Windows Phone 8 Update 3 Available To Devs Today
Written by Lucy Black   
Monday, 14 October 2013

Microsoft has provided details of the latest update to Windows Phone 8 and launched Windows Phone Preview for Developers. This gives app builders early access to the operating system so that they can test their apps in advance of it being available on users phones.

Microsoft has provided details of the latest update to Windows Phone 8 and launched Windows Phone Preview for Developers. This gives app builders early access to the operating system so that they can test their apps in advance of it being available on users phones.

Windows Phone recently celebrated its third birthday and now we have the launch of the latest release of its operating system,  8.0.10512, or to give it a less cumbersome name, Windows Phone 8 Update 3.

The new update takes into account the opportunities and requirements of the next generation of Windows Phone hardware. It provides for a larger 1080p HD display on 5- and 6-inch touch screens that have room for six Live Tiles across the width instead of four and has support for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor.




One highlight of he new update is a suite of accessibility apps to make Windows Phone easier to use by visually impaired users and those who are hard of hearing. And for drivers on the move there a new Driving Mode feature, that works via a Bluetooth device and will  limit notifications on the lock screen, including texts, calls, and quick status alerts, until you’re safely parked. It can also be configured to send automatic replies to people who call or text to let them know you'll get back to them.

For all users, there's improved Internet Sharing, better Bluetooth, Wi-Fi access out of the box, more custom ringtones and more, making the combination Windows Phone 8 Update 3 and the phablets - phones with 6" screens - it will run on, an attractive proposition for consumers.

As for the developer community the good news is that the new Preview for Developers page of the Windows Phone site gives access to pre-release builds of Windows Phone updates before operating system updates generally are available to consumers.

To get Update 3 on your developer phone you need to meet one of three conditions: 

  • have an active Windows Phone Dev Center account
  • have an active App Studio account
  • be running a registered developer device ('dev unlocked' phone)

Updates provided via the program will only include the Microsoft update, and not additional OEM drivers/firmware and you'll need to be running the latest OS release, currently 8.0.10322.71. It is also important to note that you cannot revert to a prior OS version once you've updated.

To quote from today's blog post by Cliff Simpkins:

When you opt in and apply a prerelease update, you can only move forward with updates. When the update is publicly released for your device, you will once again be in a ‘released state.’ There is no path back to a prior release/update.

He also warns that installing a preview update "may void any warranty" on your phone.

In answer to questions devs are likely to have about Windows Phone 8 Update 3 he states:

1. There are no new APIs in the update, and so there won’t be a corresponding Windows Phone SDK for this update. [Microsoft] will be providing an optional download that includes emulator images with the latest build, so you can test your app on the updated OS.

2. There shouldn’t be any explicit action required by the vast majority of app developers; there is nothing that you have to do to your apps to make them run on Windows Phone 8 Update 3.

He also points to three behavioral changes that devs need to test:

  1.  The background audio memory cap increases from 20 MB to 25 MB for phones with 1 GB of memory or more.

  2. An Internet Explorer and WebBrowser control viewport behavior change affects all resolutions on the phone; it’s something you should check out in your app.

  3. 1080p resolution is being introduced to support devices with a 1080p display

However, in the case of the final once you'll need to wait till the emulator is available.

The developer preview gives a way of testing apps on real devices ahead of the OS being generally available on new devices and should be a win win scenario for both devs and Windows Phone users.

More Information

Introducing Windows Phone Preview for Developers

Preview for Developers

Related Articles

Windows Phone Updates

Free Windows Phone 8 Development

Microsoft's $19 Windows Phone Dev Center Fee To Continue

Microsoft Buys Nokia


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