Microsoft revealed Windows Phone Tango at MWC 2012 as a version of the operating system for low-cost devices with 256MB of RAM. The update was good news for owners of early Windows Phone devices that didn't meet the minimum requirements for Mango, but there have been a few hiccups. Microsoft said that not all apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace would work on devices with only 256MB of memory, and there have since been issues with Angry Birds and Skype, just to name a couple.
Jul 10, 2012Read Article >
The Nokia Lumia 900 may not be getting upgraded to Windows Phone 8, but that doesn't mean AT&T is ignoring it before the transition to Microsoft's latest mobile OS. Yesterday saw the announcement of a pink Lumia 900, and today the carrier has confirmed that the phone will be getting the Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh update "in the coming weeks." There'll also be a usage tracking counter and what AT&T calls a "new contact sharing feature" coming to Nokia's flagship device soon. We'd previously heard that a Lumia 900 update of some sort was on the way, but it's good to have final confirmation — hopefully we won't have to wait so long for the Windows Phone 8-aping upgrade to 7.8.
Jun 18, 2012
Microsoft has started to list its Windows Phone Tango upgrade as part of the company's history page for its mobile operating system updates. Build 8773.98, which is currently shipping on European Nokia Lumia 900 handsets, is listed as an update that includes messaging, SIM card contacts, and other improvements.Read Article >
The software giant does not indicate when the update will be available to existing devices, but Microsoft previously promised it would "start the process of working with mobile operators to bring an update to current customers" after its range of Windows Phone Tango phones launched. The update is a fairly minor one from our experience with the Lumia 900, adding MMS improvements and a new GPS location icon. We have asked Microsoft for a timeline on when existing devices will start to receive the update and we'll update you accordingly.
May 29, 2012
We've already seen several instances where low-memory Windows Phone devices like the Lumia 610, which has just 256MB of RAM, simply can't run certain high-profile apps. But just how bad is the problem? AAWP crunched the numbers and found that of the 86,292 apps currently available in the Windows Phone Marketplace, only 1.6 percent aren't compatible with 256MB phones — which is less than Microsoft's claim of five percent. However, that number does increase a bit when you look at the more popular apps. Of the top 10,000 downloads in the UK, 4.6 percent are incompatible with low-memory devices, while 6.4 percent of the top 1,000 apps won't work.Read Article >
Unsurprisingly, a large number of the incompatible apps are games, with likes of Plants vs. Zombies, The Sims 3, and Earthworm Jim among them — though Windows Phone Tango owners should at least be able to play some Angry Birds on their phone soon thanks to a specially optimized version of the game. You can check out the complete list of incompatible apps right here.
May 28, 2012Read Article >
If you thought it was a little odd that Nokia's Lumia 610 wouldn't support the hottest mobile game ever to be produced in its native Finland, your hunch was spot-on. Nokia says that a version of Angry Birds specifically optimized for Windows Phone Tango's 256MB memory constraint will be released in the near future. Heidi Lemmetyinen, editor-in-chief of the company's official Nokia Conversations blog, says that while the app isn't available yet, it's definitely on the way, and that she hopes to be able to announce a release date ASAP. Of course, while Angry Birds is the highest profile app incompatible with RAM-limited budget Windows Phone devices, it's not the only one: Skype, Tango, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 also don't work at the moment. Microsoft has a vested interest in making Skype work, though, so we expect it will before long.
May 28, 2012
Microsoft first unveiled its low-cost 256MB of RAM Windows Phone devices at Mobile World Congress earlier this year. Although Microsoft warned parts of Windows Phone would be restricted on handsets with 256MB of RAM, the company said it expected 95 percent of apps would still install and run just fine. Nokia's Lumia 610 has started to ship in Europe and a Windows Phone fan site in Spain has discovered that a number of popular apps refuse to install on the handset.Read Article >
Skype, Tango, Angry Birds, and PES 2012 all refuse to install at the moment, presenting a RAM warning in the Windows Phone Marketplace. It's too early to say whether the app developers involved will be pushing out updates to support 256MB of RAM devices, but the restrictions on such popular apps appear to signal the first type of hardware fragmentation on Windows Phone. Microsoft may claim that only five percent of apps will have difficulties on 256MB of RAM devices, but if these are popular ones, including Angry Birds and Skype, then the company could find it difficult to market the advantages of such low-cost phones.
