Though Microsoft intends to release the first beta version of its Windows Phone 8 SDK (software development kit) in the weeks ahead, the developer oriented toolkit has leaked online giving us an early peek at some new Windows Phone 8 features.

And while it will take a while to step through the massive changes coming to the APIs—which are now based on Windows 8’s Windows Runtime (WinRT) instead of the old Silverlight-based APIs—a quick tour through the Hyper-V-based handset emulator shows off a number of new Windows Phone 8 features.

So let’s take a quick look.

First, the emulator supports different device types, including the WVGA, WXGA, and 720p screen resolutions.

device_types

But run the emulator and some very interesting features emerge. These include the new Start screen, which features the three tile sizes.

start

To edit a tile, just tap and hold.


icon_edit1

And yes, to get to All Apps, all you do is swipe the screen off to the left, as in Windows Phone 7.x.

Data Smart is now called Data Sense, apparently.

datasense1

The Camera app is vastly improved.

cam

As expect, Music + Video loses the Zune branding and picks up an Xbox look and feel. Yes, Podcasts is still available.

mv

Microsoft Wallet is also present.

wallet

More soon!