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Leaked Windows Phone 8.x dev build screenshots reveal notification center and more

A reddit thread posted just over 8 hours ago tells the story of a user who has purchased a Nokia Lumia 920 from eBay only to discover they are in possession of a device that seems to have once belonged to a Microsoft engineer.

Said user has posted several screenshots from the device which appear to show off a brand new calendar design, the ability to organise apps by frequency of use, and perhaps most interestingly: a notification center.

Whilst we can’t be 100% certain of this information, the quantity of screenshots that have been provided, as well as the presence of what appear to be internal apps still in development definitely lends some credibility to this rumour, in fact we're going to go ahead and give this a 7 on the rum-o-meter. Check below for a few of the screenshots and a list of the revealed features so far, or head over to flickr to see the originals yourself.

7: there's a good chance

New Features and changes

  • Notification center
  • Ability to close apps from the multitasking window
  • Sort apps by most used
  • New calendar interface with a week view
  • Data sense available

Initial analysis suggests that this is all very early stages, and the keen eyed amongst you will notice that the notification center appears to be launched via a separate tile. Whilst what is shown here is certainly not the final production ready OS, we can expect that features to be very different and possibly integrated in completely new ways if they ever make the finished product.

test apps and sorting

This story is developing so keep checking back to see if any new information comes to light. What do you make of this information? Are you excited by notifications and more granular app control? Discuss in the comments below!

Update 9:30am ET: We'have had some more information come forward to us via a trusted source. They confirm that these shots were from an "earlier" build of the next-version of the OS, but that subsequent releases since have had the Notification center removed. In addition, before it disappeared, its look became more inline with the People Hub design. What does that mean in the long run? Just that Microsoft is experimenting with different feature sets and some may or may not make it to the final build. So take these screenshots as being accurate, but only as a snapshot within the development process.

Source: Reddit; Via the Verge

447 Comments
  • nice set of features.  
  • Did anyone notice that Notification center is an app/tile?! Even fan concepts were better than this.. :/ 
  • I think the app tile makes the most sense. If you don't care about notifications you don't pin it. If you really care you make a double wide tile, so you can peek at the notifications without opening the app.
  • If i care about notifications i want to have them easily accessible. One swipe away all the time. Imagine this - you're in an app and you want to check the notifications. You have to leave the app, find/scroll the tile and then open it. When you finish you need to hold the back button and choose your app. How about swiping from the top to see your notifications? Why is there a need to make a simple solution complicated? Why is there a need to rethink something which is working flawlessly? I don't get it. I love WP because everything they made so far had so much sense. Notification center as an app/tile has almost the same amount of sense as pinning all the apps to the home screen to see which one notified you. Make it simple and accessible or don't make it at all.
  • Yeah I agree with you. Swiping would so much better then pinning the notification center app on the start screen. I would rather u swipe from the left side rather then the top just to be different frm iPhone and androids. And you should be able to swipe frm any screen u at. Similar to BB10's peak feature.
  • WP uses a lot of swiping to the left and right. It's better to be from top because a user couldn't make a mistake (drag a Not. Cen. instead of just swiping through some app).
  • Swiping left/right is more reasonable, as the all apps is shown on the right side of the screen. So, to make it 'balanced', putting the Notif. Center on the left is a better choice.
  • So many WP fans have told me they didn't like not need a notifications center.
  • I don't need one. That's what live tiles are for
  • +1. I agree with you, but sometimes I missed some notifications because not all apps are shown on the Start Screen.
  • I kind of see that, but by the same token if it's really that important for me to get a notification for an app I do have a live tile for it.
  • If you miss a toast its gone. You'll usually just get a number on the tile of the app which toasted you. Sometimes nothing.
  • That randomness would be bad design for that app (for example, myAppFree is bad because it does not display anithing on the tile; it just uses toasts). Not the fault of the OS.
    The thing is I do want a notification center, but I also want complete control over who can put stuff there, because I don't want spam.
    Tiles and toasts are pretty OK. Except for that damn ocasional ghost toast making noise and disappearing before you get to see what it was.
    I would really like a configurable toast display interval.
  • i would rather be able to expand live tiles on my start screen for each app
  • I understand the overenphasizing of the missing  notification center from users coming from iOS and Android, but it is a bit much. I don't care to see all of the "junk" I have seen in other notification center. I never used webOS other than over someone eles shoulder. I'm totally satisfied with the live tiles and the info they provide. Being naive to the notification center, I could care less. It seems like everyone has A.D.D. and has to continually check their notification center. I think it is just another way for others to handicap windows phone.
  • I don't need one. I'd simply like a list in the ME hub that catches all my toast notifications.
  • Yeh, I agree it is cool to have everything in a list because I imagine that there may be apps that needs to notify but aren´t on the front page, or have an easily visible live tile.  But I have talked to be people who has belittled the benefit of a notification center.
  • Strangis gets it.
  • +100, and even that might be too much.
    I came from Android and don't miss a notification center at all. But then, I'm one of, apparently, five people in the world who's happy with Windows 8 the way it is.
  • I'm very happy with WP8 the way it is, I would however like a 'toast log' of some sort. Every toats that is displayed should be saved in time order. Well, not every toats, only apps you enable (I don't need any game toasts). I'd be 100% happy with the solution in screenshots. Tile with notification counter that shows toasts. Most notifications that I care about are displayed on the glance screen and additional few I have pinned on start.
  • I don't NEED one but if others want one then I'm all for it, hell I'll probably even use it myself if it's there. It's the same old line, don't like it or need it then don't use it!!!
  • Just so that you know, iphone has the peak feature and BB10 was not the first. 
    Nokia N9 also had it before BB10. 
     
