Leaked Nokia training documents may have revealed features of the Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade for owners of current devices running any version of Windows Phone 7. As Microsoft has stated in the past that devices released with Windows Phone 7 won’t be upgraded to Windows Phone 8, the Windows Phone 7.8 software update will bring a refreshed look that will give these devices some of the features offered to Windows Phone 8.
Like Windows Phone 8, the Windows Phone 7.8 update will bring a customizable lock screen that users can choose an app to provide updated info directly on the lock screen. This is similar to Windows Phone 8’s Live Apps services for the lock screen.
Microsoft had previously promised that the Start screen UI will be similar in aesthetics between Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 8. Re-sizable Live Tiles will be part of this update.
Unfortunately, though, Windows Phone 7.8 will rely on Internet Explorer 9 rather than the Internet Explorer 10 Internet browser that’s bundled with Windows Phone 8. However, Microsoft will be updating the mobile web browser with more security.
The OS will come with an MP3 editor so users could create their own ringtones. More theme colors and system colors will also be part of the software update.
Phone-makers, like Nokia, will also be able to add some features to make Windows Phone 7.8 unique to their own hardware. For its part, Nokia is said to be adding the ability to share non-DRM files over Bluetooth. The Contacts Transfer app will be updated and Nokia will be featuring an enhanced ringtone app. The phone-maker already bundles its excellent Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive GPS navigation apps on its Lumia-branded phones.
And according to GSM Arena, Windows Phone’s Italy Facebook page suggests that Rooms, a feature that allows users to create personal, private groups to share information with, SmartGlass, and Xbox Music–all features introduced with Windows Phone 8–will also trickle down to Windows Phone 7.8.
Still, features such as NFC sharing won’t be included as most Windows Phone 7 devices lack the hardware. Additionally, Windows Phone 7 devices won’t be able to run new apps designed specifically for Windows Phone 8. Microsoft had made kernel changes to Windows Phone 8 to allow developers to easily code apps for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 without too much work to make the apps compatibility with both platforms.
As Microsoft still hasn’t fully outlined what features will make the cut for Windows Phone 7.8 outside of the Start screen Live Tiles updates, we’ll have to wait and see if these leaks hold accurate.