Microsoft unveils Windows Phone Update 3 with support for 1080p displays and quad-core chips

Microsoft unveils Windows Phone Update 3 with support for 1080p displays and quad-core chipsMicrosoft has finally revealed the Windows Phone Update 3 which brings long awaited support for 1080p displays, quad-core processors and several other improvements and enhancements. Microsoft hopes to meet three main goals with the Windows Phone Update 3: “Enable a new generation of incredible Windows Phone 8 devices, enhance the platform with new capabilities for current users and partners, and improve overall quality.”

The Windows Phone Update 3 is in fact the General Distribution Release (GDR) 3 update we have been heard several rumors about. Luckily we now have a clear idea what to expect in terms of features on the next generation of Windows Phones.

Support for 1080p resolution displays and larger screen sizes

Microsoft unveils Windows Phone Update 3
The Windows Phone Update 3 expands the supported screen sizes allowing manufactures to build 5 inch and 6 inch devices. Any devices with a 7 inch or larger display will run Windows 8.1 instead. The larger displays will also have support for sharper resolutions as the new maximum has now been set to 1080 by 1920 pixels. Its good to know that Microsoft has finally adopted a feature which has been available for Android devices for over a year now.

If you own a device with a large 1080p display, your Windows Phone will have an additional 3rd column, as pictured on the right. This third column will allow you to pin and display even more information on your start screen.

Support for quad-core processors

With Windows Phone Update 3, manufactures will be able to build quad-core processors. These will include support for Qualcomm's MSM8977 chip, which is better known as the Snapdragon 800. With the latest Android flagship already sporting one of the most powerful mobile processors, it will be great to see Microsoft finally level the playing field.

Screen lock, custom ringtones

Windows Phone Update 3 will let you lock the screen orientation to either portrait or landscape. This should be very useful to those who want to read an email when in bed without having the orientation change automatically.

The update will also allow you to set custom ringtones for more things including instant messages, emails, voicemails, and reminders. You can also assign custom ringtones to contacts for text messages, so you’ll know who’s texting you without even looking.

Better multitasking, enhanced storage management

Multitasking in Windows Phone Update 3 allows you to manually close apps by hitting a big “X” button, and when it comes to storage you now have the option to see which apps and media use what amount of storage.

Other improvements include a new Driving mode which locks the screen while you drive, to keep you safely focused on the road. An annoying feature where Wi-Fi is inaccessible during initial setup has finally been fixed, and Bluetooth tethering would also now remember devices you've connected to before and won’t ask for a password. Accessibility apps now include screen reader for blind and visually impaired, and tools for those with hearing problems.

If you are a developer you can get access to the latest update through Microsoft's Preview for Developers app. The general public should get access to the update on their Windows Phones based on your carrier approval of manufacturer release cycles.

If you have suggestions for future updates, submit them to Windows Phone Suggestion Box site.

source - Tech Crunch | @joebelfiore

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