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Windows Phone 8.1 Action Center revealed in hands-on video

Another day, another leak. Yesterday, the new swipe keyboard for Windows Phone 8.1 was shown on video and today it’s the more interesting Action Center. Users swipe down from the top to reveal the center, which gives 4 selectable quick actions. In addition, the Action Center also houses the Notification Center, where users can see all the missed incoming Toast notifications, as well as silent ones too.

The video matches up with an earlier, initial leak of the Action Center.

Delving into Settings for the Action Center, we can see that users have a wide range of choices for the quick-action bar, including Bluetooth, Brightness, Camera, Flight Mode, Internet Sharing, Location, Project my Screen and Rotation Lock. For Messaging, users can opt to show notifications and change the sound for those messages.

Windows Phone Central has not yet verified the authenticity of the video, though Unleash the Phones did post a legitimate video of the swipe keyboard. We’ll update with more as information comes in.

Update: The video is real, but the build is a 'few weeks old' meaning this may not be the final way it looks.

All in all, Action Center looks to be the big ticket item that users will make the most out of in Windows Phone 8.1. On first glance, we’re highly impressed. What about you?

Check out our full feature list for Windows Phone 8.1 here.

Source: Unleash the Phones; Thanks, Doomguy, for the tip

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Reader comments

Windows Phone 8.1 Action Center revealed in hands-on video

305 Comments

I really don't understand the logic, Quick access to something that is going to be used so extensively is not included in the action centre, I'll wait till april to pass my judgement though, these are just pre release stuff.

You turn off your mobile data often? Why? I only do it on vacations to avoid any possibility of roaming charges. The action center is for things you might access daily. Bluetooth and wifi are accessed daily. I just don't see a situation where someone would need to turn off mobile data on a daily basis.

To save battery.. Also I am almost always near a wi-fi network which gives me faster speed and better battery. I only turn on Data if needed (If I'm at college where I dont have wi-fi) Its pretty annoying going back and forth into the settings.

Well I'm not sure where you live mate, but here in New Zealand most people have a mobile data cap of 500mb per month. And so I have my mobile data /off/ 90% of the time, and turn it on when I want to use it. Reeeeeally hope this gets added to the list.

I don't know what kind of apps you use but if I don't use my phone to surf, watch movies, etc. I don't get over 150 MB at month. If do use the phone to download stuffs I get up to 5 GB that has been my record.

You can always let data on and only surf the web when there is a wifi network available. Notifications, email and stuffs like that doesn't really add to the data cap.

In Romania the mobile data cap varies up to few Gb (e.g. 4Gb) but it costs 0.2 EUR/Mb above the cap. In any case my phone shows 17 Gb(!) data usage in one month over WiFi... That would be 3600 $ if it would be above the data cap. Even with modest excess data over the quota, say 2 more Gb of YouTube you have to pay 560 $.

Congratulations, you live in a First World country (tm) where you're not forced to pay in blood and sell your soul to He Who Shouldn't Be Mentioned (pbuh) if you're over your data allowance

what ..notifications only for system apps (phone,message)....so the whats app messages and the facebook notifications,news feed and the notifications from other app wont show up in action center?....if it doesn't this is not good

check out the video....the part when he goes to action center settings...there are options only for phone ,message and some WiFi banners meh...

Yeah, but that could be because there are no apps installed for this yet except the built in ones...

Lol, this is not a screen of a Windows Phone OS, please open your eyes, it seems like kind of an Android shell.

Yep, just note the Wi-Fi icon location, No SIM text, battery percentage under the icon, and the date under the time, this is never going to be a WP 8.1 screen :)

You do know the WiFi icon got moved and the battery percentage under the battery icon was confirmed. That being said idk if this is real or fake

Omg, I am really blind, this is a WP 8.1 screenshot, at least if the video is not a fake. Sorry for debates :)

The only apps that would be listed are ones that delcare they have that functionality. He probably didn't have any installed, not to mention apps updated for WP8.1 aren't yet available in the Windows Store.

Also this might be something the programmers might have to add to the apps for it to appear on notification. The system won't know automagically "oh this must be a notification that i need to add to action center"

It is simple, Any app that has the "ID_CAP_PUSH_NOTIFICATION" capability enabled in the WMAppManifest will probably show up.

 

 

so you must be a developer who knows all the coding stuff as in but the question is will Microsoft allow other apps to use the action center?

Which ultimately means developers will conitinue to fuck it up, or be lazy (see their lack of using live tiles properly) and way too many will come to pages like this and cry that MS isn't doing it right.

If app is currently sending "Push Notifications", the permission is already there. So, developers hopefully will not have do anything special. It would be mindless and unuseful strategy to make developers add special code for the notifications to be able to show up in the Notification Center. This "control" should be left to the users.

The notifications logically should be shown by default and allow the user to be able to Toggle Show/Hide on App Level.

