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Microsoft updates Preview for Developers on Windows Phone

Preview for Developers Windows Phone

There was a time when a lot of us didn’t have Update 3. It wasn’t until Microsoft announced a Windows Phone Preview for Developers program that allowed a lot of you to grab Update 3 on your handset. They also put out an app, Preview for Developers, that enables you opt into the program on your phone. That little app just picked up an update.

What’s new in this update to Preview for Developers? Unfortunately there’s no changelog in the app description. So we’re left to speculate and see if you all notice anything different. The app literally just allows you to opt-in or out of the program and from what we can tell nothing has changed.

Could this be a little prep work so that developers can install Windows Phone 8.1 in the future? That’s wild speculation, but it’s a fun thought. Sound off below if you notice anything different. Not familiar with the program for developers? Check out our hands-on with Update 3 and the app doing its thing to get you the latest software.

Preview for Developers can be downloaded from the Windows Phone Store.

Thanks for the tip Jeffrey B!

QR: Preview for Developers



There are 158 comments. Sign in to comment

elmacho says:

WP 8.1 announcement during MWC? exciting times ;)

If you watched the podcast, probably not. Maybe a bit of a tease, but full announcement at //build.

elmacho says:

Would definitely like to see something from MSFT at MWC,considering that this is the only event in the year where they are,tease or whatever, rather than to wait till April :)

hopmedic says:

Yes, it would make more sense to announce 8.1 at BUILD, which is what most of the credible leaks are suggesting.

hopmedic says:

Also, not sure whether BUILD will see the SDK foe 8.1 released to devs. After making most of us angry with 8.0, we can hope they learned something.

monotheist says:

I only hope they open up the API a little bit more, a extremely closed API hampers innovation and that is the reason we have less apps. I understand security and all, but I am sure there can be checks and balanced

I feel this is a bit of a cop out though. Developers can build apps just fine for WP, but because they can't use custom APIs that require deeper system access or they can't use a different API from the one provided by Microsoft, they state its not "open". WP is more open than iOS yet iOS has apps developers have stated "can't" come to WP.

I honestly feel that even though new APIs should be made for the os, and naturally so, I don't feel the system should open up any much more than it is

DracheMitch says:

//build/ is going to focus heavily on Windows. Microsoft is having desperate issues with their bread and butter right now, and they seem to finally be getting their act together and fully responding to criticisms instead of just telling everyone "you just don't get Windows 8, but you will love it once it is crammed down your throat."


I would be doubtful of Microsoft took any focus off of Windows at //build/ this year.  If MS gets more RT developers, Windows Phone benefits. Truthfully, MWC would be the right place to reveal Windows Phone 8.1, release it right before //build/, and then have sessions for it.  //build/ is not like Apple's dog and pony show, it is not designed as a platform for keynotes and product reveals, it is a developers' conference, not a trade show.


"Revealing" Windows Phone 8.1 at //build/ would mean it would not be available until well afterwards, meaning no chance for Windows Phone sessions that cover the new OS, because developers sign up for these sessions in advance. 

Not exactly. Seeing as MS has the Dev. Preview program, they could announce and release WP8.1 same day. Furthermore, developers could be signed up for sessions and not even know it. For instance it could be labeled as a WP development session, and post announcement it could be revealed that the sessions will focus mainly on development for 8.1.

densbucs says:

Great comment. They really need to combine the api's and "runtime language" of Win8 and WinPhone. This will allow WinPhone apps to be ported to Win8 much easier. You can code things in WinPhone, but the same code doesn't do the same thing in Win8. That shouldn't be.

vkelkar says:

Love this news

kingjah says:

Before we have a party, lets consider the price of the iPhone and the best selling 5xx Lumias.

mswindows101 says:

Doesn't matter.. A win is a win.. Break out the confetti!!

LennH says:'s a parade!!!

12Danny123 says:

+1520 :-). agreed

vkelkar says:

A win is a win correctly said position matters

Good article Sam! Maybe this is like you said, preparing for 8.1. And especially with the rumors saying that users will get 8.1 in May-ish.

cuwe says:

Seems you are right . Hope the this wild speculation come true .

vkelkar says:

Yes its says preview for developers.. So definitely when 8.1 comes out as a beta stage it will be available throught this app same as done in windows pc... Nice move by microsoft.....

TechFreak1 says:

WP 8.1 is anticipated to have reached rtm just before build. So yeah May - June for the preview would probably be when the rollout happens BUT due to carrier testing it may not be untill July, when we consumers get the update. I wonder what goodies will Nokia include this time :p.

vkelkar says:

Most awaited

Carrier testing? Make it more like August lol

kingjah says:

Come on people! Lets not face reality and keep adding months...

