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Poll: What’s your favorite new feature in GDR3 for Windows Phone?

Update 3

Poll time! Earlier this morning Microsoft announced their brand new Developer Preview Program. You can think of it as the enthusiast program that was announced a few blue moons ago. Shortly after that, any registered developers could download GDR3 to their Windows Phone 8 devices. It’s been a busy day and a lot of you are now running GDR3 on your handset. What’s your favorite new feature? Take the poll below to answer. 

Don’t forget to head to the GDR3 Preview Forums to interact with fellow members running GDR3. That’s also the place to go for any questions you have or issues you encounter. Did we not list your favorite new feature? Sound off below. 

On your phone and want to take the poll? Head to m.wpcentral.com/poll-whats-your-favorite-feature-gdr3-windows-phone to take it now!

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Reader comments

Poll: What’s your favorite new feature in GDR3 for Windows Phone?

466 Comments

I agree haha I felt like "oh they are on a roll with quick updates" until I thought about how long gdr2 has been out

Only paid a dollar for my 521, so not worried about it. GDR3 running perfect so far. Closing apps is the one thing I wanted. Custom alerts is nice and all but I've gotten used to not having it since 2010 with my hd7.

Can you elaborate on custom alerts? Because I was able to create and upload custom ring tones since wp7

Think again... My phone is registered as a dev phone but I can't update through this app because I still don't have GDR2. Quite enraged actually.. Anybody know how to get my Lumia 820 up to Amber/GDR2? I really want this GDR3 update but can't do so until I get GDR2. (P.s. Don't preach to me about the warranty, I purchased second hand from another country so I don't have one anyway)

Thanks. Errmm my device is rm-825 and these are either 821/820 does anyone know if that's an issue? Or will it still work? Cheers.

Yes, swiping would be nice, espeically since it's already in Windows 8. But hey, I'll take what I can get. Definetly beats spamming the back button.

All of the WP7 users either did that or just used the start button.
It wasn't that much of a problem back then.
Anyways, with WP8 I'm more worried about the live tiles updating.

He likes to keep his data connection and wifi off at all times and so his live tiles dont update. Thats what worries him. :P

As a previous Palm Pre user I thought swiping would be better, but I actually like the X better - it takes less movement and it's big enough to hit with one handed operation.  I think my wife will find it more intuitive as well.

Probably didn't do that since android 4 has it. Wouldn't want to take anymore ***t from google, would we? *cough* YouTube app.

Agreed but when are we getting indivitual volume controls. I want my phone to allways be in silent when playing games or using apps but have the ring tone on. 

Supposedly Microsoft are against individual volumes within apps as it hinders the overall experience of owning a WP, if you can be bothered, check out "from lazy to metro" from metro tube developers on youtube and it explains it a little more

Yes indeed. I hoped it was in in gdr3 but it's not. I want  it so i won't be disturbed at night receiving mail, sms etc.
for me this is much more important then different tones :(

Totally agree with you and thought we actually got the feature that we could control media volume and ringtone separately. :(

YES!!! That would be nice!!
Most games are just way too loud at normal volume. Not sure why that is. At least some games have volume adjustments in-app, wish all did rather than just sound off/on.
I set volume to 1 for most games that I like the game sound on (Benji Bananas has a catchy track) or just turn sound off in-game for ones I don't care about.

I would have voted for the ability to change the notification sound but Nokia made an awesome one for the 1020 so its moot now :)

I still don't understand why that app-closing feature is so popular.  I am not excited in the least about that feature.  This isn't Android, where you HAVE to manage running apps just to have a smooth system.

I agree with you windows phone does work welll with out "closing" apps. however I have run into a few apps that I use that can run on bacnkground like here drive that it easier to press and hold back and the x then it is to press and hold back, wait for it to load, press back again confirm stop navigation etc.

My issue isn't killing the tomb stoned app, doesn't affect my performance, but I swing through many apps at a time, closing the unnecessary ones makes it more efficient

One app once glitched so I couldn't close it via the back button, no matter how many times I pressed it. Then this would have been useful.

I gave up spamming the back button a long time ago, and just bomb back to the home screen. Usually it's not an issue, until you have background apps running. Here's an example... I was using Spotify the other day to play some music in the background. I used a few different apps in the meantime, and when I went to switch back to it it had disappeared from the app list. So I had to go back to the home screen, find the app and launch it again to interact with it.
If I can close apps as I go then I can make sure I never exceed the number of running apps. I don't want to have to switch to an app I'm no longer using, spam the back key to exit, switch to the next one, spam the back key, etc etc etc. all just to maintain 1 app in the list.
I would settle for having a lock icon that let's me fix certain apps in the app list, and then it just cleans up what's left automatically.

