Everyone will be glad to hear Microsoft has officially announced the GDR3 update for the Windows Phone platform, bringing a suite of new features and support for higher-end smartphone features.
Functionality will change slightly, Microsoft has ironed out some bugs and added features like Driving Mode, limiting notifications to a set few and making it easier to connect to Bluetooth devices, they have also added custom ringtones and locking screen orientation.
On the topic of support, Microsoft has said the GDR3 update (General Distribution Release) will provide hardware support for larger devices, ranging between five and seven inches, screen this size will have their own dedicated Start screen. The new update will also bump up the maximum resolution to 1080p, matching most of the high-end Android smartphones.
Internally, Microsoft has announced support for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 SoC and a few others and quad-core support will be available, meaning Nokia does not have to stick to dual-core chips when it comes to their next generation devices.
This is all fair and good for the Windows Phone platform, but it doesn’t really work against Android or iOS. All power users are going to favor Android, which already has octa-core and 4K support available, when the technology comes and all iOS users get one device and Apple likes to keep things quiet on the specs end.
By the time Nokia gets around to implementing another flagship, we may already see the first true octa-core smartphone or the first smartphone with a blazing 2560 x 1600 resolution screen. We have already seen this on tablets like the Nexus 10 and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition.
This is not to say the GDR3 update isn’t needed, but we wonder if Microsoft is able to readily update the Windows Phone platform to compete with Android. It is not enough to add support every year or every six months in a big patch update, when Google is shipping out new version of Android almost two months.