Windows Phone 8.1 – App list sorting and actionable notifications revealed in alleged screenshots

More information is coming forward regarding the forthcoming Windows Phone 8.1. This time, alleged screenshots from build 8.10.12166.0 were posted in the Windows Phone Central forums by user qXerro. Although we have not verified the screenshots (they can be easily faked), we can confirm that the information revealed by them is accurate for the upcoming Windows Phone overhaul due early next year. In fact, the grammar error suggests they are re-created.

In three screen captures, posted below, we can see more detail about the Notification center and sortable items in the App list in addition to a new battery display option.

The Facebook notifications have not be verified, but app list sorting is accurate

In Windows 8.1, currently in preview edition, users should be familiar with the sorting option in the App list. Users can organize the list by name, frequency of use, category or date installed. Windows Phone Central has learned some time ago that this feature will also be present in Windows Phone 8.1, finally offering end users the ability to better control menu organization.  (We should also caution that we heard there were problems with it, so it may not make it to the final build.) By tapping the double-arrow in the upper right hand corner, users can select from those options listed above and this is reflected in these leaked screenshots.

The other new feature is actionable notifications. This will be a new enhancement to the current Toast notifications (i.e. pop up) that users are familiar with and it will be open to developers with the new 8.1 SDK. Once again, it will mirror Windows 8.1 and the Skype example, where users can answer the call with or without video or ignore, all from the Toast notification. The same will be in Windows Phone 8.1 where you can for example directly respond to a text message without having to launch the app. This can be seen above with the Facebook message.

We can also reiterate the news about 'ghost notifications' for the Notification Center, which Windows Phone Central first reported on a few days ago. These will not be Toast notifications but instead will go directly to the Notification Center so as to not constantly bother end-users. This option will be available to developers via the SDK and should give Windows Phone a superior notification system.

The third and final new tidbit reveals a “Show Battery percentage” option under the Battery settings. This will allow users to see the exact percentage of battery in the Task bar next to the battery icon.

Other information revealed but not verified is that the OS will be announced in January with the SDK due in February, most likely at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The poster of the screenshots, qXerro, has noted that this current build has poor Wi-Fi and that the settings app crashes randomly, reminding us that Microsoft still has some work to do.

Windows Phone Central cannot maintain if the actual screenshots are real though (they could be re-creations) but we stand by the information revealed here. Of course, features can be added and removed during the process so more changes may be forthcoming.

Update 11:45 AM: We should also clarify that many of these leaked screenshots (or clever PhotosShops) are in fact based on older OS iterations. That means not too much should be placed on final UI layouts or functionality. 

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

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.