My favorite is the Notification Center that they didn't annouce but secretly included in this update. Just swipe left and hit the camera button same time.

The x will be helpful but seriously id love to know why they went with the x versus a gesture that's one thing I miss about webos swiping cards away when I was done

^This!
 
Would have liked to have a "swipe up" gesture a la WebOS or even Win8 but at this point, i'll take anything other than back-button spamming...

I wish it was a blinking arrow pointing downwards showing you the direction to close the app by a downward flick. The X is great buy not on a large phone.

I don't know if it just me but I have always found if you will double tap the back arrow it will completely close what ever app you had front and center at that time ! I read about people having to tap multiple times to close an app where if you will just bring forward the app you want to close and give the back arrow a quick double tap it will close completely and will no longer show up when you do a long press on the back arrow to view your recent apps . Never seemed like a hassle to me.

My favorite feature is that AT&T cant fuck with holding back updates. 2nd favorite feature is that I no longer get to have the Nokia updates like Amber or Bittersweet Shitter.

You will still have bittersweet shimmer. It's just not available for release yet so u only got GDR3. But when it's available already have some fun.

Why would it be a favorite feature to NOT get Nokia's updates? I think you completely misunderstand how this works. Microsoft could always push THEIR bits of the updates without the carriers. But they--and the OEMs--insisted on bundling the firmware bits or carrier-exclusive bits with it. This was made even easier with Windows Phone 8 because it shared the same core as the desktop, which obviously didn't require anyone's interference to update. What we FINALLY have gotten to is the idea that we, as consumers, don't necessarily care if the OEM or carrier bits come at the same time as the OS. If Microsoft is ready with their bits and they work on all the devices, then let us have them. When the OEMs get their act together and play with the carriers, those can come later. Personally, I always look forward to Nokia's updates because they actually improve things and/or add features (e.g., Glance). Just one of my reasons why Nokia is it for me---there's no OEM that can touch them, in my book.

:-(
 
I was really hoping for that. The small tiles are nice, at least better than WP7 where you just had the one size and occasionally a double-wide, but some tiles could be even smaller if they're not used for any kind of live tile updates (like settings or apps that don't have live tiles). My start screen is so long, I was hoping this would help me to shorten it up a little.

A pain would be if it got. I've done some redrawing based on the current sizes. To fit 3 rows of tiles, it would require current sizes to be reduced to the point where small and medium tiles would be unusable and useless respectively. 

I can understand this reasoning for 480x800 displays, but for the HD phones there should be an option. Plenty resolution available.

Correct, and at present the whole screen isn't used, there is approx 1/8 of a small one each side of screen.

Yes it is possible but unless you can upgrade your resolution (sarcasm) the tiles would be much smaller. I'm on a 1020and it would not be usable in my opinion so I can imagine how it would look on the 520's and other smaller devices.

When WPC did a article on this they said it was only on 92X & 1020 phones. It should be a option for the people that do want it. And if you don't keep the same. IMO

This. I really hope this isn't a one-time thing, and Microsoft has permanently given enthusiasts a way to get the latest builds right away. Waiting for carriers to roll out the updates is crap!

That closing multitasking apps feature seems to be the only major change.. Not counting driving mode or emoticon adjustment

After choosing the emoticon it'll take you back to keyboard... It's in settings/keyboards/advanced menu... Unless it was already implemented but I didn't notice.

People have been complaining about rotation lock and custom ringtone for a while. Some have even called them deal breakers. So, that is an important update.

Still don't understand the need for rotation lock. But if people want it then what ever glad it's in.

I like portrait mode even when lying on my side. Otherwise you have to read sideways. I don't really need screen rotation except for typing, gaming, and watching videos.
others might find it useful though.

I am all for custom ringtones because I get a lot of text messages that are simply not important, but a few extremely important ones. This way I will be able to filter the good from the bad before I even have to look at the screen!
But orientation lock? It needs a button or a swipe command to make it useful. Most of the time I will not want it. But when I did want to use it I certainly don't want to drill down into a settings menu to enable it, go back to what I was doing, and then go back to the settings to disable it. That is just way more work than simply holding the device still and upright.
What I would like to see however is a way to use the phone sideways by default rather than up and down. It would be nice to see the start screen take on the grouped Win8/rt tiles with a swipe up to the full program list as well. I suppose the issue is that it makes one handed phone use more difficult... but then again I find that I use both hands a lot already so I don't imagine that it would add any inconvenience.

