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Video: Microsoft’s Preview for Developers and updating to Windows Phone 8 Update 3

This morning, Microsoft not only announced Windows Phone 8 Update 3 (aka GDR3) but they also announced a Preview for Developers program whereby devs can get early access to the latest OS builds by download an app (and being a registered developer). How fast can you get GDR3? Well you can do it right now. In fact, we updated our Nokia Lumia 925.

Want to see how it all works? Watch our video tour of the process to see what will happen.

The whole process takes no longer than a standard OS over-the-air update, that is about 20 minutes. The only difference here is there is no firmware to install so it’s actually faster. One of the more interesting things we noticed was the “grinding gear” portion now has a status meter to alleviate any concerns that it is stuck.

The process was overall very smooth and we have no complaints.

Want to know what’s in GDR3 and to see those new features? Stay tuned as we’re going through the OS update, build 10512, right now.

GDR3 new Grinding Gears

Do you have questions about the Preview for Developers Program? Head into our forums where others can help you out.

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • If i update to this update it says it will void my warrenty but when the full GDR3 comes will i be able to get my warrenty again?
  • No, but in theory if you uninstalled the app they'd never know, just so long as the Preview Program doesn't brick your device.
  • I guess there is no need for the app once you've installed GDR3...right?
  • Should be able to use for all updates after this
  • Hopefully Microsoft will continue to release OS update previews to devs like that, so if you want to get 8.1 early you would keep the app installed (or just install it again when they actually release the update to devs)
  • Hey Dan, quick question. I presume this program will allow for an early download of WP 8.1. Would that be an accurate assumption or is it limited to incremental updates such as GDR's and omits larger upgrades such as 8.1? Your thoughts?
  • Or you can 'manually' downgrade back to GDR2 - that's if you have a Lumia phone :)
    Tried and tested.
  • How?
  • Check the Windows Phone 8 Forums. Unfortunately I could'nt even post the link here - (What gives???)
  • what calendar app are you using?
  • The x button is sooo awesome. I hated it until today!
  • It just makes sense doesn't it?
  • Ya it does!! And is amazing.
  • Not as much as swiping, but I'll take it.
  • Yeah, I rather have it by ios and android where you swipe instead of pressing a button, but its better than keep pressing the back button.
  • Especially since Windows 8 already has swiping... But, I'll take what we can get. Definetly better than spamming the Back button, that's for sure.
  • You mean WebOS, right? :)
  • -_-
  • LOL!
  • Agreed, keep the X but allow us to swipe down like Win8
  • Makes no sense. Ugly and annoying.
  • You'd rather not have the option to do so?
  • It actually has no performance or memory benefit (the apps are already closed) but I guess it's nice to have it there so people can close the apps they 'think' are still open.
  • It's amazing people cling to this false nonsense because they don't understand the phone can be used differently.
    Some of us like the ease of hitting the back button and cycling between a small number of apps.
    Seriously, not rocket science.
  • Which is what I'm agreeing with. It's good to have the option for people who want to remove the apps from their list. But it's also upsetting to see people who obsess over it because they think they're going to get to get battery life or better performance if they do so.
  • Sometimes you open apps with important information or stuff you don't want your significant other to see but it can still be accessed by hitting the back button.  The old way you had to keep hitting the back button in order for it to be completely closed.  With the new way it's easier to close those apps you left opened with sensative material.
  • Yes! Come to think of it, this is a use case that I have come across before.
  • Yet faster than swiping.
  • Ugly and annoying? Same x we have been used to since WP7. But hey, I get it, you need something to complain about...
  • That X isn't "same". Its similar. Wrong place. Wrong reason!
  • X is a must as they are removing the back button on future hardware.
  • This just doesn't make sense. How do you get there in the first place?
  • lol, you have a point
  • This is how it will work in the future... Back Button and Search Button are going away, leaving only a single Windows Button. (Just Like iPhone)
    Single press takes you to the start screen.
    Double press takes you to the App Switcher
    From Home Screen, swipe to the right is now Bing (Universal Search just like windows 8.1)  
  • I freaking hope not. I like the back button. Search? I could do without
  • +820
  • Double tap on the home button like in ios?
  • Nice to also see the app name and icon below.
  • Same here
  • Just found out about the temporary files section in phone storage. It rocks.
  • Having your thumb to reach the X is not intuitive or convenient. Just a quick swipe down would've made the perfect sense. Wait until you use the phablet. There is no way your thumb would reach up there in the corner. Not sure if its a patent issue but both Android and iOS have that feature. Now if the would only fix the music player and controls. Sucks having to use the volume toggle to get the player. Alot of work still needs to be done!
  • Swipe down closes on windows 8, so doubt it is a patent issue.
  • I've given it!! :D
  • I joined the free developer site and was still able to update my 8X and Lumia 925!!!!
  • Can I join today?
  • I did and updated today
  • Yup, just simply sign up for free with your Microsoft account and you can update, easy. :)