Ankmeyester says:

Can we expect to get WP8.1 alongside developer release if we have this app? waiting for nokia to push it might take a while. wait, at that time it'll be microsoft...but still curious about the question

If this is a Preview For Developers app...I'm guessing we'll be getting 8.1 before May when it's pushed to consumers? Perhaps just before or after //build so apps can be prepared?

irsyadhhs says:

I think, mwc will be the place that msft is gonna announce 8.1. And in april, we know all the feature of 8.1 alongside preview program

Arsee17 says:

There was an article posted here a week or two ago saying the date was rumored to be March 11th. Truth of the rumor was a 9/10.

Brandon619 says:

I want update build 3 for my T-Mobile 925 so I can have a custom ringtone for my text messages grhhh.

Chef316 says:

I have it on my T-Mobile Lumia 925! I used this program to get it too!

DracheMitch says:

I have a Lumia 520 AT&T and all I got from this was GDR2 and Amber, which didn't show as an update until I installed this a couple weeks ago. No idea why I can't see GDR3 and Black. 

Did you meet at least one of these things:
• Have a registered developer account linked to the device?
• Developer unlock your phone (no Dev. Account required)?
• Install the certificate from Windows Phone App Studio post-registration?

If not the Preview app does nothing. Furthermore, black is a firmware update, and as such cannot be installed via the preview program.

Just download the WP8 SDK and unlock your phone. MS last year change developer registration rules where anyone can developer unlock their phone, despite not being a registered developer. After unlocking, just get the preview app and opt in to updates. Then update. :)

Chef316 says:

Thanks for the heads up!!!

makarand14 says:

I guess, all Nokia WP8 (like 85%+ of all WP devices) got updated to GDR3 + Black so Microsoft updated the Preview app for WP 8.1. Yaay!!

Winnabe says:

Where did you get that figure from? So many people I know are not even aware they need to update their phones.

makarand14 says:

Its Developers Preview app we talking about. those users definitely have updated to Lumia Black by now. kinda obvious IMHO

fwaits says:

I think you mean GDR3. Black is the device update from Nokia, has nothing to do with the OS version and this preview app.

makarand14 says:

GDR3 is included in Lumia Black. so as major Windows Phone 8 are Nokia users, major developers use Nokia WP8 devices, the preview app needs to be updated to better support for post GDR3 developer previews.

rockstarzzz says:

GDR3 isn't included in Black. Microsoft gives GDR3. Nokia gives Black.

makarand14 says:

my dear, when you install Lumia Black, first GDR3 is installed then Black is installed. So technically... ^

Ahmad Aniq says:

LOL , not true

Promethius99 says:

Hi, I got the preview for developers app back in October, and i had custom tones and the glance screen straight away, i have had the new update, but what of the pedometer on the glance screen? and the ability to change the colour of the night clock, are they different things? has anyone else got these other two functions? or do i continue to waight for them?.

bkbkjbb says:

Your misinformed. I had gdr3 looong before Lumia black. They came bundled because thats the way they did it. Gdr3 & black have nothing to do with each other.

psiu_glen says:

I have GDR3 through the Preview program. I do NOT have the Nokia Black update. When the Black update does come to me, I most likely will only receive it (unless VZW has a small GDR3 version update as well).

You can get GDR3 through the Preview program.
You can get it with the Black update.
You can get it on HTC and Samsung phones.
When you get the Nokia Black update, if you do not already have GDR3, it will be installed.

Hope this helps.

kingjah says:

You my dear, are wrong. I got GDR3 through DV preview which since than has also finally been released by Verizon, still waiting for Nokia to push Black to L928.

You are somewhat misinformed. Carriers push firmware updates alongside OS updates, but this doesn't mean GDR3 is packaged with black. In fact, those running the latest version of GDR3 via the preview will not receive GDR3 from the carriers, only receiving the "Black" firmware when the updates are pushed.

None of all your comments exactly proves makarand14 is wrong. He is saying Lumia Black includes features of GDR3 not that GDR3 cannot be installed before Black (that's obvious,  you do). Anyone of you tried installing Black without having GDR3 or Dev Preview and get the features? That'd prove him right.

psiu_glen says:

What? No, just no.

Nokia Black includes some features that Nokia has designed for their phones. It will only install with GDR3.

GDR3 is an OS release from Microsoft with it's own set of features that are common between all WP8 devices.