Just my 4 cents.

 

 

Exactly. This device has no SIM and likely has not been setup with a Microsoft Account so the user could not install any apps. I say likely has not because it'd be an easy way of pointing yourself out as the leaker if you added your own MS account to this device.

You should know that without an update to the apps you'll not get notifications this way.
Build is all about telling new and old developers about what changed in the OS and how to implement said changes, a beta OS will not experiment with Facebook or Whatsapp.

I'd imagine that developers will have to code their apps to work with the action center. Being that it hasn't been released yet, I could see why only first party apps would be shown in this unauthorized demo.

From the other leaks, it seems that so far no phone functionality has been enabled in this preview build, so I wouldn't read too much into that.

Not impressed.  Maximum of only 4 icons to toggle?  Why don't they do what blackberry did and have the option to display as many as i want?  

At least this is a major improvement of what was there before though!  baby Steps.

Seriously! After all the wait, why would Microsoft limit to only 4 toggles at a time? Beyond my comprehension. They can easily have the toggle panel horizontally scrollable; or they can have the whole Action Center page horizontally, like iOS 7. That way more notification related content can be shown

WP design language is optimized for content and clarity.  Adding as many icons as you want disrupts the clarity in the presentation.  They always have to strike that balance and make decisions on what to allow and what NOT to allow, like the balance between the volume of content and the clarity on the layout.  UI design is not a very easy task at all, and you have to decide what will please most people and reluctantly throw away what will please just a few people.  
 

This guy gets it.^
Too bad your logic will be lost on this illogical horde of cry babies.

SMH.
Seriosly, and unlimited amount of toggles basically takes the "action", or the quickness out of this all together.

@PMICH Yes, 4 icons to QUICK toggle.

I only ever really toggle WiFi off and On, or Sound to mute.

I will have to turn sound off way less when Quiet Hours is baked in.

So what exactly are the 4+ things you want to QUICK toggle.

As I cannot appreciate the whining, but perhaps you have a point. Go ahead, waiting...

Bluetooth, Wifi, Bedside mode, alarm, rotational lock, hotspot and location.  That's 7 that i use quite often throughout the day....especially the first 6.

 

 

I doubt you can toggle alarm like this as you can have many alarms so which would get toggled?

I dont see why not have 5 there looks to be enough room for 5

I would have

bluetooth, rotation lock, wifi, hotspot,

OK yay I only need 4 - sweet!

I think quiet hours sorts the volume issues and anyway the volume has its own shortcut already, i assume that stays.

 

What is bedside mode? Is that a setting or some application you are referrinf to because if its an app then you would just use the live tile and to be fair now i think of it. i ld love an alarm app that lets me name alarms, create a short cut to toggle them - that would be cool. maybe i'll write it.

 

I am not buying 3 and 4, they are both generally nightime settings.

Not sure what location is.

Leaving, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, rotation and hotspot.

4

:)
 

I'm looking for that option (Mobile data) since the rumors about an Action Center began...

No one says this is coming... Can't believe in that... I don't want brightness option, want my Mobile Data toogle too! lol

And no switching of 2G/3G/4G. Can't believe they have managed to mess this up by excluding such obvious actions.

Lol I meant it as they probably have it lol....still you are freaking out about something that's not here yet just chill and wait then if it doesn't come you can bitch all you want.....and something so simple like that in positive it will be there. chill balls and wait a lil

Again, I don't get this toys out of pram on this one.

But I might be missing something. Who / why do you ever need to switch between 2G/3G/4G?

(as I literally know of 0 people who do this.)

My phone switches between GPRS, 3G and HSDPA etc automatically. I never have to touch my signal parameters.

2G drains battery to a much lesser extent, being able to switch to 3G easily when needed would be useful.

Yup really:

 

"Center" would be a synonym for "middle". (He stood in the center of the circle.)

"Centre" would be the word used to describe a gathering place. (The crowd gathered at the new Arts and Innovation Centre.)

Agreed, that this is not the final build and things can change; but for those how say 4 is enough and more than 4 toggles will ruin the simplicity based design language, I would ask you this - 4 may be enough for you, but quite a few people would like to have more than 4. I currently have Wifi, Sound mute, mobile data, GPS, bluetooth on. How exactly will swiping left or right on the toggle panel make the Action Centre any less quick? They can probably have the 4 as default and can have a '+' for the users to add extra slots. 

Finally ! You can set custom sound to message notifications. I am sick of the same sound from every notification.

The pull down from top looks very androidy. I know a notification center has been what a lot of people have been asking for, but I don't think ill be using it at all.

Edit: Meant action center, don't think I'd use a notification center either.

