New features unveiled in the newly-leaked Windows Phone 8 SDK reveal some important additions to Microsoft’s upcoming mobile OS. While it appears that much of the aesthetic design will stay the same, important additions like native screenshot capture, built-in image editing, email voice dictation, and an enormous expansion of Bing services, will make Windows Phone 8 much more powerful and accessible to the end user.
One of the most requested features for Windows Phone 8 is coming as well: custom audio alerts. Users will be able to set custom tones for SMS, IM, email, voicemail or calls.
Bing will be expanded to include a daily deals section (really?) and something called Bing Buzz, which seeks to summarize movies for reviews, ratings and more. There will be Bing Top Videos, News, Local Events and more, using the phone’s GPS to determine suggestions based on proximity and search history.
We’re also hearing that offline maps, powered by Nokia, will be baked into the operating system. In fact, many Nokia services will come free of charge to all Windows Phones, though we can’t imaging the company giving up exclusivity to its more coveted applications such as Drive and Transit.
Lots of very cool stuff coming to Windows Phone 8 in the fall. It’s great to see that Microsoft has been listening to its constituents and is attempting to flesh out the OS not just for power users but to make it more powerful for everyone.