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More alleged screenshots of Windows Phone 8.1 Blue leak, show potential Notification Center

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.

Source: Windows Phone Central Forums, Twitter; Thanks, zhoulhas, for the tip

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

127 Comments
  • the plot thickens!
  • Just add some chicken broth to water it down.  Oh!  You said plot.
  • Lol
  • Ha! I thought chicken pot too... Funny. I do wish these changes are coming though. Specially the swipe left for notifications. That would be awesome as it would make the home screen the "center" of attention... jejeje
  • If he really had Blue on his phone and leaking in this manner i think Microsoft would have been allover him already. I hope that these are real tho because they look awesome :)
  • Are you serious? MS is giving phones with early OS builds to trustable employes.
  • "trustable employes." LOL...Have you ever been on a major hardware beta for Microsoft ??? Trust me when I say, it, they send you a package of paper work with NDA all over it to read and sign BEFORE you get any hardware. It's very legal on what you can and cant do (pretty much cant say a thing to anyone besides people in your own home)...
     
    Leaking stuff like this is a good way to get into a legal battle with Microsoft OR get banned for life from any Microsoft betas..
     
    With that being said....did someone leak the rom for my 928 yet ? :)
  • I bet all these leaks are intenional as a way to get around their new "shut up and ship" policy. This way they can keep people like us happy knowing what changes are coming while avoiding any blame if a feature doesn't make it or changes. 
  • inb4 "Waaaah why are we getting a notification center, we don't need one we're not going to be unique anymore!!! :(((" because I see at least one person say it in every article that mentions the subject.
  • I agree..
    But Microsoft should improve a lot their live title..
  • I agree. The live tiles are too unreliable as it stands. Terrible. With working live tiles, I couldnt care less about notification centre.
  • Its more then just one user. Lots of us do. Look at it this way. If you don't like it don't use it. Its not like it will be the end of live tiles. Also people that come from Android & iOS will feel more comfortable using WP as parts will be familiar.
  • A notification center, along with force close apps and rotation lock are three of the things that I desperately want on WP. It seems especially silly to leave out an app closer and a rotation lock, especially since those are just "use it or don't" features. A notification center is great as well imo. I love live tiles for seeing the weather, or various updates from specific friends but sometimes I want to just be able to clear my 10 facebook notificaitons from my tile (a la Android) without having to go into the app. And a live tile for some things like airplane mode or wifi is just unnecessary imo.
    Context switches are bad, and it's much better to just be able to swipe and then select something to turn wifi on and off. I do still love WP, but using Android 4.3 on my new Nexus 7 points out a lot of things that Android does (strictly imo) better than WP.
  • I agree... WP does an amazing job of keeping things clean, and no non-sense workflow.
    but it does lack some fairly simple and obvious shortcuts and functions (e.g. double back to closeout an app). And some of my friends who have tried my 925 are really please with what and how WP can do...  Their only complaints being these basic things.
    Interestingly, I have not had any people complain about apps (the gap is getting smaller, faster :)
  • Errr I've been closing apps by double tapping the back button for months..??
  • Yeah, and sometimes you have to press the back button way too many times to get out of an app.
  • Blimey, I never even knew that! Double tap to close.
  • Doesn't seem to work for me if I am more than two steps into an app. Double back to close will be very nice!
  • I'm one of the ones who is very much in favor of a notification center, just in case you didn't catch the ridicule in my post (sorry, really hard to tell who's commenting to who on the mobile app!). I was merely mocking those who argue against a notification center because "it'll make WP less unique" or because we have live tiles, which are ridiculous reasons for not wanting them to bring the feature over when they can, just like you stated, simply ignore the feature and let those who want it enjoy it.
  • My only concerns with a notification center are introducing clutter and creating something that requires constant management a la Android notifications.
  • Exactly.
  • No you don't need a notification center.. Us and I think that I speak for the majority when I say we need a notification center! So stop it with this we don't need a notification center because in reality we do! Don't use it if you don't need it! SIMPLE!
  • Are you talking to me? If so, read my post one more time buddy :)
  • Sorry I apologize for misreading your intent, I mean well, just tired of people saying that we don't need something on WP but clearly we do need this and more.. My apologies. :)
  • Especially as those who feel they dont need it can easily ignore it. Same as force close and orientation lock. Some people just enjoy being contrarian I guess.
  • I personally don't think we NEED one but I'm not against it it all.  I just Custom Notification tones/alarms.  Anything else is icing on the cake.
  • correction you don't need one, be cause no one want to talk to you anyway , just joking, its for apps like espn that post stuff all day but if you dont pick up your phone quickly toull never know what it was
  • Hhhhhhhhhh
  • I want this with Cortana!
  • WP8.1 has Cortana! The problem is WP8.1 coming 3 month's after Windows 8.1
  • Yes-yes-yes!
  • ­
  • Omg cortana O_O yes pleaseeee.....
  • September to December = Months January to March = Blue months I know i know
  • Nobody told *ME* that ''Blue'' is postponed from Feb to Mar Then I will NOT help to debug the first GDR after Blue
    (which already in the plans, but not yet feature-fixed)
  • We will all have WP8.1 by WMC 2014!