  • Can't wait.
  • You will have to.
  • You see, "can't wait" is a phrase used to express one's extreme excitement about a particular event.  It does not literally mean that they cannot wait.  It's called hyperbole and is commonly used.  You should become aware of it.
  • Schooled
  • But I'm out of school.
  • You see, "schooled" is a phrase used to express...
  • Loooool
  • lol
  • Then it seems that you need to go back.
  • Hahahaha Nice one  
  • Chill...ugh
  • Should we expect a bill for this informative lecture?
  • Then I'll have to wait for ATT to approve it. :/
  • and they may decide not to push new updates before new phones with new OS versions come out so that you would want to buy new phone instead of wait for the update.
  • Who said he needs to wait , he can get a job at Microsoft and get an early built lol .
  • haha nice.
  • Lol
  • I actually liked a lot, making wp better than it already is, glad to see Microsoft working on it, hopefully, great times are coming now that Microsoft wants take part of smartphones segment and bought Nokia
  • yeah, I can't wait either....
    super exciting stuff!
  • Is that a Facebook message as in a private message/direct message or a Facebook chat message? It would be great if Facebook private messaging was integrated into the OS like this (so that it would actually work.)
  • I really hope so because right now, the facebook messaging experience is the worst there is. It even was better on WP7 when the facebook chat integretion was somehow reliable. But now, Facebook app's notification are completely random, and the native facebook chat is broken. A flawless facebook messaging integration is necessary for WP to continue growing up, I know some people that are ready to ditch the OS because of that (some people use FB private messages all the time).
  • Its the Facebook app that breaks the messaging side of things. I uninstalled it and fb chat works perfectly again
  • Hmm... Good to know. I'll try to see if it fits my needs then, I don't use the facebook app that much, the people hub kinda serves me well. So if you appear "online" on your phone, you should get all private message then ?
  • As of recently, I have been getting all my messages from facebook on the people hub. I know joe said they were working on it so probably some tweeks in the background.
    The only thing is the double notifications. Example, When I'm at work, i'm logged into my browser and my phone is next to me.. and the messages come in on both ends.. pretty annoying but alot better than it was before.
    Still doesn't sync the messages you sent via your computer to the phone though but that's ok.
    I do have the facebook beta app installed and I HAVE gotten notifications for messages. example "Tom sent you a message"
    It's not consistent and far from reliable, but it goes to show that microsoft is working on things on their backend :)
  • Messasges sent from outlook/ ect..  will get synced to the phone.  Ones from facebook itself will not.  I'd imagine this might not change as MS doesn't know about ones not originated in their applications. Doubful FB would feed them the messages as it's redundant, but who knows.
  • Are you talking about the official Facebook app or the Betaa, or both.
  • Both, I tried it out with both apps, and honestly, none give proper messaging notifications. You get them like 5 minutes after you actually receive the message, or you don't get the notification at all. I don't personnaly use facebook messaging that much, but I know friends who does and this is a clear downgrade when they're coming from Android or iOs.
  • You're right about comparisons to iOS and Android. However our OS is much more consistent with regards to Facebook notifications in general. I've never once received a regular notification from my HTC One in the several months that I've had it. I just wish that Facebook messages would be more consistent when using the built in messaging app.
  • My God, I thought I was the only one with that problem. The native app sucks for me, too ever since I moved to WP8; it was, indeed, better on WP7.x. Why hasn't Microsoft done (or even tried to do) anything about it? That feature was really useful to me!
  • +820
  • Why would Facebook go out of its way to make its toasts grammatically incorrect?
  • You've obviously never alpha or beta tested.
  • Daniel, I've been through a lot of alpha and beta tests, and I still find this blatant error hard to believe. 
  • ....more so because it comes from the developer called Microsoft Corporation
  • Maybe you guys are deluding yourself in thinking all coders speak perfect, grammatically correct English?
  • I'll just repeat this here again: the information revealed in this article is accurate and which we knew before these "screenshots" came forward.  IF these screenshots are faked, which they could be, they certainly match with what we (WPCentral) have known to be coming. And for myself, I find that difficult to be just a coincidence. 
