Windows Phone 8 GDR2

[sc:mobile-category ] Well Bell finally rolled out GDR to my HTC 8X and here’s what I’ve found so far.

Installation was pretty standard, about a 210meg package, installed in two steps.  First the ROM update and then the data migration.  Overall it too probably 5 minutes or so.

After coming back up three things caught my attention:

  1. New IE settings
  2. Data Sense
  3. FM Radio

On the first load of IE after the update a new settings dialog box popped up, several new options (or ones I don’t remember for the last first time) came up:

  1. Reduce data use by sending URLs to the Data Sense service
  2. Send browsing history to Microsoft to help improve Bing services
  3. Use SmartScreen Filter to help protect against unsafe websites
  4. Send a Do Not Track request to websites you visit

No real explanation on the first one so I disabled it.  I assume it probably sends the request to MS and then proxies it to try to shrink images and other content for size.  Not something I want a third-party to be in the middle of so I disabled it.

The second one I disabled as well, MS doesn’t get my browsing history and likewise, SmartScreen was disabled as well.

I left the Do Not Track enabled, it can’t hurt even if it doesn’t help much either.

Data Sense is kind of neat, it’s wrong on my phone, but neat non the less.  I have a 500meg data plan and it currently things I’ve used 44meg, while Bell thinks I’ve used 133.  This could just be due to the fact that this is the first month and Data Sense doesn’t have enough data to go back far enough in to my usage.  I’ll keep an eye on it next month when things reset and see how close it is to what Bell reports.

And finally the FM radio.  It’s not really useful, but having the hardware support it and the OS not kind of was irksome.  On my old Zune HD I did use the FM radio once in a while so I might use it on my phone as well.  Have to wait and see I guess.

There are three other things to note about GDR2:

  1. There’s been a change in the Mail app, when you change to a different folder, the folder list has a brief pause and a “loading” animation now that wasn’t there before GDR2.
  2. I have a BlackBerry Music Connect in my car to add Bluetooth support to my radio, previously when I shut the car off, the Bluetooth connection would drop and the music would continue to play (that was a bug).  Now on the disconnect the music stops correctly but instead of just a pause it is a stop (which is another bug).  This means the current play list stops and is no longer accessible from the lock screen.  You instead have to unlock the phone and restart the playlist from the music hub.  You can get around this by pausing the music before shutting off the car, but it’s defiantly a bug in the updated Bluetooth code.
  3. I’ve re-installed Skype and so far the phone hasn’t locked up on my yet so I’ll give it a few more days and then say MS has fixed their VOIP instability issue.

So far so good, another touted feature of GDR2 is better battery life, still too soon to say if there is any difference, but it will be something else to keep my eye on.

Greg

Greg

Greg is the head cat at JumbleCat, with over 20 years of experience in the computer field, he has done everything from programming to hardware solutions. You can contact Greg via the contact form on the main menu above.

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Greg

Greg

Greg is the head cat at JumbleCat, with over 20 years of experience in the computer field, he has done everything from programming to hardware solutions. You can contact Greg via the contact form on the main menu above.

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