Windows Phone 8 GDR2 update rolling out now to select handsets


Windows Phone 8 powered Nokia Lumia 928

Recently, we learned about the upcoming update to Windows Phone 8, called General Distribution Release 2 (GDR2). Now, it appears that this update is already rolling out to select handsets running Windows Phone 8.

Those who own an unlocked HTC 8X and Samsung Ativ S Windows Phone 8 device are reporting that they are already receiving the GDR2 update. Rumors have suggested that this update will roll out to more Windows Phone 8 devices later this month.

The current version of Windows Phone 8 is build 8.0.10211.204, but with the upcoming GDR2 update, the build number will be 8.0.10327.77 or 8.0.10328.78 depending on the phone and carrier. So what exactly does this new update bring along with it? Here’s what Microsoft’s update history page tells us:

  • 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.)
  • Other improvements. Includes many other improvements to Windows Phone.

Along with these new features, GDR2 brings along support for Gmail’s CalrdDAV and CalDAV, which allows Windows Phone users to sync their calendar and contacts after Google discontinued support for Exchange ActiveSync.

While GDR2 update rolls out, Microsoft is working on GDR3 which is expected to bring support for 5 or 6 inch Windows phone devices, as well as quad-core chipsets. This update will debut first on new devices, then eventually be released for existing devices. Microsoft is also working on Windows Phone Blue, which is rumored for release in early 2014.