Soon enough Windows Phone users will no longer have to covet the notification centers found on Android and iOS devices. Microsoft is said to be preparing a major update to its mobile platform that will bring this feature among other general improvements.
Windows blog WinPhollowers has published screenshots that claim to show what this upcoming "Action Center" will look like. The website is said to have obtained these screenshots from an internal Microsoft presentation. According to the leaked images, the notification center will divide alerts depending on which application they're from. For example, subheadings for Messaging and Facebook are shown in the screenshots as well as a quick settings toolbar with options for Bluetooth, Airplane Mode and Driving.
This "Action Center" is accessible by swiping from the top of the screen, reports The Verge, which claims to have verified the validity of these screenshots as part of a forthcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update. The four basic quick settings are also supposedly customizable, meaning you won't have to scroll through a menu of nearly 20 quick settings, like on Samsung's TouchWiz UI and LG's Android skin.
The newly leaked screenshots join the string of purported leaks and rumors surrounding Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 update. The Redmond, Wash.-based company is expected to introduce this upgrade at its annual Build conference this spring, although the company has yet to publicly confirm any information. In addition to a Notification Center, Microsoft is expected to add a virtual voice assistant called "Cortana" to rival the likes of Google Now and Siri and built-in gesture detection.
Microsoft recently added support for 1080p displays to its mobile OS, which along with these rumored Windows Phone 8.1 features could further help Microsoft play catch-up with its Android and iOS rivals. Although Windows Phone has shown growth over the past year, it still trails Apple and Google by a long shot. Data from Strategy Analytics shows that Windows Phone claimed a meager 3.2 percent of global smartphone market share in Q4 2013, which is up from the 2.7 percent it owned in Q4 2012. Android, by comparison, commanded a staggering 78.4 percent of the worldwide smartphone market as of Q4 2013 while Apple accounted for 17.6 percent.