Quiet Hours for notifications: Coming to Windows Phone Blue?

With the big leak of Windows Blue build 9364 arriving over the weekend people have been furiously going through it to find any new, unannounced features that are presumably coming later in the year. For Windows Phone users, it’s even more interesting because we know that Windows Phone Blue is an analogous project that the Windows Phone dev team is undertaking at this moment.

To what extent Windows Blue, Windows Blue RT and Windows Phone blue overlap is still not known, but it has been strongly suggested that this is one of the first attempts to bridge the OSs, including a common Store.

One interesting feature that we can guess is coming (or at least it would make sense) is the new ‘Quiet Hours’ feature found under the Settings and Notifications on Windows Blue 9364. It’s exactly what you think it would be: an area where you specify a time for the device to stop making noise when a new notification comes in and similarly a time to re-enable those notifications.

In and of itself, that’s not a ground breaking addition and it simply expands the current ability to temporarily silence notifications for 1, 3 or 8 hours. But the inability to control sounds on Windows Phone, including custom alerts, profiles, separate ringer/volume abilities and quiet hours have all been thorns in the sides of users and some of the top requested features. It would seem odd that Microsoft, in an attempt to better bridge Windows Blue and Windows Phone Blue would miss such an obvious opportunity to share new features between the two systems.

What do you folks think: Does the inclusion of a ‘Quiet Hours’ features in Windows Blue mean anything for Windows Phone? Let us know in comments.

Thanks, Daniel S., for the heads up and image!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, 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 for some reason, watches. 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.

