Update 3 for Windows Phone 8 launches with big screen support

Update 3 for Windows Phone 8 launches with big screen support
Big change in the latest Windows Phone update

We've heard whisperings on the web that Update 3 for Windows Phone 8 was imminent and now Microsoft has officially spilled the beans on the new software.

Top of the billing is support for larger displays with the update enabling manufacturers to throw Windows Phone 8 onto handsets sporting screens up to 6 inches in size (previously they were limited to 5 inches).

With those bigger screens also comes support for full HD 1080p resolutions, meaning future Windows Phones will be able to tackle the likes of the Galaxy S4 and LG G2 as well as the 'phablet' army including the One Max, Note 3 and Xperia Z Ultra.

Quadruple the power

That's right, Update 3 really is a big deal for Microsoft and Windows Phone, as it now also bring in quad-core processor support - although it's only compatible with Qualcomm's 8974 chip.

This will allow handsets to operate more smoothly and run more applications and processes at the same time, resulting in a better user experience.

The first handset tipped to rock a plus size screen and quad-core processor is the Nokia Lumia 1520, which we expect to launch next week at Nokia World on October 22.

While this is all well and good for future handsets, current Windows Phone 8 toting devices won't be benefiting from these advancements - luckily there is more to Update 3.

More, more, more

Microsoft has introduced a new Driving Mode in Update 3, which when enabled will allow you to focus on driving by limiting the amount of notifications you'll be alerted to while on the move.

New internet sharing options means when you enable the Wi-Fi hotspot on your phone and pair it via Bluetooth to a Windows 8.1 PC or tablet it you can connect to the network without having to enter your password.

There are numerous smaller tweaks and enhancements which come in Update 3, including improved Bluetooth connections, better storage management, a range of new, more useful ringtones and a screen rotation lock option.

Update 3 for Windows Phone 8 will be rolling out to devices over the coming months - kicking off in the next few weeks.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.