Windows Phone Hacker working on Notification Center app

Windows Phone Hacker has unveiled a notification centre app for both Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 on his website. Microsoft has received countless letters, threats and (we're certain) love notes from consumers pleading for a single location for all toast notifications to be stored for later viewing.

It has always been an issue when a Windows Phone alerts the user with a notification, only for it to disappear without the ability to see which app requires attention (this is where Live Tiles arguably come in, but that's besides the point). We're aware of the talks that Microsoft intends to implement functionality to address the issue, but Windows Phone Hacker has beaten the company to it with a new project.

Showing off what's been developed thus far, Windows Phone Hacker notes that it's not a mere conceptual project - this is the real deal, folks. A working notification centre. The beauty of the app? It doesn't require root privileges (but may still require to be developer unlocked), which will open the project up to many who desire to have a feature that enables the storage of any lost and forgotten notifications.

The app sports a Live Tile that shows a counter for how many 'unread' notifications are currently available for viewing. While not going into too much detail about the app and how he plans to further develop it, Jaxbot is asking for feedback on the concept and whether improvements can be made on design and implementation.

It's good to see such solutions in development - as well as Microsoft working on their own - as we know it's on the mind of consumers. We previously ran a poll earlier this year asking readers what they'd like to see in Windows Phone 8 that was missing. Notification centre came out with 22% of the vote, quite a majority.

Check out a concept by a member from the Windows Phone forums:

Apps Hub


The app by Jaxbot is exactly that - an app. It's not a fully integrated solution, one which we'd expect from Microsoft in a future OTA update. Members over in our Windows Phone community have supplied their own concepts for how a notification centre should be developed (see above image for one by AgentTheGreat). 