  • Love Windows Pone.
  • Me too, I love me some Windows Pone
  • Ha.
  • +1
  • +1000000
  • Yep, Windows Pone Blue will be a huge hit.. lol
  • Also comes in corn.
  • windows poon
  • This article just got pwned
  • Or you guys look silly since no one knows what the hell you're talking about...:)
  • Lol @dan
  • Sometime pone pwn you
  • Phone....the "h" is silent....teehee
  • WindowsPhone is the best!! Seriously! iPhone is boring, and outdated, and there's just to many things negative to mention about Android.. WP IS THE BEST OVERALL!!
  • It sure is, that's why I bought my Lumia 900, but with the marketplace lacking apps such as subway surfers, windows phone is automatically a joke to all my friends :( we need that game and other apps on wp right now ! Come one microsoft, it's not the quantity of apps you have, but WHICH apps you have. Otherwise, Windows Phone kicks ass, but without this app and others makes me sometimes want an iPhone, which I hate so much, but eventually I'll see myself in the need for one :/ I got an iPad 4 for that matter, because I don't want to give up my beautiful phone, but sometimes I wish I could carry around the iPad on my pocket... :( mark my words: WE NEED SUBWAY SURFERS, TEMPLE RUN, ETC.
  • I hope so that would be nice for nights I'm not on call.
  • Windows Pone is da best
  • +1
  • I like audible notifications for emails, but turned them off since I couldnt deal with them going off throughout the night (mostly because of Dan and you guys :p) . This would be an awesome addition.
  • Yeah I turned off everything, get too many emails and game notifications when I'm trying to sleep.
  • This was the first contributing comment in this post. Sad. (mine is totally non-contributing though!)
  • It's definitely coming to Windows Phone as well.
  • Better than ipone
  • lol
  • I'm digging that color
  • Does wp8support temp suspension of notifications?
  • Nope.
  • the problem with a unified store would be a big change in OS and not being able to upgrade like in the case of wp 7.8 and 8
  • Not really as WIN8 and WP8 already share the OS core. This will build on that.
    That is quite different from the jump from WP7.x (based on winCE) to WP8 (based on/shared with WIN8)
  • Thats right! Windows 8 & Windows Phone 8 are using the NT Kernel instead CE
  • All currrent WP8 handsets will be able to upgrade to whatever is next...at least until Summer 2014 :)
  • i know that but the unified store might come after that as i think it would be difficult to run win 8 apps with an os update
  • Why?
  • @ Paras... Where exactly have you been for the past year❓❓
  • ???????
  • The guy is right the API does not allow for complete unification store. There are differences in both XAML code and phone / notifications, background agents stuff. An unified store at this moment will break wp8 apps or w8 apps. wp8 while supporting windows runtime does not allow c++ apps to be run but in fullscreen and using only dx. I think the XAML stack from the windows 8 is completly missing and implementing on top of the os as a .net stuff to get ackward compatibility with older apps. So there are many technical dificulties. For now w8 apps must support fullscreen snap screen and decide what orientation they must support. Wp8 apps must support 3 resolutions and that is all. Plus the XAML stack differences. Unifying them will break all apps so you need a way to work with both new and old. Plus notifications are completly different in how they work right now as well as background tasks. Forcing developers to completly rewrite a lot of their code to embrace this change is pushy on this young an ecosystem
  • You may be over thinking it. Why not continue to run "legacy" apps with the old stacks and API while adding compatibility with Windows 8 API on top? Then remove the old API from Visual Studio for new projects and all future apps will be unified.
  • Just give us a color mixer for themes please :D
  • Yes!!
  • The biggest news in the WPhone world...Quiet Hours. Lol smh
  • Just because it's being reported on doesn't mean it's huge news, but at the very least it's a nice addition to some folks.
  • Why isn't there a built in timer?
  • I agree. Small things like a timer that can be activated by TellMe and Reader option in the browser would be nice.
  • I sure hope so. I'm one of those who hates the fact that Microsoft forced me to go back 10 years when it comes to custom tones on my phone. So anything in the way to change that, is welcome. Plus, this "quiet hours" seems an excelent idea and is something that, honestly, it's way more logical to have on a phone than a computer. So, fingers crossed.
  • All I really want them to add is the ability to turn off toast sms notifications. 
  • Better blue than never
    The 620 and W510 look like a cute couple. ;)
  • King Microsoft has done it again!
    I'm just wondering though, will it have the option to quiet down the vibration as well?
  • I really hope blue brings a notification center, live tiles work ok but they only update every half hour not to mention that when I get toast notifications (such as from ESPN) I can't read the whole thing and tapping on it simply opens the app. Really hoping for a universal notification center in the near future, quiet hours and custom notification sounds and alerts would be much welcomed as well.
  • +1 for ESPN - sadly when I'm home when I get one, I just go to my iPad to see the whole thing.  Blue has to include a notification center.  If it doesn't, I'll be giving up all hope for the future of WP.  And I just recruited a co-worker today to WP!
  • What they should do is enable,setting quiet hours on your PC and if,you have linked a phone, it would ask if I wanted to sync and replicate the setting on my phone as well.
  • I will say that we should be very vocal that this is something we want included and one of the most important user end features. Never leave it in the hands of others.
