The ability of so-called "phablet" phones with 5-inch and 6-inch screens to run Windows Phone 8 at 1080p HD will create new opportunities for Microsoft's hardware partners looking to compete with other increasingly popular giant-screen devices in the in the smartphone arena.
The update will also allow Windows Phone 8 to take advantage of faster quad-core processors, Microsoft said.
It will allow more "Live Tiles" -- the signature interface style of Windows phones -- by adding a third column of tiles on larger phones.
The upgrade -- the third since Windows Phone 8 was released a year ago -- also includes a Driving Mode, which will automatically silence incoming calls and texts so that users can concentrate on safe driving. The feature can automatically respond to incoming calls with a text message to alert the caller to the fact the user in on the road.
The feature can activate activated automatically when the phone is linked wirelessly with a Bluetooth device in the car, such as a hand-free headset.
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