News by Andrew Kameka on Monday October 14, 2013.
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Windows Phone has lagged behind the competition in most areas other than camera quality, but Microsoft today announced the third Windows Phone update that will soon deliver a number of new improvements to the platform. The biggest change, literally speaking, will be the addition of larger screen resolutions. Microsoft says that the upcoming update will finally enable 5-inch and 6-inch touchscreens with 1080p HD resolution, a first for Windows Phone. The increased display area will also make it possible to have up to six Live Tiles on the Start screen rather than four.
The third update will enable more powerful hardware in the form of quad-core processors. Windows Phone for the past year has operated with a standard Qualcomm dual-core processor. Update 3 will raise support for the superior Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor. The Snapdragon 800 runs at 2.3 GHz for Android devices and has many additional capabilities, like an always-listening voice command option, that a manufacturer could build into its phone.
Microsoft will begin offering the Windows Phone 8 update in a few weeks, but not all phones will receive it. The rollout will "continue over several months," according to Microsoft, so when a device is updated depends on the speed and willingness of manufacturers and carriers. Registered developers will have early access to the update through a new preview program. As for the Windows Phone Update, other new features include:
- Driving Mode to limit notifications and send auto-replies to calls or text messages while driving
- Accessibility features to help the visual or hearing-impaired operate the phone more easily
- Faster mobile hotspot connections without needing to enter a password
- Rotation lock to prevent unwanted switching between landscape and portrait
- Custom ringtone assignments for notifications or a specific contact
- Improved storage management for on-device files
- App switcher now supports closing apps
- Wi-Fi connections are available during phone set-up
- Bluetooth has "a bunch of improvements" to enhance connection quality
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.