been stuck around 10% for the last 30 mins so I guess this is gonna take a while! (GDR2 took 2.5 hrs to install for me)

Wow GDR2 took 2.5 hours to install for you? What phone do you have? How much space have you used on your phone? It only took maybe 30 mins max for me.

I know!  I was really happy when I saw that.  On previous OTA updates, you never really knew if you just bricked your phone, or it just took forever to install.  I think they also fine tuned the progress bar on data migration also.  It seemed to update more then before.
Sometimes, it's the little things that matter most!

finally the rotating gears offer feedback on the progress of the installation!! there's a progress bar at the bottom now :')

after installing developer preview
Will I be able to updatethis to full GDR3 Version when its released with bittersweet Shimmer?  

yes you will be able to update to the full package when its released and this will set your phone back to retail. the only thing you cant do is remove the preview updates.

Exactly.  Because IIRC, windows 8 developer previews and such were not upgradable to the official releases, you had to install from scratch, right?  I don't really want to install from scratch later when bittersweet shimmer comes out.  

You DON"T have to reinstall. You will STIL RECEIVE OEM/FIRMWARE from Nokia/ATT. This is MS's enthuisist program.
Windows Phone Blog states this very clearly.

Does Skype work properly after this update? I want to install it but I must have usable Skype. Can anybody confirm, please?

Thanks! What about incoming calls and messages in the background? Can you please test those?

Thanks a ton!

at 95% install..had to charge the damn phone..battery was low , it doesnt let you update on 20% battery..:)

Why would you need to switch between it off and on frequently? And it takes two seconds to go into settings. How else would it work?

Well, for example I may have it on most of the time and then want to turn it off for a minute to view a site that works best on landscape. And then turn it back on for the next page.

Android has it in the swipe down status bar (swipe-tap without leaving your app), iOS used to have it in the multitasker (double-press home then tap, without leaving your app) except since iOS7 it's in the much-harder-to-access settings drawer. With Windows I need to tap home, swipe, tap a letter, tap S, tap settings, find and tap orientation lock, turn the switch on/off, hold back button, find and tap previous app (10-11 interactions unless I have settings pinned to my start screen, which I don't, and even then it would be 8-9 interactions).

unless this gives me the extra row of tiles on my start screen on my Lumia 928, then it's not worth the risk.  so if someone can confirm that once they update, that would be great