  • Indeed.
    I'm still doubting if my next phone will be a Blackberry 10 device or a Windows Phone 8. If they implemented some sort of peak feature, it would be one more reason to go for WP.
  • I would say use the capacitive buttons as the starting point of the swipe to the screen gesture. Start button + swipe up would "open" the notification center. Back button + swipe up opens app switch window (where you can close an app), and I would have Bing on Search + Up. Press Start does the usual stuff, Back button is for back but NEVER for closing an app, Search button is for contextual search (open a search bar + maybe w/ keyboard)
  • Imagine this... you're in an app with the metro design, you can't swipe left for notifications because there is something already there belonging to the app you in. Also, many app update/refresh by swiping from the top.
    I think notifications being a tile is the best way. Also, you can see at a glance if you have any notifications on the live tile.
  • Well if you start your finger from the edge of the screen it could come up. On the Surface if you start from off the screen and move onto it you can switch between apps fast. The only problem is theres not much room on the edge of your phone. They could always make it from the top but thats how ios and Android do and maybe we want something different. Or maybe you could even customize where you want it to come from. I dont know, just throwing some ideas out there.
  • You can't accurately swipe from left on a sub 5" display. You might want to scroll inside an app and instead it gets interpreted as a call for the Notification Center. That's feasible on the Surface because it's a big tablet, and people usually don't swipe from the edges unless they want to multi-task or see the Charms bar.
  • Or they could just stop trying to be different on EVERYTHING and just implement what is familiar and works PERFECTLY on Android and iOS.
  • I totally agree with you. Most will probably keep the tile at the top of the screen anyway.
  • what app has a swipe from top shortcut to refresh it?  never seen that.  swiping from top shows your statys icons.
  • It's pull to refresh. Download the Twitter app.
  • im not sure why is everone freaking out, when you are in an app you are most probably not going to navigate to check a notification (sense we are used to get those as toasts), if its important then you will click the toast to see whats going on, then click back and you right were you left. isnt that how we all WP users do it?
    The notification center is meant for when you leave your phone for some time, not for when you are using your phone.
  • Why have a notification center at all when my lock screen gives me everything I need: emails, missed calls, txt messages, and detailed calendar. What more do you want?!
    I do like the addition of being able to close out the multitasking images!!!!
  • Missed toasts doesnt always show on live tiles. Thats why.
  • Problem there is that you only have a finite number of spaces for app notifications.
  • Personally I think the notification center is most useful and helpful when you've been away. So a spin on how you unlock, or a swipe left from home is fine. Inside an app, I'll still see toast.
  • I disagree. I'd rather just see a list of missed notifications in the ME hub, with a counter on the tile, or expanded information on a large tile. Have what is essentially a toast repository would fix the vanishing toasts issue, which is the only downside to the notification system, IMHO.
  • No it's a bad idea. Let me put it this way, whatif someone wants to open notification center while being remained on screen of any app ?? Something like android or iOS type but somewhat different style should be implemented. It's not different than Unification.
  • I think I'd prefer a long press on the search button. My apps use down left and right swipes which would be broken by this. You could use an up fron the top swipe, but app bars are already there.
  • This is one of two choices. Long press search or have it always be the right-most app after a long press back. But no matter what, it must be in the next version of WP or I'm out. I simply cannot use or recommend this OS to anyone without it. This is an absolutely basic, fundamental feature. If it is in fact "removed" from updated builds, that is dark news, indeed.
  • Well, if you look at the multitasking screenshot, it shows that the notification centre is not able to be closed. (It doesn't have the "X" on it ) Maybe it is always visible when pressing the back- button and can be accessed through both: the multitasking view and a live tile?
  • Good eyes. But maybe you just have to be centered on the app you want to close.
  • Yeah I agree! I doubt if its final version gonna look like that.
  • Obviously that's not the finished product, so everybody calm your tits please
  • NFK! Nevermind it's a 7 on rumormeter! People these days.
  • The notification centre looks shit and swipe to right for notifications would have been the way forward not another app tile. app close should have been swipe up and get rid of it rather than a old school x.
  • or swipe the card/tombstone down like in W8/RT when closing an app.
  • EXACTLY!!! OMG if there is a God then he will have it willed so that this is used out of common sense of the platform and the name of keeping everything in uniform across all 3 screens. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease Microsoft if you see this, think about it logically. I love you and everything you've brought to the platform, give us more!! Make an easy mode for people who just wanna enjoy their phone and make an advanced user with even more awesome customization option while keeping it metro. Give it the functionality of previous Windows Mobile while keeping it 100% Windows Phone!! What's so hard about that? I love you Microsoft, peace out!
  • Swiping down would be more consistant e.g. If you cancel an email it drops off the bottom of the display, if you send an email it flies off the top of the screen. Therefore swipe down to cancel/close.
  • That's true, although swiping apps up might feel more as though they're being discarded, or flicked away.
  • Yeah its disappointing to this notification
  • I think it should be in the "ME" tile and uncheck apps you don't want notifications for. Its already doing it for FB Twitter Linked In.
  • I can't stop myself from jumping off my bed when I saw that you can close apps by just touching X . And that option to sort apps in different ways is cool. Btw, how would we see notifications, I mean would it be a separate tile or something just swipe to right ??
  • i agree, closing apps really has been cumbersome, but closing them with an x sounds awesome.  
  • Did anyone notice that sms/calls filter app in the app draw at the bottom in the pic?
  • This is the biggest waste of development time. People from lesser operating systems just don't get that there is no need for this. http://forums.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-8-guides-how-tos/228314-managi...
  • That and closing apps are actually simplest on WP. spam the back button.
  • Neither is necessary. Hit start and nothing is running in the background. Read the link. You'll learn from it.
  • I just wanted to point that out foe those who want to feel like nothing's running in the background.
  • If I use a flashlight application, and press start/back my flashlight closes (have a L620) That was something I was able to do in a 256mb ram android. Made multitasking much easier, since I live in a country with frequent power outages and would like to be able to have the light open while I continue on with my phone. Any thing I'm missing? Or is it just not possible?
  • No, this is not possible.  The reason is that only apps that use certain services (location services, background music playing) are allowed to run in the background. 
     
