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Windows Phone 8.1 notification centre leaked in screen shots

by Mark Tyson on 10 February 2014, 09:30

Tags: Windows Phone

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Leaked PowerPoint slides from an internal Microsoft presentation have definitively revealed for the first time what will be in the Windows Phone 8.1 'Action Centre'. Spanish Microsoft fans Winphollowers acquired the slides, which were attached to an email intended for members of the Windows Phone team at Microsoft. Since the publishing of these images on Saturday The Verge has confirmed they are genuine features of Windows Phone 8.1.

The lack of a toggles/notification centre comparable to that implemented in Android and iOS has often left Windows Phone users feeling something is lacking. A few numbers on live tiles informing WP users of how many this-and-that events they've missed is useful but doesn't give many users enough of an idea if there's something important that's been missed. They might have to click into and out of four or five different apps to see what's what...

A notification centre of sorts has been rumoured for inclusion in Windows Phone updates for a while and the 8.1 update is said to be coming around April or sooner, ahead of the annual BUILD developer conference. These screenshots give us a pretty good look at what to expect.

As you can see, Microsoft has chosen to call its smartphone notification centre the 'Action Centre'. The company describes the feature in the slide and informs us that "Apps can intelligently manage notifications (silently add, update and delete notifications)." Looking at the screen grab on the left of the picture you can see the simple upper toggles for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode and Driving mode. The Verge says that "all four are customisable," so you might want to use one of the slots for Location Services, screen rotation or some other toggle.

The second of the screens you can see shows the Action Centre fully revealed and you can see the subject and first line of message summaries from the messaging and Facebook apps there. These features will probably be popular with Windows Phone users but I'm a bit disappointed to see it so closely mimics the way Android works. However it's better to make a good copy of something that most people agree to be functional than copy it but change things for the sake of being different.

These are just a couple of changes coming to the biggest update to Windows Phone 8 so far. Last autumn we first heard of the Siri-like Cortana virtual assistant technology which is still expected to arrive and also we hear that independent volume controls for the different alerts your phone might emit are on their way.



HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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Looks good.
All I really want is reduced volume when I plug a headset in, it isn't that difficult. Although independent volume controls are a step forward, they still don't make up for the context sensitive volume control of the Symbian phones.
I think it looks good but unfortunately the spat between Google and Microsoft over active sync, and Google refusing to create a native WP8 app has forced me to stick to Android as Google is the Mail provider for my work email. I now have a Nokia 620 gathering dust.
Biscuit
I think it looks good but unfortunately the spat between Google and Microsoft over active sync, and Google refusing to create a native WP8 app has forced me to stick to Android as Google is the Mail provider for my work email. I now have a Nokia 620 gathering dust.

you dont need an app for this, you can configure your built-in phone email with pop3/smtp gmail settings and you are good to go, sure an app would be better and easier but still you have a choice here.
Biscuit
I think it looks good but unfortunately the spat between Google and Microsoft over active sync, and Google refusing to create a native WP8 app has forced me to stick to Android as Google is the Mail provider for my work email. I now have a Nokia 620 gathering dust.
I thought my youngest kid had managed to do it for her HTC 8S (she moved from a Samsung Android device), unfortunately I can't ask her at the moment. I think she may have followed the instructions here.

Just checked the WP8 store and there's an app called "Gmail 2014" that seems to get high praise - I wonder if this is the port of the iOS code that I saw mentioned in a forum posting some time ago. Oh, and there's a paid-for version that claims to be ad-free, although judging by the scarcity of comments this looks like a recent innovation.

The other thing is that I came across was this article at WPCentral talking about the MetroMail app for doing gMail on WP8 - even if the (paid!) app isn't of interest, take a look at the comments section - sure there's a lot of dross about gMail v's Outlook.com addresses, but there's some tips on how to get access without the MM app.