GDR3 Bittersweet Shimmer

Unofficial changelog for Windows Phone 8 GDR3 and Bittersweet shimmer begins to complete the picture

News this morning has come out regarding some more changes coming to Windows Phone 8 General Distribution Release 3 and Nokia's Bittersweet shimmer. Most of these features we have been aware of for some time, in fact we re-capped them on Saturday with the Glance screen information, but there are a few new tidbits to give a clearer idea of the big picture.

The info comes by way of Nawzil, who has been posting quite a bit of information regarding Microsoft and Nokia’s plans for the upcoming OS and firmware update. We have heard that GDR3’s features have been briefed by Microsoft with various people recently, so we’re not too surprised to hear information is now coming forward—leaks are leaks.

So what’s new? Let’s take a look.

Windows Phone 8 GDR 3

  • Support for 1080p display for new devices like the Lumia 1520.
  • Support for new processors.
  • 3 medium or 6 small tiles on a row for phones with screen resolution of at least WXGA (1280 x 768) including Lumia 920, 925, 928, 1020 and of course the Lumia 1520.
  • Close apps by tapping on the X on top right in multitasking view. The icon of the app appears below.
  • Custom tones for text or IM, voicemail, email and reminders (confirmed earlier by Windows Phone Central)
  • Screen Rotation lock: When auto-rotate screen is off, your screen will stay in the current orientation when you rotate your phone.
  • Driving Mode: Turns of all notifications except texts and phone calls when you're driving. You can also turn calls and texts off completely or set Driving Mode to text and automatic reply like "Hey, I am driving right now. I'll reply you later." Driving Mode can start automatically when your phone connects to a Bluetooth device.
  • Connect to WiFi in OOBE when switching on your new phone for the first time or after you your reset your phone, so you can restore your data even before connecting to a cellular network.
  • Attach Office files (.doc, .xls, .ppt) and .pdf files in email.

Nokia Bittersweet shimmer firmware

  • Glance Screen: Notifications in glance screen similar to the notifications on the lock screen. Choose from any of the 20 accent colours for night mode instead of just red in Amber. You can choose whether you want to keep the glance screen always on when charging, in Amber it is always on when charging.
  • New apps: Nokia Camera, Storyteller, etc.

If you’ve been following Windows Phone Central closely, most of that should be familiar. What is new is that WXGA (1280 x 768) devices will get new tile sizes, allowing 3 medium or 6 small tiles on a row. Previously it was assumed that only 1080P devices would get that feature, but at least according to Nawzil, current high end devices will also have the option. It’s not clear though how it will all work.

Attach Office files is also new and if accurate, a very welcomed addition. Not being able to attach documents has been a major sore spot for many in enterprise.

The Glance Screen improvements we already knew about but not so much the 20 accent colors for the display—that’s a novel and unique addition.

We should note that this is not a full changelog either for GDR3 and there are presumably other under the hood fixes included as well i.e. a lot of little things that help your everyday experience but aren’t as attention grabbing.

Microsoft and Nokia are expected to detail the new OS version and Bittersweet shimmer firmware later this month in Abu Dhabi.

Source:; Thanks, Devarshi R., for the tip



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DJCBS says:

The only way to fit 3 rows of tiles on screens the size of the L920 is by resizing the existing tiles. Which means the "medium" tile will have to be 2/3 of the current medium (if you want to have an idea of the size, look at your "People" tile in medium size. The new size will have to be 4 squares).

Now.... if that's the size of the medium tile, then the "small" tiles will have to be less than 1/3 of the medium tile. Meaning smaller than 1 square of the people hub. That REALLY small.

And what about the double wide tiles? Will they be gone? Then why keep the "live tiles"? With tiles this size, forget about reading anything on medium sized tiles. If the double wide tiles are gone too...well, then just get rid of the live tiles all together and move into the widget solution like Android and Apple.

