Your Windows Phone is getting a little present.
You’ve probably heard that we’re rolling out a new update to Windows Phone 8. First announced in May and unofficially known by its internal shorthand, GDR2, the update has been trickling out to existing Windows Phone 8 smartphones for several weeks.
Now things are starting to pick up steam. Last week the HTC Windows Phone 8X on AT&T and the Nokia Lumia 928 on Verizon Wireless started receiving it. Today, Lumia 822 owners on Verizon will start seeing update notifications. (On top of our update, some Lumia models are also getting a companion upgrade from Nokia called “Amber,” which you can read more about here.)
We always publish a brief description of official Microsoft updates for Windows Phone. But I’ve seen a bunch of questions and some confusion around this latest one on Twitter and in forums. Now that more folks are beginning to get it, I thought it would be a good time to recap what’s in our latest update and what it means for you.
So what’s in this thing? The software updates we push out between major releases are primarily designed to make existing Windows Phone 8 features work better, bring Windows Phone to new carriers like Sprint and China Mobile, and enable cutting-edge new devices like the Nokia Lumia 1020. But we still try to squeeze in some fun extras, too.
For example, our first official Windows Phone 8 update released earlier this year included handy upgrades like the ability to reply to an incoming call with a text. Depending on your phone model and carrier, here’s what’s coming in the latest update:
As the era of unlimited cellular data plans fades, it’s more important than ever to be smart about how you use your smartphone. That’s where Data Sense comes in. The feature—previously available only to Verizon Wireless customers—helps you stay on top of your phone's data usage (including keeping track of which apps use the most data) and set a limit based on your data plan. Data Sense also has the ability to compress web page data as you browse, so you can surf up to 45 percent more on the same data plan with the feature turned on. How to use Data Sense.
The new update brings Data Sense support to more Windows Phones, and last I heard a number of carriers around the world were planning to offer it on their networks.
Did you know Windows Phone can double as a portable radio? By popular request, we’ve brought back the FM radio feature from Windows Phone 7. To use it, tap Music + Videos, then flick to Collection. Not all Windows Phones support FM radio. But if yours does, you’ll see the Radio menu option here after you’ve installed the new update. How to use FM radio.
The update includes several tweaks that will please photographers. It improves what you see when zooming in on high-res photos in the viewfinder. On certain phone models, you also now have the option of changing which photo app opens when you press the Camera button. For example, on the Nokia Lumia 1020, you now have the choice of using the Camera button to launch the Nokia Pro Camera app or Microsoft’s default Camera app (Nokia’s new Amber update also brings this option to the Lumia 920 and other models.)
If it’s available on your phone, you’ll find this new option under Settings > Applications > Photos + camera.
Do you get voicemail messages delivered as email attachments? In this update we added support for additional audio codecs so messages sent as .wav files play correctly.
There’s also new support for group messaging on Verizon Wireless. So when you text a bunch of people you can keep replies on one thread. To turn this option on, go to Settings > Applications > Messaging. Learn more.
The team made a slew of bug fixes and improvements in this update—especially around phone storage and music—so I thought it’d be worth digging into the details. Here’s a closer look:
With this new update, Windows Phone 8 now supports connecting to Google services via the CalDAV and CardDAV protocols. For most people, this just means that Gmail and other popular Google services will just keep working on your phone exactly as you’d expect. For more background on this, see my blog post from earlier this year.
Curious what’s taking up space on your phone? Go to Settings>Phone Storage and tap the colored bar. You’ll see a categorized list, including one called “Other.” Some people understandably find this one a bit mysterious. Like the name suggests, it’s a catch-all for temporary operating system files, e-mail attachments, app or game info, and other digital ephemera.
The problem is that some customers were seeing this space fill up until there was no more free space left.
The new update helps ease this space crunch and reclaim space on your phone. When phone storage fills up, Windows Phone automatically starts winnowing the size of Other down to essential files like mail attachments and app data. The operating system still needs this area as a temporary storage bin, so it’s unlikely you’ll ever see Other completely empty, but it should no longer block you from downloading apps or updates (unless you go crazy with tons of gigantic email attachments).