  • Give me a break! Grammar police on beta info which is generally being passed to us ahead of time... Be happy for once and stop complaining, some people need Prozac.
  • Yeah because I don't write software for a living. Jk, I do. Unless they rewrote the app from scratch they should be using the same localization strings.
  • True, but if the coder is just trying to start with a proof of concept they probably aren't taking the time to look up the correct localization strings. I know I would go back at the end and do that kind of stuff, along with proof reading all of the text strings, comments, etc. To begin with I often type in messages that are completely inappropriate for a final "uh oh errorz" in an incomplete exception handler.
  • Yeah, I noted this below. I think it's not the real Facebook app but just a fake app that looks like it is giving Facebook notifications. If it was the real Facebook app, they'd probably base it on the existing source code (the app sends the toasts, not the OS).
  • LOL. I love Photoshop
  • Good point, humdinger. Maybe FB codes first and proofreads last. Or maybe WPC is being trolled.
  • Not being trolled. Read the article. The information we present is accurate and we've known about.
  • Would love to know what other things you people know.... :D
  • Yeah, spill the beans.  I promise I won't tell!
  • Which makes these "screenshots" more smelly
  • Exactly my question! Raspollini 'send' you a message. :-/
  • Wanted to say the same thing. That one is definitely fake.
  • Who cares! The info is real, its a demo to give you a idea, what is the darn problem?
  • Well to be fair, he did say that they have not "be" verified ;)
  • Actually, thinking about it technically, this screenshot could be real. It is likely that it is not a real Facebook app that is being used but a service mocking the Facebook app to develop/test the toast interaction feature. That mock could just be putting a toast up with no real data and hence is probably not localized at all.
    However, that would imply that the user creating the screenshots is working on the feature.
    Not sure which one I'd rather believe.
  • Action toast!
  • Is it just me or anyone else thinks that the notifications app is gonna be useless on a windowsphone???
    anyways its good to have so ppl stop complaining abt not having notifications :|
  • The actionable notification is indeed one of the best surprises from all the leaks so far
  • With actionable notifications then no, I don't think it's useless. The notifications "app" will catch the notifications you miss from apps you don't have pinned, which is a good idea.
  • I cant see it being useless, its not the best implementation, a swipe left would be better. But having it as a tile makes sense in a tile based OS
  • Well, a gesture-based opener would be much better (without leaving opened apps), yes!
  • its just you
  • Wow. Big headline
  • looks like faked stuff..
  • Read the article.
  • Article is fake. I kid, I kid :P
  • Remember when HTC hd2 were leaked and everyone thought it was fake?
  • Well there goes every battery app.
  • Hopefully. They are really limited compared to their counterparts because of the OS.
  • Hopefully Ms will make wp8 work well with 64bit chips after wp8.1 update
  • yes because now that Apple has "invented" the 64bit architecture, it will become the next barometer by which OSes will be judged.... A few years ago it was dual core, then quad core, and 1080p screens, now it will be 64bit smh
  • Yep, we all know that 41mp cameras, 1080p screens, wireless charging and NFC are just gimmics, finger print reader and 64bit processor is true innovation.
  • sigh...sad but true... the funny thing is that phones don't even have enough memory to even warrant 64 bit yet...
  • And what is the advantage gained with a 64bit chip? Or are you just keeping up with the Joneses?
  • On a mobile device with less than 4GB RAM, not much.  WP will gain x64 compatibility in a couple years or less anyway as they merge the kernel with WinRT (Maybe Win/WP9) which is long before it would become useful on a mobile device IMO.
  • Samsung's next galaxy series device..most likely s5 is also going support 64 bit...
  • So, what good is that gonna do an a phone. Honestly this is gonna be ridiculous is everyone starts saying that WP sucks cuz its not 64 bit. Shit I barely upgraded my desktop a year ago just for the ram, other than that, there really is no differenc
  • Woooooho!
  • Gr8, keep it coming :)
  • GR8.1, FTFY.
  • Even better :P thanks :)
  • Looking good thus far, hopefully they will have many new features not listed here.
  • Hope there is support for custom categories on the app list. W8.1 should have that too.
  • Wow I feel bad for t mobile users that have to put up with that logo. Anyway, why the hell does it take so long to put battery % in the status bar?? It has been in the settings menu since wp7.
  • Yeah, but we get OS updates in exchange for the logo.
  • HAHA!
  • Doesn't every carrier brand their phones in a similar fashion?