May 22, 2012
Only weeks after saying Skype "worked well" on the Lumia 610, Nokia Hong Kong announced today that it has decided to remove Skype from the Windows Phone Marketplace on the device, because the app's experience doesn't live up to the company's expectations. The likeliest culprit seems to be the 256MB of RAM inside the Lumia 610 — the Skype app listing says it requires 512MB of memory. Nokia Hong Kong released an official statement on the matter, as reported by welovewp.hk:Read Article >
We'd heard before that Skype wouldn't be supported on lower-memory devices, and as then the only solution seems to be for Skype to release a version of the app that doesn't require so much memory. Given that Skype is obviously a flagship product for Microsoft after its $8.5 billion acquisition last year, we wouldn't be surprised if that's already in the works. The app is still available to other Windows Phone users, but Nokia's statement makes it hard to imagine Skype will come back to the Lumia 610 until it can support devices with lower memory.
Apr 24, 2012
While Microsoft warned that Skype for Windows Phone users would require a 512MB of RAM handset to install the app, Nokia says its Lumia 610 device with 256MB of RAM is 'working well' with Skype installed. Citing internal testing with the Lumia 610 and Skype, a Nokia spokesperson tells us that "Skype is available for the Lumia 610 in Marketplace and actually works just fine in the latest round of testing that has been done."Read Article >
Although Nokia says there were "some challenges early on," these are being worked on and Skype is "working well on the Lumia 610." When we asked Microsoft about the situation earlier this week, the company said Skype for Windows Phone "currently requires devices with Windows Phone 7.5 and higher 512 MB of memory," but that it is working to improve the app to "resolve issues and build new features on an ongoing basis." Nokia says there's no warning from the Windows Phone Marketplace for its Lumia 610 upon Skype installation due to the testing completed recently. It's possible that Skype is preparing an interim update, currently in testing, or that it works out of the box on the Lumia 610 — but neither company is commenting on future updates right now.
Apr 23, 2012Read Article >
The first version of Skype for Windows Phone will not support low-end "Tango" devices, Microsoft has revealed. Although the company delivered a 1.0 release of Skype for Windows Phone over the weekend, Microsoft says it will only install and run on devices with 512MB of memory. The majority of Windows Phone devices include 512MB of RAM, but Microsoft's latest "Tango" handsets only feature 256MB of memory.
Apr 19, 2012
Although we had been expecting Windows Phone "Tango" handsets to arrive this month, Nokia officially revealed today that it will launch its new Lumia 610 Windows Phone in the Philippines in the last week of April. Additional markets such as China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam will also get the Lumia 610 in the following weeks.Read Article >
Microsoft's Windows Phone "Tango" phones are designed with China and other emerging markets in mind. Nokia's Lumia 610 includes an 800MHz processor and just 256MB of RAM, two key ways to reduce minimum hardware requirements for Windows Phone and lower costs. Nokia's Q1 2012 financial report showed that devices and services net sales dropped 70 percent year-on-year in Greater China, so Nokia will be hoping to see that improve over time with the introduction of its low-cost Windows Phones in the region. The company is also planning to release the Lumia 610 in additional markets this quarter, with an NFC-enabled version launching on Orange UK in Q3 2012.
Mar 26, 2012Read Article >
There's also good news for the early adopters out there: WPSDK is now compatible with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, though we're curious as to why anyone would be using an unfinished OS to handle development tasks. Microsoft reinforces that line of thinking with a note that it doesn't intend to fully support Windows 8 until a final RTM (release to manufacturing) build is distributed.
Mar 20, 2012
We thought Microsoft had fully detailed its Windows Phone "Tango" engineering effort and improvements previously, but it appears not. The folks over at XDA-developers have discovered that Microsoft's latest Windows Phone update will raise the app multitasking limit from five to eight, allegedly due to the lower memory improvements in the operating system.Read Article >
Amongst other improvements for MMS, better SIM contact management, and a new location alert icon, Microsoft has also thrown in memory status information. In the phone info section of Windows Phone there is a new memory counter that shows in use and available memory, helpful for those with low-spec devices. The latest Tango update will be made available to existing devices, but not until new 256MB of memory handsets launch in China in the coming weeks. We are expecting Microsoft to introduce its Windows Phone Tango version in China tomorrow, with new devices expected from Nokia later this month.
Mar 16, 2012Read Article >
Microsoft introduced the ability to create Wi-Fi hotspots in the Windows Phone Mango update, but it's a feature that's been missing from Nokia's Lumia 800 and 710. As Unwired View points out, however, the manufacturer is now touting the feature — for the entry-level Lumia 610. It's not yet clear what's causing the distinction here; while some manufacturers weren't able to deliver internet sharing when Mango launched, enabling the feature was just carrier approval and a firmware update away. It obviously seems counterintuitive that Nokia would offer the feature on the low end but not the rest of the product line. That said, the Lumia 610 will be launching with Microsoft's Tango update, so it could be a matter of Nokia simply waiting for the next Windows Phone iteration to bring its full line of devices up to speed. Either way, we'll know for sure when Tango launches later this year.