A big chunk of the work in the latest update was devoted to making music better on your phone.
For starters, we made several improvements in how Windows Phone works with your Xbox Music cloud collection.
After installing the update, you’ll notice fewer instances of the wrong album art showing up and albums accidentally getting split into two on your phone. (To fix existing album art mistakes, you’ll need to delete and resync the albums on your phone. Learn more.)
We’ve also taken steps so artists, songs, or albums metadata doesn’t inadvertently get overwritten. Now we look up and add metadata to your music only if a synced track is missing key info.
There’s more. We addressed issues that were preventing some former Zune Pass and current Xbox Music subscribers from playing copy-protected—aka DRM’d—tracks on their phones.
For those of you that build your playlists using the Music app in Windows 8, it’s now possible to transfer those playlists to your Windows Phone. You’ll need the latest updates for both the Music and Windows Phone app on your Windows 8 PC. Then you just select a playlist, and choose Windows Phone from the Share charm to put it on your phone. (This feature was just turned on this afternoon, so it might take a few hours to start working. Playlist sharing also currently works only on x86-based Windows 8 devices.)
Finally, streamed music is less likely to skip or pause once the update is installed because the phone starts fetching the next track before the current one you’re listening to fades out.
The team fixed plenty of Bluetooth issues in the new update, mostly related to problems with audio cutting out and other quality glitches. Some of these fixes were model-specific and aimed at 2011 Ford F150s, 2012 Range Rovers, and the Porsche Cayenne, just to name a few.
In the miscellaneous category, Skype, Lync and other VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) apps should be more stable and perform better. And Internet Explorer has been updated to improve media playback among other things.
One big focus of our updates is laying the groundwork for new technology or making Windows Phone available on more carriers. For example, this new update included plumbing work that made it possible for Sprint to launch the HTC 8XT last month, the carrier’s first Windows Phone 8 smartphone.
We also made several changes to pave the way for groundbreaking new Nokia Windows Phones like the Lumia 1020. As Joe Belfiore pointed out in this recent Q&A, we also improved the zoom capability of our photo viewer so it’s possible to zoom in closer on the 1020’s larger-resolution images and made it possible for Nokia’s new flagship device to capture and save both a 5MP image and a super high-res image simultaneously.
So now to the big question: How do you get the new update?
Once the team finishes coding, our software updates are rigorously tested to ensure they work on all the different Windows Phone models and carriers in each country. This takes time. They also frequently get bundled with goodie-filled upgrades from phone makers—Nokia’s Amber release is a good example—a process that can add to delivery times.
Some Windows Phone models such as the Nokia Lumia 925 or 1020 already have the new update preinstalled. To check if your phone has it, follow these steps. If you’ve got the new update, the OS version number will say 8.0.10327.77 or 8.0.10328.78.
Otherwise, just wait until you receive an update notification on your phone. You can also manually check for one by going to Settings > Phone Update and tap Check for update.
What feature or fix are you looking forward to?
When will the GDR2 update be available for huawei ascend w1?
hi all..lovely updates..used to be on nokia920 and planned to switch back to Nokia 925 soon..just wondering and not sure if this topic has been discussed in this or other forums yet
Besides Skype, is there any other way that i could use the most original way to do video calling, like just pick a name i wish to call and select Video call as an option instead of relying mostly on Skype video calling feature alone
Thanks and glad if anyone here could assist in my question :)
I guess Nokia has Microsoft's ear.
Since the release of GDR2 there has been numerous reports of Bluetooth issues. Specifically my Samsung ATIV S is unable to sustain a Bluetooth connection with my vehicle. The remedy is to re-flash or downgrade the phone which will restore the phone to an operational state as it did prior to the update. I have also read that HTC has pulled the GDR2 update and waiting for GDR3 wmpoweruser.com/wp8-gdr3-expected-to-go-in-testing-in-late-november-says-telstra. Now, I wonder why HTC made a sudden change like that?
There is a good movie out called Jobs. Suggest someone at Microsoft watch it.
Please made media and system volume separately. In your new update amber..please it's my humble request to all your team..