    http://forums.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-8-guides-how-tos/228314-managing-background-apps-why-you-dont-need.html
  • I legitimately hate people that tell me I don't need to close apps. Yes, yes I do need to close apps. Just because you're happy occasionally hitting Back and ending up in an app you stopped using 5 hours ago doesn't mean we all are.
  • You might literally hate people that tell you this, but it is NEVER legitimate to hate someone.
  • A beer for hopmedic.
  • Thanks, but make it a Virgil's root beer. I don't drink alcohol. ;-)
  • And howmany times you have to press that back button??
  • Zero.
  • When you hit the start button, apps become paused and not all as multitasking is improving, still if we go through your logic, how many apps can be tombstoned ?? 8. So there's always a need to close em and agree people are obsessed yo close even 1app running or paused in back ground but that's actually a big flock so why shouldn't we complete their desire.
  • When you hit the start button apps are suspended. Zero CPU cycles. That's the same as if you close the app. Zero net gain by closing instead of suspending. The app stays in memory, but doing nothing. Should the phone need more memory, THEN it will tombstone. Let the phone do the management, and relax from the habits you gained by using inferior phones. There is never a need to force an app closed on Windows Phone. Read the article:
    http://forums.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-8-guides-how-tos/228314-managi...
  • Thanks.  Not sure why people just don't get this process!  It makes sense and I appreciate what Microsoft has done here.
     
