Rumor: Windows Phone update to add extra column of Live Tiles on future big-screen devices

HTC 8X for Windows Phone 8Rumors of the next version of Windows Phone 8 have appeared this week, and it could add support for two key features, 1080p screen resolutions and quad-core processors. These are essential to Windows Phone’s growth, as the majority of top-of-the-range Android devices are already including both of these features, and limiting Windows Phone hardware to 720p and dual-core chips makes the platform appear old and subpar.

According to The Verge, the update is known as GDR3, or General Distribution Release 3, and will be coming later this year. The introduction of 1080p screens will almost certainly open the door for a range of smartphone/tablet hybrids based on Windows Phone. This is another market Microsoft has yet to exploit, and if a related rumor is accurate, it has an intriguing solution to the problem of stretching its Live Tiles to fit on a considerably larger screen.

The news comes from ZDNet, where sources inside Microsoft said the GDR3 update would, “include changes in the start screen and core Windows Phone 8 apps, such as possibly adding a third column of apps in the start screen.” If you’ve used Windows Phone 8 (or WP7, for that matter) you’ll know you can only fit two, full-size Live Tiles next to each other, or split them up into a combination of smaller and larger Tiles.

At the moment, the Nokia Lumia 920 has the largest screen of any Windows Phone 8 device, at 4.5-inches, but enlarge this to 5-inches or more, and the two tiles will start to look pretty silly, not to mention waste potentially useful screen real estate. Adding another column, then, makes good sense. Apple made a similar decision when it increased the size of the iPhone’s screen from 3.5-inches to 4-inches, upping the previously available four rows of apps to five.

We could see the introduction of the GDR3 update when the next round of major Windows Phone hardware makes its debut, which should come around September or October this year.

Photography

Sweet 16: Wacom’s Cintiq 16 pen display makes retouching photos a breeze

Wacom’s Cintiq pen displays are usually reserved for the pros (or wealthy enthusiasts), but the new Cintiq 16 brings screen and stylus editing to an approachable price. Does it cut too much to get there?
Mobile

Keep your new iPad (2018) sparkling with the best screen protectors

Your iPad sports a stunning 9.7-inch screen and you'll want it to stay that way. The best iPad (2018) screen protectors guard against cracks, scratches, and even smudging from your fingers. Check out our top picks here.
Product Review

Samsung's Galaxy Fold proves folding phones are the future

Samsung's Galaxy Fold is finally here -- it's the company's first foldable smartphone, with three screens, six cameras, and a dual-cell battery. What's it like to use? We spent some time with it to find out.
Movies & TV

The future of Star Wars: All the known movies and TV series coming your way

Disney has sky-high expectations for its Star Wars universe, with plenty of plans for the franchise on the big screen and television over the next few years. Here are all the upcoming movies and TV shows, both rumored and confirmed.
Mobile

The Pixel 3 range will soon be coming to T-Mobile's network

Google's latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now official and we have all the details from the October 9 event in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Mobile

The Pixel 3a and 3a XL will be coming to the U.S. with T-Mobile

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.
Mobile

Intel gives up on 5G modems for smartphones, will focus on other devices

After a delay that saw Intel's manufacture of 5G modems pushed back to 2020, Intel has given up on the 5G modem business, and will focus its efforts elsewhere. But is something else to blame?
Mobile

The black satin Razer Phone 2 is now available for $500

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.
Mobile

The best LG G7 ThinQ cases will keep your phone looking new

The LG G7 ThinQ comes with a powerful processor, versatile cameras, and amazing sound. But a powerful phone still needs protection and you might want to change the style. Here are the best LG G7 ThinQ cases.
Mobile

Multiple phone leaks show May 21 is going to be a big day for Honor

Honor will launch at least one new smartphone on May 21, at an event taking place in London. Leaks have indicated the Honor 20 will take center stage, with a Lite version, and perhaps even another model also showing up on the day.
Mobile

Breaking news: Samsung responds to reported Galaxy Fold display issues

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.
Mobile

The Avalon V is Alcatel’s first Verizon-exclusive smartphone

Alcatel is has announced a new phone, the Avalon V -- but this budget device isn't what makes the announcement special. It's Alcatel's first phone on the Verizon network, and it's available now.
Mobile

Big, beautiful, and breakable: Check out the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases

There’s no denying Samsung’s ability to turn out an attractive smartphone, but glass curves are expensive to fix and metal chips easily. We've rounded up the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases on the market.
Mobile

Sidestep banking fees with the nationwide launch of T-Mobile Money

T-Mobile has launched its Money banking service nationwide in the U.S., and it offers an extremely tempting set of features for everyone, including industry-leading interest rates, a powerful app, and no banking fees.