Source: Windows Phone Hacker, YouTube

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • I LOVE the way this guy did the notifications center. This is how Microsoft should implement it.
  • I like the concept shown above created by people on the forums but I would put it to the left of the main tile screen. Swiped left to right get notifications, swiped right to left takes you apps with an optional live tile that when pressed takes you to the notification screen. I like the layout in the screen shot above with each item listed and the number of notifications for it. Brilliant layout that MS needs to incorporate.
  • me too... that's what I think they suppose to make the notification center...
    swipe to the left for the full list of apps...
    swipe to the right to view the notification center...
    when phone is locked, swipe up to unlock the phone (password may apply)...
    when phone is locked, swipe to the left to access kids corner...
    hold the power button, then swipe down to turn off the phone...
    and they get the full swiping features of Windows Phone... ^_^
  • I love the look.  And if we can see that same screen by simply swiping to the opposite direction of the "Applications" screen, that would be perfect!!!
  • Like Nokia n9 meego, SWIPE!!
  • I agree swipe left to right to show notifications would be ideal.
  • Why is that? If you have to go back to your home screen, you might as well look at your tiles. The beauty if the notification center is that it's available from anywhere. 
    I would prefer it if they straight copied the Android notification center. It's perfect.
  • Ah so you can then claim WP copied from Android. Besides, the way it's implemented in Android is so unoriginal and inelegant! Hope MS does NOT implement it that way!
  • Thats the most insane thing i have ever heard...Everyone in the tech world agrees android nailed it with the pulldown notification bar. But i guess haters gonna hate. 
  • I am sorry, but a pull-down notification center won't go with the tile-hub concept of Windows Phone. To Google it was easy to just slap something new on their already messy interface. It was as simple as "ok, we'll just put it up there" because they have no rule. They have no law. They have no organizational logic behind their design (well that's a bit exaggerated but you get the point). Almost every screen on Android has rules of its own. Not Windows Phone.
    If MS won design awards for Windows Phone it was only because they thought everything through. They came up with clear guidelines; with a philosophy. The philosophy consists of navigatable screens, not mere symbols that may or may not introduce some novelty effect.
    You are on a Windows Phone site. People are here, because they like Windows Phone. They like the philosophy. Everyone in the tech-world outside of here may think Android nailed it. They actually may have, but only for their own philosophy (if any). When you get here, things are different.
    A pull down menu would be an entirely new thing for Windows Phone. Nowhere else would you see something like that. There is absolutely no reason for such a radical change within the guidelines introduced by Microsoft.
    People were already working with Live Tiles, using them as notifiers and many here - too many perhaps - keep arguing that Windows Phone does not need a notification center. I disagree, but I also disagree with anyone saying the notification center needs to be accessible from everywhere. I think people just need to know they have notifications they haven't seen; if they are already using their phone they can see them. If they are not, that is when they need to know, and they are almost always on the Start screen while not using the phone so they can see they have new notifications using a tile which would take them to the notification center.
    To summarize, Microsoft will introduce this concept, and I am hoping they will nail it for Windows Phone which means they keep Windows Phone's integrity intact.
  • Honestly it works on android because 90% of the time (minus full screen gaming) the status bar is available so you have a visual cue to pull down from. Not so on Windows Phone. Most apps are full screen so regular users won't have an indicator its there. I don't like the way iOS does it, where there's no icons in the stays bar and on full screened apps you have to swipe from the top to get the little pull down shade to show then pull down again to access the notification center. WP would have to emulate this second part because we're so often full screened. Also, because our status bar is not even there unless we pull it down and cluttering up the minimalistic top space with poorly designed icons doesn't sound appeasing. In conclusion, no.
  • The beauty of a notification center is not that it is accessible from everywhere. Rather, it is useful because it won't let you miss stuff. Right now even if you are on your Home screen you have no way of knowing what you have missed if you don't have a tile for all the apps pinned. So you can't use your home screen to see all notifications.
    People at Google and Apple might have thought the center needs to be accessible everywhere. But if people here don't think they even need a notification center, they couldn't care less about accessing it from within an app or a game. They would ultimately just need a place to see their missed toasts, that's it.
  • Ok if you wanna bash android and attempt to think that people dont want access to the information in every app and website then i cant convince you. The only thing i can say is people want acess to info fast and everywhere on the phone, not just going to the home screen and opening a second app. sure live tiles are cute and fun but if you just swallow your pride and say hey maybe android is onto something and consider some crazy variation of the pulldown bar without having to exit an app or go to a home screen in the middle of a fruit ninja session then fine i think that would be cool; but to say that android has no orginazational logic behind that amazing idea is just dumb. I think microsoft has the design chops to figure something out but to have to return to the home screen for a notification center is not the option people like. windows phone is in a position to possibly be third place but remember android and iphone which both have pull down notification bars are #1 and #2. JS 
  • There is no objective reason why you would want to leave an app and go to the notification center, especially on a platform that has never provided one and people have been fine with it.
    I just refer to a part of the comment neogodless posted below which to me is quite logical:
    "In Windows Phone, if you're holding/viewing the phone already, you'll see the toast, and having to pull down the shade would be redundant. But if your phone was in your pocket or otherwise out of sight, that's when you want to come back and see your list of missed (toast) notifications. You fire it up, and you're on the home screen."
    In short, you basically never need to leave Fruit Ninja to see a notification on Windows Phone. Even if there was no immediate toast, personally I think just having a unified archive of missed toasts somewhere would be sufficient.
    And of course the argument about the number of users of these platforms being related to whether the platform has a pull-down notification center is obviously fallacious.