Can't. Black requires GDR3 and is pushed simultaneously by carriers along side GDR3. Makarand14 was implying those updated to GDR3 already have Black, however, this is not true as the Developer Preview only pushes OS updates, and as such does not include either OEM nor carrier firmware . Furthermore, those running the release version of GDR3 via the preview will only receive Black, and will not receive GDR3, once updates are pushed.

Cool, I have my lumia 1020 factory spec and an w1 with it developer unlocked

KFBradley says:

Feeling like Bad Luck Brian. Tweets at WPCentral 3 hours before article is published. Gets no credit.

If that's your biggest problem of the day, count your blessings.

Martsicky says:

come on!!! Does it really matter to get mentioned at the end of article on WPC??!! Mate, go outside and have fun with friends, so you might get thanked in real life :)

KFBradley says:

No, it does not matter. It was not intended to be taken seriously.

irsyadhhs says:

Name doesnt matter.

Promethius99 says:

Dont worry, i have to wait ages for a simple reply to my questions!!! sucks though dont it!!

frett says:

Yes, sometimes it does.....

yjcbn says:

It support more languages in this update version,such as Chinese.

Yep - localization was pretty much the update.

mursel says:

expect the unexpected :|

I hope it's a pre-8.1 prep, but another possibility is if OEMs can now push their firmware updates out with this. Or at least, that would be great.

aerosmillie says:

Ooooh early preview would be awesome

Promethius99 says:

I have had it since October,It aint that good,(but still worth having i suppose)

And Sam, go to bed. It's almost 1AM here (and where you are). :P

Terence_27 says:

I agree, but here in our country the time is 4:44 pm February 01, 2014

TechFreak1 says:

These guys are machines :p lol, churning out article after article. I bet his probably working on another article lol.

irsyadhhs says:

I think, msft will announce 8.1 at mwc with lumia ran by it. But, we will have to wait //build for full featured 8.1

busyman96 says:

I got an update (8.0.10521.155) on my already Black + GDR3 Lumia 820. Don't know what it does.

bitz0071 says:

I didn't get the update Lumia 820 Black+ GDR3 dev unlock. India. Preview for developers updated.

busyman96 says:

It's actually an older update from December that's already been reported.

akshaypn says:

Then why this preview pushed me to update on my already black it just a different no for preview or i may have get something extra under the hood

cannon#WP says:

so few on here are talking about this. my phone is being updated and i have no clue whats in it. there should be something new if it's newer than gdr3, right?

Usually its bug fixes and background enhancements. Also, those running the preview GDR3 were updated to release edition via the developer preview.

marcox92 says:

Either here on my Lumia 1520 (France) sim free;  after update of developper preview i check update and i got the same version you mentionned; nevertheless I don't see any (visible) change; follow up !

I have a question.. Windows PCs come in all shapes and sizes and have high end and low end devices that can happily gobble up an OS update without so much as a burp or hiccup. Why do phones need a firmware update to accompany the os update everytime?

wptom says:

They do not. It's just Nokia's choice to regularly add stuff to the phones which can only be added with firmware updates. If you look at Samsung and HTC they simply release the Microsoft updates to their phones and this is most of the time a really quick process.


If you use Lumias and don't need Nokia's additions like Glance or whatnot then you have bought the wrong phone if you're looking for quick updates.

Thanx for the first part but the second half is stupid. But why wait for an OS update to send glance screen and whatnot? I am led to believe that nokia is delaying updates unnecessarily and its making WP OS like android (for pure WP experience go for a Samsung or HTC phone and if u want Nokia SenseWiz get a Lumia). Correct me if this was not what you meant.

It takes a bit. Nokia works closely with Microsoft to have features added to the OS, but when Nokia adds features via firmware, it is required to wait till the update is released to ensure everything works. Then after Nokia finish and package the updates, carriers require testing of these updates to ensure there are no problems or any interference with their systems and services. Sometimes if there are problems, the OEM will be required to fix said problems, even further delaying the process. Once its all said and done, a few months have passed before the update reaches consumers.

Nokia actually provides a better experience for WP. Its not like android, which actually customizes the core os and features. Instead, Nokia works WITH Microsoft to implement features and to add on to the OS without disrupting the core experience. In fact, Microsoft buying Nokia is supposed to further shorten the time between RTM and carriers pushing updates, since Microsoft/Nokia will be able to finish firmware updates along side OS updates, thus RTM-Ing simultaneously. From that point all carriers will need to do is test and release the updates. No waiting on Nokia to finish building and packaging firmware updates.

however, if a user wishes to receive core OS updates sooner, separately from firmware updates, they can developer unlock their phone (its free. No developer account necessary) and join the preview, which is essentially an early update program.

cannon#WP says:

samsung and htc have released firmware updates as well, just not as often.