  • What is the website?
  • It might fix the random reboots
  • I'm still on the fence weither I should update my 8X or wait , What do you recommend ?
  • I updated my 1020. If you're really concerned about the warranty, then maybe not. I do pay for the mobile insurance every month, and I'm fairly cautious but I took the plunge. I like the ability to close the apps in the multitask area. I thought this update also included the ability to attach docs. I must have misread something somewhere. Disappointed not to see that. I like the storage display. Overall pleased with the update. I'd say go for it.
  • Thanks Elderjlward.
    I'm not that worried about Warranty , I got like a couple of months left .
    I wan't sure about weither I update & hope for the best or wait for HTC ... looks like I'm gonna update it tonight :)
  • Just found document attachments. You need to go to the doc long press share pick your email account and it opens a new email with the attachment. I was hoping for replying to a email and add a attachment from the email. But then again this most likely isnt the final version.
  • Hi RyanAMG:
    I think that's how it's always worked. I don't think that part is new. I could be wrong. I'm used to sending a doc from WITHIN the doc. The method of the long press on the doc "icon", as you've isn't something I've practiced before however( I don't think). Is that really new?:-) If so it is a plus and thanks. As you noted I was expecting the ability to do like old Window Mobile days and attach a document from an email. Hope we get that functionality. Thanks again. Every ounce of progress is progress.:-)
  • Before GDR3 you could only send a link to your SkyDrive even from the long press.
  • Oh ok. Cool. Thanks for the clarity:-)
  • Hey I just checked my wifes 920, GDR2 and you CAN send an email the way you described via a long press. My 1020 of course also had GDR2 before I upgraded to GDR3 thus morning. So guess GDR3 didn't bring this to the table. Guess we're still waiting for some document attachment enhancements.:-)
  • Your right I just checked my work phone on GDR2. My bad
  • The network providers are still going to ruin the update experience for the masses.
  • I think everyone who wnats updates will be able to do them, the masses don't care anyway...
  • Oh yes they do, the amount of times someone has complained to me about not having an x to close an app is huge. And they are non geeks by the way.
  • That's what the back button is for
  • Do you really think that pushing the back button endlessly to close your apps is even remotely user friendly or sensible. Especially when an x is so easy in comparison, smartass.
  • I love the new plain-worded descriptions. Makes windows phone seem so friendly. Example : under the phone storage for system storage it says "these files make your phone work. You don't want to delete them. Trust us"
  • Same here, it's a nice push towards simplicity. Instead of using confusing tech-y language, it's worded so that even the most basic of users can understand. It decreases confusion, but also makes your phone seem... Friendlier. It's just a casual acquaintance trying to help you out, and not this confusing and imposing piece of tech.
  • Yeah, Windows Phone has always been good at that. Like the subtitle for 'backup' in the settings menu: 'save stuff to the cloud'.
  • I laugh the first time I saw that! hahaha
  • 1020 here and went smoothly
  • any change to Xbox Music ?
  • Apparently gapless playback was added
  • uh. really?
    Looks like the 822 can beging replacing the Zune 80.
  • The Medley in Abbey Road plays a lot smoother than before, so if that's gapless playback, I'll take it!!! 
  • At least in this build of GDR3, that is untrue. Still a small gap.
  • No. Have a look at ALL the features coming in GDR3. There is no mention of Xbox Music.
  • I broke down...downloading update now
  • I updated my HTC 8x. I love the update:P
  • As much as I want to do this I'll just wait. Can't wait to see what you guys find that wasn't detailed by MS.
  • Nothing.
  • Settings > Keyboard > Advanced > Switch back to letters after I've typed an emotion.
  • GDR3 fixed my live tiles. I've been living without them for almost a year now. I just hope they keep working.
  • Did you change the phones in this video? Your live tiles were differently laid out after the update right, Daniel?
  • No. You're confusing things. Preview for Developers app was waaay at the bottom. I didn't start it at the top. Same phone.
  • Damn, you pin A LOT!
  • What Me tile do you have Daniel? Mine doesn't have the flip animation.
  • I'm going to wait and see when it will come ota from att. I still have a warranty for a month. After that I give up on them.
  • The disclaimer screen says it MAY VOID warranty... I see it as a good enough reason to check out the update besides if you take it to an ATT store/device center (if you are on ATT) I doubt they will notice... My 2 cents :)
  • I did it on my ATT 920 and have had no problems.  I was a little bit nervous because this is my work phone, but everything went smooth.
  • Daniel or anyone,
    just to be sure, u didn't get stuck at spinning cog while updating yours? cuz i don't want to lose all my apps and end up wasting my time setting up my phone from a scratch. all the previous updates had me stuck there and ended up reflashing my phone and lost everything.
  • Nope. Took 8 mins total.
  • cool. installing now! cheers mate!
  • But as usual do it at your risk! ;)
  • But I want to do it at YOUR risk.
  • I lost nothing in the update, but it can often take quite some time for the actual update. Mine took about an hour.
  • I really really want to update my L920...God knows I've been waiting for custom sms/alarm tones since my L800 days.
    However, I would just wish Nokia would clarify their stand on the warranty.
