Windows Phone 8.1 will support up to 20 notifications per app in Action Center

We know that Windows Phone 8.1 will feature an "Action Center," bringing a centralized notification center to Microsoft's mobile operating system. Now, it has been revealed that an application will be allowed to show up to 20 notifications in the "Action Center" among other things.

So far we have seen numerous screenshots and video leaks of the upcoming update to Windows Phone, but now a report from WPCentral has revealed the functionality specific to the Action Center found out through various APIs.

The report mentions that users will be able to see up to 20 notifications from a single app. Persistent notifications can be visible for up to 7 days. A user can choose to tap to open the app which sends the notification, dismiss a single notification, or a group of notifications. Developers on the other hand will be provided with the ability to send, remove, replace, group or tag the notifications. They can set expiry periods for the notifications and use ghost notifications for testing.

A video of the "Action Center" in action leaked last month, which showed off some of the functionality mentioned above and it seems by the time Microsoft makes the update official at BUILD 2014 in April we would have most of the information about it already.

Source: WPCentral | Image via Winphollowers

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17 Comments

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why cap it so low. Its not as if those strings are going to eat your battery life or storage. Then again, this is windows phone, they still limit you to black and white backgrounds, and about 16 color choices even when the devices can show 16 million colors per pixel...

neonspark said,
why cap it so low. Its not as if those strings are going to eat your battery life or storage. Then again, this is windows phone, they still limit you to black and white backgrounds, and about 16 color choices even when the devices can show 16 million colors per pixel...

20 notifications PER APP is a lot. Troll somewhere else.

20 notifications per app is big a number. iOS and Android have similar caps too. You have to remember that apps can DELETE notifications too... so for example if you have a couple of notifications from Facebook, the facebook app will delete those notifications once you see the notifications in the Facebook app. That way it's not wasting space in your notification center.

This somewhat annoys me for two reasons (the action centre principle is fine by itself)...

1) Hasn't MS realised that applying an arbitrary limit to system almost always backfires on them as insufficient (for some users on FB 20 may be)
2) If you are tying to prevent apps from over notifying then 5-10 would be the correct value.

In reality this should be unlimited with a user defined limit being an option.

londan said,
This somewhat annoys me for two reasons (the action centre principle is fine by itself)...

1) Hasn't MS realised that applying an arbitrary limit to system almost always backfires on them as insufficient (for some users on FB 20 may be)
2) If you are tying to prevent apps from over notifying then 5-10 would be the correct value.

In reality this should be unlimited with a user defined limit being an option.


If someone has more than 20 notifications (total, not per app) the whole concept of a notification hub is invalidated - the notification centre becomes another inbox.

I agree with you completely which is why I can't reconcile 20 as a good limit (across 3 messaging apps it is another inbox to manage + et al others). I also can't predetermine that 5-10 is suitable for other users so a cap is arbitrary and should be avoided unless the user specifies it.

londan said,
This somewhat annoys me for two reasons (the action centre principle is fine by itself)...

1) Hasn't MS realised that applying an arbitrary limit to system almost always backfires on them as insufficient (for some users on FB 20 may be)
2) If you are tying to prevent apps from over notifying then 5-10 would be the correct value.

In reality this should be unlimited with a user defined limit being an option.


20 per are app is fine, if you're not checking it often for some reason then you can just check the tiles for the number. Having it unlimited is what will make it some huge inbox to manage. Also apps can delete them on their own or have them expire, also if you set a app just to give you a tile count and not a toast notification then I don't expect the center to fill up with anything.

Instead of having users try to over manage things the apps should be smart about how they use it in my opinion.

Please make up your mind. What makes 5-10 the "ideal" arbitrary limit for app notifications? I'd argue that's grossly insufficient because it relies on a completely narrow view of what an app may be capable of doing or notifying the user about.

The design seems somewhat solid. The notifications expire, either automatically or early if the app developer elects to; it has a generous cap to prevent flooding; and developers have a large amount of control over the notifications to provide a more structured experience.

Honestly, your whinging is whinging for whinging's sake. If as an app developer you need more than 20 notifications total, then it appears as though the developer can determine when this limit is approaching, and react by grouping or modifying the notifications it previously submitted to be more succinct.

I can sort of see where a limit of 20 can be solid. It provides breathing room as needed and enables the developer to juggle notifications in creative ways to "emphasise" the important and/or recent ones, whilst grouping and "archiving" the older/less important ones as the quota is extinguished.

Should app developers make it their mission to use all of the quota? Definitely not, however, that doesn't mean it should be arbitrarily crippled either. The way it's implemented would be important to consider too. We haven't seen much in the way of how it's implemented, so the limit may/may not be a major issue, depending on implementation.

If you'd read what I wrote you'd have seen that I said my preference (my own) would be 5-10, but that is also arbitrarily my own. 20 is too much for me but might be too little for others (some people actually like having lots going on that they can manage as they please -some people I know even thrive off of managing huge lists, god knows why).
The lesson though is that you cannot please all users (Windows phone and Metro had these arbitrary design constraints in them that were later lifted) so don't try. Give it up to the user. Notifications are intrusive, I used Android and can attest. You don't need power user micro management of the system (e.g. what apps can notify x times and when) but a simple global choice is sufficient.

In this example, if you believe 20 to be the right amount then you can enable it. If I decide 5 or 10 I can and if someone else doesn't care they don't have to.

londan said,
This somewhat annoys me for two reasons (the action centre principle is fine by itself)...

1) Hasn't MS realised that applying an arbitrary limit to system almost always backfires on them as insufficient (for some users on FB 20 may be)
2) If you are tying to prevent apps from over notifying then 5-10 would be the correct value.

In reality this should be unlimited with a user defined limit being an option.

Also keep in mind that this notification center is a quick step that is additionally augmented by live tile information and the in App content as well.

I have seen a few Apps on Android depend on the notification system instead of 'also' providing the notification information inside the App itself, which easily becomes a mess.

The problem with unfettered developer limits, is that lazy and bad designers won't properly use the system as intended.

Mobius Enigma said,

The problem with unfettered developer limits, is that lazy and bad designers won't properly use the system as intended.

The Windows Notification Area comes to mind in this scenario of something used and abused for a very long time.

londan said,
This somewhat annoys me for two reasons (the action centre principle is fine by itself)...

1) Hasn't MS realised that applying an arbitrary limit to system almost always backfires on them as insufficient (for some users on FB 20 may be)
2) If you are tying to prevent apps from over notifying then 5-10 would be the correct value.

In reality this should be unlimited with a user defined limit being an option.



20 per app is way more than you'll ever need. I've never had 20 simultaneous notifications in total (all apps) on any of my android phones in the past 4 years. Apps update their present notifications, no need to continuously post new ones and keep the old ones. For instance email will say 1 unread message. When I get another it'll say two unread messages and there will still be only one notification.

This sounds fine to me, it's not like people will keep older ones in there for long, after you read them odds are you will delete them.