Leaked slide shows off notification center in Windows Phone 8.1

A leaked slide from a confidential Microsoft presentation has shown off the long-awaited notification center feature to organize alerts, reportedly planned for release with the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update in April.

Windows Phone has been heavily criticized over time for not implementing a centralized notification center for quite some time, and it's also been the most requested feature at Microsoft's User Voice forum. The leaked slide, which Winphollowers says is from an internal email sent to Microsoft employees, has finally revealed the company's take on the concept and is allegedly expected in the Windows Phone 8.1 update which will be announced some time during the BUILD conference in April.

As seen in the picture, some elements of the notification center are similar to what Android and more recently, iOS have implemented. It contains customizable toggles for various connectivity options such as WiFi, Bluetooth as well as shortcuts to the settings menu and the Driving mode feature which was launched with Windows Phone Update 3. Users will be able to clear notifications with a single touch or individually. Unlike Android and iOS though, when a notification appears during an in-app session, the user will be able to see just a minimized view similar to a toast notification by sliding down from the top. The apps will be able to use a new Action Center API to manage the type of notifications sent to the user without interference according to the report from Winphollowers. 

There is plenty of time for the BUILD conference, but we can expect to have more leaks about the features of Windows Phone 8.1 in the coming months.

Source: Winphollowers via WMPoweruser | Image via Winphollowers

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44 Comments

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God I wish I could pull up all the times someone told me that those stupid live tiles are sooooooooooo much better than a notification centre.

Kalint said,
God I wish I could pull up all the times someone told me that those stupid live tiles are sooooooooooo much better than a notification centre.

The Start screen with live tiles *is* a notification center. But of course it could be better.

Kalint said,
God I wish I could pull up all the times someone told me that those stupid live tiles are sooooooooooo much better than a notification centre.

To many the tiles are enough, if you have the more important apps pinned you get the all the notification info you need. In many cases I have apps only show a tile count and not a toast notification because I don't want my phone beeping all the time.

That said, MS isn't just doing a simple center like other OS', there's a API that developers can use to interact with it directly, "ghost notifications" was what the early leaks called it. This allows apps to update, add or delay notifications silently without alerting the user. Gives you even more control than just a place to dump everything into a long list.

Wouldn't mind seeing the action center in desktop Windows similarly improved. They've even got the same name now.

Kyang said,
Wouldn't mind seeing the action center in desktop Windows similarly improved. They've even got the same name now.

Now that you said it I see the connection with windows, the name is the same but now that windows has toast notifications and so on it needs this type of action center as well. Now that this is all coming out of the same OS group I wouldn't be surprised if this comes to windows 9.

George P said,

Now that you said it I see the connection with windows, the name is the same but now that windows has toast notifications and so on it needs this type of action center as well. Now that this is all coming out of the same OS group I wouldn't be surprised if this comes to windows 9.


Why wait until 9? Windows 8.1 update 1...? They're trying to reach API Parity, so it would make sense to ship the current version to Windows, where they don't have the OEM / Carrier delays they have with WP...

M_Lyons10 said,

Why wait until 9? Windows 8.1 update 1...? They're trying to reach API Parity, so it would make sense to ship the current version to Windows, where they don't have the OEM / Carrier delays they have with WP...

Too late to add it in update 1 it seems, we'd have seen it by now in the leaked builds unless it's a surprise last minute addition. I still think we could see a later update 2 for Windows though, in the fall/winter with Windows 9 in spring 2015.

So far though it seems like we get new UI metro advances on phone first and then into Windows itself, like the added tile sizes that phone had first. We'll wait and see but I expect new things that show up on phone first will then go to full windows and vice versa.

FloatingFatMan said,
Still playing catch-up...

When they start to actually innovate, then WP might be worth considering. So far, I'm not impressed.

Everyone is playing catchup with everyone. Just because they are missing one feature doesn't mean the other features already included aren't innovative.

