Next Windows Phone 8 "GDR2" Update Coming This Summer!

Microsoft share details about its next Windows Phone 8 update "GDR2." Setup and use File History on Windows 8--Import iTunes playlists into the Music app--Sync your music to the cloud with Xbox Music Pass.

Microsoft offers a glimpse of updates coming "this summer" known as "GDR2" for the Windows Phone 8 operating system.

The GDR2 is planned to be deliver before, the next version of WP8 currently called "Windows Phone Blue" will include "a small number of improvements and upgrades."

According to Microsoft, it will be similiar in size to the last "Portico" update (OS build number 8.0.10211.204) -- which began rolling out last year knows as GDR1-and brought new Wi-Fi and messaging improvements like the ability to text a reply to an incoming call.

The new update, will reintroduce support for FM radio and will also make the Data Sense feature available to more carriers. The GDR2 will also make it easier to select, download, and pin tunes in Xbox Music and improves the accuracy of song info and "other metadata."

This update includes "hundreds of other small quality improvements"--and will also "ensure Windows Phone continues to work with Google services by adding support for the company's newest sync protocols--CalDAV and CardDAV," Microsoft mentioned.

GDR3 sounds like it may be timed to arrive this fall. And Windows Phone Blue is sounding from tipsters more and more like a 2014 release.

In other Windows 8 news, Microsoft just posted a video--the first one talks about the "File History" feature of Windows 8 that automatically keeps a backup history of your personal data.

This video talk about File History with photos, "but File History works just as well for any other kind of file including office documents, videos, and any other files you have in your document libraries."

Most users will need to do the following to get going with File History in Windows 8:

  1. "Add non-library folders to document libraries (optional, if non-library folders need File History)
  2. Populate "Exclude Folders" list for File History (optional)
  3. Plug in an external storage device
  4. Launch the File History Control Panel
  5. Click the "Turn On" button."

Bonus: If you've spent a great deal of time building out playlists in iTunes, with the Music app in Windows 8, you can import those playlists into your collection.

For this to work, make sure you've iTunes installed on your Windows 8 PC, and your music collection is physically downloaded on the PC:

  1. "Open the Music app.
  2. Tap or click on "my music".
  3. Under "my music", tap or click on "playlists".
  4. Bring up the app commands by either swiping from the bottom or right-clicking.
  5. Tap or click on "Import playlists".
  6. The Music app will then look for playlists in your Music library on your PC and playlists created in iTunes. Just click "Import playlists" to import them in!," Microsoft explains

To import iTunes playlists on a Windows RT device - you will first need to move all your music files from your Music library on the PC that has iTunes installed (including the "iTunes" folder in your Music library) and all your music to your Windows RT device and then follow the steps outlined above to import your iTunes playlists.

Import iTunes playlists in the Music app

In addition, the Music app also let you sync your music to the cloud, if you have an Xbox Music Pass.

"The Music app can automatically scan your music collection and match the information to music from the Xbox Music Store. If a match is made, that music is tagged and available for streaming on your Windows 8, Windows RT, or Windows Phone devices and your Xbox 360 console," Microsoft stated.

Use the steps below to make sure you have cloud sync enabled:

  1. Start the Xbox Music app in Windows 8 or Windows RT.
  2. Swipe from the right or go to the upper-right or lower-right corner to bring out the charms.
  3. Tap or click on the Settings charms, and then tap or click Preferences.
  4. Make sure Xbox Music Cloud is set to "On."

Xbox Music Pass sync your music to the cloud with Music app