Its a must in a day to day life. My symban use to a inbuilt, WP8 developers, if u r reading this, will praise ur talent for years , plz plz give a call recorder in a new update. or atleast allow 3rd party vendors / software developers to do so...
Why does WP8 series dont have a real time call recorder.
First off let me say that I am very happy over all with WP8. I do believe though that Microsoft needs to flex a little more muscle with the carriers in regards to updates, AT&T in particular. The seeming lack of support for the ecosystem is not doing Windows Phone any favors. It makes no sense to me that when you are trying to improve the OS to attract and keep more users that the companies who would benefit most act in obstructionist manner. It behooves me that AT&T is considered the "premier carrier" when their support of WP is lackluster at best.
It would be nice if those of us who pay for a developer account had a better way of updating our devices. Carriers should not be allowed to strip features just because their 'testing' find them to be 'incompatible' with their network.
I have a Sumsung ATIV S. Upgraded to GDR2 through Bell Mobility. Issue, Bluetooth no longer functional in my 2012 Jeep Cherokee Overland. Did the same thing to another Samsung ATIV S that I use as a spare. Samsung restored my phones back to factory settings. Bluetooth is now operational again. Unable to take advantage of the GDR 2 update. Suggest Microsoft aim towards a fix for a 2012 Jeep Cherokee Overland.
>> Google support
Does this mean that CalDAV and CardDAV will only work with Google?
I have received this new update and ever since I have had problems with my bluetooth connection. During a call, suddenly the call cuts in and out rapidly where you can't hear each other, then it clears up then starts again. I switch to the speaker and I can hear just fine. I thought it was my bluetooth so I bought a new one. It was working just fine until the same thing started happening with the new bluetooth.
I think this update caused more problems for my HTC Windows 8 than it helped!
Please fix this soon!!
@vNOKFan--seems like it's been this way with AT&T since day one. Before having a 920, I had a Samsung Focus and it too was the last freaken phone to receive an update. It's very frustrating. You would think MS would have more pull with AT&T.
my phone started going through the update this morning and is still updating. it's been going for 5 hours and all i can see are the black turning wheels. how do i stop it? is this normal? i have a 620.
Seriously - One of the most popular WP phones in the US (Lumia 920) is relegated to amongst the last to get the updates. Not fun for the loyal early adopter.
When samsung ATIVS get update GDR2 In thailand some one please told me thank you
Still no update from AT&T for my 920.
Great updates for Windows Phone 8. Does anyone know when the SIM applications are becoming updates?
If you are using dual sim, you have to turn of the phone by changing SIM.
My update started installing (on a Lumia 822) about 2 hours ago and is still going. This seems overly long. Should I try to reboot (or remove the battery if that necessary?) Or is it normal for it to take so long?
Just got my lumia 820 updated... Data sense, sms+call block,radio and lots more... Nice...
. I am a windows phone 8 user and currently own Htc 8S. My problem is same as the rest of almost every windows phone 8 user out there, that is "The Storage Issue". As you know that Htc 8S has 4gb of built in storage(WHICH IS CLEARLY NOT 4GB BUT ACTUALLY ONLY 1.2GB OR 1.3GB, AS THE REST OF THE SPACE IS ALREADY TAKEN BY SYSTEM AND THE OTHER STORAGE).... So as we are left with only 1.2gb of space, there we are automatically warned that we cant store any music, video, photos and other personal stuff in the phone storage, because if we do store files there then we wont be able to install a single app or game. Now as we had to decide to,leave the phone storage for apps and games, we start installing the BASIC Apps and some games. After we have installed like 3 or 4 apps and some 2 or 3 small games, we get a hart attack warning that 'Your phone storage is getting low, make some free space'.
What we all are trying to say is, First you people don't have variety of apps and games, then even if we found something good, we found that you are not giving it for free. Secondly, after surfing and searching for hours for good apps and games, we try to install them but soon after installing a couple of them, we see that the phone's internal storage cant take it anymore and what's more torturous than that is YOU HAVEN'T EVEN ALLOWED TO INSTALL APPS AND GAMES ON EXTERNAL STORAGE....!!! EXCELLENT MICROSOFT, EXCELLENT....
