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Notification mirroring and Universal Dismiss coming to Windows 10, Mobile, and Android [Update with video]

Today at Build it was revealed that Notification Mirroring and Universal Dismiss are coming to Windows 10, Mobile, and Android devices. The service is an upgrade to the Windows Notification Service (WNS) and, for now, will work through Cortana, but later will go through the OS.

The news was revealed in a session entitled 'Notification Futures: Action Center in the Cloud and the Windows Notification Platform' and details about how the Notification Center is moving to a Cortana-MSA mediated system.

The new app feature will let developers add the ability to dismiss a notification across all devices universally. For instance, you could be on a PC and receive a news alert. Using 'universal dismiss' will remove that app notification from your phone and vice versa.

Notification Mirroring (showing notifications from one device on another, e.g., a notification on your phone then shows on your PC) works automatically without any changes to existing apps, and universal dismiss can be added by developers with one line of code. Developers have the choice not to use them, but Microsoft is encouraging developers to enable the feature as obviously it could prove to be very popular.

Likewise, users too can opt in or out of the feature as well as mute notifications through settings in Cortana or within the app itself.

The function only requires a couple of lines of code and is very simple to implement. Since there is not cost either the barrier for developers to enable this feature is super low.

For now, Cortana will be used for a faster deployment, but later Microsoft will hard code the linked notification support in the Windows 10 and Mobile OS.

Microsoft is looking at bringing the feature to iOS too, but it is more difficult due to the OS being more locked down.

Unfortunately, no timeline was revealed and instead is referred to "future versions of Windows." More details will be announced in a blog post following Build.

Update: Microsoft has now posted the video of the Notification panel on the Channel 9 site.

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.