    I think people are just mentally trained by their computer applications, and some mobile devices, to hit the 'x' in order to close something, and they just can't grasp that there are other ways to effectively manage their applications.
  • "Zero CPU cycles" wrong.
  • Nope.
  • He's right, when apps are tombstoned they use no resources at all. Same thing happens with Modern UI apps on Windows 8/RT.
  • Stop with this argument. For godssake stop. It's an inferior OS that does not let you control it. You are ok with having an app remaining in the chain. We are not all ok with that. Hitting "back" and ending up in an old app is infuriating. When I stop using an app I want that app dead. Even if I home out there's still a solid chance I'll back into it again at some point. That is not efficient and not helpful.
  • Exactly lol, wp is heading in right direction and these people don't want to see such things and they call themselves well wishers of wp, what an irony....
  • If you didn't mean to go back, why did you hit the back button?
  • Accidents happen ;)
  • As I said, it pauses itself but howmuch apps you can pause ?? 8 only I guess. And whenever we want to close app we don't need that in background, we have to resume it and then close it by touching back button and if we can close it directly, it's a good thing. Don't say we don't need to close it. Make OS which people want to use not how OS want to use itself. And what if MS as it promised improve the multitasking and make it very near to true multitasking, this feature will be necessary.
  • Yeah, but that is a real pain in explorer after visiting some pages.
  • Actually, it's not.  From IE, tap Start.  Now tap IE (not back).  Now tap back.  No more IE in the back stack.
  • Much easier: close all tabs then press back
  • You are correct, however I put my method out there because while it removes IE from the back stack, it keeps the tabs open that are open, for those who like to have certain tabs available.  You could do the same thing by pinning a web page, as well - having the tab available, that is.
  • Still, some apps I don't want on the stack. I want to be able to get rid of them even if they are tombstoned
  • That's a desire.  Not a need.  Trust me - I'm OCD, and almost never have anything in the back stack, but I'm smart enough to realize that this is a problem with me and not the phone, and is therefore a waste of developer time to fix - ask my wife - I can't be fixed.
  • Its not like the live tile will work properly anyway.
  • You never drink out the bottle do you? :)
  • Great.  Personal attacks because someone points out the facts.  But yes, in fact, I do enjoy a good bottle of Virgil's Root Beer.  Mmmmm...
  • Not a personal attack at all bro. I'm a fellow craft beer fanatic. Or maybe "hopmedic" does stand for what I think it does in your case. Whatever the case, I'll get back on topic. I read the article you referenced on managing running apps. Very insightful. I just wish more people took the time to read these things.
  • Ah, gotcha...  No, actually I haven't had alcohol in probably 6-7 years.  The "Hop" is the first part of my last name.  Medic is because I was a paramedic for 10 years of my life.  Ten stressful years......  ;)
  • Another beer for hopmedic - okay, Root Beer, but I'll buy this round.
  • Make it a Virgil's. Best there is! ;-)
  • Oh, I almost forgot . . . Dogfish 90 minute IPA -- my go to beer.
  • I think notification tile is a good compromise. But, I have an idea, that user can swipe from the top twice, first to reveal the system tray (the battery, wireless signal indicator, etc), and the second to reveal the notification center. I also thinking a shortcut way, by swipe down by using two fingers.. How about that?? We need to elaborate this and send the result to the WP development team..
  • This isn't Android, which already does that by the way.
  • F*CK YES! Getting my Lumia 920 in a week and this was something i REALLY wanted confirmed before i bought it! :D
  • But it HASN'T been confirmed.  Did you not see the 'rum-o-meter'?  Did Microsoft announce that this was coming?
     
