Microsoft has just announced the third major update to Windows Phone 8, and while it is aimed at adding support for new chips and screen resolutions, it also brings certain improvements for existing users. Things like rotation lock, a new driving mode, internet sharing over bluetooth, the ability to change alert tones, close apps, and better storage management among others.
But unlike the GDR2 release, which after months of being announced is still not available for all Windows Phone 8 devices, your wait for GDR3 won’t be as long. While it make still take months for it be approved by the carrier and come to you ‘officially’, Microsoft was opened a backdoor for enthusiasts who cannot wait – the Developer Preview Program.
So if you own a Windows Phone 8 device, and want to get the just announced GDR3 release right now and want to avoid paying for a Developer Account, here’s what you need to do:
- Sign up for the free App Studio program. It takes less than 10 seconds, you just need to sign in with your MS account and accept the terms and conditions.
- Download the ‘Preview for Developers‘ app from the Windows Phone Store.
- Open the app on the phone, accept the terms and conditions. Sign in with the MS account you registered with at the App Studio program.
- The app will tell you to goto Settings and check for updates like you usually do. The update will show-up, and you can install GDR3 like it were a regular over-the-air update.
That’s literally it. That’s how easy Microsoft has made it for you to get early access to the GDR 3 update and kudos to them for doing that. This not only keeps the developers happy as they get time to test their apps, but the 1% of the population that keeps cribbing about slow updates no longer has anything to complain about.
There are a few caveats though. MS warns that this might void warranty, and that you will not be able to go back to GDR 2 post updating to the new release. But if you like to live dangerously – GDR 3 awaits.