  • As an android user, most of the apps I use take the entire screen so the idea of accessing the information in the notification area is a myth for the most part. Some apps it is available but not all that many. Also in the years I have owned an android phone, I have accessed the notification pull down maybe a dozen times from inside an app. For me it is like a front facing camera which I have used 2x in 4 years.
    Id prefer live tiles and the rendered concept show above.
  • Jaxbot rocks!
  • I am not sure about that. It looks good but it's not different from the competition. And WP should be different...
  • Cue the "Why would anybody want this?" barrage of post, lol.
  • Do want. MS needs to take notes from Apple. See what the dev and hacks community is doing and incorporate into future builds.
  • I hope Jaxbot releases the some as the "keep alive" app he created for the WiFi issue works wonders, and filled a hole that MS missed... Keep up the work!
  • I love the idea and look of this app but I still love the idea of integrating toast notifications into the Me tile! The framework is all there just add one more page for app notifications or even integrate it with the existing social networking notifications, the live tile would still work the same so instead of a counter it would flip with a description of the toast or 2 notifications 3 notifications etc etc
  • You want to go back to your home screen then click your me time to see notifications? You don't think the pull down shade available EVERYWHERE is a better solution to notificatoins? 
  • Pull down shade is unoriginal. I hope Microsoft doesn't use it. Instead, what about a swipe up from under all your live tiles on your homescreen?
  • Not only is the Android way of doing it unoriginal, it's also so inelegant. I also hope MS does not implement it that way!
  • Using a "Pull Down" gesture gives us the Status Bar... They can't use that since there are going to be conflicts with the Notification Center... And yes, the current hidden status bar is better... If it's kept there then it's going to overlap the tiles everytime you scroll...
  • Maybe a notification tile for the apps we havent made a live tile for.
  • Isn't this redundant?
  • Pretty much IMO. If you go to your Me tile you will see your recent notifications for Twitter, Live, and Facebook. If you really want to you can have the Live tiles as well and they show a counter. I do like the idea cam45fblax mentioned of adding application alerts to the Me tile.
  • Yes, but lots of people prefer the option, and why shouldn't they have a choice? :) I wouldn't use it, but I love the concept to prove how good one could be.
  • No, it isn't at all redundant, despite what many people seem to think. This kind of app lets you see toast notifications that you missed. Pinned tiles do not replicate this as tiles don't show what the toasts said. For example, our DrexelOne Mobile app can send a toast to a phone that lets you know that a grade was just posted or a hold placed on your records. We could also update the tile to put a count on it, but a user wouldn't know which functions the count applied to.
    Without an OS-provided "toast log" it is up to each app developer to keep a server-side log, combine it with a live tile that shows the count, and couple them with a client-side function to retrieve the log when the app is started so that it can know what the toasts said. That's a lot to ask of every developer when the alternative is to have the OS do it automatically.
  • Makes sense.
  • I hope in windows phone 8.5 or sometime earlier, Microsoft introduces the notification center for us WP8 users.
  • Not bad. But let me guess, this will only be fore those who can sideload apps, which I assume most people cant do unless we pay.
  • I love how all these people are scrolling through the article and looking at the concept picture, not realizing its completely different than my app ;)
  • Laziness always trumps Literacy. Very good work on your part though. :)
  • We know it is an app, not in WP yet. But very good work. :-) You should work for Microsoft.
  • I hear ya bro!
  • It shows, however, that the UI design presented in the concept is an appealing one - I reckon you might still be going to tweak yours and what I saw in the youtube video is not going to be the final one. In my opinion higher contrast in typography (and perhpas colours, not sure if icons are feasible) would make it easier to just glance over the notifications list. Anyway, good luck, I hope it will be available soon, I would use it no matter what the design is like!
  • I would actually prefer it as an app.
  • What about notifications from say sports apps, CNN, WPcentral, weather alerts etc?
  • I'm in the between. The start screen serves as central notification for me, but for apps I don't want pinned for redundancy it would be nice to have something like this.
  • While I support a notification center, I hope it isn't implemented in this way. It would be great if it were a bit more integrated into the OS. For example, some special gesture or swiping to the right on the start screen. Also, it should do more than just list the notifications. There should be deep linking into each app, just like when you tap on a notification. Perhaps a way to group/sort/filter them based on source, time, etc. Also provide a checkbox view, like in mail, where you can select multiple notifications and mark them as read/unread/deleted. Perhaps have a counter at the top of the screen, next to the battery and all, letting you know how many notifications are unread. Of course, it also makes sense to provide a live tile that supports all sizes, for those that want it.
  • They basically should copy the Android 4.2 notification center. It's a pretty perfect implementation. I do not want to go back to the home screen and then within another app to access my notifications. The top screen drag (to show the icons) is pretty useless, that should be replaced with a notification center just like Android and iOS (which is a copy of Android's).
  • You seem to have a rather unhealthy attachment with copying from Android and iOS (which you point out is itself copied from Android). I am getting a vibe here that you really want Windows Phone to be a copy of others and that is what you care most about.
  • I would like to see the notifications area in the me tile used for this. It can be transfered to Windows 8 in the same way.
  • It's good that their making this, IMO I just don't ser the point. Live tiles and the ability to pin 5 apps to the start screen is your notification center(info). If you need a notification center that bad iPhones & androids await your arrival.
  • Sorry, but I don't want a ton of apps pinned just on the off chance I might miss a notification. And 5 apps on the unlock screen won't cut it, either, when I want to know about my 6th 7th or 8th app. One centralized location for all notifications that haven't been acted on yet, reached by swiping to the right on the start screen. Not too much to ask, not pointless either, it's the perfect realization of MS' "get in, get out" philosophy.
  • Well the point of the live tiles was so that your important apps and such would be pinned so you would be notified they're new messages. If you don't want to have apps pinned then your whole point of having a Windows Phone is nullified because live tiles is the antithesis to a notification center just like the notification system of Iphones and Androids is the answer to live tiles since there static icons.
