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Handheld Devices

Windows Phone 8.1's long-awaited notification center caught on video

For all the talk about Windows Phone's "app gap" and that big YouTube boondoggle, only one thing has kept me from recommending Microkia's surprisingly slick phones to friends and family on the hunt for a new handset: Windows Phone's complete lack of a notifications center. Yes, Live Tiles somewhat accomplish the same thing, but it's just not the same as having all your notifications and common systems settings collated into one easy-to-see location.

But the dark days are coming to an end. Leaked screenshots long ago revealed that an "Action Center" is indeed finally coming in the impending Windows Phone 8.1 update--you know, the update Microsoft's kept mum about, but HTC confirmed on Reddit--but recently, a video from UnleashThePhones (and spotted by the Verge) showed Windows Phone's new notification center in action.

Windows Phone's Action Center looks to be highly customizable, right down to the quick action toggles stationed above the notifications themselves. You can also decide whether or not individual apps generate "banner" notices or sounds when they push out a notification, it appears.

The Action Center's a small thing, but this minor addition will be a major improvement for Windows Phone. Microsoft is expected to formally reveal the update at April's developer-focused Build conference, but if you can't wait until then, check out PCWorld's roundup of everything we know so far about Windows Phone 8.1. There's a lot of changes and features a-coming. 

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