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First screenshots of the Notification Center for Windows Phone 8.1 reveal new design

The first images of the new Notification Center, dubbed 'Action Center', for Windows Phone 8.1 have made their way on to the web. The screenshots appeared on the site Winphollowers and Windows Phone Central is able to confirm their authenticity at this time.

The screenshots appear to have come from a confidential email sent around Microsoft, detailing various aspects of the new OS. Only one page of the email, or slide deck, is shown and it’s the one that details the Action and Notification Center.


The Action Center for Windows Phone 8.1

The image of the Action Center for 8.1 (aka 'Blue') shows the ability to enable / disable connections such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane Mode and Driving Mode. These are of course, configurable for the user. On the left side, you can see an option to 'Clear All', that is, clear the notification list. To the right, a user can access 'All Settings', including the ability to configure the quick access tasks, mentioned above. Users swipe down once for the quick-actions, and can swipe again for the notifications. 

In addition, it is now clear that a battery percentage can be shown to users below the battery icon at the top left (in addition to the date), yet another minor feature that many users have requested.

The slidedeck also mentions about how apps can ‘intelligently manage notifications’ such as silently add, update and delay alerts. We’ve mentioned these in the past under the name ‘ghost notifications’ whereby a user won’t be actively alerted, like current Toast notifications, but instead, the alert will show in the Action Center. This will be useful for less important alerts to the user, and developers will be able to leverage these independently on their apps according to their design.

From sources familiar with the matter, we can also confirm some of the behavior of this Action Center. For example, if a user is playing a full screen game and they ‘swipe down’ accidentally, they won’t see a huge center come down, but instead will just see a small, blue tab (akin to the blue bar in the image). This intelligent usage of the Action Center will ensure users only can use it in appropriate contexts and not in others.

Windows Phone 8.1 is expected to be announced by Microsoft on April 2 during their Build conference in San Franciso, with new devices being announced at a later date. A developer preview of 8.1 will also be  announced on the same day, with it being opened up as an opt-in program akin to the current Developer Preview program for Update 3.

Source: Winphollowers; Thanks, Redeemed, for the tip!

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Reader comments

First screenshots of the Notification Center for Windows Phone 8.1 reveal new design

742 Comments

This looks a lot better than the notification center that someone had on an tester phone.

I also hope the put some attention into the settings list...needs better organization and icons!

This is truely amazing revamp of wp8 UI ..... one thing even I want dere is custom wallpaper other than black and white only:)

Was wishing for a swipe from left, but lets see what it looks like and functions when released......waiting

If MS doesn't give us swipe from left for notification center then i don't think they ll add other quick settings control like battery saver toggle and brightness settings to the existing connectivity settings (unless they allow the quick settings pane to be like a panorama too swiping left right to access more settings). Windows phone 8 is the best candidate for swipe-from-left notification center as the start screen moves up down unlike ios and android where the list moves sideways.. But its probably because of unintentional launching which can be quite irritating especially when u r reading a book or browsing.

The reason it isn't swipe from left is because people need to be able access it from anywhere in the OS, not just the home screen. Too many apps already include horizontal navigation

That's a stupid idea - navigation in applications is already based on horizontal swiping. It would make a functional mess. It makes much more sense to introduce vertical gestures.

Then swipe up?

Just to differentiate WP from the others, and also with large screens the first thing people do is move the phone in their hand to reach the top. Seen this will Android users.

I have a 920 and would need to move the phone to reach the top. So swipe from the bottom, imho.

I would be ok with that. And I agree with you - with larger screens it would be much more comfortable to use a swipe up gesture when using the phone one handed.

Though probably Microsoft will go with familiarity (from other platforms) and make us use the swipe down gesture.

You are right. I am pretty sure that is why Apple did it that way, and Microsoft would be wise to do the same. Besides, there already is the swipe down extra information thing, why not just add notifications?

Yes, see your point here, an extension of the current swipe down to gain more info. Makes sense now.......

Maybe a tap and press on the captive buttons would work. Perhaps hold the search key press and up pops notifications. Keeping tap for search...

So I am annoyed with a notification panel when I'm swiping up reading this very discussion thread? Or accidentally hit the hardware/software buttons? I bet this method has been tested and tried.

Navigation within apps is heavily based on horizontal gestures, yes, but edge gestures originating from the bezel wouldn't mess with this. I agree, vertical gestures is the better idea-- simple, easy to understand, relatively already well-known-- but horizontal gestures could work, too. That's all I'm getting at.

Guess the top swipe will be chosen due to familiarity with other OS's. But translucent would be good for me. Just to differentiate and it looks cool.

I'm loving the WP experience so far and have confidence they will choose the best option to fit in with any further advancements in the OS.

