Nokia may be providing roughly 80 percent of the Windows Phones in use, but there are some of us sporting Windows Phone 8 devices from HTC. And at least for those of us in the U.S. on Verizon, the long-awaited GDR2 update is arriving on our HTC 8X devices, as of today, August 28.
I just downloaded the GDR2 update and an HTC update that came along with it. The build number is 8.0.10327.77 on my phone. (Thanks to Todd Northrop at @LotteryPost for the heads-up on availability of the update for HTC 8X on Verizon.)
Microsoft finished developing General Distribution Release (GDR) 2 around April 2013, from what we've heard. As it is up to carriers and handset makers when these updates are pushed to us, the wait between RTM and delivery can and has been lengthy. The carriers often prefer to wait for multiple firmware and OS updates to be available so they can piggyback them and push them out as a group.
Microsoft officials recently blogged about what's in GDR2 to remind those of us who may have forgotten. The list:
- Substantial fixes to Xbox Music
- Fixes for Bluetooth issues
- Google CalDAV and CardDAV support for calendar/contact syncing
- Reduction in size of "Other" storage
- FM Radio support (depending on carrier)
- DataSense support (depending on carrier)
- Improvements in Skype and Lync support
- Camera improvements
On the Microsoft Windows Phone 8 update history page, Microsoft also lists those features, noting that GDR2 may use the build numbers 8.0.10327.77 or 8.0.10328.78 (depending on phone model numbers and mobile operators).
There were reports over recent months about the GDR2 update bricking some users' HTC 8X phones once it was installed. I tried to track down information about this from HTC. An HTC spokesperson told me earlier this month that they were not able to replicate this despite reports and that user reports in forums didn't specify carrier names, so they were unable to check on it. I can (happily) report my phone is fine after downloading GDR2.
There are still many Windows Phone 8 users who do not have GDR2 (or the accompanying "Amber" update from Nokia, which is for Nokia phones only). I've heard from anxious Lumia 920 users on AT&T that they still don't have the updates -- which also means they cannot use the new Nokia Pro Camera app, which is available on Lumia 1020, 920, 925 and 928 phones.
Nokia has provided this chart listing rough dates for GDR2 availability for its various Lumia various phones. There's no further information available from Microsoft about the schedule.
What's up next? GDR3, which Microsoft is expected to finish up soon and make available starting this fall. Then early next year it will be Windows Phone Blue. It sounds from my sources like this is still the schedule, as it has been for months.