  • *heavy breathing*
  • Calm down.. Lol. But, this is GREATLY needed. Can't wait to get this up, and running. Hopefully in the next week, or two, MS has some builds with all this new stuff for us to test out.
  • I'd like to have it deployed soon on Slow Ring and Android, I don't have a Windows Phone. Without Google Play Services also, my phone hasn't these installed (missing space in /system)
  • You should get a WP for testing purposes... Testing purposes ONLY! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  • If there is Windows Phone available where I live, I'd already have one.
  • Yea that's what I did. Since my whole life is really just a big test it works out well for my daily driver. +Lumia 929
  • +929 brother!
  • Agreed, I picked up a 640 @best buy for $30. 
  • Waiting for a 6.2" Surface Phone?!
    You'll be waiting forever for that to materialise!
  • Most likely, but one can still dream.. I'm a WP fan.. Used to dreaming, and have become pretty good at it.. Lol
  • Off topic I know, but as per your signature: Why not get the HP Elite X3, Rodders?  The screen size is pretty much on par with 1520.  FWIW I loved my 1520 till I realised mine had the phantom touch problems, I was gutted.  Even after warranty repair it was knackered, and I downgraded to 930 for a bit (best thing I did).  I now have a 950XL but will get HP Elite X3 as soon sa it's available here across the pond.
  • Yea right
  • The Elite is definitely on my radar... But, we have to wait, and see what MS brings. MS still might reveal a phone late this year.. Nothing has been officially confirmed yet. So, I'm waiting to see what's coming.. Where's Lenovo? Samsung? HTC? Sony?... We don't know what's coming.
  • We know that the OnePlus Three is coming...
  • What's the specs?
  • Nothing confirmed. We need to wait for April 7th for official spec, but knowing it's predecessors, it's probably going to be a "Flagship Killer", like the One had been, because OnePlus wants to compensate for the failed Two :)
  • Great, we'll see.
  • Greatly needed... for MS Band.  
  • Can't wait, huh? Strategically placed comma, there! ;)
  • The future is bright. Windows Central app for Windows 10 Mobile.
  • For Android
  • Related?
  • Lol.. Damn. Someone is mad because they aren't getting an update for their 1020❓❓❓
  • Well it also works on W10M this time too (which doesn't make sense at all if it didn't). So gladly it's both!
  • Ios and W10m. Android? Hah Posted from Windows Central for XL
  • Very cool. I figured Cortana would be the one driving this especially after yesterday's presentation. But hey, at least they talked Windows 10 Mobile.
  • I've heard when Terry Myerson isn't around then MSFT employees can actually mentioned Windows mobile and phone. But if he catches you....
  • I don't like Terry Myerson. Is rather anyone but him. I'm sure he's pissed at me because I posted plenty of comments on his twitter page about his comments to the verge. Posted via Windows Central app for Windows 10!
    Proudly rocking my Lumia 1520!
  • Do *not* poke the bear... O.o
    LMAO ;p
  • And talked W10M... Microsoft's Continuum for phones presentation at BUILD 2016​
  • Sounds cool
  • Neat! Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Considering the comment yesterday about w10m devices being put aside for a while, build does seem to be putting forward what can be done within the WaaS environment, and phone does seem to be included. Let's hope that things do change for the better. Going to be another crazy ride. And the notification changes also include the phone.
  • "Puttint aside" doesn't imply W10M won't be getting updates and features coming to Windows 10 as a whole...It's not like we're going to be stuck in pre Redstone builds. A lot of people seem to be understanding that.
  • Yeah, i read a lot of negative comments about that and was just thinking, "Really?, You're surprised?" Mobile is going to take a back burner for the most part till MS can get devs making UWP apps and fill the store. Mobile will never gain traction unless we get those apps and the best way is by building Windows for desktop/laptops/tablets and getting as many user as possible to make the platform viable for devs to invest in.
  • Exactly. I'd say tablet and desktop/laptop is where its at. The phone will come with that.
  • Devices aren't the OS... They are devices. So while the devices might be put to the side there hasn't been anything saying W10M as an OS is being put to the side.
  • Terry said it, where were you? By our side, I don't mean cancelled, but not a past of there focus, but if Microsoft is your one company after all take work together, the mobile branch should be just s important as anything else, but their choosing to treat it like a step child of somehow as if it's on an island by itself which in essence means they haven't really moved away from their old methods of no communications or team work across departments to ensure things work seamlessly. Seams like their still focus on their bread and butter item one again: Windows, office, Xbox, Azure. Posted via Windows Central app for Windows 10!
    Proudly rocking my Lumia 1520!
  • Windows is Windows, 10 makes it change and alter itself to fit the use...the old way of thinking is what he's trying to change. #GetOnIt ;p
  • They never said w10m... They said they weren't focusing on phones... Posted from Windows Central for XL
  • On features for phones. It will still come to W10M because it shares a common architecture. And, dur, there's a phone in the graphic.