  • Seems legit seeing how WiFI signal at top matches with the Joe's tweet pic. Also see how back button is closer to start button , just like a 1520 and it does say NOKIA. And one more thing , don't peek might be related to a notification center at left and might be similar to "Peek" view of Windows 7 and I also might be Super man :P
  • I am...and that is a real, but not the latest...it's coming for Christmas,
    but only if you're really really nice - all your life!!!
  • Microsoft releases it before Christmas...Ok, AT&T March 2014....Verizon June 2014....Got it...
  • Let's hope not. Verizon has actually been pretty good about updating the WP phones so far. I remember getting Mango pretty timely back in the days and my 928 was rocking GDR2 pretty much right away. Of course this is a bigger update and we can just hope that they continue on this path.
  • It sounds great but to think that any WP8 device on AT&T will see this until Spring 2014 is crazy. I'm not even assuming/dreaming that my Lumia 920 will even see WP8.1. So sad.
  • Why would your 920 not see 8.1?
  • I needs to get to GDR2 first.
  • ouch
  • All Trouble & Turmoil
  • Because at&t will want people to upgrade or buy phones outright. They figure if they slow play, or skip altogether, the release of updates that it will force people to get a newer phone. It's all about the money in this capitalist society.
  • Or if Microsoft simply release their enthusiasts program like they talked about a year ago we might not have to worry out att skipping updates. What the heck happen with that program???
  • I agree, but it won't do anything about the perception of updates for WP because only the enthusiasts (fitting right?) will get in on it. I guess the general public doesn't know or care much about updates, but we need existing phones to get cortana so the average Joe will tell their friends about it.
  • I agreed.
  • My phone is ready
  • What's going on area = notification centre?
  • Now that would be clever and please the "I need to have access to it from anywhere" crowd. 
  • You sir, have striked the nail on it's head. That makes the most sense indeed. :) Now let's all hope you are right on this one.
  • Something about that Blue indication is so effin sexy. This truly is Mango 2.0 ladies n gentlemen
  • Require passwork for the kids corner is a good idea... My 925 (GDR2) is already asking for the password for the kids corner (is this a glitch, coz the password is the same as for the other side)
  • No this way you'll be able to disable the kids corner password. That way your kids/friends don't have access to your phone or password. Just what you let them access in kids corner.
  • Double Start = Double tap the Start (windows key) button?
  • yes
    Start = [#]
  • Why double-clicking the Back button to close an app, when two or three single clicks close most apps already? Is it really that hard? We'll be getting the app closing feature in the multi-tasking screen anyways. And the double Start is totally unnecessary and cumbersome. Actually, all double taps are, in this context.
    To me, these are clear signs of a fake leak.
  • I guess closing app means here, the app really closes and won't appear anymore on the task screen, so if you long-press the back button it won't be here anymore.
    and btw: there a lot apps where you pressing the back button WON'T close the app!
    I really would welcome this feature!
  • Double tapping the back button does close the app completely and takes it out of the task list. Am I the only person in the friggin ecosystem who actually uses this??
  • No, but you're apparently the only person who doesn't use an app that goes more than 2 steps deep.
  • 2 or 3 back button presses does not close an app if you're 6 pages deep into it.
    I'm not sure you can say that the "double tap start" is unnecessary, when you don't know what it does.
  • True, but well-designed apps seldom go that deep. I do see the convenience under the extreme cases. The few apps that hijack the phone though... Could be killed (hopefully) with the upcoming capabilities.
  • Long press back button, then double tap back button, and it should close the app.
  • The "double tap to close" isn't a system wide "feature", it isn't even a feature at all. It closes the majority of apps because most apps are only used by people enough for them to need to use one "transition" forward into the app. Hitting back takes you one "transition" back, so by hitting the back button twice you are effectively making two "transitions" backwards, which closes the majority of apps. It still leaves users having to hit back multiple times for more complex apps in order to close them, so why not provide an easier way of doing so?
  • I'm not enthusiastic about double tapping capacitive buttons.
  • And the beauty of it is, you don't have to. YOu can hold down the back button and tap the X close there too :)
  • How is it any different than double-tapping the touch screen, which is already used in the OS?
  • WTF?? Double tapping the back button works in pre GDR2 and has done for months??
  • Doesn't do anything besides go back twice on my AT&T Lumia 920.
  • Swipe right, all notification center. Save one type (calls, messages, apps...or whatever) or all notifications to tile.
    Seriously Microsoft, Is that so hard to implement...?
  • +1
  • What if they are reserving that space for something more awesome ??
    MSFT wont simply ignore it for any reason...I am sure many aleeady had this idea..
  • I don't see anything more awsome and needed than a good notification center.
  • I really hope Microsoft will fix Kid's Corner. It's stupid that you have to enter your password to let someone into that corner, since it has been envisioned as something easily accessible, to steer people (or kids) away from the main stuff. By the way, I know mobile phones are personal devices, meaning it rarely happens that two or more people use the same device daily but it would be kinda cool to have multi account support on our Windows Phones. I have this image of dual SIM Windows Phones supporting two Microsoft Accounts in my mind and I have yet to find a practical use for it, but hey, it's just a concept.
  • protip:
     