I SERIOUSLY hope that these new tiles are completely optional and won't be forced upon current Lumia owners. I most certainly do not want those new tile sizes on a screen with 4.7"

dkp23 says:

More on the screen isn't better, they are getting close to crossing that line of being too cluttered and a complete mess on the screen, specifically for the 4.5 inch devices. I think it makes sense for a phablet, but we'll see how it looks on a 920 and up.

I am imagining it is going to look like a complete mess to be honest, hopefully it is optional which i dont thin it will be. We'll see.

Take a look of this simple math:

1280 * 1.5 = 1280 + 640 = 1920
720 * 1.5 = 720 + 360 = 1080 (yes, I know...Nokia choose 768)
4 small tiles * 1.5 = 6 small tiles
2 BIG tiles *1.5 = 3 BIG tiles
1 WIIIIIDE tile * 1.5 = N/A, still the same, now 2/3 of the screen width (vertical)

tj321 says:

I don't think that will be too bad on 4.5" + devices. Sounds pretty cool to me! Can see way more live content :-)
Super stoked about glance screen notifications - now that is VERY useful to uh, glance at..

rockstarzzz says:

They will possibly revert back to WP7 medium tile size which were 1000 fold better than current medium tiles.

I also hope it will be optional and I would be surprised if it wasn't, but don't forget that they will also reduce the spacing between tiles and put the tiles closer to the edge of the screen so that will help a little bit in terms of the tile sizes.

TheSuperShoe says:

It'd be nice to be able to go forward after holding down the back button.  I don't know how many time's I've accidently pressed back and had it leave an app and lose whatever I was doing.
Nevertheless, these are all pretty cool things that I can't wait to see in action.

Nitaino says:

Closing apps from card view is a feature very welcome and lock screen too as well

Jonadam23 says:

I just hope that in whatever update microsoft adds a notification center it isn't in a tile. I would suggest either swiping right on the start screen or having it in the multitasking pane (So you can acess it though holding down the back button). And a udpate to the music app would be awesome. It would be nice if it look a bit more like the one that is going to be coming out in windows 8.1.

ratkutti says:

Looks legit. Ans a proper back-up is the need of the hour.

xratola says:

What I want is the ability to send pdf files through bluetooth :/

SchueyF1 says:

Really hope the extra tiles is optional. Also, no mention of Xbox Video support?

dkp23 says:

im guessing video wont come until at least the first blue update. 

Aryan Angel says:

Wow. Apple will sue Nokia/ms for stealing the multitasking feature. Damn copycats

Apple can't sue anyone for shit. They copied almost every part of their OS. So looong gay boy!

sdreamer says:

Attaching files (except pdfs) has been there you just could only do one file per email and had to do it from the file itself, not from email. I hope this means easier time attaching files directly from email.
Custom tones I haven't seen anything concrete on how custom it is. People have mistaken the ability to change between different alerts as custom tones, not really add your own custom tones. I hope its the latter.

ThatsAwesome says:

I dot think that 6 tile thing is ever going to happen.
If it had to happen we would have seen atleast a single leak for this. Lack of leaks proves that this is not possible. 
Also as a side note I love the current WP start screen layout and don't want MS to mess around with it. Probably an ability to set Background image for Start screen is the only thing missing in my view.
Ability to attach multiple documents to mail would be huge. That, Rotation lock and Ability to close apps would mean that WP 8 is finally reaching a bit closer to all the required essential features of a mordern smartphones.

premsta says:

I just hope they fix this &*%# file duplication bug with SD cards. It was SUPPOSED to be fixed in GDR2 but I can vouch for the fact that it is not.

Still no support for AVI , FLV and MKV Video formats :(

IzaacJ says:

Awesome! Of the GDR3 features I was hoping to get the new tiles on my 920, and now I can sleep happy until I get the update :D Just throw in a real backup and its perfect :D

rodneyej says:

Daniel,, do you mean that three medium tiles will be supported by devices with a resolution of at least 1280 x 768, or higher than 1280 x 768... Because you said that devices like the 920, or 1020, will be supported, but they are not higher than 1280 x 768,, they are equal to... What's the deal❔

Kram Sacul says:

I would also like some clarification on this.  I personally don't think the 3 medium tile format will work well on 4.5" screens.

