We’re filing this one under unsubstantiated rumor, but forum member qXerro has posted a few more screenshots over the last twenty-four hours of Windows Phone 8.1. The problem with such stories of course is trying to verify the information and since screenshots can be very easily faked, it’s hard to justify.
Still, qXerro has posted screenshots of features like app sorting before. That rings a bell because we know of that feature but never reported it publicly—so either he’s a good guesser or there is some truth to his leaks (Unfortunately, the last we heard is that app sorting was removed due to ongoing issues).
What do the latest screenshots reveal? One is simply the Nokia Extras + Info, though the ‘Extras’ has been dropped. Instead we’re shown the Software Release as ‘Blue’ and something about ‘Accessories Attached’ and it’s allegedly running on a Lumia 820 (RM-826).
(L) Alleged Windows Phone 8.1 layout scheme; (R) New Info screen for 'Blue'
The Accessories Attached could be a reference to Bluetooth 4.0 LE and other objects like Nokia’s Treasure Tags, little devices that will help you track your keys or luggage. We also know from our sources that Nokia is working with Fitbit and Jawbone to get those devices to sync directly to the phone with a companion app.
The other image is more mysterious. It appears to be a layout of the standard Live Tiles and App listing to the right (along with sorting). The more interesting bit is what is on the left hand side, where it simply says “Don’t Peek*”. It’s also allegedly from a Lumia 1820, which we have no information on regarding its legitimacy. There is also a drop down list from the top, indicating a drop down history for Toast notifications.
The last time we saw “*” it was in reference to the Notification Center leak as that symbol may be used to indicate new alerts for the center being developed. If these images are real (and that’s a big if) Nokia and or Microsoft could be implementing a swipe from the left strategy for Notifications. That would make sense and has been something that users have been requesting for some time now.
Update: xQerro clarifies that swipe left is "Me ,quick share ,settings and personalize", not Notifications.
All we can add to this is that a lot of the Notification images recently leaked have all been from “super old builds” and “…things don't look like that these days”, so we need to take all of this with some caution before judging the results.
A new Kid's Corner with an optional "Require Password" option is also revealed.
Finally, qXerro notes some changes to the three button functions of Windows Phone 8.1:
- Long Start = CORTANA (voice assistant)
- Double Start = What is going on area?!
- Double Back = ends current app
The first one, Long Start, is already how TellMe works and it makes sense that Cortana would act in that manner as well. We’re unclear what the Double Start is referring to and the third change, double Back, sounds like an easy way to close out apps, something that we know is coming in GDR3.
Since Windows Phone Central has not been able to verify qXerro's credentials, we're only giving this a '5' on our rumor meter.