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This is how “Toast notifications” & Action centre interact in Windows Phone 8.1

 toastI have come across this question by many of our readers on Twitter and other places and many of you are eager to know about how the toast notifications work in Windows Phone 8.1. Some fear it won’t work, some say for everything one will have to open action center. So, here are some details from Windows Phone 8.1 page for developers, which reveals the whole idea. So, by default Toast notifications will pop-up for user to tap, but in case user doesn’t acknowledge, after few seconds it disappears and then can be accessed in “Action center”. If user already taps the pop-up, it won’t appear in Action center.

By default, when you send a toast notification, a pop-up UI containing the contents of the notification is displayed to the user. If the user taps on the pop-up, they are brought to your app where you can then show them more information relevant to the notification. This notification is deemed to have been acknowledged by the user and will not show up in action center. If the user does not tap the pop-up, it disappears automatically after a few seconds.

Devs can however use a “supressPopup” method to directly send apps toasts to notification center without displaying a pop-up to user. So, when user opens the action centre, he will see both “missed” as well as “directly sent to action center” toasts.

When the user opens action center, they’ll see a list of missed notifications for your app. This list includes toast notifications they dismissed from the UI, toasts that displayed as a pop-up UI that they didn’t see or act upon and toasts that were sent directly to the action center without showing a pop-up UI. They can tap the notification in action center and be brought to your app for further context.

Also, 20 is the number of toasts, one app can sow up in Action center. So, if there are already 20 toast in action center, the next incoming toast will make the oldest notification to disappear making the total number 20 again.

The number of toast notifications that can be shown in action center for an app is 20. Each app has its own queue in action center that is managed by the system on a first in, first out (FIFO) basis. When you send a new toast notification and you already have 20 notifications in action center, the oldest notification is removed from the queue and the newest is added. The system also shows a More Notifications message, to inform the user that they have missed more notifications from this app. Tapping on this message launches your app.


Nayan has more than 10 years of experience of covering Technology and innovations. He is a big Nokia fan and Tech disruptions aficionado. He loves to review new cool gadgets and writing about Android, iOS, Gadgets and general Technology stuff. He has been associated with other well-known Tech sites WinCentral and GadgetOx since long.

He currently sports a Lumia 950 XL and Nexus 5X. Other interests include listening to Nu-Metal Hits and Kick-Boxing.
Write to him at Email: [email protected]
  • joey

    I could argue cases where I would want to clear the notification center but if I didn’t access the app to still have a counter on the tile. There are different situations where I would prefer one over the other, the only problem is that I think I personally would want to choose the method and not let the developer. Maybe something that allowed the end user to choose a default and a way to do the other when you clear would be the best option.

    • Yes, you ar absolutely right. it should be the choice of the user. And in which situations you would liek t oclear the action center notifications for an app but not the live tile? because that what i am saying is basicaly less work for users clearing some stuff twice. if they want something to read later leave it in the action center and dont delete it. but i would also give the choice to the users what happens wit hthe live tile count. i just speak for my app about Windows Phone news, i tried to clear the action center but the live itle stil lshows the count and me as an developer, i think people will be confused with my app because of this behaviour.

      Users (some of them) will not know that they have not clear also the live tile count and they will complain on the reviews for my app that “your app dont function like it should because i deleted notifications and they are still on the live tile”. I just say people i spoke to expect that the count removes itself on clearing the notification from the action center.

  • Great explanation but i also found an “glitch” that wil still make people frustrating. we as developers can not delete the live tile count with the user interaction in the action center. a short explaination: lets say whatsapp, you get some messages and clear them away in your action center, the live tile count and the lock screen count on the bottom will still remain the count. The action center could give developers some APIs (that we not have) to delete our live tile counts on deleteing the same notifications in the action cetner. So people will delete the action center stuff and lock their phones, come back after some time and will see on the glance screen/lock screen/live tile there is still an count and maybe (i am sure) some of them will think there is something new. So action center and notifications must be more together then just displaying the notification. Developers must have an option to interact with the live tile from user input from within the action center.

    Today we have an situation that users must open the app again even after deleting the notifications, and this is conter productive, that are two steps multiply with 15 apps?! an user has much work to do to clear all the signs of new notifications.

    I know this is just the first version in WP, but with the brains in Microsoft i expected they will implement clearing of live tile counts directly when the notification is deleted.

    • Kamal

      When you send a call to clear the notifications in “Action center” can’t you trigger similar call for Live Tile refresh as well at the same time. I think, it is possible 🙂

      • yes but with opening of the app. but i speak of user interaction only in the action center without opening any apps. deleteing the notifications the live tile counts of every app still shows the count like there is “something new” but the users already seen it in the action center. so i think this wys it is twice the job for users, clear the action center then open each app to clear the live tile count.

        • upender

          Using window 8.1
          Not getting wasted sapp notifications
          Is there any way to get the notifications??

  • That is a very elegant system but I fear it will put Live Tiles out of their job. Not immediately but after a while we will all probably reach into the Action Centre instead of checking the start screen to see what’s new. My fears are probably not justified because Live Tiles can do so much more. They can display info at a mere glance (i.e. you don’t have to pull down anything). I’ll probably be using wide tiles more often now, to see messages and other content without opening or pulling stuff down.

    • Kamal

      Live Tiles are not going out of Job yet. For messaging, mails, weather, calendar and many other similar stuff, one will love to have a glance and go 🙂

    • i use live tiles mainly for pictures apps (tumblr, 6tag, fffffffffffound, flickr,, astronomy lockscreen, and so on, so this doesn’t really change my use. 🙂