Nawzil says:

When I said higher than, I meant at least.

Ayush_WP says:

I don't know. This sounds fishy.

as much as i hope this to be true.

sasukeluffy says:

Damn, I want 6 small tiles in a row to my Samsung Ativ S (720p) :(((

Shad A says:

man I can't wait for this mofo
when are the expected dates?

blushrts717 says:

Coming to the 920 on AT&T in 2040.

ejlee072006 says:


did you just say "WP 8.1"?

ChrisSnazell says:

It's been 6 months since a Microsoft support engineer and I tracked down the podcast sync issues I was having to the music + videos app retaining an open file handle on podcasts after it had stopped playing them and thus borking the desktop sync process. 


Despite it being a pretty basic problem they've yet to fix it. Which is why I'm using a Nexus 4 rather than my 8X.


Fingers crossed for GDR3.

MadSci2 says:

I'm sure we will get to enjoy all this on AT&T "in the coming years"

Lmao, sad but true, Mr. De la Vega has to get his store managers and employees to stop being so biased, what is unreal is that ATT doesn't even give a reason for the delay, 925 and 1020 have it, how hard could it be? Either they are purposefully trying to push the new rather than old, they are incompetent, or there are technical difficulties I am not aware of, I am leaning towards 1 and 2.

DavidinCT says:

Let's just hope those experts over at XDA figure out how to manually update phones like we could in WP7....

It seems we are rapidly approaching that point, I pray they can make it can happen.

what about lumia Batman 1350 ?

RGTrain says:

Where is the separate volume controls for the phone and apps. This should be straighten out by now, every other os has always done this!

Daakkon says:

Lets hope they make it easy to turn rotation lock on/off. Having to go to settings and scroll through the list is horrid and a terrible UX.

Simba_P says:

Well said. Like the way you can turn the ringer on and off using the volume button?

Holy tits - you can finally, FINALLY add Office documents from within the email hub?! Hopefully they didn't F it up and you can add documents when replying to an existing email string... Cmon MS, please don't screw this up!!

Any word or idea if the Lumia 520 will get a stripped down version of GDR3 ?

fbendotti says:

Calendar improvements please!! Search???

paulxxwall says:

I gotta get out of att .. We'll never get this update! At first I was so excited with wp8 and the future updates to really make this os competitive but since being on att all this news about updates just piss me of because now I know while on att we will always be dead last for any of these updates. I got one year left can't wait wp8 for would be perfect if I got timely updates but not if I'm on att

SwimSwim says:

"3 medium or 6 small tiles on a row for phones with screen resolution higher than WXGA (1280 x 768) including Lumia 920, 925, 928, 1020 and of course the Lumia 1520."
Yes! Uber excited now! I really hope this is true, because ever since I saw the first leaks of the Lumia 1520, I was immeditatly jealous of the extra Start Screen space. Please Nokia, make it happen!

pankaj981 says:

May be the phones have a 1080p display already but show 720p coz of OS restrictions?

SwimSwim says:

Hate to sound rude, but I can guarentee that isn't the case, seeing as it's just not possible to do that.

They're all really welcomed addition. Especially the press 'x' to close app, orientation lock, and attach file on email. But.. I think the press 'x' button to close app is outdated.

fluidman8 says:

What about being able to select and upload Videos from the Gallery/mediahub from within whapsapp, 6tag, etc??? Don't understand y this isn't possible yet!

pankaj981 says:

Current API restrictions

Aldiggi says:

Can we forward emails yet???