Unfortunately you do. It is the minimum OS version that will work with the developer preview program.

I was hoping for slient NFC. These features are pretty underwhelming (especially since I just got GD2/Amber last week). Rotation lock is too arduous to get to to be less effort than just holding the phone differently. Custom notification sounds are nice though.

I agree with you on the rotation lock. It seems kind of silly to only put it in the settings list. A toggle on the volume bar would be handy.

I have a sneaky suspicion, and that sneaky suspicion tells me that with wp8.1 they are going to implement an entire array of shortcuts similar to, but not the same as apples control centre. And if they were to make a shortcut to the rotation lock they would then have to implement the rest of the shortcuts as well, but they ran out of time (as usual) and saved it till 8.1.

Agreed, I get the odd feeling we will be seeing something like the charms menu coming to WP8.1. Maybe a swipe from the left?
Anywho, it would be nice to have a central spot for most common setting changes. Volume, network, rotation lock, brightness, notifications, etc. They could also put search on the charm bar and axe that rather than the back button. The x may be easier to close apps, but most of the time I use the back button for actual navigation throughout the day and only close out apps at the end of the day.

I agree with both of you. They need to just implement a swipe control center with those types of options. No other solution makes sense.

I'll see if I can build a toggle for Rotation Lock in App Studio, as it seems a shame to have only got App Studio to get GDR3 early.

My favorite is the closing feature, but I was very surprised about the Developer Preview Program, love this new program. ^^

Honestly, the fact that I can get it early is the only thing that really matters so far. There is nothing else in this update that I needed once I found out we weren't getting the new tile sets. I'm personally disappointed in this one.

Lol I know right ..ok. There is no space to do that on a small screen like for example Lumia 1020 that's for 5 inches and up

I think the tiles are too big on my 928, I was looking forward to the smaller sized ones. More space for tile management. Meh.

I didn't realize I ever said I was mad...oh that's right I didn't. I said I was disappointed in the update, which I am. A majority of the stuff it comes with is useless, and a waste of their time implementing when there are far more important(and necessary) things that need to be addressed.

Close app for sure, but wouldn't it cool and easier if we could swipe to close as another option as well, just saying.. 

Maybe swiping in from the top of the screen is being reserved for a certain other often requested feature...

I'm thinking that since we have the developer preview app installed, we will automatically get preview updates from now onwards? So hopefully we'll get a WP 8.1 preview update before the official one :D.

Installed without incident on my Lumia 1020. I really wanted the update just for the custom tones on messages but Twitter still uses the All other Notifications sound so I guess we will have to hope developers get to chose what sounds to use for there apps in the future. 

Gdr3 is pretty much nothing. Only thing that gets me excited is their new way of pushing out updates.

People are getting all excited about that, but in reality 99% of people that dont know about this program will still be at the mercy of the carriers. And that same group of non techy people make up 99% of sales also. Long story short, we need the apple system for EVERYONE, not just developers/tech geeks.

No, I really don't need it thank you very much, when did you all of a sudden become the arbiter of how things should be? =/

Custom ring tones. Now have a few tones that play about 6 seconds for a text. This really help me make sure I hear it vs the 1/2 beep beep it used to.

Actually my favorite feature, by far, is the new "advanced" option inside the Bluetooth setting that allows you to "connect in a different way to use speech with bluetooth in my car". With it checked, I can finally hear and reply to texts in my Range Rover. Never worked before. Obviously a quirk of the car, but not so quirky that I was the only one. 
So glad they fixed it!

Thank you for highlighting this, my Focus doesn't work either and hopefully now it will.

Cant wait to test it

Hey when you do your little tour of gdr3 can you show us if its possible to delete "other storage" for us who have 11gbs of other even after gdr2?

Yup its makes me sad :( fortunately for Microsoft I love everything else about the OS so its not a deal breaker for me

I really don't understand what some are doing to get THAT much storage caught up in other...happened to C. Kindel too. There has to be something specific to certain handsets (fault/error/bug) because it isn't everybody...I know *I* don't have that much, never have =[

You never needed to do that. Just press volume up or down, and press pause to stop the music.
No need to use a "stop music" app or even close the music player.

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