FloatingFatMan said,
Still playing catch-up...

When they start to actually innovate, then WP might be worth considering. So far, I'm not impressed.

It's easier to catch up than to stay innovative, What's the last innovative thing added to iOS or Android?

George P said,

It's easier to catch up than to stay innovative, What's the last innovative thing added to iOS or Android?

iOS has nothing innovative in it at all since Job's died. Losing him is the death of that company, it's just going to take time due to the cashflow Steve built. He -was- Apple and without him, they're just another corp.

As for Android, it's customizability is a huge innovation in itself (it's also a blessing AND a curse, depending on what people do with it).

WP is.. yeah. Admittedly I've not used WP8, but I have a WP7/7.5 device and the OS is garbage. Sure it has some neat features, but it's also missing so much basic smartphone functionality that it's pretty much useless for business unless you just want to post of Facefu** or Twatter.

Haaa-Choo said,
chromecast? Also, MS is so compying everyone else with all the smartphone features, jesus.

Chromecast isn't innovative in the least, to be frank about it. Yet another custom media streaming option, Apple's been doing it with the Apple TV for years. Besides that's not a OS feature, it's a device, not something new to Android specifically.

FloatingFatMan said,
Admittedly I've not used WP8, but I have a WP7/7.5 device and the OS is garbage. Sure it has some neat features, but it's also missing so much basic smartphone functionality that it's pretty much useless for business unless you just want to post of Facefu** or Twatter.

Not even 7.8?

Here's the official list of things added to WP8. I don't know if some of the "basic" things you mentioned are listed there.

http://www.windowsphone.com/en.../whats-new-in-windows-phone

Never bothered looking if there was a 7.8 update; I gave up on it ages ago.

Some of the things I need a smartphone to support.

Bluetooth file transfer/OBEX
VPN
Turn by Turn navigation (TomTom/Google Maps/similar, not the ****ty top down tap to progress crap on WP7.5)
Enterprise+consumer email (multiple accounts)
Homescreen customisation.
Application sideloading for self-developed apps.

Bluetooth file transfer/OBEX - Check
VPN - Maybe in 8,1
Turn by Turn navigation (TomTom/Google Maps/similar, not the ****ty top down tap to progress crap on WP7.5) - Check: Navigon, Nokia Drive etc.
Enterprise+consumer email (multiple accounts) - Check, as many as you want
Homescreen customisation. - Wide, normal and small tiles
Application sideloading for self-developed apps. - Check

Apart from VPN everything is there... already in 7.8

FloatingFatMan said,
Never bothered looking if there was a 7.8 update; I gave up on it ages ago.

Some of the things I need a smartphone to support.

Bluetooth file transfer/OBEX
VPN
Turn by Turn navigation (TomTom/Google Maps/similar, not the ****ty top down tap to progress crap on WP7.5)
Enterprise+consumer email (multiple accounts)
Homescreen customisation.
Application sideloading for self-developed apps.

It does all that except VPN currently, and has done so for over a year. 8.1 will add VPN.

Well, you cannot reply to a received email using a different email account like, for example, you can do in Outlook where, if you have multiple email accounts, a drop down menu allow you to choose the account to use to reply.

FloatingFatMan said,
Correctly me if I'm wrong, but sideloading ain't free on WP.

$ 19 per year for a Developer Account is pretty reasonable I think.

That's a fairly recent change though. If I recall, not too long ago it was $99.

Either way, even $19 is too much if you're just toying with device development for your own purposes. You've already bought the device, it's your property. Why should we have to give Microsoft even a single penny to install you -own- apps to it? Other devices, fine, MS need to make sure apps are safe after all, but what you do on your own property isn't their business.

Android's control center is a joke at best. I am using Android KitKat on Nexus 5, and iOS 7 on iPhone 5 side by side.. and I am not impressed what the stock control setting in Android at all.