    BEFORE you setup the kid's corner for the very FIRST time, chose a lockscreen password, now you can access the kid's corner without any password and still have a lockscreen password on your side. words 100 %.
  • Thanks for the tip, I'll give it a go. :D
  • That didn't work for me. I setup my phone in this manner when I first got it and it still uses my password to access kids corner.
  • I used to think the password on kid's corner was a bug.  But now I don't think it is.  I think it makes perfect sense to unlock the phone for them to use it.  The corner is not for them to be able to access it without permission, it's just a way to isolate the applications.  Personally, when my battery is low it's nice to know I can set my phone down and not find it completely dead because the kids got a hold of it and played some battery-crushing game.
    However, I do like the idea that they could make the password optional - but I totally agree with how they chose to default this since the beginning.
  • I didn't know the password thing was an issue. I have a working kids corner that doesn't require a password while the main screen does. It's been like thus pre GDR1 too.
  • Hope its not going to look like that......they need to just swipe left to right and that's it
  • yeah, that's the way it looks like on the screen: where the "don't peek" stands, you habe to swipe, so from the left to the right and the notification center will appear.
  • Daniel,
    Will we have a new phone, Lumia 1820?
    :-)
  • yes and more to come !
  • link, Siddartha! 
  • patience :)
  • I hope that these leaks quit happening. I want to be surprised and more importantly I want the competition to be surprised.
  • Indeed. I don't know how many times I've told myself to stop reading articles covering leaks, but I can't help it, it's stronger than me. :)
  • +920
  • +1520
  • The thing is, Microsoft may have many things in the works that the public don't know about and are yearning for. Remember the game drought we got last spring and ppl were damn near ready to jump ship about it? Leaks (not saying this one in particular) sometimes intentionally happen to let the public know Microsoft is indeed listening. There was a huge farcry over the notification center being just a tile, and lo & behold... now we have a pic hinting that it may be on the left of the start screen. Which probably could have been the plan all along. I take these leaks, get excited to know somethig great is indeed coming our way... but I rarely ever complain about them. If an uncoming update seems lackluster (GDR1+2), I don't complain. I just keep quiet about it and wait for it. Now BLue... that will be very hard to wait for
  • Well Idk about you guys but I'm glad they are fixing Kids corner. I might actually start locking my phone again(granted, this won't come into effect till 8.1 so I'll still not let any of the kids use my phone till then.) I really hope the double start isn't right. I hit the start button a bunch of times when I get out of apps. It's just a habit, idk why(maybe I just like the vibration feedback, it feels good to know that you actually hit a button), but this will cause issues with me. I personally don't need a notification center, but thankfully we're on a WP and I can just throw it to the app list and never have to see it again. That's what I like about the WP and hate about other devices. There is somewhere where we can just put our unneeded apps and never have to use them or see them.
  • Thanks for the rumor. Personally, I'm chomping at the bit for 8.1 and all it should be able to do. I don't expect to see any additional updates to my Lumia 920 from AT&T at this point. What we have now is probably all we are going to see, especially since the 920 is aging.  8.1 signals the re-birth of WP. Late 2014 is my guess.  I'll wait.
  • http://www.mobileworldcongress.com/ WP8.1 will be there!
  • Whoa, require password option in kid's corner! I hope L822 gets the update up to blue:-)
  • My 1020 is ready. Att would send this update in 2015
  • The more news about WP8.1 comes forward, the more excited I'm becoming. I truly hope the Windows and Windows Phone operating systems are getting closer together as well in terms of features and interface. Like the notification center, that would be awesome in Windows as well. And more functionality of the capacitive Windows button on tablets, like on the phones would be a welcome feature too.