Been able to do that on my 920 since I got my phone last year.

pmich says:

i cant imagine 6 small tiles working well on a 920 screen.  I may have to shave down my finger to get prevent accidentally pressing the tile beside it.    haha

Simba_P says:

Maybe they will reduce the size of each of the tiles?

nithin r says:

Ohhh yeah!!!......and one more please make a option to send videos...

ramyZgHR says:

Is GDR3 comming to 8x?

Abronnovich says:

These updates are well and good, but when is MS fixing its media indexing issues aka duplicate media files when syncing. Clearly it's something we're hiding our heads in the sand about. If not GDR3 then WP8.1 maybe? My L920 media player is choking with duplicated songs and listening to anything is just pointless.

slap0rama says:

Aww man I have been waiting for the rotation lock forever! So glad it's finally coming!

petersun21 says:

No notification center 3 years after?

It's less than a year
Microsoft started over with the NT Kernel last year as the Windows Phone 8

When can we get a darned color wheel for our theme colors? The 20 options simply do not work perfectly for everyone. I don't understand why a color wheel couldn't be offered.

paulxxwall says:

I know att sucks

wraedeo_hed says:

wish they  would implement a "Close All" function....
Really though, I don't know why they just don't implent swiping up to close apps. Everyone else has already ripped off of webOS...
Apple iOS 7
Android ICS and up
Blackberry Playbook
What's stopping us?!?!?! Honestly, an "X" is probably slightly quicker...... But I still want a "Close All"
That is all....

FBirraque says:

Totally agree!

pmartineau says:

YES!!!  I like.
Long live to webOS.

Jeric820PH says:

No display change for 480x800 screens :(

CobaltDragon says:

What would they change? It's not really enough pixels for more tiles.

CobaltDragon says:

I really hope that they enable the snapping ability of Win8 into would be a nice feature on phones with 1080p+ displays.

Hope that Nokia Camera speeds up the picture taking alot, my 1020 is painfully slow. If you are taking pictures of children then you miss alot.

select the Smart Cam as your default

nbktonic says:

Damn, the updates look good! Can't wait.

gmfeld says:

U hope they fix the Bluetooth connectivity with cars. With each release and update its gotten worse so I can barely use my 8x in my car now.

My 920 works great using bluetooth in my minivan. GDR1. Not sure the os is to blame.

danielgray says:

Yes my Nissan X-Trail cannot add addresses to it. Can only call last caller. It is a pain.

marantaz says:


Sarcasm...i's cool...

mr toes says:

I really hope I get it but I'm 90% sure I won't

JimiDiGriz says:

'other' storage not mentioned. I remain unconvinced gdr2 fixed that.

icstars989 says:

Screw driving mode, give me a night time mode...

neogodless says:

The source link does not work. It redirects me to Facebook and asks me to create a Facebook account.

What about notification center?

Is it left to the start screen..or just an another live tile??

We are not sure yet. Latest I have seen seems to show a tile, but it is speculative.

flawless73 says:

This is a shame! Why the hell does it take Microsoft so long to do just the basic things? Makes me want android back sometimes.

mr toes says:

Ugh tell me about it

KnifeAmmo says:

Wait, Will the Ativ S be able to have 3 tile columns as well? (screen: 720x1280) Thanks.

kaio17 says:

I have that doubt as well... I hope so ;)

Daakkon says:

Notification center is in WP 8.1 "blue" its been stated numerous times.

iAdrian23 says:

Meanwhile HTC 8X... -Loading-

Voxophone says:

Screen Rotation Lock.
The only feature I need. Everything else is optional

xrs22 says:

Just a patiently waiting...

kaio17 says:

Extra tile on ativ S maybe? In that 4.8 display shoud do well :3

shelbi805 says:

I hear ya #voxophone. That's the only bit I'm looking forward to

LDSBCfan says:

I don't think I like the look of the "X" above the apps in multitasking view. I don't feel like it fits with the "modern" design standards. I like that we will be able to close apps though.

