Going from Amber to Update 3 Preview on the Lumia 720

I updated my Lumia 720 to Windows Phone 8 Update 3 Preview last week, and the device seems to be running quite well so far. I had the Amber update for 3 weeks before that and most of the earlier issues seemed to have been fixed in that release itself.

There are a few noticeable new features in the Update 3 Preview:

  • Ability to close open apps from the task switcher (long press the back button to bring up the task switcher and then use the close button)
  • Driving mode when using selected Bluetooth devices – it can start automatically based on your movement speed
  • Screen rotation lock

The update does not seem to have affected the battery life for me, and the device seems to be pretty stable over the past week. The screen freeze issue still happened at times, but it seems to be triggered by the Facebook App. I uninstalled the Facebook App a couple of days back and the screen freeze and random typing issue seems to be gone.

Instructions on how to install Update 3 Preview on your phone for free without a developer account:

  1. Sign up for App Studio
  2. Download the Preview for Developers app on your device
  3. Run the Preview for Developers app and Enable the option
  4. Go to the phone update section of Settings and check for updates
  5. Update 3 Preview should be automatically detected and installed

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Note that the update cannot be rolled back and Amber\GDR2 update is a prerequisite.

The New Microsoft?

Just replace Google with Microsoft and turn back the clock by 15-20 years in the below article and you will notice striking similarities in their strategies to capture the market:

Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary | Ars Technica.

The decisions make perfect business sense and is possibly the easiest way for Google to maintain control over Android while taking care of the fragmentation issues that have plagued the platform over the last few years. As an end user this has both positive and negative implications. The good part is that we do not have to depend as much on OEMs and carriers for Android updates and features. The bad news is mainly for the open source fanatics who thought that Android was “open”.

Of course, if you are an Android device maker, particularly one that is floundering in the face of the Samsung onslaught, then you are in a tough spot. Case in point is HTC that has been making pretty distinct devices that get good reviews, but doesn’t have any profits to show. Good acquisition target for Amazon it seems.

Then, there is also Google’s strategy to suffocate the Windows Phone platform by ignoring it and depriving it of first party Google Apps. Another strategy that makes very good business sense, but not really in the spirit of “Don’t be Evil”.

In a broader sense, the “Don’t be Evil” Google is long gone, having been replaced by a business savvy one which is a natural transition for maturing companies to survive in the marketplace. I just hope that Google Services don’t do to the internet what Microsoft did with Internet Explorer and Office…