  • They need to add a swipe up from the bottom function within the apps to access features like save, delete, print, etc, because it's s Odin reaching up to the hamburger menu for this functions. Posted via Windows Central app for Windows 10!
    Proudly rocking my Lumia 1520!
  • If you press and hold the Windows key it brings it down to you... #Workaround ;p
  • I left feedback about this just yesterday as i have to dismiss notifications from 5 devices individually at the moment. While it's not that big of a deal it is mildly frustrating so I'm glad that this is being introduced and i hope that all developers will implement it eventually.
  • Can be a right pain, especially if our office pc's and a couple of mobiles get notifications. Like you say it's not a big deal but it can be a pain in the butt
  • It should be an OS feature and just how notifications work, not developer implemented. Nothing is more irritating than pulling out my surface and getting a weeks worth of notifications I've already dealt with on my desktop or phone.
  • Nothing is more irritating? Hmmm, you do realize that one click dismisses them all.
  • I actually first thought this was going to be the feature in the first windows ten update, good that they finally bring it. But what about us that don't have Cortana yet?
  • Region limitation will be removed coming Summer update. So anyone anywhere can use Cortana as long as a supported language is installed. Like Cortana coming to English speaking users in The Netherlands.  
  • thats nice! Have any source to that?
  • If Microsoft keep off loading their services to other platforms rather than keeping it for them selves, their mobile devices sales will never increases because the public will say they don't need a Windows phone to access Microsoft apps. I think Microsoft should rethink what they are doing
  • I like it being cross platform, if we can get Cortana on Android Wear, means notifications for Windows 10 Mobile on Android Wear without official support from Google via a companion app. A nice little back door hack if you will.
  • Compare the Galaxy S7 Edge with the Lumia 950, which one will the regulair people take? Compare the feature's of the S7 against the Lumia 950, which one will they take? It's all about beauty and functionality these days, there is the problem, let us not forget the poor marketing Microsoft is known for. There you have a very important answer. I'm not hating on Windows Mobile, i am just being honest and i hope Windows Mobile will get more marketshare but i highly doubt that. Cheers.
  • I'll give you the advertising part, a lot of people don't even know MS has a Mobile OS. That being said, Android doesn't do anything that my 950XL can't do that I need or care about or could even think of off the top of my head. Top that off with reliability and a secure platform without malware. Most people will go for the S7 purely for the brand name of the device. A lot of users don't even know it's Android, they just know Galaxy S#. I've tried plenty of Android devices and they always suffer from crashing, apps not opening or being extremely agging, the camera app itself crashing. I was inline at a club one day and heard a lady behind complainging about her camera app crashing, turn around and realize it was someone i knew, took my old 1520 out and snapped the pic for her within seconds andthe look on her face was priceless.
  • Everyone should know MS isn't trying to reach it's devices, it's trying to reach it's users! Where you see giving as a bad thng, I see it as a humble gesture. Don't you think every company should do the same?    
  • U r correct!
  • Android... Microsoft seems to be too cross platform nowadays for me. Like they don't care about their mobile OS. Yeah, yeah, I know they do. But these make me think the opposite sometimes. P.S.: I deleted, and reinstalled the WC app on my phone, when the site was down, because I thought it was malfunctioning. And now I can't log in... Again... Please, for god's sake, fix the login experience issues finally :D Posted with the Windows Central app for Windows 10 on HP 250 G1 notebook. It is a scary old monster, I think :D
  • DNS server was down. Not entirely their fault.
  • Yeah, I know. And it's my fault too, because I didn't check the site before reinstalling the app. But this login failure thing drives me crazy :D Posted with the Windows Central app for Windows 10 on HP 250 G1 notebook. It is a scary old monster, I think :D
  • It's for W10M too...downvote.
  • Yeah, and it's good. But if MS is enabling all this stuff on other mobile platforms, than what will be a reason for people to buy a Windows 10 phone? What will awake that "Awwww I want this" feeling, that I felt too before buying my 535? What will catch their attention? I'm a big fan of Microsoft, and their mobile efforts too. But these questions just popped into my head. Posted with the Windows Central app for Windows 10 on HP 250 G1 notebook. It is a scary old monster, I think :D
  • I will not leave my Android phone for a Windows Mobile phone just to see my phone's notifications on the desktop, i don't care about Continuum since i already have a laptop that doesn't wanna be a desktop. Microsoft knows this and thus making this available for Android and thereafter iOS would only benefit them and most importantly, Windows 10 x86 users :)