FBirraque says:

Me either... I don't understand why we can't just scroll down the application to close.

IceDree says:

Rotation Lock ! YAAAAAAAAAAY !

KasakDesign says:

I don't care what the x looks like if it works. Should have had the option to close open windows like this when gdr2 came out

flawless73 says:

No separated volume's?

Jazmac says:

I love how they toss in the L920 in the story to give the story some gravitas. :)

Simba_P says:

Great! Sounds like Windows Phone will finally offer the same feature set and user experienced enjoyed in 2010's Symbian^3.

mrdeeds_72 says:

So the tile set up on GDR3 won't be available on the 8x or Ativ S with their lower resolution?

ramyZgHR says:

Well, GSM arena say that it will be. Fingers crossed because I don't want my 8x to be outdated so soon.

uopjo6 says:

Attach office files. Finally!

crazygonzo says:

The quickest/easiest way to get this GDR3 fix is to buy the upcoming Nokia Lumia 525 in November. 525 will probably come with clearblack display, front facing camera and flash so it'll be a decent $190 phone.

I hope the make the extra tiles optional. I might like it, but I might hate it. The option would be nice for that reason.

I also wonder how the screen lock will work. There is currently no button for that.

I'm happy now! Getting those new live tiles arrangement on my Lumia 920 is awesome.

Nokia storyteller?

How about some VPN support!?

Zomby Jeezus says:

This is really good news once confirmed

link68759 says:

Holy flying fuck, custom SMS tones! Now my phone is almost back to what I could do in 2005

myrandex says:

Hurry up and finish this so ATT will release gdr2

pmartineau says:

I can't wait to be able to close an application without pressing "<-" many time.  When I forgot to close the GPS application my phone battery would drain in a few hours…
The "x" in the corner is nice but I would like a gesture like webOS (move-up the card/application off the screen). I want to use my phone with one hand (left). Reaching the top right of the application-card to press the "x" with my thumb, it's not always easy. 
We should be able to use our phone with one hand...
I miss webOS :( 
My two cent...
PS: I like my L920. I want to give Microsoft the chance to improve the WP8. Coming from webOS, I could have select iOS or Android,  but I select WP8 for the nice tiles. Microsoft please fix the tiles and notifications issues

If u love live tiles then try using apps like "pinbits" and "your battery level" nd u'll never even think of ny other os again. . #diehardwinphan

seriously considering manually updating my 920, AT&T is absolutely dragging their feet on anything update related here. 

AlexanderJJJ says:

Wonder if will get Snapchat with GDR3....hmmmmmmmm :)

Mafiatounes says:

Finally!! I hope MS listens good to what users want! I was given a choice between the Xperia Z1 and Lumia 1020 and went with the Z1 for now, why? because the 1020 has less powerfull hardware (slow but good camera) and i still find the OS in general not finished, if they improve WP8 GDR3 significantly i will switch in less than a heartbeat to the latest Lumia high end device and hopefully it will only improve with WP8.1.

lubbalots says:

What tje point of all these GDR updates when carriers like ATT hold up for major ones like GDR3?

theavrgjoe says:

It's starting to look like when all of the other Lumia phones are getting GDR9, the AT&T Lumia 920 will finally get GDR2.

Fndlumia says:

Its bs isn't it, att was first to market with 920 and will be last to update if ever, in Australia I have had gdr2/amber for months and would be very pissed off if was u, there is no excuse for this. I posted back in may that the update would take forever like wp7 updates and worse the Symbian Anna and belle updates and received huge backlash from ppl claiming it would be available by July and I knew shit, well I was surprised to get it in oz at the start of Aug but not surprised with your situation. Blame is solely on AT&T as Nokia made this available to carriers about the same time. Have heard that u may get it by Oct 23rd

I hope they also introduce Night Mode with GDR3, I hate it when I get disturbed with notifications when I am asleep.