YOU GUYS DEVELOPED AN AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL AND USER FREANDLY OS (SERIOUSLY IT IS BEAUTIFUL AND USER FREANDLY) BUT , BECAUSE OF SUCH SMALL ISSUES AND PROBLEMS, YOU PEOPLE ARE BEHIND IOS AND ANDROID....!!!!!
PLEASE TAKE THESE ISSUES SERIOUSLY AND PROVIDE SOLUTIONS FOR IT URGENTLY...!! AT LEAST DON'T LOSE YOUR EXISTING USERS....!!!
1) Storage issue.
2) Allow installation in external storage.
3) Allow sharing files(photos videos songs documents) through Bluetooth.
4) Provide an official proper File Manager.
5) Bring more developers to make more apps and game. And try to make most of them free, or at least launch a free version too with it.
I've Not received any update on my Windows phone 8 (Lumia 920) since May. How long does it take to update time to time?
Anyone know if this update includes Bluetooth 4.0 support. If so how do I check if my phone has it?
Just updating my Rogers Lumina 920 now had to hit check for updates
I'm using HTC Windows Phone 8S (Unfortunately). Current OS version on my phone is 8.0.10211.204
And i recently checked in phone update but it's showing your phone is up to date. When will i get this GDR2 update? Any idea?
Got GDR2 today and Xbox Music is still underwhelming. So much potential, such a great value if the apps could deliver a top notch music discovery, listening and sharing experience. Eminem has been on the Top Albums list since forever - I rarely go to that view any more because it never changes. Genres are too coarse grained - need to better surface the breadth of music in the catalog. Discovery of new and interesting content in general is pretty difficult. The album thumbnails are cute but it's hard to really tell who the artist is on some of them in a small screen. Still no real accessible EQ on playback either. If the Xbox Music team is serious about music, then let's rev the heck out of the apps across all the devices (Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox) and make it a kick ass platform for music discovery, listening and sharing. You've got a camera that rocks in the 1020 now how about striking back where iHurts but going after a premium music experience (emphasis on the experience part).
Guess AT&T will just wait until they're good and ready to push out the update. BTW...where the F is the 7.8 update for my Samsung Focus? So now I have 2 phones waiting.
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If Microsoft performance reviews are still seen as items to compete on I'd suggest that someone starts grooming the User Voice site before the ASP.NET team shows you how it is done. They're doing a heck of a lot better job keeping it focused and responding with real answers as opposed to the generic non-responses we tend to see on the Windows Phone user voice site.
How many of the features and fixes that you made were from the User Voice site? Still waiting for any sign of the update on Rogers Lumia 920. Already have the Nokia apps but they don't work without the Amber update. No word from the carrier on timing other than "soon".
It must include a screen rotation lock.
Has anyone with an HTC 8x, lost sound out of the ringer speaker after the update?
I was hoping you would add support for controlling the volume for all different notification, but the very least be able to set one volume for phone and one for notifications. Seems like a very simple thing to fix to me without knowing the under pinnings of the platform..
I don't have Data Sense on my 1020. Is there a way to get it for devices that shipped without it?
Why does AT&T hate updating Windows Phone?
How about fixing the issue with dead live tiles?
Here are some thoughts Microsoft. Google seems to constantly monitor what you do good and their updates (On Google Nexus) are always pretty quick and they always seem to catch up to you pretty fast. So why can't you do the same. Here are some suggestions:
1. Voice guidance in Google Maps (Forget about Bing maps. It is unreliable and I have abandoned to trust in it) This is a must have feature. If you can't do voice guidance at least give the top down view of where you are going without speaking or something... I mean it was there in windows 7.5 so why the step backwards?
2. Top down finger scroll that Android has. Pulls down all of apps that are running for easy access. Also has the settings quick access. Very cool feature.
That's about it. Windows phone 8 is an excellent OS.