I'm guessing you aren't a native english speaker but just so you know you can't use "I'll" like that. "I'll" is used in situations like "I'll go to the grocery store". You should have just said "I will". Not trying to be a dick but I figured you should know.

he did stress he wasnt been picky and trying to be helpful. good man, +1 for the help  @DMacke

-1 for you being a douche.:)

I'm not a douche, grammar corrections online is like giving speeding tickets on the autobahn, completely unnecessary and defeating the point of the medium. If you understand what he is trying to say thats all that matters....besides if English is not his first language and where he lives it not that necessary what's the point. There some toolery and assholery I feel embeded in wvry grammar correction online whether that's their intention or not....

Not really, even in a country that has english as a second language, speaking proper english is a bonus to those that wants to be succesful. And you are being a douche be being rude to someone who tried to correct people politely. If dmacke was one of the rude grammar Nazis, I can understand why you did that, but he's not.

Didn't say I was rude I just wasn't a douche. And I don't understand the big deal. I don't care how polite someone is correcting my grammar is never okay just being a tool

I don't understand the big deal either. The OP wasn't offended by it so why should you? You're the only one who has a problem with me trying to help the guy out.

No it's not grammar and composition class. But if he is not a native english speaker and applies for a job where english is the dominant language and puts this on a resume or application it would look bad. I'm not trying to grammar troll, just trying to help the guy out.

Hahaha lol if he is not a native speaker and it looks bad on an English speaking place and they know he isn't English speakin I think he'll be alright lol

You're right about me not being a native English speaker. And thanks for the correction; that's a mistake I won't commit in the future. ;)

Anybody who says they won't use it, will miss a news or message toast notification, find it in the center and fall in love with it. I guarantee.

I believe you. I am already in love.

This is going to be a beautfiful update. Quite hours, action centre, separate volumes controls are already enough to keep me in love. WP will be beautiful to me then.

I just said I wouldn't be using it, never said you couldn't use it either. Don't know why you had to swear at me for my personal preference.

calm down buddy. I remember you as the ridiculous Nokia Fan boy. But with your horrible English, it makes sense now that you're a bit immature.

I bet you will use it a little bit. But the quick settings thing is a massive boon to the OS, something that should've been in there from the beginning of WP8.

I've been using tile shortcuts for the quick settings. Worked well enoigh. This will make it slightly quicker and I can free up a little space on my home screen since I won't need those tiles anymore.

The way that Android implemented the notification centre is perfect, and there is no reason to change it. And if you won't use the action centre, it doesn't mean that other people won't. And if you don't find the quick toggle usefull, well...

HTC called it "blink feed" first, right?
Oh and a far as I'm concerned it's more Windows MOBILE task bar than android. When android first intorduced it, it looked like the next gen version of what WM already had.

Wrong, Android don't use tiles or squares. Is the OEMs that have their individual roms to be tile looking designs. So, get the fact right. Android is still good with its widgets, unlike flipping squares. And now MS feel that tiles are just not good enough for the jobs, hence they added notification center, just like how it works on Android.

No, that'll make using the windows button slower since it'll have to wait to confirm if you're swiping up or not before being activated. This'll make it frustrating having to wait just to go to the start screen.

I don't think the phone is as slow as you imagine. It can process tasks or detections much faster than your thumb movement.

But there will be a lag, just like how browsers tend to wait 0.3 ms before doing anything just to detect double tapping.

Really? As long as it provides the greatest way, why MS shan't make it on WP too? I think swipe down is the best way because we can access it everywhere.

Wish I could still edit my original post so I could bold some key parts many of you commenting to me missed, but this is WPC, where we all drink the cool-aid, so whatever.
1. I did not say that because I wasn't going to use it that no one else should use it.
2. I have never missed a notification, probably because my phone is always on silent and I don't have a Facebook. All I do is look at the glance screen and it hasn't failed me yet. Even in the years before hand on my venue pro I still managed to keep track of my text and emails (the notifications I use). This probably adds to the fact that I wouldn't use the action center.
3. The pull down menu is very similar to android. It doesn't mean I think they should try a different way, that I know of a better way, or that because android has magazines that copy live tiles it makes it okay to copy the pull down menu (or whatever it is some of you people are rambling about).
4. If people have a different opinion than you, attacking them or swearing at them is a very childish thing to do.

But I agree with you people are very bitchy....lol they don't know how to disagree respectfully or make an opinion civilized-ly. I think it come from a emasculated real life so they have to be "hard" online

I just think it's silly to make grammatical corrections online. Just like I think it's silly to make grammar corrections or tweets fb posts or even texts. Lol I'm writing a quick message. If you start correcting sleeping and contractions might as well start on correct punctuation and correcting syntactical errors as well but since that would be doing wayyyyyy too much you can understand why I dislike just corrwcting small insignificant grammatical errors.

Lol iPhone has a pull down fro. The top as well.....and it just makes more sense because with windows metro UI you slide from left to right a lot and it would become very annoying if your swiping the screen and the action or notification cent came up

I see what you mean, but accessing it from any other way, besides a button push would make it pretty difficult to access when you are inside an app that scrolls left and right.

