evleaks has tweeted what he claims to be a “Partial Windows Phone “Blue” screenshot” showing the familiar Windows Phone control keys, usually found underneath the display most commonly in the form of capacitive keys, but also, in the case of the Lumia 710 and a few others, hardware keys.
This could mean Windows Phone Blue, also known as Windows Phone 8.1 which should be arriving in early 2014, will use screens with a 16:9 aspect ratio as a standard, rather than the current arrangement which supports both 15:9 (480×800 and 768×1280) favoured by Nokia and 16:9 (720×1280 and 1080×1920) used by HTC on their 8X and recently by Nokia with their Lumia 1520.
When I first got into Windows Phone I wasn’t a big fan of the control keys, as I felt it wasted space, but I have actually grown quite fond of them (and am in the minority of those who love the Search button).
evleaks is generally pretty spot on with his tweets, so it will be interesting to see what changes Windows Phone Blue will bring. Perhaps handset makers will have the option of using either physical control keys, or virtual keys, as is the case on Android.
Windows Phone Blue should be available for all current devices running Windows Phone 8, and will arrive after the GDR3/ Update 3/ Nokia Black software updates, which are starting to roll out now.
See the tweet for yourself HERE