With Google Maps (officially now) a part of windows phone 8 this is fantastic. I bought a new car and the Bluetooth sound quality was pretty bad on my Windows phone. This plus lack of Google maps (sorry Bing but nothing in the world is better than Google maps) forced me to use my Google Nexus. However, Windows phone 8 is excellent OS, much better and more solid then Android so looking forward to he Bluetooth updates... This should get me back to using my Windows Phone.
I might be in error, as English is not my first language, but when reading "and unofficially known by its internal shorthand" shouldn't it be "inofficially"?
Nice, I feature that I really like, and is part of the Amber release, is the Glance screen, where you always see the clock. Here is a blog post how you enable this: www.buzzfrog.se/.../enable-nokia-glance-screen-lumia
i have a samsung ativ s and here are some of the things you enumerated that i am missing after installing gdr2. NO Data sense. No significant change in the OTHER storage. 2.8gb was in the other storage before applying the updated and i got 2.6gb after the update. i even went down to uninstalling apps just to free up space. This other storage on the ativ s is really annoying. another issue not fixed is file duplication from pictures, audio/music files and videos. i also dont have the FM radio. but i read somwhere that the ativ s doesnt have the hardware to support this, well im good with that. Please micrsoft once and for all seriously fix all these bugs in wp8. im more into my wp7.8 titan 2 than my ativ s because of these bugs in wp8. i thought that wp8 would be a total upgrade yet i find wp7.8 useful and less annoying!
So when will unlocked phones get Data Sense with at least data monitoring feature, like Nokia Counters app or you know, the thing Android stock had for years
I am sick and tired of your carrier crap
Dear Windows Phone team.
There is a really bad user experience issue: the lack of cursor in default dialer app windowsphone.uservoice.com/.../2294827-cursor-in-phone-dialler-to-allow-editing.
Suppose you wanted to dial 01234567 and you forgot to tap on 0, you have to erase everything and then reenter the whole thing....
A cursor is very much needed! Please pleaseeee don't miss it in GDR3 at least!
We can only post suggestion on uservoice and vote for it. Its sad when you guys ignore these basic requests! Please help us help the product which we all share.
I am glad to see that you are fixing some of the long list of problems with the music app on Windows Phone. But when will x64 users of Windows 8 get to share their playlists to Windows phone?
Great, I just received it today at my HTC 8X unlocked and I'm currently installing it :)
You say that playlist sharing is only available on Windows 8 x86 devices?
Putting my playlists on my phone was really my biggest problem, as I have a 10,000 song collection and no organization of them on my phone.
First, when/will it be available for my 64bit Windows 8 desktop?
Second, is there a way for me to install the 32bit WP app and run it in compatibility mode?
If anyone has answers, they would be greatly appreciated. I have Benn trying to get playlists on my WP8 since the OS was launched.
I like Glance functionality on my Lumina 822.
WHAT other VOIP apps?... THAT is the problem there are none! A smartphone's number one purpose is communication. And to date there are no VOIP clients for WM8 to allow us to become a full member of the corporate phone network (hosted VOIP with SIP trunking and unified communications) If you can't communicate all the rest of the stuff on this phone is just junk! I do have a question though. If and when you or a third party ever comes out with a SIP client for WM8 how will you get OS updates? I want to use a personal WiFi hotspot and communicate with the WM8 phone through WiFi and VOIP. That means I do not even need a data plan for the phone or a voice plan either from a carrier-just data plan for the personal WiFi hotspot.
Ok let's review these "Updates"... Microsoft please read this, it won't take long.
1) Data Sense. Not a "new" feature, was talked about when WP8 first came out in keynote and Verizon has had it for a long time. I could nearly fall off my chair in boredom with this feature, yeah it's a bit useful, but not exciting. Seriously come on.
2) FM Radio. Great, we've received a "new" old feature which was already existant in Windows Phone 7.
The rest is really noise, the music + video hub (problems stem from the long concatenated name all the way through..) is cumbersome and unintuitive. Give us decent seek controls like iPhone, give me a more intuitive way to return to the album I'm playing a song from.