  • Microsoft is flexing their desktop muscle. They're basically getting everyone on to their side ...Windows users, Linux users, Android users. By doing that they're isolating Apple and into their own little corner by themselves. Because you know Apple won't allow things like android notifications on a Mac, and so on. It's smart.
  • It's a necessity for them to stay relevant. Obviously, their previously 'Windows only' features and apps weren't enough to entice people to switch. So, they release everything to other other platforms, get people to install and use their services/apps/whatever and use them instead of others, then when MS tries the mobile space again, they can say "our OS is built specifically to interact the best with our apps you already use, switch to us for the best experience!" Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Thought MSFT was getting buddy buddy with Apple? How about a little more access, eh? -Mach 8 Solutions, LLC a software company.
  • Well it's a good thing that they hardcode it in the OS because there's a lot of people who can't have Cortana. MS seems to forget this, besides making her US-centric, with most features being US-only. If MS cared about everyone having Cortana, they'd do things differently, I guess they would have to put a lot more people working to get localized versions for everyo country. But it's slow as hell. And I do know it's a difficult task, but difficult tasks just require more resources, is not like they're having wine get better by aging it.
  • They really are very much aware, but they have to hire a lot of people and a lot of people with very specific linguistic and cultural skills to do Cortana right. Also, they can't do English-only in other countries because then the data would cause "noise" in the system e.g. non-native English speakers interacting with an English system can reduce accuracy.
  • Aha. That still doesn't go down too well with english-first countries still waiting, some two years later, for any sign (at all) of ever getting Cortana. So sitting back and watching while a select group get all the bells and whistles can be hard to take. I'm sure Redmond is quite capable of putting more resources into it, if they actually wanted to. 
  • Any sign at all? You should pay more attention Posted from WC 920, 1520, 920, 635, 640 or 950XL
  • Ah, you can go look and see as to what countries, english-first or not, have any form (beta, alpha). So feel free to enlighten us all with your vast knowledge on the matter, for those of us who should 'pay more attention'. Lord knows the excuses are rolling out quicker than Cortana ever will, mainly because the back end is Bing, and we all know how global that is. As for the resources excuse...come on.
  • Daniel, do you know something about Cortana in WP8.1? I mean, USA and some countries can use Cortana in WP8.1. Here in Brazil, Insiders are testing her in Redstone builds. Imagining If Cortana will be ready just to Redstone builds or if she will be usable on WP8.1...
  • All I'm saying is that they're relying heavily on Cortana for making win10 what it is and will be, so those who don't have it are left behind. And there wouldn't be 270 million upgrades without non-US users, would there?
  • There where like 210 million new PC's sold since W10 launch and with 270mln upgrades there should be almost 500mln on W10 whitch you don't see.
  • Sadly it isn't even an option to have a different language in a different country. I am a native english speaker yet I will be forced to use cortana in german when she finally comes to switzerland. I despise this (yes, seriously... despise) and think it's really important that ms changes this lock down.
  • Yup. I've been using English version of desktop windows for more than 20 years and on my phone ever since I bought my first Lumia (and android before that) and I'd be pissed off if I'll have to change the language to Finnish just to enable localized Cortana Posted from WC 920, 1520, 920, 635, 640 or 950XL
  • This is why this feature shouldn't be dependent to Cortana at all as we know that Cortana still not available on most countries. The only point why this has to be go through with Cortana is because of Android, which of course Microsoft cannot make Android have notification syncing feature to be built-in, so they have to make an app or integrate it with already existing one (which is Cortana is the best candidate for unified app to manage notification and do make sense in that regard). For Windows, this must be an OS built-in feature, not relying on Cortana. For Android, well Cortana would be the best choice for now on syncing all other notifications.
  • @Daniel Yesterday (March 31) a Dutch site got answers from Marcus Ash and other MS people, that the region limitation/lock will be removed with the Summer update. So users in The Netherlands/Belgium can use Cortana in English/French without having to change the region/location.    
  • Totally agree! Does anyone have a clue why things can be realized in Cortana much easier than in the OS? I still can't search my phone (such as calendar) or use quiet hours because there's no Cortana here. With all this 'universal' being thrown at us; Cortana is realizing the opposite.
  • Holy cow. This is awesome
  • I've been wondering why they still haven't fixed the problem of stale unread Skype msg count on my W10M phone when msg is read on PC. This news probably explains it. Looking forward to this feaure. I'm feeling a bit better about W10M prospect going forward...
  • RIP Pushbullet
  • It will be better on Android, right?