Not really. I meant leaks of WP8.1 in action. ;)
Besides, leaks haven't exactly been "flowing" until recently. :D A trickle up until now perhaps. ^_~

It's f**king amazing that a very important missing feature is finally coming to WP. I can't wait till I receive the update on my T-Mobile L925 ... In 4 years.

+1 or something like "seven eighter" created with MS help ;) Good old days .. used seven eighter to update WP 7.8 on my Lumia 710, felt on the top of the world..lol

Haha...i too have a T-Mobile L925 with the Update 3 Developer Preview. I know how you feel...still now official Update 3 or Lumia Black release. My guess is that they will release new 8.1 devices before update existing devices...which is fine if you have JUMP (which I do)...you can just use it to get an 8.1 device.

On another note...i hope there is a toggle to turn the action center/notification center off. I like to just use the live tiles and the notification section of the ME tile.

Looks good but why didn't they add the option to turn off data? Am I missing it? They always seem to leave one little thing behind.

EDIT: They do have a WiFi shortcut on there. In the preview build, it seems that the phone functionality is not included, but I bet cellular data will be an option too in the final build. Whew.

Finally! And it's out of the way so everyone here who cries and complains that "we don't need a notification center!" don't have to use it.

Soooo, the Toast Notifications will be renamed to Banners? Liked this.

Anyone else noticed some "Groups" in the Start screen? I can see "Games", ":" and another one. And I could can also a arrow in the right of some of these groups names. This is also coming?

 

I believe that Folders are built into WP 8.1 because in the Icon Leak, there is a set of icons for the Start Screen and one of them is an open folders icon.

http://mynokiablog.com/2014/02/19/cortana-icon-set-shows-specific-voice-controlled-features-plus-icons-for-maps-system-vpn-camera-scenes-action-centre-etc/

Now, the open folders could be for a type of File Explorer but we will find out soon enough.

I do have the App Folder app from Nokia though and I have my games grouped in a Games "folder/group" currently.

FINALLY! YES,this will save me from 4 or so tiles i use on my startscreen for those quick actions,Gratz MSFT,it looks droid-ish but this is what is needed

At this point would agree with you on this ^^^^

Less need for tiles on start screen IS a benefit and missed toast notifications will not happen.

Daniel i dont know if this has been answered but do you know if there will be a setting for message to go off again incase you missed the first notification

I like the fact that the notification center can be customized. Doesn't look half-baked, so that's another good thing. I'm definitely looking forward to this update now.

Pissed off that it leaked... Poor MSFT nothing to show off in #build might as well release 8.1 in MWC 2014....hope cortana does not get leaked.....

Yeah, Cortana has an opportunity to make some noise when released. Probably what I'm most excited/interested to see. Especially if it is actually her voice, my WP decision will be solidified!

It was never said, nor confirmed that it would be. Matter of fact, it was said here and on the WPC podcast that it was highly unlikely that it would be.

I think showing it off with proper context will be plenty. Plus most people won't look at these leaks anyway - the general public will first hear of these things when they are officially released.

sorry, i should have went into more detail.. I also hope the action centre can be access from the lock screen. This is where I'd like to have quick access to a flash light. In my line of work the flash light has become extremely handy. I'm also a minamilist so having a tile of for it is messy. imo.

Not sure about it being accessible from the lock screen, but other than making it available for developers to add notifications, or toggles to the AC they can't really do this seeing as WP doesn't have a native flashlight.

why don't you put all of your apps in quick settings? jebus. people are never satisfied. you can pin a small tile for flashlight on your homescreen.

I mean, stop bitchin about it. It can either be pulled from somewhere od swiped from somewhere! Clearly Microsoft went with the first option because it is the most common one, not to mention the taskbar is at the top, so it gives a hint there's more to be pulled down from it. Furthermore, nav bar is going to be pulled up on onscreen-buttons phones, so it was either that or swipe. Since you will be able to swipe from the left over a live tile to clear its content I suppose putting the Action Centre to the left of the Start Screen was impossible because half of the time you would call it up instead of cleaning the Tile. Imagine the rant then. No matter what they choose it will never please everyone. :) I am happy they are doing something notifications-wise and I am very much looking forward to having those ghost notifications going to the centre without alterting the shit out of me every few minutes.

Yes, exactly! Left of the start screen is a stupid place anyway. If you have your quick actions like WiFi, Bluetooth, etc there then its just a second start screen, and can't be accessed from anywhere in the OS. There are already apps to add quick settings tiles to the start screen anyway.

I hope you can put a flash light app to the quick settings and have access on the lock screen. Its the only thing I'd want really quick access to

Veru useful, like on Android. I just hope that Data is also an option 'cause data is one of the switches I use the most.

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