Moaske says:

Has anyone had a bright moment and jotted down the version numbers?
I had the update and afterward it is: 8.0.10521.155
Anyone recall what it was before?
And I heard somewhere that there were some issues with toast notifications that might be fixed now. :)

akshaypn says:

I have the same OS version no. on 1320 and 720...i don't know about the previous no...but i feel my phones have slowed down a bit after this update...

toraji says:

Did not do the update yet and have the same version # on my 1520

szssamuel says:

So if I update my Lumia 620, to MS's GDR3 Dev Preview, then will I be able to get Lumia Black when it comes out for my country/operator?

Promethius99 says:

Yes, but you may not get all the new functions promised though! i havent.

Aashish13 says:

Will we get WP 8.1 in april thru preview??

Not necessarily. People without Preview had also recieved  GDR updates.

Bob101910 says:

Got this to get the update early and ended up making a few apps for personal use. Surprisingly easy to make a simple app with App Studio with no knowledge about app making

Promethius99 says:

Now that sound good, whats the score with that then?

akshaypn says:

I was kind of feeling foolish till now for signing up for this on my new 1320..but now i think its okay...good things are coming soon hopefully....

samcode7 says:

I still can't believe how long it takes to get 8.1. One and a half years?!?! Good God..

I think its mainly because of the internal restructuring of MS and the fact that windows 8 did not satisfy a lot of users

Windows 8.1 is already out there as Windows 8 didn't satisfy many. I guess he's asking about Windows Phone 8.1 and yeah you are right in that aspect, internal restructuring or modifications takes time...

What i meant was.. Since windows 8 was not well received MS had to spend more time on windows 8.1. If things had gone according to plan MS could have released windows 8.1 a bit late along with WP 8.1(probably in dec or Jan)

For me (Lumia 1520) the touchscreen-issue seems to be gone after that update. But I don't know how or why...

sejgiul says:

Oh my. I've found what's new in this update, you can now charge your phone while it's off! Yay!

husam2277 says:

What?!! Which update?

husam2277 says:

Lool, I meant update for the phone or the developer preview?!! The preview app has nothing to do with the capability to charge while turned off...

Promethius99 says:

Whats the build number? i gota go check 

sejgiul says:

The phone update.... Not preview app duh!

guillams says:

The change I notice is the app seens works faster hahahaha

hotraia says:

I think they have just changed the server

rath79 says:

Slightly off topic, anyone know why when you turn your phone off then on again the volume resets to 13? Never did that on 7.x

Aashish13 says:

Is your kids corner on. The problem ur getting may be the rearest problem on this earth

No its not that rare. Mine resets to 13 after a warning of permanent hearing damage. This happens randomly sometimes when i m watching video, plugging/unplugging earphones etc

Strange. That warning for permanent hearing loss appeared only once to me (when I had my hands on the phone for the first time and raised volume above 13). And it repeats only If I hard reset my phone but again for one time only...

Promethius99 says:

Havent noticed that,but does your phone slowly turn down all the volume as the phone runs out of battery?, mine does, after half way through the battery power i can hardly hear any volume at all!!

mtimbs says:

This runs well on the 520

Yeah these updates are meant for "Windows Phone 8 Devices".

I sure that you get the update before the actual public release because it going to be a long time before the update actually hits our devices. Given the history I say its going to be a May-ish release, begining with the highend devices first and then going on to other devices. Maybe end of may or early June. Its going to be a while and preview for developers is my only hope; I just can't wait that long :P

Promethius99 says:

Well I opted into the preview for developers download,and i had the glance screen and custom ringtones ability straight away,that was in October,but I had heard that when the 'Black' (GDR3) update was on general release, it would also give a pedometer on the glance screen, and the ability to change the colour of the night clock.

Well the GDR3 update has been here in the UK, and i still havent got these last two functions!!, is this because I have the preview app? or do I continue waiting? i am a bit confused. Microsoft what is happening?!!!

jSon1175 says:

Glance is a Nokia developed feature, not MS, so it's not included in the GDR. You are referring to Glance 2.0 and that is included in the Lumia Black firmware update provided by Nokia.

Hmm.. That's weird. I haven't heard of the pedometer feature although I do that the feature the change the color. Look under Settings>Glance>Night Colors It should be there. If you don't have it, then go to extra+info and make sure that says Lumia Black. 