  • Probably, there are more Windows 10 users that use Android vs Windows Mobile, so it's only natural.
  • Mirroring and dismissing notification is great however I would like to see Win 10 and Windows 10 mobile linked so that notifications are only ever presented on the active device. Nothing worse than sitting at your desk having your PC and phone going off at the same time.
  • Would be nice, but how would it know which device is "active." I mean unless you turn your phone off or shut down your PC.
  • Not sure, maybe they could be linked via BT or maybe the could do a check and see if you are logged into your Windows PC and if so deliver all notification to the PC if not then they default to going to mobile.
  • Being logged in won't work. Many user, myself included, leave their PCs online 24/7. I have a Plex server running to be able to stream my media (music/movies) over the internet.
  • Perhaps whatever device isn't in 'lock screen' state is the active one.
  • I thing it's more complicated, I hate that my desktop, notebook and mobile all rings with notification, but all of them are "active". On the other side, I don't want miss this notification on my mobile, even it's locked.
  • That and I never lock my desktop either. No one else comes in my room nor touche it. I have it setup with "control userpasswords2" to auto login on startup. I never log into my PC. It's always auto logged in on startup and running. Only way I know a update happens is when Mail/Firefox are closed as they are always running, 24/7.
  • I'm sure the MSFT engineers could work something out.
  • In which case you wouldn't have two notifications anyway.
  • Insanly easy to achieve, they would only have to literally sync which device is has been used most recently so everytime a notification comes in it would just check which device was last and shows it there. Problem is only getting this working 100% of the time (sync errors etc).
  • Mouse movement, general activity. Not that hard to detect. 
  • Maybe I'm getting your point wrong, but it doesn't need to know which device is "active", just pushing notifications to all devices and you just dismiss it/them from whichever device you're using first. Posted from WC 920, 1520, 920, 635, 640 or 950XL
  • He's saying have the notification only go to the device you're using at that moment, not all 2/3+ devices. When I'm home, I actually have 3 devices, my tablet (Dell Latitude 13 7350) to my left, desktop (custom built Gaming PC with 3-way SLI GTX 980's) in front of me, and my Lumia 950XL on my right. All 3 within arms reach.
  • They are able to do it with Skype for business. Notification goes to the last used device if you have more than one logged in.
  • I still believe Microsoft should stop sharing many of their strong app such as Cortana to other platforms to me it takes away the glory of owning a windows phone Google is not sharing none of their native apps with the windows ecosystem such as YouTube so why should we
  • They are putting their apps and services where the bulk of their customers are, not sure why you can't understand that.
  • Like I said, it's google that's wrong, not MS.
  • They are still calling it Windows Phone and not Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Windows 10 Mobile is the OS, it runs on. Windows phone. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Having a very low share in mobile market if Microsoft doesn't share it's most powerful apps or this type of notification sync how can other platform user know about power of windows. I think this cross platform mentality will be helpful for W10 and W10m in log run Sent from Lumia 535DS india ❤
  • Having a very low share in mobile market if Microsoft doesn't not share it's most powerful things how can customers on other platform know about the power of Windows. I think this cross platform mentality will be helpful for W10 & W10m in long run.
    Sent from Lumia 535 DS
  • This is what I need. Having to dismiss the same notification from laptop then on PC is kinda not acceptable. This new update might be totally helpful
  • NO, developers have no say in this, USERS DO, it is the user who will be affected by this after all
  • Microsoft is truly becoming a universal service unlike iOS which is a completely closed down service for apple only devices and products. DheeraJ
  • Isn't this another thing they said they weren't going to do? Lol. Glad they changed their minds Sent from my more personal computer
  • Cool cool cool!
  • I like this idea. It probably wouldn;t be useful to me, but it would finally put an end to those delayed notifications.
  • Cortana pretty much kills the idea. And "later hardcoding" could easily be in late 2017, cause it is not even "coming soon" (6-12 months time frame).
  • Cortana integration of good. How will it kill the idea?
  • Because Cortana is only available in certain country / language combination, for user above age 13.
  • According to Marcus Ash the Country limitation will be gone coming Summer update. So anyone anywhere should be able to use Cortana. In one of the supported languages.
  • #mindblown
  • Now they just need to have Cortana keep listening for input until you say "Stop listening". This would be a great feature, as you may have more questions to follow-up with other than just "What's the weather". :)
  • Yes!!! This is a must have! thethirdhelix Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • So people that can't use Cortana will have to wait until 2017. This isn't a feature but a requirement. Right now it is a nightmare.