Missing features are...
-hell.. there is no centralized notification center like iOS. It is such a pain to go to each app and disable notifications
-Privacy settings? Somehow Google remove Privacy control settings in KitKat.. great [https://www.eff.org/mention/go...ture-android-and-eff-****ed]
-Do not Disturb feature (why the hell should I pay for 3rd party app for this when it should have been built-in?)

At least Microsoft is trying to catch up.. Android is doing **** idling.

From the control center, one thing I applaud Android for is the ability to encrypt your phone, but it is still a half a$$ effort, considering it uses the same PIN that you use to unlock the phone.

While I am on the Android bashing train.. here is one more annoyance.
In Siri, you can say "Timer for 30 minutes", and it will set count down timer
In Google Now, you must say "Wake me up in 30 min" for it set a temporary alarm clock (temporary that it will be removed once it went off)
If you say "Timer for 30 min", Google Now sets a permanent alarm clock.
People complained to Google since 4.3, and Google only did so much to address this issue.

Edited by ThunderRiver, Feb 9 2014, 4:56pm :

FloatingFatMan said,
That's a fairly recent change though. If I recall, not too long ago it was $99.

Either way, even $19 is too much if you're just toying with device development for your own purposes. You've already bought the device, it's your property. Why should we have to give Microsoft even a single penny to install you -own- apps to it? Other devices, fine, MS need to make sure apps are safe after all, but what you do on your own property isn't their business.

Apparently you don't even need to pay the $19 according to the wording on Microsoft's site:

Here's what you can already do for free:

•Build Windows Phone apps and Windows Store apps
•Get free development tools, including a Windows Phone emulator to test your app on
•Sideload your apps so you can test them on your own Windows Phone
•Find resources from Microsoft and the developer community that can help you succeed


Here's what you can do after you register for your developer account:

•Submit free and paid apps to the Windows Phone Store and Windows Store
•Manage your apps and track their progress
•Get paid for your apps!

Ices_Eyes said,
Wondering if the top bar will be resized or if the extra info will be available only in this action center...

What extra info? You mean to new toast notifications? From what I've read when you get a toast notification you can drag down on it to perform a quick action, clicking on it takes you to the app for it. The example used is a toast notification from FB that has a message from a friend, you can reply from the notification and not have to go to the app itself.

The top bar should still be the same size, that has little to do with it.

Ices_Eyes said,
Nope, I mean the operator name, the battery % and the...uhm...number of notifications available :-)

Oh, I think those show up when you do a single swipe down along with the four control buttons. Otherwise you just see the top icons like always.

Too much wasted space. Only having 4 icons seem very basic and wish they would have brightness and volume. Which I use it a lot when going to the movies.

ACTIONpack said,
Too much wasted space. Only having 4 icons seem very basic and wish they would have brightness and volume. Which I use it a lot when going to the movies.

You can change what the shortcuts are. Volume you can change by pressing the two buttons on the side. Hope that's not too difficult for you.

ACTIONpack said,
Too much wasted space. Only having 4 icons seem very basic and wish they would have brightness and volume. Which I use it a lot when going to the movies.
Microsoft is known recently to waste a ton of space. Have a look at Windows 8 Modern UI.

Actually the icons should be centered and circled - action buttons are supposed to be in circles (like at the bottom of the Outlook app in the first image). The text should stay left aligned to match the live tiles. They'll probably tweak this all towards the end since those are just aesthetics.

YES!!! This is better than expected (compared to those old alpha leaks). Can't wait to see this in action.

Also, remember based on the previous Settings leak, those 4 action buttons are customizable... I'll definitely be setting one to Brightness and another to Orientation Lock.

j2006 said,
YES!!! This is better than expected (compared to those old alpha leaks). Can't wait to see this in action.

Also, remember based on the previous Settings leak, those 4 action buttons are customizable... I'll definitely be setting one to Brightness and another to Orientation Lock.

This goes to show that people are stupid for judging a software in alpha stage.