Native screenshot functionality demonstrated in Windows Phone 8 SDK emulator

We’ve previously reported that Windows Phone 8 should be bringing native screenshot functionality to the masses. The function was rumored to work by holding the Start key and the Camera button at the same time and sure enough, that combo works in the Windows Phone 8 emulator from the leaked SDK.

The Windows Phone 7.5 (7.1 SDK) emulator did have native screenshot functionality for developers to take screenshots of their apps but it was not native to the OS itself. At first we were a bit cautious that this may be that function but seeing as this is enabled by simulating the Start-Camera combo (F7 + F2 keys) it seems like this is the real deal for regular users as evidence by the video made by We have not been able to verify this ourselves yet, so we'll leave a little wiggle room in case it proves otherwise.

Native screenshot ability will be a much appreciated feature for developers who can more easily share shots of their app, consumers who want to report bugs or share moments on Windows Phone with friends and even viral-marketing. That last one may not seem obvious but the more screenshots of Windows Phone float around on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit etc., the more the OS will resonate with the masses.

In Windows Phone 7.x the only way to do screenshots was to have a developer unlocked device and to load a 'homebrew' solution. While effective, such an app was limited to developers only and not regular consumers.

Head past the break to see the video of the screenshot function in action...

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • YES, the good news just keeps coming, just wondering if there is anything left for MS to announce lol
  • Actually i think there is even more to announce! Me Tile,People hub, xbox games, xbox music+Videos and marketplace improvements... maybe there is more to come we do not know anything about yet... we'll see.
  • Excuse me if this is dumb, but, can screenshot ability be put into 7.8?
  • I don't see why it couldn't. I have a dev unlocked phone therefore I have the screenshot app. WP has the ability to do it, the app just has to take advantage of the OS' APIs that aren't authorized as of now.
  • Can, but it wont. MS has already said its too much work to bring WP8 features to WP7, and you can bet they will spin this as a feature only WP8 can accomplish. So dont expect this or any other feature that the CE kernel that WP7 is built on and perfectly capable of to come to WP7 device.
  • "MS has already said its too much work to bring WP8 features to WP7" This is simply not true. Actually, MS has just said that there will be more than just the new startscreen. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • Quit reading The Verge.
  • Plz search if there is a notification center!!!!
  • There isn't one.  Its simply your home screen, which can now have 20 visible live tiles or so if make them small.  That should take care of any apps you need to have notifications from on one screen.
    Plus, wp8 allows 3rd party apps lock screen notifications ect.  
  • Doubtful notification center feature would be included in wp8 considering that the platform focuses on live tiles. 
    Being that you can not get notification on your lock screen for selected apps in addition to your typical live tile updates, that essentially is your notification center. 
  • How about when your on a phone call and receive a toast. How can you tell who is from or what it is? It be best to gave a center where all of the toasts are there. I receive so many toasts from this sites app and other apps as well and most of the time I have no clue what the toast was about unless I enter the app....
  • If the apps have the animation like email or messaging tiles do now in WP7, showing the number change when see your start screen, that's a way. If you're anal about keeping things all read or checked, then you probably won't have to worry about where it went...
  • I think it would be kinda cool if u cud swipe down from the top of you screen and have the lock screen come down, kinda like when ur shutting down ur device except it displays ur notifications :)
  • This ain't android
  • Oh Gawd mah ballz!
  • Lol wat?!?
  • did u bite it....
  • The word "finally" is in order here.
  • Why couldnt they do it in tango?
  • 1 feature should be added long time ago
  • That awkward moment when there is a Samsung Galaxy S3 add on an article of a Windows Phone news site.
  • Its all technology
  • This
  • Thank God
  • I'm kind of surprised this wasn't available in Mango.  The graphics in the multitasking app list are screen captures, not live app screens, so the OS clearly can take screen shots.  I don't understand why they couldn't throw in an event handler for a start key/camera button keypress, attach the same sharing menu that they use for camera shots, and call it a day.  This smacks of low-hanging fruit.
  • What about streaming screen contents over USB? That would be useful for presentations or glasses like those from Vuzix. Zune HD was able to do that and iPhone and Android devices.
  • Android devices can't do that over USB. Not sure about iOS devices.
  • I might use this feature to capture sms conversation. oh.. wait, this is for wp8 arrgh..
  • Finally!! I was waiting for screenshot support
  • Never needed screenshot support, but every feature other people want is good for the platform.