It wouldn't work because it's a conflicting gesture. There is no top-down gesture in windows phone and so it is the best solution. Horizontal clashes with panos and pivots, bottom-up conflicts with the ... appbar menus. Currently swiping from the top shows internet connection and other information, and so what better to put up there than more information.

Yes, see your point here, an extension of the current swipe down to gain more info. Makes sense now.......

Oops that last sentence is a mess. Should be something like: "and so what better place to but it than at the top, to show even more information". My multitasking skills are abysmal.

@pg2g Read till the end.
i read that the 4 quick settings are customizable. I don't want to install another app for settings which fills my start screen.

That leaves the swipe from left for something else.. Lets see if they use it in 8.1-0xxxx...
...................
I feel like my 1520 was made for this update, and that I'll be able to take full advantage of it with only 6 month old hardware... Come on AT&T❕.. You're the only one that can screw this up now...
...................
I bet AT&T removes the Action center... Lol❕❕❕

I'm quite sure AT&T do not have any power in changing the software in the phones, the core is always the core and I'm sure MS would not distribute a completely different core just for AT&T. Just turning a flag off will make no difference as people will just find ways to turn that flag on again anyhow so would just be a waste of resources.

I'm however with you on the hating on AT&T train for what they did with the Lumia 1520 hardware wise - that's just such bull-shit :(

And for how to navigate into the notication center I would say they should have you swipe the konami code :D

I'm sorry but where you get the custom wallpaper idea from? All I've seen in other news is another color, not a wallpaper background...

There just isn't enough visible background area in WP.. The only thing I can see would be some different colors, and hopefully textures, but an image,, I don't know how that would work.. Either way, they should let us choose our own background.... Hopefully it's coming in WP8.0-0xxxx

Uf, settings are truly awful. At least ones you need the most are on top, but some categorizing would be nice, or search

Lol brilliant ? Really? Its crap. And now with paper for IOS and soon
For android our fb app for WP is even more outdated. Pathetic.

The current Facebook app is virtually identical to other OS's, and no phone has better Facebook integration, except the Facebook android thing which everybody hated. You have Facebook chat integrated into your txt messaging, you have Facebook photos integrated into your photo albums, you have statuses and photos and contact details and history integrated into your phonebook, you can post statuses straight from your ME page, you can see your news feed straight from the phonebook and you can share photos straight to Facebook from albums or the camera, the live tile gives you recent activities, probably more I'm forgetting... What the hell else do you want?!?! iOS has no integration at all except posting pictures, android has varying integration but unless you have the Facebook android its nowhere near as much... I don't get it, please tell me what you want integrated which isn't?!

First of all it is laggish, second if it is longer message you want to read, you need to open it in browser, then if you want to select and copy text, you cant. You cant attach anything in a message to someone and a lot of other things...

Its no more laggish than ios or android, that's down to the speed of Facebook itself. You can attach things to messages, i do it all the time. Honestly I hadn't ever noticed that you can't copy text with the app, but if you go back to the integrated Facebook instead of the app (which after all is what this person was requesting) you can copy text.

In the peoples hub,the news feed is just about the pages and stuff but not about friends ,which is the basic thing ,and we need a better Facebook app from Facebook itself ...why arent they making a wp version ?

The people hub mainly only shows your friends status', if you aren't seeing them then you have set it up incorrectly, Also if you go into a specific friends phonebook entry you will see just their wall, and their photos. again if you aren't seeing this you have set it up incorrectly, and again these are feature which iOS and android don't have integrated which WP does.

You can't tag people in a post by typing their name, quite annoying; If you want to view a message that you have to hit "read more" it loads it in a browser window instead of just opening it in the app, quite annoying; if you want to like a page you have to open up the settings button at the bottom, they could just add a like icon; you can't edit your about me section within the app....I could go on, but this is a pretty good list of areas that need improvement.

Another annoyance that's not necessarily related to the facebook app, but does occur a lot more often in the facebook app is that when you're trying to scroll it often opens pictures or posts up accidentally. 

the only thing i miss are the favourites-lists...i don't know how they are called in english... it's for tidying up your newsfeed and put some of your most important facebookpages into different lists....

THAT is a very basic feature i am missing... apart from that one everything works perfect for me.

In addition to HarkAtYou's comprehensive list there is also Lock Screen notication support, Lock Screen background photo support, and Glance Background notification support (for Nokia Devices). As far as I am aware, many of these features and those listed by HarkAtYou are unique to Windows Phone and do not exist on iOS or Android currently.

