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Windows Phone 8.1 notification centre, parallax effect leaked

NEW DELHI: Microsoft is set to announce Windows Phone 8.1, the first major update for the company's mobile platform, on April 2. However, upcoming features of the operating system have leaked online, courtesy two videos uploaded by Chinese website Coolxap.

The videos shows the all-new Action Center notification menu of Windows Phone 8.1; notification centre has remained one of the key missing features of the Windows Phone platform till now. Microsoft's Action Center menu can be accessed by a downward swipe from the top, the same way it works in Android. The leaked video shows toggles for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Camera and brightness present in Action Center.

Another key feature revealed by the videos is support for Live Tile background images. Users will be able to select an image from Facebook, OneDrive, photo albums or the default pictures provided in the phone to set as the background for Live Tiles. The particular image will appear as the background for Live Tiles, creating a parallax effect for added depth. Apple's iOS 7 operating system also features parallax effect, which is said to induce motion sickness in some users.

Windows Phone 8.1's leaked videos also show a revamped user interface for the Camera app and the updated Windows Phone Store.

One of the videos features the upcoming Lumia 630 smartphone, codenamed MoneyPenny. The device runs on Windows Phone 8.1 and has on-screen buttons for Home, Back and Search; Windows Phone 8 does not support on-screen buttons and all phones powered by the platform have haptic keys below the display.

Lumia 630 is expected to have a 4.5-inch screen with 800x480p resolution, quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 1GB RAM and 5MP camera. It is rumoured that the phone will be available for 1,000 yuan in China. This phone, as well as the rumoured Lumia 930, is likely to be unveiled at Build 2014 by Microsoft. The company is also said to be working on Lumia 1820, a high-end smartphone.

All the above mentioned Windows Phone 8.1 features except parallax effect had been leaked earlier as well. Other leaked features of the operating system update include Siri-rival Cortana, a new version of Internet Explorer browser, improved multitasking, better storage management, VPN (Virtual Private Network) support and common apps for smartphones and tablets.

Greg Sullivan, the public relations director for Windows Phone, in January said that all smartphones running on Windows Phone 8 will get the 8.1 update.

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