Windows Phone 8 allows Lock-screen notifications and wallpaper for 3rd party apps

We’ve hinted at this before and the leak of the Windows Phone 8 SDK is validating our claim that “Apollo” will allow richer notification support for 3rd party developers.

Developers will now be able to have their app send notifications to the Lock Screen with the content reflecting the app’s Live Tile:

“In Windows Phone, the lock screen contained a handful of notifications such as the number of new Outlook emails and text messages. In Windows Phone 8 Developer Preview, end users can choose to customize this area with any third party apps they choose. As a developer, you can enable your app to be used in this feature. “

An app can provide content for the following four items on the lock screen:

  • The background image. This image is unrelated to lock screen notifications, and is documented at Lock screen background for Windows Phone.
  • An app icon
  • An app count
  • App text

The other part is just as interesting. Developers can create wallpapers that can be pushed to the Lockscreen. For instance, our Windows Phone Central app could send a Wallpaper to the Lock Screen for a custom look—perhaps even allowing a “Wallpaper of the day” type function:

"In Windows Phone 8 Developer Preview, a user can choose to use an app as its lock screen background provider. So that your app can provide the lock screen background, you will need to declare the app's intent in the application manifest file, and add code to handle changing the background image."

While not a notification center per se, this should go a long way in making sure we never miss a Toast notification from a 3rd party app in the future. The app-to-wallpaper feature is also a unique addition that should allow some very creative content from devs once Windows Phone 8 hits the shelves this fall.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the 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 watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. 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.