    Will they consider the warranty void if I join in this? If they're to be taken over and destroyed by Microsoft, it doesn't really make much sense to declare the warranties void. Still, I will restrain myself from updating until I hear an official word from Nokia. After that, I'll do it (or not). My warranty only ends January 2015 and I'm not jeopardizing that.
  • Good lad.
  • My understanding of this is if the phone bricks as a result of going through the process then you will not be covered under warranty. Once you've followed all the steps required and successfully updated to GDR3 then you can simply remove the app and then nobody needs to know so your warranty will remain intact
  • So since I have an unlocked Lumia 920 bought off eBay this sounds like a no brainer for me. Plus I have a SquareTrade warranty for my phone. Let's do this!
  • How can I turn my phone into a developer phone so I can upgrade to GDR3?
  • By reading WPCentral articles.
  • You need written permissions signed by Steve Ballmer.
  • +920
  • ...and Steve Jobs.
  • I'll get the shovel.
  • WPCentral has done a great job detailing things, but here are the three basic steps.
  • My warranty is up next month so I'm just going to install it, :D
  • Just live on the edge for the next 30 days and install now!
  • From vid, first thing i noticed was the new layout for signal icons. The BT icon was very close to WiFi one. Man im tempted to grab this.....
  • What does custom sounds exactly provide
  • You know how you want it to 'fart' every time your GF texts you? Well, you can do that now.
  • Woohoo, my 1020 made even sweeter
  • What are the chances of WP 8.1 aka Blue being "previewed" the same way as this Update 3??? I want to try it early too :P
  • I got a feeling this isn't a one shot, it seems like a bit too much work for that, so hopefully we'll keep seeing it for future updates. You don't start off calling it a program if you only plan on doing it once (they can, or thats what may happen, but the sounds of it sounds more long term). 
  • Worked like a charm on my 925.   It's all there as advertised -- with the exception of being able to attach office docs to email.
  • You have always been able to attach office files to email. go to the office app long press on a device and you can share it by email from there.
  • I think that the sharing of Office docs was actually just sharing the link to SkyDrive. It seems now it is the actual file. It is ass-backwards, though.
  • Yes.  That is the way that we have been able to attach documents before, but the ability to attach straight from email was touted as one of the features as early as this morning.  That bullet point has since been edited out of the list in that story.  
  • I couldn't figure that out, pressing the attach button just opens the Pictures hub selector u_u
  • Kinda missing the gdr2 storage manager. The new one doesn't show you how much space each app/game take,makes it harder to decide which to uninstall :(
  • But it does. Just hit "details" below apps.
  • Don't confuse the Nokia Storage Check with the Windows Phone "Phone Storage." If you have a Lumia, you will still have the check and can see the details. While the MS setting is better, it still doesn't match the information you get with the Nokia app.
  • Grab the "Lumia Storage Check Beta" via Sysapp Pusher
  • Oh yeah, totally forgot about the other one LOL. Thanks!
  • Daniel. I think I rember reading that the new tile sizes were coming to 920. Will that be in this update?
  • No, it was in earlier builds but was removed. May come back later.
  • Very disappointed :( I recall your article saying 920 & 1020 would be supported, really hope it does come back or is attached to B.S.S
  • can I update to GDR3 (in that way) if I am stuck on GDR1 because my country is in the middle of nowhere and it's not getting me GDR2?
  • By the way everyone the status bar with the loading cogs is not consistant. I thought id bricked my device as it was stuck on about 5% for around 20 mins then all of a sudden started moving and got to 100% in less than 2 mins. So dont panic, just have patients.
  • Not everyone has patients.
  • :-)
  • Who's going to pay for the patients? Obama?
  • Daniel , Do you recommend updating my 8x ? Thanks
  • That's a pretty loaded question...
  • I say, pull the trigger.
  • Daniel (if you are reading this far down in the comments) did you ever have to restart your device once the update had completed? I was expecting that, but I never got a restart prompt.
  • Totally loving custom Text/IM sounds on my 1020! Finally!
    Rotation lock!
    X button to close open apps!
    email attachements in Office! (?)
    I'm still looking for more... anyone else?
  • Not sure if I'm the only one... But has anyone tried this on the Htc 8x? (att branded)
  • Guess I'm alone on this one :( ...well here goes nothing!
  • I'm confused. I update my 1020 to GDR3 (balls'zie or stupid?), but I don't see no 3 mediums tiles or 6 small ones as claimed on a post a few weeks ago. It stated it require 1280x720 or better for this. Even mentioned the 1020.. But that's not the case. Or do I need to do something else to enable this? also, is GDR3 going to be the so called 8.1 WP???
  • I believe that's only for the 1080p supported hardware. It'd be nice to have on my 1020, but I don't think it's coming...
  • Please start following Joe Belfiore on Twitter.  He posted a reminder to everyone that only 1080p phones or higher could take advantage of more tiles.  You'll have to buy one of the new larger phones if you want that.
  • Just updated on Nokia 925 for T-Mobile. Took 24 minutes from download to reboot. No problems with install. Now to add sound files to Text/IM contact. Will add the predator sound for wife's contact profile. Every time she text me I can feel my spine being pulled from my back.
  • In settings...extras+info it still says Lumia Amber, is that supposed to stay that way??
  • Yep. Amber firmware hasn't changed. The OS version has been updated.