  • Great new feature. But with all these cortana features coming to w10, we still don't have cortana in the Netherlands... Posted from the WC app for w10 using lumia 1520
  • Check    
  • What about iOS By your mom
  • You cannot replace Siri with Cortana. Whereas, you can get to do almost anything with Android. So Android is there, i guess. Like make Samsung/xiaomi/ any Android OEM to keep Cortana as default rather than Google Now(or even remove Google Now) and market this as a differentiator in the sea of Androids. Microsoft is encroaching Android with it's services. Once this is tied to OS, Windows 10 mobile will have the best version of this whereas it will be an average experience in other platforms.
  • "Work through Cortana" Does that mean it will work only in the countries where Cortana is available? And what about worlwide availability of Cortana? *sadface*
  • According to Marcus Ash, region limitation/lock will be removed coming Summer/Anniversary Update. So Cortana will be worldwide available. Albeit in supported Languages. Since most people speak English too, the biggest burden will be lifted.   
  • Even if Cortana was available worldwide, they should NOT link anything with Cortana.
  • Wait...what? Why is there Android written all over the place?....ow i remember development of w10m is put on hold. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • No one has ever said anything is on hold. With these kind of updates you can clearly see that. They have said that it will not be the "tip of the spear". Why are people having such a hard time understanding this.
  • Even with Wimdows Phone put in the center of the development team, we were getting 2-3 much needed features per release, thats a whole year of waiting. Now if they dont comsider wp the tip then go figure when the next update will come. Remember that wp lacks way behind android and ios in features.
  • All these changes, features, everything mentioned for Windows should by default apply to Windows 10 mobile as well. Remember that both uses the same kernel base? All these are basic necessary foundations that need to be done right to be embraced in mobile versions. So with these "updates" to the core, app developers can make their app feature rich. Just like how it is feature rich in Android/iOS. Or even better.
  • Nice for android users like me ! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • i want confirmation that this feature will be hardcoded into windows, because lets be honest, cortana will be global in about 20 years, at best.
  • That's in the roadmap ;) so will be coming soon ;)
  • Lol. U poor crapdows users. Windows 10 mobile is definitely not their target. It's all Android now. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Missed in the slide or in the article or in the article title that Windows 10 mobile was mentioned before Andtoid? ;)
  • I just hate that they keep linking things up to Cortana first, when they still haven't implemented Cortana most places and also won't tell us when we can expect it.
  • They are doing this because Cortana is available on other platforms as well. As you know, Android and iOS are their priority.
  • I just want to be able to reply to sms from my tablet.
  • Great, now how about they add repeating notifications to W10M, like Android and iOS?  It's one of the things keeping me from switching full time.  More so than "app gap".  Some people don't need it?  Fine, they don't have to use it.  If nobody needs it, why do Android and iOS offer it?  I don't think W10M needs to copy everything those platforms do, but if they want to be relevant, you need to give people options.  Nobody likes to be tied down.  Well, seem people do, but that conversation is NSFW...
  • I'm surprised they mentioned WP Mobil first before Android. Since WP has taken a backseat to everything else
  • I was going to comment on that, too!
  • It has taken back seat to everything that is Micosoft's on :) surely Android MUST be next to WP or Windows 10 mobile ;)
  • Thats nice feature...
  • May this is the reason they released cortana on other platforms
  • Too bad Cortana will need to be kept turned on for this even for Windows mobile.
  • Hoping the interactive nature of the notification also mirrored. Once this is done, just seeing whatsapp notifications in my PC without doing anything itself can shut many of my Android-loving friends :)
  • I want this so bad.
  • Finally. Long time coming. Maybe now we can have whatsapp on multiple devices for a single registered no. No more skype notifications mess. Hopefully users will have some control of this universal mirroring and dismissals. I mean they should be allowed to opt in or out. Secondly, can Microsoft apply this to contacts and messaging cloud sync? Desperately need the people app to remember the outlook account and the integrated social media accounts that I linked together. Have to redo it every time some of these apps is updated, uninstalled or reinstalled. Also, up until now messaging sync for sim messages has been so unintuitive since there would be no way to reply to message on different sim on different phone. Maybe these universal mirroring and dismissals and interactions will be applied to people and skype+messaging app as well. And not to forget, the option for users to opt out of it. And Microsoft, bake this cloud sync platform into OS asap. Very cool stuff.