     
  • ^
  • The rum-o-meter wasn't there when i read the article :)
  • it could easily be fake... so until june 26th or later, you wouldnt confirm anything oficially.
    dont take rumors as facts! better wait, because it would be silly to complain later if all this is fake, when you say 920 sucks because it doesnt blabla and blabla. when everything was just a rumor. of course it can be real and all but well, my advice its if you really want what is shown here... just wait.
  • I like the low battery notification :D with 8 hours remaining xD those galaxy and iPhone folks will never know how it feels to have such a battery.
  • And some of us 920 owners will never know what its like to have such a battery....
  • ^THIS!
  • My battery runs just fine.
  • Nice.... If true.
  • Seems legit!!! W00t!!
  • If it is true. its awesome. want it as soon as possible. I hope all these features will come to Lumia 620. Lumia 520 & Lumia 720 which has 512 MB RAM.
  • It probably will since it's a new WindowsPhone build and not some sort of app :)
  • YES. Bought a L620 instead of a typical android because of the future updates they said it would be getting. (Fingers crossed) *_*
  • Is this confirmed?
  • This isn't confirmed and should absolutely be treated as a rumour for now
  • Awesome if true!
  • If Data Sense will become available independent from the carrier, that would be great news...
  • Great news indeed. I don't need the extra stuff Data Sense can do. Like having a data used counter, similar to what is available in Win 8. (Mark the network as throttled; requires admin privilege's to set.)
  • Yeah, I really want that feature. Why has it been locked by carrier before at all?
  • YES so many people will be happy with this....but I really hope they add more stuff to the notification center like settings and weather
  • Why so Apple can sue us lol. Sorry dude that's a dumb idea. Notifications about weather changes is a better idea.
  • Apple can't sue Microsoft
  • I doubt they'll sue...if it weren't for Microsoft apple wouldn't exist
  • No. Weather updates is what live tiles are for. The notification center should only show notifications. If you need weather notifications, you need an app that hooks into the notificaion center.
  • Also, is this included in the GDR2 update? Any information about that?
  • Nahh,I guess GDR3 or WP 8.1..
  • No... But we might hear more about this in July at BUILD maybe gdr3
  • Oh my god! I hope this is not FAKE.
  • Lots of good stuff, I have a feeling that there will be more cool stuff.
  • Seriously hope can get this in my 920.
  • If this is true: Finally!!!!!!!
  • Hope the designers have gotten to work on the interface since May, this is rough.
  • I agree. Functionality sometimes comes before design if you are making a working concept
  • Think so, too. The notification center, at least. And what is it with the calendar tile? The other pics just looks like test apps, so I don't take them seriously.
  • Oh Yeah ! Great additions, but please Microsoft you need to add more than these features in the coming build to be able to catchup with Android / iOS , expected features such as :
     
    1- VPN Support
    2- Ability to do things from lock screen (reply to SMS, Answer missed call .. etc)
    3- Battery Status in the top bar
    4- Unlock through the touch home button (HTC 8X)
     
     
  • 3 - permanent? Oh please lords no!
  • They should give an option at-least. Not everyone likes the same thing. :)