Update: Currently, the only way to do it is by turning off your data connection.

teriansilva says:

Flight mode at night. Those electromagnetic waves probably mess up the brain while sleeping.

PeterFnet says:

Coming to AT&T Christmas 2014

Centauri says:

Gapless audio playback sure would be swell, it being the 21st century and all...


Fndlumia says:

I hope the six tile option really does come to 920 & 1020 as this would cleanup my homepage and reduce scrolling substantially, love this feature which I think is a step towards WP, RT and W8 merging. 1520 far too big for me to consider, would prefer a top end device at 4.5" or even down to 4"

Cleveland2k says:

I got an 820 and I'm so jealous of everyone.

teriansilva says:

I hope bt 4.0 le is added to the high end devices as well.

DalekSnare says:

I'm hoping we get NFC without annoying confirmations that ruin the whole point of NFC, Aptx BT audio, BT 4.0 LE, and Xbox Videos in the Xbox Video app. I'm excited the 920 gets 3 tile wide start screen; that's awesome.

So will this new tile formation go with HTC 8x I mean my screen is so small I really don't see how it could

abailey535 says:

Percentage for battery life would be great...that should have been a no brainer...

eroselim says:

Can this Official Bittersweet be available on all phones running Windows Phone 8? Like 620?

untitled007 says:

"Glance screen will also have notifications, like the lockscreen." <-- does this means that it will show some messages and miss calls notification like the lock screen?

mma2885 says:

Whheeeeeeennn???? That's the question...

g_davis5 says:

May be a stupid question but I cant find the answer. With this update will the 920's resolution be increased to 1080p from 720p?

It would have, but since the 920 is actually a 768 device it's not compatible :-(

wasim sallam says:

and where the notification center is?

T Moore says:

Being able to attach files from email is not all of the problem.
We need to be able to attach multiple files when we send or reply.

I thought that was the update?

the first picture of the yellow lumia looks lke not real
the phone is an at&t model
the model no shows its an indian phone
but in India there is no at&t carrier and no on contract phones

mohit9206 says:

Very unimpressive.Will have to wait for 8.1 for the big features.Hopefully MS will deliver but my hopes are not too high.

JKing106 says:

Still no separate volume controls?!

If the iphone allows you to attach documents without having a file explorer why is it so hard for people to think wp8 can? You don't need a file explorer to attach documents in an email

fishsniffer2 says:

I can't find the FM radio that was supposed to be included in the Amber update for ATT lumia 920? anybody?

Grok Lobster says:

In Music + Videos app, under Collection - not Nokia's music, MS's.

fishsniffer2 says:

Thanks man, really appreciate it!

ntmedia says:

Will they ever address sync issues with new updates? I can't believe that something as simple as syncing playlists and media content can go so terribly wrong. I've switched from Android to Lumia 920, don't get me wrong, I love it, but damn with these sync issues. Everything else is flawless, but that really ruins everything for me :/

tgreg88 says:

I'm pretty sure the 3rd tile row is not happening on any device under 1080p, Joe Belfiore confirmed this here:

For those who want to take a look at some of the news, I updated my Lumia 720 for new version GDR3 see the video on YouTube: /watch?v=i2fVkWK1Kyg   or    ,

Haris Aziz says:

at least there must be one small tile added in column , as there is still wasted space available for existing phones . example lock screen covers more areas then tiles at edges of screen and space between the tiles can be also minimized . so if its is used carefully one small tile can be added without any problem i guess.

Currently I in developer preview of Gdr3.... Email attachment of pdf, doc is not working from email directly.. And pdf attachment is not working...

Pivotgeeks says:

Finally i got my 8x upgraded, its a sweet upgrade i must say.


S h a n e says:

Hey Daniel... can you confirm if the GDR3 or BLACK update will allow office and pdf files to be attached in email (as indicated in this article) or still only thru the office hub???

I have the dev preview GDR3 installed on my L620 in Canada and I can only attach pictures and videos through email...