Meanwhile, where are some actually GOOD, COMPELLING, OUTSTANDING features I can rave/gloat to my friends about? There are none. Yes yes, I knowww you will say you needed to push this update out to prepare for new hardware and next-gen devices, that is fine, but this should be a hardware update, along with a compelling software update. What's going on honestly? It just doesn't add up. We've waited over a year for what this would be classified as; a "substantial" update, and we get this. Apple + Google meanwhile updating nearly every six months or less.
You know what though, this would be great if everything else was done, I see this update almost as just some polish and finishing touches. Windows Phone, you are a long way away from that yet.
Meanwhile iPhone as early as version 4 plus Android earlier versions are still jetting past you at lightning speeds.
I'm actually a huge fan and I rant because I care.
That's great to hear that you guys put all this time into Xbox Music on Windows Phone except that as we speak I'm trying to stream my Xbox cloud music and I either get errors, it doesn't begin the song and skips to the next song or plays an then skips like crazy.
This is very common in my experience with Xbox Music on WP and something I was hoping you guys would get right in the update. I guess not.
would be better if mail can save automatically on sdcard
game and apps can save on sdcard
I'm happy using Lumia so I hope they can make this phone better :)
What's with this mail attachment on Other? Why does it keep still in storage?
I updated my phone today (Nokia 810 T-Mobile) and now all of my audio alerts have changed??? Text, email, etc. I use my phone for a lot of things both work and personal and I knew what each alert sounded like. Now I have to look at every thing when before I might have went, oh that's a game alert, not important I'll look later. Why would you change them and can I get them back?
This update also fixes the Viewport bug in IE10, so now having fixed bars at the top and bottom of a webpage display correctly, great news for Phonegap developers on WP8! :D
Here's what I want to see soon:
Proper Gmail support - I cannot flag or even Search Gmail anymore! I was able to do the latter in WP7.
Release Updates - once I start downloading an update, I can't learn about what's new in the latest update. There should be a way to view these either during or after download. Just like you have a blog here, it would be nice to have such updates more in-context.
@Larry: It was anounced back then that Microsoft would be one of the white listed countries. Later on Google back-pedalled on the whole matter and it seems that CalDAV/CardDAV would stay open at least for the forseeable future.
But the whole Google matter aside: when are we going to see CardDAV/CalDAV-support for custom servers and not just Google? It's implemented already so it would be nice to be able to use it on other services that support it but not EAS.
on att with a lumia 820 and still nothing
It's nice that you support CalDAV and CardDAV, but Google quickly got bored of them and is deprecating CalDAV (googleblog.blogspot.co.uk/.../a-second-spring-of-cleaning.html). Google's CalDAV support is garbage - last time I checked you can't invite another user to an event - and since it's deprecated it would seem they aren't going to fix that. Are you going to be supporting their newer Google Calendar API? (This doesn't matter to me, since I'm an Office 365 customer, but still...)
@Existentialism: I think your screen name should be Optimism. :-)
Thanks for the comments, everyone.
So tomorrow you will post what's in GDR3?
I was looking forward to the metadata being fixed as I lost many hours trying to sort this out, which worked fine on WP7, and before that Zune and Zune HD. Now it seems even worse! I started afresh but after putting files on my Ativ S's SD card I have no metadata showing at all for hundreds of tracks, so they are all listed as unknownartist and unknown album. I also have a few albums where tracks are showing up twice in the album, or the album itself is showing up twice, but checking in the folders on the SD card there is only one file per track.
Seems a big mess.
Loving the updates! Keep them coming and as rapidly as possible. Anyway, I am longing for a more traditional method of sharing files from SkyDrive. Please include the option to send SkyDrive files as "attachments". Yes??
I have installed GDR2 on my HTC 8S but I still have one major problem - very often when I take screenshot or save picture from web it appears duplicated in the gallery. If I'll delete one of duplicated pictures it deletes both so my gallery is full of duplicated pictures
... Please make something with it.
Thanks for all the information. But regarding Xbox Music the main thing that annoys is the fact that regularly when choosing a song (that was bought off the store btw) you get a message that says, "Sorry we can't play this file on your phone." and then it skips to the next and then you have to go back to get it to play. Any new information regarding that?