There have been much more concepts and rumors when it comes to Windows Phone OS development than the actual work happening at Redmond, but things seem to be turning better for WP fans with the latest set of leaked images and screenshots. A Spanish blog, Winphollowers, has published some photos which they claim are from Microsoft’s internal presentation. The leak outlines a lot of new features in the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 release, primarily the much awaited Notification Center, which is aptly named ‘Action Center‘.
Windows Phone 8.1 is expected to arrive in April pretty much along side the Windows 8.1 update 1. Notification hub is pretty much the most requested feature, and personally, something which I missed the most and hence kept away from Windows Phone for a long time. In this age of connectivity, it was baffling for a mobile OS aiming to compete with the likes of iOS and Android to not have means to customize and control users’ app notifications.
Though the name is different, Action center looks pretty similar to Android’s notification center. It can be accessed by swiping down from top of the screen, and that will display four basic quick settings – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane & driving modes, along with a shortcut for other system settings. All four are customizable, and the basic Action Center also displays the date and a battery level percentage. What follows this quick settings bar is the actual notification center, where notifications from various apps are grouped together. These notifications can then be acted upon or deleted directly. Not much of a difference from Android or iOS, isn’t it? Yes, Android has nearly perfected the notification center, but this has rip-off written all over it.
Other rumored features in the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 ‘Blue’ release include Microsoft’s own Siri implementation, called Cortana, separate volume controls for ringer / notifications and media / apps, and many more.