In early 2014, Microsoft is expected to release Windows Phone 8.1 “Blue”, a true OS upgrade for current Windows Phone 8 users that will bring along with it numerous design changes. One of the big features that many users expect is a notification center, and early reports, including ones from our own sources, have confirmed that this feature will be included.
Today, a photo has appeared on the XDA forums posted by user ‘When I’m gone’ that allegedly reveals Windows Phone 8.1 Blue on a Nokia Lumia 620. The photo was almost unbelievably “found on an SD Card”, which is either a poor source story or casts doubt on the authenticity.
Screenshot taken by Joe Belfiore reveals new task bar layout
In the photo, we can see a Notification tile with an ‘*’ used along with a counter. The same ‘*’ is used in the task bar to correspond to the alert. Speaking of the task bar, it has been updated with icons moved slightly and nicely matches the screenshot Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore posted earlier, also thought to be Windows Phone 8.1 Blue. If this is a spoof, detail is being adhered too.
We also see what appears to be a unified inbox that includes Outlook but also Skype. Skype on Windows 8.1 destktop is supposed to get deeper integration with the OS and it would make sense that the same would happen on Windows Phone 8.1—this could be the first sign of it, were this photo to be accurate.
Finally, the background reveals what appears to be a “Microsoft Confidential” notice, perhaps related to the flashing of the phone and a warning.
Back in June, a Lumia 920 developer device was bought that contained an early build of Windows Phone 8.1. It too had a notification center, though we've heard that version has since been scraped for a different layout.
Windows Phone Central cannot verify the authenticity of the image, but like this weekend’s massive GDR3 leak, the information in the photo does match reports of features found in 8.1. Windows Phone 8.1 is in late stages of development.
We can add that notifications for the Center could optionally be "ghosts", meaning they won't cause Toast notifications or alerts on the device, but instead will show up in the Center. This will evidently be a developer option, part of thew new SDK and it will be used for more common notifications, ones that are not deemed urgent.
Source: XDA; Thanks, Fraggy, for the tip
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.