Mar 8, 2012
Microsoft revealed its Windows Phone "Tango" engineering effort at MWC last week, but the company was fairly vague on the exact restrictions for its new low-memory devices. Nokia and ZTE will be the first device manufacturers to launch Windows Phones with just 256MB of RAM, but there will be restrictions for end users and developers. Microsoft updated its Windows Phone site this week with the full details:Read Article >
In addition to the specific restrictions, Microsoft has also revealed some recommendations for Windows Phone developers. Optimizing start time and reducing memory usage appear to be the key messages from Microsoft to developers, focusing on the low specifications for 256MB of RAM devices. The software giant is also urging developers to handle feature reductions such as the removal of background agents and fast app switching, while suggesting that app developers may want to reduce or modify functionality on low-memory devices in order to reduce an app's memory footprint.
Mar 7, 2012
Microsoft is planning to update its Windows Phone 7.5 operating system with a location awareness icon. The update, expected in the next few months, will add a new status icon to the top bar of Windows Phone 7.5, indicating when an app is accessing a phone's current location information. Microsoft revealed the change (similar to iOS and Android) in its Windows Phone documentation this week and confirmed the new icon in an email to us. "We updated the documentation to get in front of new devices that will have these features, which will be in market soon," explained a Microsoft spokesperson.Read Article >
The update is expected to arrive preinstalled on new Windows Phone "Tango" devices, launching in the coming months. We took an early look at some of the software changes in Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7.5 update at MWC last week, including some MMS enhancements and restrictions for low-spec devices. Microsoft's documentation now references the MMS improvements, including the fact you can now attach a video, picture, voice note, or ringtone into instant messages too.
Mar 5, 2012Read Article >
No date has been provided for when the Triumph will launch, but the high-powered handset comes as something of a surprise considering Tango's focus on allowing the OS to run on lower specced devices. The price is hefty, too — prospective buyers will need to shell out 4,399 Yuan (or nearly $700). Back when we reviewed the Titan, we loved its enormous, vibrant screen, though found the ecosystem of Windows Phone lacking. With a move into a new territory that struggle's bound to begin again, though Microsoft's inclusion of local social networks in place of Facebook and Twitter should help appeal to the new market.
Feb 28, 2012
Microsoft's Greg Sullivan confirmed the codename for the company's recent push to low-end Windows Phone devices at Mobile World Congress today. Describing Tango as "an engineering project," Sullivan explained that Tango isn't an update per se but rather a collection of elements that make up a broader effort to reduce the cost of Windows Phones. This engineering work included a focus on ensuring that devices could make use of the majority of existing Windows Phone features using just 256MB of RAM.Read Article >
All of the software features that ship on Windows Phone Tango devices will be made available to existing handsets, including some improvements to MMS and an SMS bug fix. Microsoft isn't saying exactly when that update will be available, but the company has not yet started testing it with carriers. Sullivan explained that once Microsoft has finalized a software build for its 256MB of RAM Windows Phone devices, it will then seed it to carriers to test on existing hardware. Microsoft says it expects the first low-spec Windows Phones will launch in Q2 2012, so the update could arrive in April at the earliest.
Microsoft announced today that it will bring a Windows Phone 7.5 update to existing handsets in April. Codenamed Tango, the update lowers Microsoft's minimum specification for Windows Phone and introduces some new features to existing devices. We got an early hands-on look at several builds of Windows Phone today, all of which include new MMS features and several restrictions for devices with 256MB of RAM.Read Article >
Microsoft is removing background agents with Windows Phone Tango if a device has 256MB of RAM, meaning certain background tasks will not work. Microsoft believes around 95 percent of existing applications will work fine on 256MB of RAM, but the company is encouraging developers to test their applications and is undergoing a testing process of existing Marketplace apps. Windows Phone users will also be warned in applications or in the about screen of their device about limitations from using a Tango device. SkyDrive automatic uploads and Bing Local Scout have both been removed from devices with 256MB of RAM too.
Nokia isn't the only device manufacturer launching a Windows Phone Tango device at Mobile World Congress this week. ZTE unveiled its Orbit Windows Phone earlier today, a low-end device designed for markets like China. ZTE is shipping its 4-inch device with a 5-megapixel camera, 256MB of RAM, and 4GB of storage. A note at ZTE's Mobile World Congress stand claims that the device is running "Windows Phone 7 Tango II," one of the first official mentions by a manufacturer acknowledging the codename of Microsoft's latest update.Read Article >
We took a look at the Orbit today at ZTE's booth today and were left unimpressed by the capacitive buttons on the device which required several taps before they fully activated. Windows Phone's interface suffered no slow downs despite the low specs, although features like Bing Scout and background agents are missing from these latest low-specification Windows Phone devices. ZTE isn't discussing pricing at the moment but the Orbit will land in Q2 2012.