    In my opinion, Microsoft should really bring WP and Windows together starting with app purchases. If you buy an app on a Windows Phone, you should automatically have it on your Windows Pc/Tablet/AIO as well.
  • Same thoughts here.
    Seems WP8.1 is finally going to fill 99.9% of the gaps of the missing features.
    Next big step is to merge WP and Windows RT (or remove one) and have one store with one app that run on PC/Tablets/Smartphones.
  • The future is NT 7.0 (Windows 9) 2015 one OS for all platform's! PC, Tablet, Smartphone.....and 14nm Intel 64 technology only!
  • For the umpteenth time Microsoft, be smart and make full use of the sensor that is used for Glance. There is so much potential there. Once the screen is on, the sensor can be used to activate even the notification centre (citing just one of the possibilities).
  • I think double tap means notification centre.. Cool
  • Same here
  • Cortana, all I want to know is did we lose them?
  • I think we both know the answer to that.
  • WP8.1 will be the best OS @MWC 2014! http://www.mobileworldcongress.com/
  • Notification center is much needed. If I get a notification and don't read it,it is gone.
  • Exactly, very irritating!!
  • Am I the only one that remember the "Don't peek*" message for Build 2013 (buildwindows.com/announcement). Anyway, I can't wait for this update. Looks prety nice! :)
  • I want the search button to do universal search exactly like it does in Windows 8.1. And I want the "make available offline" feature from SkyDrive in Windows 8.1.
  • We most certainly need a notification center. Yes, it may make WP8 less "Unique" but a lot more user friendly because with few apps that have toasts on but no live tile support, we'll have no idea what we were notified about if we miss it once, no second chance and that is a big drawback!
    \
  • With regard double tapping the back button to close apps, it seems there are so many people asking for this I'm starting to get paranoid that I'm making a mistake but I'm pretty sure I aren't.. If I am in any app and I double tap the back button it closes. Its not shown in the switcher (long hold on back button) anymore. I've been doing this for months and months and I cannot believe that one of the most requested features on WP8 has actually been implemented for such a long time?? If someone wants to correct me feel free but otherwise Daniel is it worth doing a feature article on this?? It proves conclusively that Microsoft's biggest failing with WP and Windows 8 is the lack of communication of operating instructions..
  • No you are wrng go into the wpcentral app open an article and open images in it or rather i mean to say go thrice deep in the hierarchy and try double back button u wont be able to close it but itll just take u 2 steps back
  • Yes tats right..
  • The "double tap to close" isn't a system wide "feature", it isn't even a feature at all. It closes the majority of apps because most apps are only used by people enough for them to need to use one "transition" forward into the app. Hitting back takes you one "transition" back, so by hitting the back button twice you are effectively making two "transitions" backwards, which results in the app closing because the first time you hit the back button it usually takes you to the main menu of the app and the second button press closes the app. We need a more simple way of killing app processes.
  • This is not a feature of the Current WP8 or GDR2 + AMBER. Pressing Back navigates backwards in the page stack in Apps. If Double tapping Back goes back in any app its likely because it was only 2 pages deep or somehow coded specifically to do this.
    My problem with this functionality is that it will break the frequent activity of quickly tapping BACK to go backward through apps, as it will force a close. They CANNOT do this without first alerting DEVs that it will break their apps or significantly change the user flow experience.
  • I don't like the double tap function. With capacitive buttons, it bound to accidental double register. How do you like it when you want to go back one step in an app and you end up closing the app?
    I'm really hoping that MSFT listen to my feature suggestion: http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/sugg...
    Help me vote for visibitily guys!
  • Doesn't double back already close an app?