In what’s sure to be disconcerting to long time Windows Phone users who’ve had to muddle through the platform’s odd update cycle before, T-Mobile has finally started rolling out Windows Phone 8 Update 3 to users of Nokia’s Lumia 925 without the Lumia Black update that Nokia announced at the same time.
Reports of the Lumia 925 receiving an update surfaced yesterday at WPCentral. As those reports coincided with AT&T’s own Lumia updates most users assumed that the update included Lumia Black. Unfortunately, the update didn’t, leaving T-Mobile Lumia 925 owners to ponder when they’ll actually get the other part of their software update.
To be fair Windows Phone 8 Update 3 does include some nifty features. The update adds a new storage utility that finally clears up the app space issues that cropped up last year. Originally, user picking up Windows Phone devices often reported that their device would inform them that it had no more space to store media, they’d then go into the settings to discover that a large chunk of the device’s storage was taken up by an unidentified app or feature.
This update also adds Driving Mode. With Driving Mode enabled the Lumia 925 detects when it’s in a moving car and automatically send messages informing callers and would be messengers that the user in on the road and will follow-up with them at a later time.
Other features include the option to close apps from Windows Phone 8’s multitasking screen, updated Bluetooth settings, Internet sharing over a Bluetooth connection and the option to customize alerts for voicemails, reminders and messages.
For the record, it’s the Lumia Black update that adds the lock screen notification system to Nokia’s Windows Phones. It’s this update that also upgrades users to Bluetooth 4.0 LE and introduces Steps, a way for users to track how active they are throughout the day.
Split updates like this are possible because Windows Phone device updates usually come in two parts. The first, part is created by Microsoft. It includes changes and fixes going out to all devices running Windows Phone. The second part is created by each smartphone maker. This part of the update includes changes and features that are exclusively available for that manufacturer’s device. As both updates are usually created in tandem, most mobile carriers release both updates at the same time.
As with most Windows Phone updates, Windows Phone 8 Update 3 is rolling out to Lumia 925 owners slowly. Users will be automatically prompted to download the update when it becomes available. Users can manually check to see if the update is available by going into their device’s Settings, tapping on Phone Update and tapping Check for Updates.
Nokia has publicly stated that all of its Windows Phone 8 devices will get the Lumia Black update, however the Windows Phone ecosystem leaves the final decision on updates to the mobile carrier.