The Windows Phone 8 SDK recently leaked and a group of tinkerers have uncovered several new features that Microsoft didn't mention during the Windows Phone 8 announcement last month. A stockpile of screenshots courtesy of the folks at WP7.hu provide an in-depth look at what we can expect to see this fall when the new operating system is released.
Microsoft already said that its latest mobile operating system will have a new focus on security and now it appears Windows Phone 8 will allow users to create backups of apps, settings, photos, videos and text messages in the cloud. If your phone is lost or stolen, for example, you should be able to easily retrieve all of that data on a new device without hassle.
We also already know that Windows Phone 8 will finally support microSD cards for expandable storage — a feature that was omitted from Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone Mango. Users will be able to move music, photos and video to and from a device's SD card.
The lockscreen in Windows Phone will be getting a makeover, too. Windows Phone 8 will enable the user to customize notifications that he or she will see when a device is locked. This feature will eliminate the need to unlock your phone whenever a new text message or calendar event has been updated, for example.
Microsoft's recently announced its Smart Glass application will act as an extension of the Xbox 360 and allow you to access media on your iOS or Android device, but new Xbox Live features, such as Xbox Music, will also be stitched in to Windows Phone 8, The Verge said.
The photos also reveal that the new Maps system — developed and provided by Nokia — will have a nifty feature that finds nearby Wi-Fi hotspots. While this may be a subtle addition, it's very much a welcomed one that will help save precious megabytes for consumers who are under capped data plans.
Windows Phone 8 will create multiple ways for users to exchange and access their content. It will also launch with a completely revamped Start Screen, support for NFC and high-resolution displays and much more. We may be only looking at the tip of the iceberg, but we definitely like what we are seeing and can't wait to get our hands on the finished product when it releases in the next few months.
For a closer look at what these new features of Windows Phone 8 will look like, check out our screenshot gallery below.