Microsoft has announced a new Windows Phone 8 update that will bring features like FM radio and add CalDAV and CardDav support, which will extend support for Gmail and other Google services. The announcement came following the launch of the Nokia Lumia 925
, which would be the first phone to ship with the update pre-installed.
The update is expected to roll out to existing Windows Phone 8 devices later this summer, and will activate FM radio in handsets that feature capable hardware. It's interesting to note that Windows Phone 7.x supported FM radio while Windows Phone 8 did not have this feature until this update. Nokia's new lineup of smartphones barring the Lumia 620 sport FM hardware, which will become functional after the update.
These features of the new update were first revealed by an unofficial report back in March.
It is worth recalling that Google had announced it would cease support for its Google Sync service for new users starting 30th January 2013, later extending the date to 31st July. This would've meant Windows Phone users won't have been able to setup their Google account on the OS beyond this 'sunset date'. As promised earlier, the new update will also bring support for the sync protocols CalDAV (for Calendars) and CardDAV (for Contacts), which, when combined with IMAP (for Email, already in Windows Phone 8) will be able to fully replace the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol, to synchronise email, contacts, and calendar with Google and other services that support these protocols.
The update will bring some changes to Xbox Music making it easier to select, download, and pin tunes in Xbox Music and improve the accuracy of song information and other metadata. It will also extend the Data Sense feature of Windows Phone 8 to more telecom operators.
With the Lumia 925, Nokia had announced a slew of camera features including a new Nokia Smart Camera mode that allows users to create high quality images, offering the ability to take ten shots at once and then edit them afterwards with tools and effects like Best Shot, Action Shot and Motion Focus. Nokia will be bringing these features to its existing compatible Windows Phone 8 Lumia smartphones in an update called Nokia Lumia Amber, which will also be rolling out this summer. The update is also expected to bring 'double tap to wake up' lock screen gesture to some Lumia phones.