If it does and you still don't have it, might I suggest using Nokia Retail updater and restore your phone? or this a feature you can live without? :/

GDR3 and Black are two different things. The former is software, the latter hardware (firmware). The preview only pushes software updates. Not firmware, which still requires carrier testing.

Wasn't there talk of a business/enterprise update that still needs to drop this spring? Maybe that's being prepped.

AngryNil says:

Highly likely to be rolled into 8.1, wouldn't be worth pushing them out separately.

rockstarzzz says:

Any news on Telegram release Sam? Today was meant to be the day right?

wptom says:

Could be the preparation for the Business Compatibility Pack or whatever its name was which was announced last year. It is supposed to be released in early 2014 and will provide us with VPN and other stuff desperately needed in corporate environments. I hope this will also be prepublished to devs.

Gohar428 says:

Any news abt the black update for lumia620

Nothing. Nokia forgot us :(

Hello people,


After unlocking and installing the latest software update, i found out that it's possible you can change the sms/message/chat sound in one of your one sounds.


Thanks MS

pookyjoralyn says:

hmmm, WP 8.1 in the air...
I uninstalled it straight after getting GDR3 :D

feels faster.. ;) ;) ;)

fbendotti says:

I just did this update and then did a manual check for update, and I'm now receiving a system update

Promethius99 says:

Got the update, wheres my colour change for night clock and pedometer on glance screen?

Settings>glance> should be under "peek" and "always on when charging"?

Kashyapjani says:

I recently bought NL925 and got the Lumia Black update the next day. After reading this article, I registered for appstudio and installed the preview app. Got updated from 8.0.10517.150 to 8.0.10521.155.

Well, who doesn't like an update?

Kashyapjani says:

Pressing the back button hides the volume bar. Not sure if it was this way before getting on 10521.155

AngryNil says:

Was that way since 2010.

psiu_glen says:

I doubt we will get 8.1 early, I am guessing they will want new manufacturer firmware with it. My 2¢.

+1 if you came just to see if your getting an update earlier on your phone :) sorry to disappoint... Again

fbendotti says:

Lumia black Nokia
920 att now installed

This has nothing to do with the Preview...

robbz94 says:

I hope we can download 8.1!!

TechAbstract says:

Does this fix the volume issue for ATT Lumia 920 Black?

bromoid says:

What volume issue?

S h a n e says:

L620 in Canada with GDR3 Dev Preview installed... still waiting for BLACK & wondering if anyone can confirm the ability to attach office / pdf files directly thru email...

I know how to do this thru the office hub, but need to attach multiple .doc, .xls,& .pdf files and its annoying, inconvenient, and very time consuming sending multiple emails to someone.

Daniel Rubino wrote an article about GDR3 and it's the only post I can find that refers to the file attachment limitation being uppdated...

Can anyone confirm a difference between GDR3 Dev. Preview and carrier approved GDR3 ? And, if emailing different file types thru email has been expanded? Because GDR3 Dev. Preview hasn't resolved my last complaint about WP limitation.





bromoid says:

AFAIK ability to attach multiple office & pdf files directly thru email is coming in 8.1 update.

S h a n e says:

any source links confirming this?

bromoid says:

No but file manager is coming in 8.1. You are not able to send all those files directly thru email because there is no file manager in wp8.

dimatador says:

Every one I just run the app and there where two Microsoft updates that came up, this was done to my lm920 that has already been up dated before with them updates from Microsoft not the black update, so before the update I already had all of the goodies that come with the black update "except" the color selection option that comes with black, I hope I'm clear enough, anyhow I don't see any changes in the OS. I would add the screen photos that took of the update but I can not upload images here

dimatador says:

I think that there is a change on the phone storage after this minor Microsoft update, this is in my lm920 that is not running the black update

dimatador says:

Okay, here I am again, this time I checked with my LM1020 that has all of its latest updates installed including the Lumia black, I can confirm that this update is definitely new(for me) I did not go throw with the update but I took a screen shot of my screen this is the update: 8.0.10521.155 Microsoft
Its one of the updates that came throw in my LM920 except that in the 920 there were two updates rather than one in my LM1020. if any one has had this update in the past than is not new, some one confirm please if is new or I just missed it before,thanks

pahutakz says:

i hope they will release 8.1 on dev preview so that we can test it

wangsa86 says:

That would be sweet!

Silver Wind says:

"You'll receive early access by enabling the preview on your phone."
The older version said "Windows Phone Preview" instead of "the preview". . That's the only difference I could find comparing them side by side. .

This could potentially mean that they're considering renaming windows phone (rt-wp merging probably)