  • 1) You can be super extra vocal here on the wpcentral forum, but just you let know nobody at MS gives a damn f*ck about this forum, and your ranting here. There are better channels to express your anger to MS than the wpcentral forum.
    2) and followed my 1): even if there are better channels, MS still does not give a f*ck about their customers request, did you know MS was awarded #1 arrogant company of the world? Just kidding, but dont expect you or even 100.000 peoples rants will influence ANYTHING.
    I used to check the completely finished features on day1 of their products, if something is broken or idiotic or half-way implemented, I know immediately this will stay as it is and never finished, never included. There are reasons they didnt put it there. After this, all kind of retards like belfiores or ballmers or any idiots can tell me anything, I dont believe these clowns, they all lie. Once in a blue moon, 1 single feature gets into an update, but nothing more. Nothing from the queue of 100 items. You give your money on the day you bought that thing, why you wait for a feature that is not available on the same day?
  • holy crap! ...angry much?...and its not like apple and google do any better sooooo...
  • Actually, this is pretty cool, my girlfriend gives me loads of stick about the buzzing and the beeping as emails come in over night! I often forget to put it on vibrate (and even then the buzz is too loud!)
    Good feature! Looking forward to it.... Just hope it turns off vibrate too.
  • One single block of time allowed for "quiet hours". Yet another example of limiting features because it's enough for many people much of the time. There's absolutely no reason why they couldn't implement a proper schedule.
    While we're on the subject, how about they add "silent" to the ring/vibrate toggle. Is that difficult?
    People here have very low expectations. Still at least they're easily pleased.
  • Yeah, it's pretty weird I can't completely silence my phone with ease.
  • Well it's clear that Windows Blue is taking a lot of queus from WP, so I guess it only makes sense that WPB will incorporate some of the Windows Blue features :)
  • It's odd that the most interesting aspect of this screenshot is being ignored here. Why does the tablet/desktop OS have the option to enable/disable incoming calls??
  • There are W8 apps that can take calls, like Skype.
  • It's called silence mode, press volume and tap the little bell. It doesn't get any easier than that. Work on something we need!!!
  • They'll do that and then some.
  • Notifications going off while I sleep doesn't bother me, but I welcome the feature.
  • How about they get notifications to actually work first...
  • + 1 000000000000000000000000
    Lets invent the wheel before we build the car.
  • Surely this would go hand in hand with a notification centre. It would be nice to be able to turn off notifications for certain times but if your toasts just vanish into the matrix I'd rather not have it.
  • Word.
    My biggest letdown so far is that notifications sometimes has hours or even days of delays, or just disappears into oblivion.
    I have never owned an iPhone but it looks much more reliable and im getting more and more tempted to try one if MS doesnt get this fixed this year.
  • It is a nice feature to have... I welcome it :)
  • Slow day today since the secret app release was canceled
  • for freaking crying out loud -  Just give me a [reminder] snooze duration that would get me through the night and I'd be pretty happy.  You know - something more than 4 hours, but less than 24!  It almost makes me cry that this hasn't been implemented, and was down-graded from WinMo 6.1. 
  • dang stupid commenter-bots.  I can't mention "work" in my post without it being marked as spam!  What I was trying to say is that it would be so nice to be able to snooze a reminder that pops up in the morning and not have to see it again until I get home.
  • Better to have this feature than not.
  • I just want a common store. It will save me so much money lol.
  • Love windows phone +10000000
  • Probably you are the average WP8 user, with 0 need for a smartphone. Once you start using WP8 as a smartphone, you start realizing it lacks all the common features, like
    - lack of a separate volume control for talk / notifications / music
    - lack of display orientation lock (the phone rotates the screen as it thinks it should do, you have no control to prohibit the auto rotate)
    - lack of selecting your own notification sound instead of the factory built ones (this was possible
    - lack of proper battery charge percentage display on the main screen
    - and the list goes on, there are at least 5-6 more The small things like these make peoples blood pressure high. Do you feel all these missing features are irrational expectations from a smartphone in 2013? Do you feel that every time there is a new platform (there is a new platfrom every 4-5 years), those idiots at MS try to reinvent the wheel, and all the achievements of the past 30 years in software development are thrown into the trash. After experiencing this kind of idiotism 2-3 times, customers eventually get angry and frustrated.
  • I been praying for a "shut the **** upp" button. Almost falling asleep and pip pip, some Facebook notifications finally arrive, or god forbid, Skype notificationworks. Or Dan or Richard is posting something on WPCentral and I have the same signal as everything else.....who is who and why is he who :P
  • Quiet hours is one of the must-haves.
  • I switch on Battery Saver mode at night. That shuts up the notification beeps. 
  • That's a pretty smart tip! I'll do that, save from charges...thanks! =D
  • This is one of the features I miss from windows mobile.  Will be great to get it back.
  • I'm more excited about getting some of my Windows Phone apps on my Surface RT, mostly games that haven't been ported.  Having 100,000+ more apps should make RT a more attractive proposition.
  • This will not happend. The APIs and XAML stacks are not compatible
