Important Information about GDR3 or Update 3 for Windows Phone 8

Most frequent concerns/questions:


Will updating the developer preview mean losing all the current data?

No, The update keeps all the app data/settings intact. You won’t even notice a change other than what was officially announced as part of update 3.


Will Amber update features like Glance/Pro cam stop working?

No. Again, This update is an OS update. Amber was a firmware update that Nokia supplied. Amber features are unaffected by the update, if anything I have noticed more stability so far.


Will I get the official Update 3 when it becomes available?

Yes. Those features will be enabled as the Update 3 goes live in coming weeks. Lumia users will also get the Nokia firmware nicknamed Bittersweet Shimmer,  when it becomes available at a later date.


Will I have to reformat when that becomes available?

Official update will be a straight update, meaning no loss of data or reformat needed…..just a natural update.


How does one get the preview update?

pre-requisite: You will need Amber + GDR2 to get GDR3(update 3) for obvious reasons.

Well, it is quite simple actually.

Step 1: Get the app studio account. It is free. Head to and Click on Start building, login using the same Windows ID you used for initial phone setup. Agree to terms and condition

Step 2: From phone, Windows store or PC/webstore Download the app –

Step 3: Run the app, login using the same Microsoft Account and accept the terms and condition and check the box.

Step 4: Go to Settings->Phone update. Check for Updates. Voila!

Note: Update time will depend on the amount of data you have on the phone. Mine was stuck at “installing 100%” for about 10 minutes. Be patient. Also, there is the defamed “spinning gears” “cogs” etc., but at least it has a progress bar now. Again, be patient. My spinning cogs were stuck at about 5% for 20 minutes etc and the rest was a breeze.


Things to look forward to in the Update 3 Preview: (There are under the hood features, which user could care less about. For full update list google GDR3 features)

I’ll cover the features that user will most likely encounter or use on daily basis. so here it goes

  • Close running app- using the close button. This feature can be accessed using “long-press” back button gesture. Bad thing is that the close action is only enabled when one hovers over the app that needs attention.
  • Screen Rotation lock- Finally! This feature is in Settings->Screen Rotation. Turn it on to keep  the phone locked in portrait while reading news/email in bed. I wished there was a way to opt out,orientation lock, in apps like Photos etc.
  • Driving Mode– This feature is in Settings->Driving Mode. Follow the on-screen instructions to set it up. You can disable calls/texts etc while driving. There is a cool car icon in phone’s status bar when the driving mode is enabled. I have mine set to automatic.
  • Custom Ringtones– Yes, Now you can assign different tones for messages/appointment etc.