Microsoft introduces Windows Phone 8 Update 3, plus a new developer preview program

Microsoft has rolled out Windows Phone 8 Update 3, along with a new Developer Preview Program.

The update will enable new Windows Phone devices, enhance the platform for current users and partners and improve overall quality of the OS for users.

New features include support for bigger, higher-resolution screens (5- and 6- touch screens), and       support for more powerful hardware – particularly the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core chipset.

Another feature is improved Internet sharing—pairing your device with a Windows 8.1 device will enable users to connect their Windows Phone via Bluetooth to ensure connectivity on their Windows 8.1 devices. No need to enter a password or dig out your phone to turn on Internet Sharing.

Other updates include more custom ringtones; rotation Lock; better storage management; WiFi access out of the box; and better Bluetooth. With the update, apps can easily be closed with with App Switcher with just a simple X.

However, the Accessibility Feature will not be available in Asia.

Microsoft is seeing a strong momentum in Asia. According to the IDC Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker 2013 for Q2, Windows Phone is expected to be the fastest growing smartphone OS in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) in Q2/3 2013. Windows Phone growth shipment in Q2 was at 52.7% (year-on-year).

Windows Phone is the 2nd most popular OS in Vietnam smartphone market with a 15.3% market share in Q2 2013. In Thailand, Windows Phone has a 12.6% market share in Q2

Microsoft also announced the new Windows Phone Preview for Developers, which will allow app builders early access to the OS updates.