Microsoft announces Windows Phone 8 Update 3 and new Windows Phone Developer Preview

Windows Phone 8 Update 3 will roll out to existing phones over the next several months, bringing with it a bevy of improvements and new capabilities.

Also announced Monday was the Windows Phone Developer Preview, which allows developers to get pre-release builds of Windows Phone updates on your dev phones before they are generally available to consumers.

Some of the new features included in Windows Phone Update 3 include a bigger Start screen for more Live Tiles (pictured left), a new, customizable Driving Mode and better accessibility options.

According to the Windows Phone Blog, “the new update paves the way for future Windows Phone devices with 5- and 6-inch touch screens. The larger, 1080p HD displays on these devices will make Windows Phone even more personal—for example by sporting jumbo-sized Start screens with room for six Live Tiles across instead of four.”

Also, Windows Phone 8 Update 3 will provide support for Qualcomm’s 8974 quad-core processor. The added horsepower that this chip delivers should make our already-fluid operating system perform even better.

On the developer side of the equation, you’ll need to update your phone to get the pre-release build. To do that, just visit the Windows Phone Preview for Developers page. It goes through everything you need to know about the preview program. Once you accept the terms and conditions, you can download the Windows Phone Preview for Developers app, which installs from the Windows Phone Store directly onto your phone and allows you to opt your phone in to receive updates. You can then head over to your phone’s “Phone update” settings and get your update on.

To participate in the developers program, you need to meet one of the three conditions: your phone is “developer-unlocked,” you are a registered Windows Phone Store developer or you are a registered Windows Phone App Studio developer.

For more detail on Windows Phone 8 Update 3, read Monday’s post on the Windows Phone Blog. For the rest of the story on the Windows Phone Developer Preview, read Monday’s post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog.

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Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog