Update 2:30 AM ET: We have secondary confirmation that these images and features are authentic. More information at the end of the article.
Later this year, towards the November time frame, Microsoft is rumored to be releasing Windows Phone 8 General Distribution Release 3 (GDR3) along with alleged new firmware from Nokia named “Bittersweet shimmer” (originally reported by the site Nokiapoweruser). The OS update will once again enable new hardware features like advanced Qualcomm processors and 1080P display resolution, but it will also have numerous enhancements for current devices. The release will coincide with the availability of Nokia’s Lumia 1520 with a 6-inch display.
Tonight, a poster in the Windows Phone Central Forums with the handle xs2k has posted alleged screenshots running Windows Phone 8 OS Build 10484, supposedly taken from a Lumia 920 developer device picked up on Craig’s List.
Windows Phone Central has not been able to verify the authenticity of the screenshots but it does match what our inside sources have revealed to us off the record.
Supposed screenshots of Windows Phone 8 GDR3 and Bittersweet Shimmer
The device appears to be a Lumia 920 with firmware based from India and there are four screenshots posted so far, including the one used in the lead simulated photo (note: that is not the actual alleged device). The four screenshots include Extras + Info (two pages of information), multi-tasking window and screen orientation lock.
System settings in GDR3, including Screen Rotation, Driving and About
In regards to the multitasking window, it is now evident that users would be able to close out applications by tapping a visible ‘X’ in the upper right hand corner. In addition, the app’s name and icon are listed below. We have heard from our sources that the app’s icon will be added to the multitasking window in addition to the ‘X’, lending credence to the authenticity of those screenshots. To further the story, we have also heard that GDR3 is going out to "trusted Microsoft sources", hinting that the release is nearing completion as far as development.
The fourth and final capture is that of the orientation screen lock where users will be able to toggle a switch to disable auto rotation. Some of these features, including screen orientation lock, were revealed earlier in August on Reddit and later confirmed by the Verge.
GDR3 Driving mode
The person who posted the images to our forums, xs2k, has also mentioned the Driver Mode and silent NFC (no confirmation message) as being present, though a screenshot was not provided at the time. However, more screenshots are expected to posted relatively soon in the same forum thread.
Update 2:30 AM ET: Windows Phone Central has learned of some additional features found in GDR3 through an additional source, unrelated to xs2k, that can be found below:
Additional Features in GDR3
- Custom sounds for text, voice mail, e-mail, and reminders
- Restore over Wi-Fi when you reset your phone
- Huge amount of work on Bluetooth with various vehicles and devices
Update 3 AM ET: More screenshots, including Driving Mode posted
Source: Windows Phone Central Forums; Thanks, John, for the tip
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.