Leaked Windows Phone GDR3 update reveals new features, could debut on the Lumia 1520

The next version of the Windows Phone operating system is all set to be released soon, but Microsoft has been keeping quiet about its features. We’ve got a good idea what some of them will be, but the finer points remain a mystery. This has changed today though. A forum post on the WPCentral.com website has revealed a few more choice details, and from a most unusual source.

According to the poster, named xs2k, he/she bought a nearly new Nokia Lumia 920 from an advert on Craigslist, and it turned out to have the GDR3 update already installed. It apparently came from a developer, and while not in its box, this was the first time the device had been used.

So what’s new? Performance is said to have been improved, with the new Lumia 920 feeling faster than an older device without the updated software. Applications can now be closed through the multi-tasking window, there’s an orientation lock setting, and a driving mode. This activates when the phone is paired with an in-car Bluetooth system, and mutes all notifications, including calls and SMS if you want, plus you can set up an automatic reply. Further features revealed through some screenshots shows the addition of Dolby Mobile, a Flip to Silence option, and a restore over Wi-Fi feature.

The update is called Bittersweet Shimmer, or at least Nokia’s version is, and according to The Verge, it’ll make its debut on the Lumia 1520 phablet – a phone that will need the GDR3 update if it’s to live up to our expectations – which may launch at an event on September 26. A phone named the HTC Harmony is also mentioned, but no other details seem to be available yet. It’s the hardware side of the Windows Phone GDR3 update that makes it exciting, as it should add support for 1080p screen resolutions, and quad-core processors.

Microsoft has provided no official information about the GDR3 software or its release date.

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