Microsoft to update Windows Phone 8, minor changes

Windows Phone Blue to arrive next year with major features

Microsoft has detailed the next software update to its Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system.

The next update (GDR2) to Windows Phone 8 will be coming soon but with only minor changes for users to enjoy. Unfortunately Microsoft hasn't said exactly when it will arrive so you'll have to be patient. See also: Nokia Lumia 1020 release date, price and specs: When can I get the Lumia 1020?

"Our effort to build great software never stops. That's why we periodically release updates for Windows Phone 8 to add new features that maximize your phone's performance." said Microsoft.

The update includes small changes to Xbox Music, Skype, Internet Explorer and the camera app. We've listed the full details below. See also: Group test: what's the best Windows phone?

However, The Verge reports that the major update that users really want will be arriving next year in 2014. Called Windows Phone Blue to match the recent Windows 8.1 update, it will bring with it a notification centre, improved multitasking and changes to built-in apps.

A GDR3 update will supposedly bring much needed support for full HD resolutions and quad-core processors. Smartphones running iOS and Android are far more feature packed than Windows Phone 8 devices because of its hardware limitations.

Rumour has it that the GDR3 version will tip up later this year, possibly in autumn. It will also have included a needed rotation lock option. Many feature requests have come from manufacturing partners like Nokia and HTC.

For your information, Windows Phone 8 updates are cumulative so if you haven't got the bits and pieces from a previous version then your phone will pick them up in the latest update.

Windows Phone 8 updates (8.0.10327.77 or 8.0.10328.78)

Xbox Music: It's now easier to select, download, and pin music. Plus, music fans will see more accurate metadata (such as song and album information) and many other performance improvements.

FM radio: Listen to FM radio right from the Music+Videos hub. (Not available for all phones.)

Data Sense: Stay on top of your phone's data usage with Data Sense. You can set a limit based on your data plan, or just keep track of which apps use the most data. (Not all mobile operators offer Data Sense.)

Skype: Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) apps like Lync and Skype now feature improved stability and performance.

Internet Explorer: Your web browsing experience is now better than ever with improved HTML 5 compatibility.

Camera: Set your favorite Lens so it opens automatically when you press the camera button. (Not available for all phones.)

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Chris Martin

PC Advisor (UK)

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