  • Yes but i just think that T Mobile logo is HUGE and is right with the buttons!!  My AT&T 1020 only has a small globe in the top left corner which isn't bad.
  • Toast? Ghost? It's the OS test with the Mostest!
  • Me either but hope the notification center is what we all want, but as of now it looks stupid! They need not to make a notification app, that's a stupid idea..
  • That actionable notification is awesome
  • I was hoping we'd see a File Manager on wp8.1,  still hoping.
    Make your voice heard, File Managers are what makes smartphones smart:
  • I think. Its like this. Whatever is in windows 8.1 is gonna be in Wp8.1. So we're likely gonna see a file manager in SkyDrive app
  • File Managers are what makes smartphones smart
    Uh, file managers do not make a smartphone "smart."  It's the applications and OS experience.
  • I have heard zero information on a File Manger. I would not expect it.
  • There is no file manager planed for Windows phone ... yet
  • NO. 
  • Not very windows phone'ish. Windows mobile'ish maybe
  • Daniel...  have you seen this WP concept video?  I think this is how most of us would like to see the notifications center be implemented...  There are a bunch of other great ideas here too.
  • There is another concept that is far better than this one.
  • Wow, really awesome concept video... I don't like everything but most ideas are just awesome... I hope the notification center looks/works like this... - only problem would be that it may interfere with pivot controls, etc...
  • I loved every part of that video except that the Windows keys became part of the display.
  • I hope it be real. Seems nice.
  • Dopenessssss on an high level
  • Screenshot = fake
  • Must have taken ages to get that Facebook screenshot. Usually takes a week or two for Facebook notifications to come through
  • Daniel, are you guys going to report on 'Cortana' or what??? Verge has had an article up for hours now.  Pretty big news if you ask me...
  • Refresh the site.
  • lol NICE
  • Finally... Battery status! *_*
  • I hope they also create deeper integration with SkyDrive, and combine it with SD/Internal storage, just like Windows 8.1 :)
  • Awesome leak
  • This is app?
  • Nice, i like the Frequently used apps option, i hate having to scroll down to the bottom of the list.
  • Yes me too! Lol
  • pray its in the final build, if you like it so much
  • Save time by using the index letters.
  • Excited for Q1 2014. But i hope this is accompanied with a lot more APIs to developers, or at least 'AAA' developers (in my book) such as the makers behind 6tag, myTube, MetroTube, WPCentral, Weaze, wpTorrent, etc. Just saying, these people deserve to be able to give what WP users want.
  • Give it to all develpers, not just the AAA devs. Today's non-AAA dev could be tomorrow's AAAA dev.
  • I want 8.1... Wish everything in reading becomes a reality... jejeje
  • Couldn't help but notice it's not an AT&T phone, doesn't that figure?
    Looks cool, can't wait!
  • I have a hard on.
  • Seems promising. I do hope that in addition to a "notifications hub" (which the screnshots, if real, seem to imply is the approach Microsoft's taking?), there will be a "drawer" akin to Android and iOS (yes, I like that Windows Phone is different than its rivals, but the available-from-anywhere drawer is a smart element, might as well use.  The "swipe down" mechanic is already reserved to show more of the status indicators, so making it show notifications would make sense).  Likewise for toggles (WiFi, Orientation Lock, etc.).
    I'd also be really happy if they'd deign to add the ellipsis character to the keyboard (ie. long-press on the full-stop)… 8)
  • Why, Windows Phone is not Android or iOS so, personally, I don't want their paradigms on Windows Phone!!!
  • I should temper my comment a bit - you're right, I like that Windows Phone is distinct from Android and iOS in its UI.  It's the main reason I switched.  And I'd be happy with another solution that makes viewing of Notifications and setting of Toggles (WiFi/Airline/BlueTooth/Orientation/etc.) easy to access. 
    My point was that the "drawer" paradigm does fit that "easy to access" requirement. Without having to drop out of an app and go to the Start screen, one could view things easily.  If Microsoft can do something like that - whether it's a "drawer" from the top, or some other gesture (from the side, or bottom, or maybe something like a concept video I saw, where someone "swiped up" over the Start button and onto the screen (or Back, or Search - could do different things?))... it'd be an efficient way to get to them.
    (besides, Android and iOS are stealing design cues from Windows Phone; taking one of their good ideas into our OS of choice isn't a bad thing on it's own, particularly if Microsoft can improve on it).
  • Must be release by Jan-2014 and available for Lumia including 512 MB RAM once.
  • Finally. I really miss having a battery percentage option when using my Windows Phones.
  • I'm just glad it's an option as I don't really need to know how low my battery is until battery saver kicks in!?!!