  • The Notifications section in the Me tile begs to differ.
  • Eh this is kinda boring. I hope MS makes something just a little more flashier.  And when you touch on whatever the notification, it splits the screen vertically or something and allows you to interact with the notification from that screen i.e. respond to a text message without going to the messaging app, repond to a facebook status without going to the facebook app/people hub. I'd like to see more multitasking without so much jumping around in-between apps and hubs.  Hopefully this is taking them longer than expected because they are doing something really good... fingers crossed. 
  • I have always used Windows Phones since I ditched my StarTac.. I currently use the 920... I also have an Android phone and love it's notification system but thought that's why Windows 8 Phone had Live tiles? Don't get me wrong having a single all in one notification stop would be handy but am thinking unless the OS was built from ground up with this feature and already part of the SDK it would be vary difficult for MS to justify adding it so close from a launch aspect... You're talking about some that grabs the data not only from live tiles but from background applications as well... Sounds like a huge development process to me...
  • Actually from a development standpoint it is not that hard. Apps already inform the OS through toasts. The OS just needs a repository of these toast messages, grouping them by the ID of the app that sent them, and counting the number of toasts for each app, reseting it whenever the user goes to the Notification Center and reviews the toast archive. The infrastructure is already there.
    Also, MS is supposedly releasing this feature in the next (major) update.
    P.S. Exactly likewhat Jaxbot did with his app up there. If he could do it so neatly, MS can do it for sure.
  • MS is being stubborn on this issue and its costing them customers. This is one of the things people check when looking at WP,iOS and Android. We don't have one and they move on.
  • A notification center is superlame..... It goes againt all that is the spirit of WP and the livetile. So plz people, give it a rest. The next will be that people wonder why theres no Apple logo on the back. Android and IOS need the center because their systems are cluttered and static. 
  • Does the notifications section in the Me hub go "againt all that is the spirit of WP and the livetile"? Why not?
    Don't people realize that they are going to MISS toast notifications? Tell me why shouldn't MS just remove the notifications section from the Me hub and just show them as toast messages? What's the difference between a notification from Facebook and Twitter, and a notification from WhatsApp for example? You should give the "we don't want it because we want to be completely different just for the sake of being different" argument a rest. How about saying "Oh, Android phones and the iPhone make phone calls?! This goes against Windows Phone's spirit! The next will be that people wonder why theres no Apple logo on the back!" P.S. And it's not like peope are suggesting a pull-down notification area just like that of Android and iOS.
  • I think they just need to improve the live tiles for email, messaging, and phone.   The tiles don't show enough information and they can definitely cram more in there and have them update more frequently.  
  • So far the best notification center I've seen is on BalckBerry 10.
  • N9 style! Swipe from left to right is the best and quickest way to get notifications .
  • Of course how you personally feel about implementation is going to include personal preference and how you use your phone. The reason I prefer the concept above to Android's pull down shade is because, as I understand it, in Android, you are using or holding your phone, you see that you get a notification, and you pull the shade. In Windows Phone, if you're holding/viewing the phone already, you'll see the toast, and having to pull down the shade would be redundant. But if your phone was in your pocket or otherwise out of sight, that's when you want to come back and see your list of missed (toast) notifications. You fire it up, and you're on the home screen. A live tile showing missed notifications would be nice, or a counter on the lock screen or status bar would let you know that you want to click the live tile (like jaxbot's implementation) or swipe right (to move left) as shown in the concept above. I appreciate both approaches.
  • ^This.
  • +1
  • I noticed in the upper right corner of the screen, a Zune music tile. Microsoft should of just changed the name and added the Xbox features. I know that was off topic, but couldn't resist. I do like why he has done.
  • Wrong - the notification center needs to be accessible from anywhere - one of the key points is to be able to quickly check without leaving your app.
  • You are right! My bad. Here's how the notification center should work. Doesn't matter if you're in the lock or start screen, swiping to right should open notification center.
  • On lock screen, swipe to left for kids corner and right for notification center. Done deal. Now just need Joe B and friends to listen.
  • Like me and another poster mentioned in the forums. Instead of holding the home button and having the "Tell Me" option, either make that the notification window or make it another button like hold the back button.
  • I really like how the Nokia ESPN app has a little thing in the corner that you pull over and covers a little less than half the screen.  It is not quite a full notification center but a little place where basic information could be shown and clicked to go to the app.  If you have not seen the pull down in the Nokia ESPN app, you should take a look because that would be different though still familiar and still have a bit of elegance in my opinion.
    Jaxbot, your concept is great though and I eagerly await its availability!
  • Look promising.
  • Jailbroke my iPhone many times but I've no idea how its done on my new 920. But I would love that hack.
  • This actualy looks nice but I would love to be able to access my notifications from within an app instead of always having to navigate to the start screen
  • this concept is not only great it avoids android licensing issues
  • Swipe left --> the regular apps list
    Swipe right --> notifications count with app icons, only half tile width of notification icons with bounce back to start screen when user releases finger, that means the notification center (or whatever you want to call it) is something one can see only when you pull the start screen to the right like a spring. This screen should be configurable if possible if instead of the spring-pull effect the devs go with a full- swipe-right screen. This can be a read-only screen on the lock screen as well just to be more functional once the screen has been unlocked like when pressing on the icon/notification count the app should open. These are just my thoughts...
  • The new concept:
  • ok.. just a question.. is this app coming anytime soon? and if so, when? :D
    this is what i have been looking for... 
    the swiping left for notif hub concept is great.. Hope MS implements it..