Nokia is announcing its latest Lumia device at Mobile World Congress 2012 today. The Nokia Lumia 610 is designed to be a low-end affordable Lumia Windows Phone, priced at just 189 euros. With a focus on China, the Lumia 610 introduces a new price point and markets for Microsoft's mobile operating system. The Lumia 610 includes an 800MHz processor, 256MB of RAM, and a 5-megapixel camera — pushing Microsoft's Windows Phone specifications to the lowest point in the platforms short history.Read Article >
Nokia describes the Lumia 610 as "hugely important" for both itself and Microsoft in terms of scale and reach. Although features like Bing Local Scout and automatic SkyDrive uploads will not be available, due to a limit on the amount of background data exchange, Lumia 610 owners can activate some of them manually. Nokia's latest Lumia will run an updated version of Windows Phone 7.5, codenamed Tango, that we had heard a number of rumors about previously. Nokia refuses to disclose whether it will pay a lower royalty fee for this lighter version of Windows Phone, but it does tell us that the Lumia 610 will be released in Q2 2012.
Microsoft is planning to support a new minimum hardware specification for its Windows Phone platform from April. Codenamed Tango, the software giant has engineered its latest Windows Phone 7.5 update to target new price points and emerging markets like China. The update is the first significant change to the Windows Phone codebase as a result of the unique partnership between Microsoft and Nokia. Nokia is promising to bring a number of low-cost Lumia products to China thanks to lower specifications.Read Article >
One of the first devices to demonstrate the Windows Phone 7.5 update in action is Nokia's Lumia 610 device. Announced today at Mobile World Congress 2012, the 610 includes an 800MHz processor and 256MB of RAM, two key ways to reduce the minimum hardware requirements of Windows Phone. Microsoft is also support Qualcomm 7x27a chipsets with its latest update. Although the engineering of Windows Phone to 256MB of RAM is a good sign of the flexibility for new devices, the lack of hardware resources brings some restrictions along the way. Bing Local Scout is not available due to a limit on the amount of background data exchange. Likewise, automatic picture uploads to SkyDrive are also disabled, although these can be uploaded manually.
Feb 15, 2012
Screenshots of an alleged Windows Phone "Tango" build leaked to the internet today and demonstrate a number of new features in Microsoft's next Windows Phone update. Russian site WP7forum says that Tango will include the ability to export contacts to SIM, manage domestic / international roaming, and handle multiple attachments in a single MMS message. MMS currently supports single images and Tango will allegedly add support for video messages too. Microsoft also appears to be building in a native voice recording application for MMS messages.Read Article >
We have heard a number of details about Tango and its timing, including the fact it will push the minimum hardware requirements down to just 256MB RAM. WP7forum says Tango phones will also drop camera hardware down to just 3-megapixels. Tango users will allegedly receive a warning in the Windows Phone Marketplace if certain applications require additional memory, leading to what many will describe as hardware fragmentation for Windows Phone. Microsoft is expected to unveil its Tango plans, including support for new chipsets, at Mobile World Congress later this month.
Jan 20, 2012
You may or may not have heard of Microsoft's Windows Phone "Tango" update, but it's the rumored codename for the company's next version of the software. Previous reports suggested that the update is designed to drive down the cost of manufacturing Windows Phones, but how does Microsoft plan to achieve this? We have heard that Microsoft's biggest work with Tango is reducing the RAM requirement for Windows Phone. We have been informed, but cannot immediately verify, that Microsoft will actively support just 256MB RAM, from the standard 512MB found in today's devices. Although this is a current hardware requirement, most devices use 512MB of RAM.Read Article >
This alleged engineering work could indicate that Tango is designed specifically for low-end handsets, and that the update might not make its way to all devices. However, Michael Gillett, a Microsoft enthusiast in the UK, revealed this week that he has been tipped that Tango will include Start Screen folder support and a revised UI for the built-in media controls. Gillett claims the media controls will take up less space at the top of the screen to look like a notification. As a result, we would expect to see these type of changes for all Windows Phone users.
Dec 28, 2011
Now that every Windows Phone out there is upgradable to Mango, Microsoft appears to be pushing ahead with Tango and Apollo, the next two versions of the software. WMPoweruser has obtained an alleged roadmap that indicates the Tango update will arrive in Q2 of 2012, and Apollo in Q4.Read Article >
The roadmap is said to be "up to date as of October 2011," implying that Microsoft’s plans may have changed since it was put together. The Mango update is listed as a Q4 2011 release, whereas its distribution began in September. It appears to form part of an internal presentation but it's not clear whether the dates indicate availability to end users or device manufacturers.