Back in 2014, we reported that Windows Phone 8.1 would likely see two GDR updates during the year. One update (GDR1) was slated to be released around June and was expected to feature bug fixes. The second update (GDR2) was expected around October. Microsoft released GDR1, also known as Windows Phone 8.1.1, last year. However, Microsoft has yet to reveal any details on GDR2, also known as Windows Phone 8.1.2.
At least until today, when Windows Phone 8.1 GDR2 document was spotted on Microsoft's website. The document is dated January 28, 2015 and it describes features that are intended for manufacturing partners only, as it requires hardware support. So what does the document state?
- Video over LTE – Customize specific settings and behavior for Video over LTE to meet mobile operator requirements including Showing or hiding the LTE video calling switch, Enabling video conferencing, etc.
- Restore Start tile layout – Append the OEM-defined Start screen layout to the bottom of the user's backed up Start screen layout when the user restores their device from a backup.
- More phone languages - Bangla (Bangladesh), Khmer, Kiswahili, Lao
- VPN Configuration service provider – New AlwaysOn value in ConnectionType; New Policies/AppIdleTimeout setting in the CSP
Interestingly enough, GDR2 was rumored to bring support for 2K display and Snapdragon 805 chipsets, but unfortunately, it is not there. Perhaps it will arrive with Windows 10 for phones, but we will just have to wait and see.
One of the biggest features that is present in GDR2 is the support for Video over LTE. No word on exactly what this feature entails, but it seems like Microsoft is bringing support for video conferencing to Windows Phone. We may see third-party apps and carrier supported services utilize this feature.
"Append the OEM-defined Start screen layout to the bottom of the user's backed up Start screen layout when the user restores their device from a backup." This feature allows carriers to populate their apps at the bottom of your Start screen. Not much detail on what this entails, but it seems to allow carriers to ensure their apps are visible on your Start screen after you restore your device from a backup.
Keep in mind that GDR2 may have more features and fixes, but this document only reveals what affects hardware partners. For example, Video over LTE requires hardware support, so that's why it was mentioned in the document. We'll have more on GDR2 as it develops.