I don't care about the cosmetics like live tiles, integration etc. I want the Facebook app to be more responsive. Every action you doing on the app now require a full refresh. Opening comments, tapping Like, opening photos, etc etc. Have you not see the big differences between our crappy app and the iOS / Android. Things are happening on the fly, with much lesser refreshing! And when new events arrived, I'm seeing the new events already on the notification center the moment I opened it on the Android version. But with the WP FB app, I still need to wait for the updates to be loaded! Even the chat messenger does not received message in real time. I need to either make a manual refresh, or wait for the time out refresh. Is just a total crap! TBH, even the official Facebook app for Windows 8 is much much better than this one by MS.

For one, you cannot edit using the FB app, you also cannot tag using the FB app. Yes the integrated app allows tagging but even then you must know the exact name. It doesnt link to the FB database to find the names like the FB app does on other ios. Simple things like displaying the post and the comments together it is unable to do. These things are annoying and why i dont use FB on wp no more

You cannot edit, that is true. But the last time I checked you couldn't on ios either? Perhaps that has changed. You can however tag in the fb app, and it does link to the fb database to find the names just like the other os's.

Just try the Facebook messenger app in android and IOS. Its so awesome. Give respect where due. I don't want to wait all the time.

What needs to happen is to make it so all social media apps can plug into Me similar to how an app can plug into the camera as a lens. Each Me "lens" should be user-optionally active. FB and Twitter need to be ripped out of the OS.

This +A Lot

At the moment Windows Phone doesn't feel really smart if you can't download files or manipulate them like you can on a computer or android phone.

I hope we can install apps to the microSD, but a file manager I can do without. I don't want to be tempted to micro-manage my phone. I had enough of that with windows mobile and webOS. I do hope they add more sections though, like a documents section. It would be nice to be able to download more file types, I just don't care about controlling where they go.

What if there was an option to force apps to download and install to SD? Then, if SD space runs low/out, it would download and install to internal memory.

oh don't worry, you've waited 18 months for this, and actually over 2 years if you count the fact they should have shipped it then. things go slow in windows phone land. slowwww indeed.

I'm jonesing to get my paws on that developer preview of WP 8.1. The notification cent.... Ahem* action menu looks great.

Is the developer preview only available on one device? If I did it on my 1020, do I have to opt out of that one somehow before I get the preview on my 1520? Anyone know?

AFAIK, as long as we use a free developer id (any live id is free developer id, so to speak), we can only have one test device (three for those who paid for a real dev id). So yeah, we can only have one device running preview version. But we know we can circumvent this by create new live id (different id on different device). CMIIW :)

I have a free developer ID and I installed GDR3 in 3 different devices. So I think that they abolished that rule ;)

I see. Thanks for your confirmation and correction. So, as DJCBS said, it can be installed on more then one device then :)

Awesome! Finally we're gonna have a proper notification center. Thanks Daniel!
And by the way, will the new devices announced after april be Lumia or still Nokia Lumia?

I don't like long goodbyes. I've already reconciled myself to the fact so I want a clean break - do it right away!

That what I've been hoping for! Rumour says new flagship will also have superb camera. I really want it to be a Nokia!

That's a great idea. They need to push WP8 a little better in Australia too and this may be the best idea to do it.
I get so happy when I see someone using a WP8 and a Nokia especially. :)

Yeah i noticed it written in the article ;) hehe. I cant believe something as simple as a battery percentage isn't already there. Such a hassle having to gl in to the settings to see a percentage. Not sure if im alone, but the image that represents how much battery you have left almost never represents the actual level properly

^_^ can't wait for developer preview :) hope by all this android/ios users can switch to windows phone since they miss all this on wp platform.quick toggles , clear notifications of Action Centre , battery percentage / date & time , hope they port most popular requested suggestions like install/move apps to SD card , a basic file manager for power users , better battery management .

It could mean April 20th? I know Nokia is keen on putting the phone model as the time in the screenshot.

You can choose what those 4 settings are, so it might be possible to set one of those as a Flashlight app.  We'll have to see! :)

why? Because apple has it there. Must be the highest waste of space in a notification centre to put a flashlight button there. I just lauged when i saw it on ios7

Did the thought that, what you consider a waste of space might in fact be very useful to another user, ever crossed your mind? Of course it didn't.

did u ever think of placing useful stuff on a start screen. Not sure why it should be placed on the notification screen where not even all phones would support that function. Well. Not every usefull thing makes sense just because it does in your head

If you look at the notification center settings page that was leaked earlier, it showed how you could choose up to four or five quick setting options. Putting the two together tells how it could be. If they add flash light like a toggle, it would be interesting.

