Windows Phone 8 GDR3 update may add an extra column of live tiles to Start screen

Windows Phone logoA couple of days ago we learned that Windows Phone 8's GDR3 update would more likely than not introduce devices with 1080p displays and quad-core processors, to combat Android's popular 'phablet' category of devices with screens upwards of five inches. But the new higher-resolution may present a challenge to the Windows Phone start screen — just ask any HTC Titan owner how goofy live tiles can look at times on a massive display. Mary Jo Foley of All About Microsoft has heard from sources that the Windows Phone team has a solution: add more tiles!

Building on the previous GDR3 update report, Foley checked in with her own well-connected sources and learned that the Start screen may soon hold even more tiles. She specifically said that Windows Phone 8 may add a "a third column of apps in the start screen" — which implies that you'd be able to fit three medium-sized square tiles in one row as opposed to the limit of two today. What's unclear is if this additional column will be for 1080p devices or devices with a certain display size, or whether it will be pushed down to the current WXGA and 720p displays.

Windows Phone 8 GDR3 update may add an extra column of live tiles to Start screen

Foley also offered another morsel of GDR3 gossip, saying that Windows Phone 8's core apps may be updated in the release. While that does not seem like a big deal at face value, it does imply to us that GDR3 will be the 'big' update for Windows Phone this year instead of Blue (which looks increasingly less likely to even be released this year).

At first we weren't too enthused by such a possibility of even more live tiles on the Start screen. However once we completed photoshopping the mockup you see above, we started to like the idea more than we thought (though it's really close to the edge of 'information overload' status). How would you feel about more live tiles on new Windows Phone 8 devices with 5-inch or higher screens?

Tags: Microsoft, OSes, Windows Phone 7

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