  • What is the financial cost to the end user if they merge all the OS together? What I mean is...currently it costs to update CPU OS, and there is no cost for updates....for example from WP8 to Blue. Does anyone else think that merging all the OS into one would lead to a situation where you have to pay for phone OS upgrades? Frankly...i am damned surprised that apple didn't pull that stunt already...unless you count that to get the new os most had to buy a new phone....and what is to stop this from happening with Microsoft and wp8?
  • They did (do?) that with iPod's :)
  • I wish to see more theme and tiles customization settings. I really love to experimenting with em!
  • I wish notification sounds and alerts would be silenced during phone calls. Can't stand hearing dings and beeps in my ear drowning out what people are saying!
  • How about being able to hide notifications altogether?
  • YES! YES! YES!  I'm still stuck using my BlackBerry and one of the things I LOVE about it is what they call Bedside Mode, which is similar to this.  When it is plugged in, It checks to see if the time is between  certain preset hours and if so, runs a custom sound profile, which shuts off all notifications except calls.  My wife has a WP7 phone which we both love but she has to manually turn off the notifications and half of the time, forgets to turn them back in the morning, so she can't be notified of emails and texts. 
    This is a small thing but HUGELY beneficial for those of us who want to use a WP8 phone as a bediside clock.
  • I do agree that I would like a sound profile set up that would allow for me to customize the notifications for each one. When I had my blackberry I had one that NSFW.... And one that was safe for work. Being able to set up even just three different profiles and a tile to switch between them would be awesome. There are times I miss the blackberry with the all inclusive notification and message box...and sound profiles...but then I remember how much I love this phone and os as well...and how there is SOOOO much potential for it to be...maybe not the most popular with the public...but definitely one of the best!
  • anybody else been using snotify for this? works great homebrew app
  • I actually wish this site could be found in the Disqus app.... :(
  • Daniel, do you know where can I find smartphone pictures for a website I'm creating?
  • This is one of the iOS features I miss, so I hope they make this on Windows Phone too. Very useful.
  • Will this update come to 7.x users???
  • Bring on more Windows Mobile features! (being serious) One of the most missed features. I don't need toast notifications on weeknight at 2 am.
  • Lol typical writing fails where did they get their degrees??? O.O
  • Hopefully MS will continue naming their updates as COLORS. Bring on Windows Red. Actually, no, Windows Crimson.
  • I would just be happy to receive all of my notifications.
  • I've been hoping for something similar, but specific to email accounts. If I want my work email to sync as items arrive for only certain hours on specific days, the phone should allow me to do that.
  • Yep, it's a disgrace that WP is still missing this kind of basic functionality.  I have to turn the volume down to 0 every night when I go to bed, then turn it up in the morning.  When I forget to do either of those things, there's a pretty good chance my phone is going to piss me off with an unwanted noise or a missed call, and the frustration just accumulates forever.  This is the kind of basic stuff MS doesn't get and, worst of all, doesn't pick up on or listen to their customers about, after years...  it's sad, really.  Definitely going to take a hard look at Android when it comes time to ditch WP7.
  • write an NFC tag with the "volume down to 0" command, and stick it near the place where you put your phone for the night. Btw. if you managed to figure out how to issue such an NFC command, pls. let me know :D
  • lol ... thanks for the suggestion but I'm still using WP7, yes that dead old platform I jumped on 1.5 years ago, so no NFC for me.  Not that one should have to resort to such tactics anyway for such a basic and every day situation!!!
  • I would prefer a seperate volume control for notifcations/ringer over this...
  • Is this like "Do not Disturb" mode for IOS, just on WP?
  • I'm glad this is happening, but I'll be honest I was hoping to port my Sound Planner app from Android over... Hopefully they expand on the SDK to allow apps to work with the main settings. *crosses fingers*
  • Oh please, no.  It's already hard enough to see the notifications when they come across the screen and you don't have your phone in your hand.  Now you can specify a time for you to just never see them?!
    OK, so that's maybe a little overreacting.  But I can only really see this being ultimately beneficial if there's a "real" notification center, too.  Maybe one day...
  • I will totally love it! Specially at nigth when I am charging the phone and I can not turn it off, so i have to turn down the volume of the phone!
  • I want something like The Situations app on Symbian.
  • "current ability to temporarily silence notifications for 1, 3 or 8 hours" ???
  • i love Windows Phone make my phone easy
  • nokia lumia 920  with Windows Phone
  • Was waiting for something like this
    awesome <3
    So much good news these past few days
  • This is a feature I have been able to enjoy on my 4 -year-old BlackBerry Curve via its "phone calls only" sound setting.
    At night I want to be able to silence notifications, but receive phone calls in case of an emergency. It baffles me that neither iOS nor Android have a "quiet hours" or "phone calls only" setting built into their OS out-of-the-box.
    I had to download a third party app to use on my Galaxy Nexus to give me this functionality.
    Kudos to Microsoft for including it in WP8.
  • Here it is :) http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/quiet-hours/f347a36b-80c0-43...