Exactly and a heck of a lot faster than going to the flashlight tile. I have flashlight towards the bottom of my start screen on my 1520 only because I have messaging and social media apps on the top and middle

FINALLY!!!!

the only thing that is really missing for me on windows phone since launch is this! can't wait :) hope we can get this preview as soon as its announced :)

The awesomeness of this notifications center is over 9000!!!seriously can't wait for this.BTW Is Installing apps directly to SD card confirmed in wp8.1??

I think I'm the only one here who wished the icons for those quick settings be a little bigger. Metro is basic but damn that basic? I still want it though :)

I was thinking the same thing. they should be centered. What's the point of having them of center and a bunch of blank space like that. May be it's an old build.

Plus there is absolutely no need to put text under those icons to scream out what the icons mean. It looks like MS did not work hard enough to refine the look of the notification centre. They have just made a solid black panel as the notification centre? I hope we can change that colour.

In October 2012 Microsoft said they ran out of time with the notification center. 1.5 years later and this is all. They've had a chance to see how iOS and Android handle their notification center so they better blow us away with this one.

Exactly. It just takes them too long, they're too damn slow. They are going to lose the game if they don't pick up the pace. They announce in April, release later in the year. So almost 2 years since WP8...

Satya says mobile and cloud are the future so I hope he holds the Windows Phone team more accountable and demands quicker results. Phones are replaced by people sometimes several times a year (lost/damaged) and they want new stuff. If Windows Phone doesn't offer new features why will people buy them? The 920 is still sold at at&t, what new software features does it offer compared to when it was released? What big software differences does the 1520 have over the 920? This notification center is taking too damn long to be released. I refuse to believe they ran out of time in 2012. They hadn't even started that sucker back then.

I personally have no issues with the design or layout of this. So MS had extra time, at least it doesn't look like the other platforms. Im all for people to have their own opinions but i cant stand complaints when no one has used or seen the thing in action. Also, those complaining about the notification center not being centered, i think that's because of the area of the phone os its piggy backing on, the connectivity area. Since that expands the full width of the screen, i think it would look weird if the notification center didn't.

how do you know what the rest of the os looks like in 8.1??? maybe the modern design on the main screen has been updated too, we have so very little information on the complete os.

Not sure, but I hope so... It's a must for the 8S and similar phones... Even if the card has to by encrypted by some means, I really don't care!

Weirdly i think the Fake Notification section desigs were kinda better, though this one is more consitant with the current OS.

It's not in the top bar, if you look at the screenshots it's UNDER the top bar (i.e. when you swipe down to see the mini quick actions).

That to me seems super annoying. They really need to put the % up top. I am ALWAYS looking at that on my iphone and do not want to have to swipe down everytime to see something as simple as the percentage... lets hope you don't have to only swipe down to see it. :-/

Why are you checking the battery every few seconds, Windows Phone alerts you if the battery is low anyway and if you use battery saver then the icon with a heart shows up at 20% anyway!!

I'm waiting for the new MS/Nokia phone with 8.1 and every time I see portion it make it much more harder for my waiting.

You're welcome - glad I made you LOL! For the meantime, someone is about to get fired. To be notified through Action Center!

For missed toasts/notifications yes. That is only thing I like about Android.
Not necessary for emails and texts-got tiles for those..

But notification center will effect the live tiles feature .. I think live tiles work great and it make wp platform different..

Live tiles aren't going anywhere. You'll now be able to see notifications for apps that aren't pinned

I feel like unpinning whatsapp now. Why would I need it but as a shortcut? Maybe I'll unpin alot of apps now. Keep the ones that only show pictures.

I think you'll still need the shortcut. If you have no notification but want to text someone ... don't you need it then?

Maybe lack some of the features like Cortana ? That happened to Siri . But I hope it will not happen .

New CEO with belfiore might look upon that matter of cortana. It should be available first for English speaking countries, India and china too even Italy

You're dreaming. Microsoft has made it very clear, over and over again, they're an American company focused in the American market. The number of windows phone users worldwide is only important when they want to show America how well WP is doing. You can even trade a used S3 or iPhone 4 for a brand new Lumia 1520 in the US. Pretty soon in the US, if one buys a WP Microsoft will give a corvette, a house in Hollywood and a part in the next Spiderman movie.

This is nice.  I'm not sure I care that much, but if this floats everyone's boat then awesome.  I guess I'll care if TMO deems 8.1 worthy of my mighty and epic Lumia 810.  Otherwise... carry on. 

We're not getting Black so I would be surprised if we get 8.1. It's unfortunate; I think the 810 is the best-looking Lumia. Hopefully they make another all-black monolithic Lumia. Not betting on it though.

I'm not that interested in the notification center (I'm fine with live tiles), but the shortcuts look nice! Shortcuts are the only major thing left on my "must have" list of wp8 features.

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