Announced in May, the GDR2 update has begun streaming out to Windows Phone 8 handsets. The update provides many new features and improvements including bringing back FM radio functionality (on phones that support it), providing VoIP for Skype and Lync, improving Internet Explorer, increasing functionality for Xbox Music, and adding new camera features.

But, one of the bigger updates included in GDR2 is the inclusion of CardDAV and CalDAV support, allowing Windows Phone to continue synching Google contacts and calendar information after the Google imposed December 31, 2013 deadline. In January, Google announced it would no longer support Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) for its services and set the deadline for July 31, 2013. After customer complaint, Google extended the support to December 31, 2013.

The update should be available for all applicable handsets soon. Some of you may have the update already, but if not, your carrier will make it available shortly. Depending on your phone model and mobile operator, the update will increase the Windows Phone update version to either 8.0.10327.77 or 8.0.10328.78. To check to see if you might have it already, go into Settings – About.

In the Life without Google series, I'll provide some alternatives to Google's calendar, contacts, and email offerings, so check it out.