The next Windows Phone 8 update is no Windows Phone Blue
12th Jul 2013 | 18:58
Minor changes for now
Microsoft detailed the next Windows Phone 8 update yesterday and revealed that General Distribution Release 2 (GDR2) will bring minor changes to the mobile OS.
But 8 months after the initial release of Windows Phone 8, some users were expecting more major changes to the OS. After all, Windows 8 received its substantial Windows 8.1 update just 10 months after release.
But despair not - The Verge claims to have learned that the major Windows Phone 8 update users are waiting for will drop next year, once Microsoft has had time to iron out some irksome bugs.
That update will focus on adding new features to the software to support new hardware from Microsoft's OEMs with bigger screens and better processors, the publication said today.
Updates and more updates
The soon-to-arrive Windows Phone 8 update includes minor improvements to Xbox Music, Skype and Internet Explorer, plus the return of FM radio to some phones and a Data Sense app for some carriers, Microsoft revealed on its Windows Phone blog.
It also allows users to set a default lens for the camera app and promises other improvements that aren't detailed.
So yeah, nothing major. Stuff of more magnitude will have to wait until the "Blue" update - also the codename for Windows 8.1 before that was officially unveiled - drops in early 2014, according to The Verge.
This more significant WP8 refresh will reportedly include a notification center, souped up multitasking, and more changes to built-in apps.
However, the site expects another update, GDR3, to arrive before the end of 2013, and some of the features expected in next year's update, including a much-needed rotation lock option, could also be thrown in. ZDNet has also previously reported that the GDR3 update might come in the fall.
Microsoft and Nokia sitting in a tree
Manufacturers are reportedly dictating or requesting some of the changes to the OS, including leaving room for 5- and 6-inch 1080p Windows Phone handsets with quad-core chips.
Those devices are thought to be arriving this year from manufacturers that work closely with Microsoft, like Nokia and likely HTC.
- It may seem like Microsoft is taking too long to update its mobile OS, but bear in mind that Windows Phone 8's lifespan was just doubled to 2016.