We may still be weeks away from any formal announcements of features coming in Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, however a new video leak showcasing the platform’s new Action Center area makes even Apple’s much lauded Notification Center for the iPhone look like it needs some updating.
A new video of the Action Center posted by UnleashThePhones.com showcases just how much Microsoft has refined the concept of the Notification Areas that are included in Google’s Android operating system and the iPhone’s iOS operating system.
Windows Phone 8.1 device owners will be able to simply swipe from the left side of their screen to quickly access their Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings and more basic toggles for everyday changeable settings. Unlike iOS’ Control Center toggles, Windows Phone users can actually choose which settings appear in the Action Center for quick access. That alone put it’s a step above what Apple is doing to let user’s customize their experience.
The video also indicates that Windows Phone 8.1 users will enjoy some of the same granular notification controls iPhone users now enjoy. For example, users can choose whether they want to activate notifications for certain things. Users could choose to not have their device not surface message alerts in the action center.
All told, Action Center seems pretty robust. Since rebooting Windows Mobile to create Windows Phone, Microsoft has repeatedly had to fight criticism that newer interface paradigms and simple options that are available on other platforms aren’t available on their platform. Windows Phone 8 users only gained the ability to change their messaging tones to anything they want this past fall.
Thanks to feature leaks, we now know that Windows Phone 8.1 includes dozens of small feature additions that should finally make the platform competitive with iOS.
Microsoft could talk more about its plans for Windows Phone at next week’s Mobile World Congress trade show. It isn’t expected to share a full list of features that will be available to Windows Phone 8.1 users until its BUILD 2014 developer event in April.
According to declarations made by Microsoft last year, every device running Windows Phone 8 receives software updates for two years. In theory, that means that every device that runs Windows Phone 8 will get the Windows Phone 8.1 update at some point.