  • Looks pretty nice, especially this quick reply-thing. After I've seen that on my friend's android, I got a little jeallous^^
    BUT: Why is there so much padding at the border of tiles? IMHO this is waste of space and doesn't really look that great.
  • I hope the Live Tiles will actually be live, and not up to 30 minutes old.
  • Finally, someone else who feels this way. Been saying this since the day WP7 arrived. Tiles are not live they are Delayed Tiles and notifications are hit or miss with most apps.
  • I couldn be wrong, but I think I heard tiles can be updated instantly through a push notification but that the tiles only update on their own every 30 minutes.
  • Tiles can be instant if updated server side via push notification.  Background tasks are updated at a minimum every 30 mins.  If every app tries to update every minute, then your phone battery won't last very long.
  • No doubt "codesmith" from Liquid Daffodil will be along in a minute to assure us that there will be no notification centre in 8.1, and that we should all have used their notification centre, but too late since we were all so nasty and hostile towards their terrible implementation.
  • LOL
  • Isn't this what everybody wants? Why are there still complaining comments and not enough praise? Oh yeah thats right, still Earth, still humans
  • Because people want MS to use paradigms from other OSs instead of being different and unique!!!!
  • Now this is not just a Notification Center, this is some innovating stuff! I can´t believe the creativity and innovation Microsoft is showing us with Windows Phone. Where Apple basicly changes his icons and Google is doing nothing really, Microsoft is heavily developing this OS to become the most superiour mobile operating systems of all platforms. In a user experience sense, they already have, but adding things like this it becomes even better! I hope they will implement this Notification Center in Windows 8.2 as well, that would be awesome
  • What are those. zTasker, zDiagnose and other zSomething?? I know the icons are the default icons when developing an app, but what do you think the apps are used for?
  • The sorting of apps is huge. Please let them have a recently installed or sort by install date.
  • Should be the same sorting as Windows 8.1 has. By Name, by date installed, by most used and by category ;-)
  • Too good to be true :(...
  • "Send you a message?" Come on, we all know it should be "Sended you a message." Geesh, bad grammar.
  • Lol
  • It should be "Sent you a message" but who cares!!!?!
  • Obligatory "Whoosh!"
  • Awesome, the battery percentage feature is definitely a small feature but I've wanted it for a long time so it's really exciting :D the actionable notifications look awesome too :D
  • That's awesome :D
  • This is on of the reasons that I chose WP8, just to see a platform develop like WP8 is, is somehow exciting, dare I say ? 
  • me too. seeing the platform develop like this makes me proud of being a wp user.
  • I love the Ui and actionable notifications and i think that WP is just getting better and better.
  • what's with the asterisk or start at the top?  New notification in notification center??
  • Yeah, that's exactly what it means ;-)
  • Well, various people have clamored for various features on this forum, but the single most wanted feature for me is the 'Show battery percentage'. Heaven only knows how much distress i go through to keep abreast of the battery charge, what with having to go into 'settings' and scrolling down. To make matters worse, the Battery apps can only update the battery percentage info once in half an hour. So, I am quite glad for this new feature.
  • Can't they just make a swipe down feature?
  • The windows phone 8.1 update will be available for current existing models also right? I use a nokia lumia 920 btw
  • Exciting features, waiting for this build
  • the pics to me is photoshop, look at the facebook notification that says,Raspollini send you a message.The statement is grammatically wrong, microsoft will not use such grammer for a genius mobile OS.
  • IF these new features are real, they look pretty useful! I love the Facebook notification reply.
    I hope the app list sorting is an option though, I love that as-is.
  • When you think about it, you don't really need a pull down notifcation list.
    If you're in an app and see a toast notification, you either click on it or carry on doing what you were doing.
    If you're on the start screen anyway, you can check immediately on your notification tile for notifications.
    The pull down method doesn't really fit in with the windows phone design which focuses on the start screen.
  • Exciting things ahead
  • Awesome! I can't wait to reply to messages via the toast notification.
  • Is this going yo be an update or something?
  • Windows Phone 8.1? Whoa!
    is it going to be available on Lumia 920!?
  • Sure, it already is. Most of us already run this not-even-officially-announced-and-therefore-not-much-known-about build.