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Action Center: Is this Windows Phone’s Notification Area?

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A new report indicates that Microsoft isn’t just preparing to finally add a notification center to its Windows Phone 8.1. Instead, the company will attempt to rival the notification systems of Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone and iPad with a new take on getting mobile users information it’s reportedly calling Action Center.

Detailed in a report on The Verge and pictures shared by WInPhollowers, the Action Center coming in Windows Phone 8.1 appears to incorporate both the quick shortcut features of iOS 7’s Control Center and a vertical area that keeps track of messages and more. While the screenshots shared this weekend only include settings for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane Mode and Driving Mode, it’s believed that users will be able to customize this line-up too.

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The Action Center also includes options for deleting and refreshing pending Notifications. A slide that includes the screenshot also indicates that apps “can intelligently manage notifications. The slide only slightly elaborates on what that means saying, “Silently add update and delete notifications.” Presumably, this is a developer-oriented slide.

Al told, Action Center sounds like a pretty robust rethink of the way notifications work on Windows Phone 8. Though the usefulness of Windows Phone 8’s live tiles can hardly be disputed, today there’s no way to retrieve any notifications for apps that aren’t pinned to the Windows Phone 8 Start Screen. Because toast notifications only surface on Windows Phone 8 once, if a user misses them than they’re left to open their un-pinned apps and track down that notification. It’s a problem that this Action Center could absolutely fix if rumors of it coming to Windows Phone 8.1 are true.

Read: Windows Phone 8.1: What We Know Now

To date, Microsoft hasn’t officially said that the Windows Phone 8.1 is coming to users. However, rumors and leaks all point to the software update arriving sometime in late spring or early summer. Both Microsoft and Nokia have press conferences scheduled during this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. That event kicks off on February 24th – two weeks from today. Unfortunately, it’s more likely that Microsoft will wait until its BUILD 2014 developer conference to fully detail that update. Microsoft will kick off BUILD from San Francisco this April.

Travis Pope is a Reporter-at-large for GottaBeMobile. He's currently enjoying a romp in the dangerous quicksand that is Microsoft's Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Xbox ecosystem.

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