Microsoft revealed its Windows Phone “Tango” at MWC last week. However, the company remain silent on the exact restrictions for new low-memory devices, like the Nokia Lumia 610. Today, Microsoft has updated the rules for Windows Phone low-end devices and the restrictions are now officially confirmed over the website.
Restrictions imposed by Microsoft:
- Windows Phone Marketplace app restrictions - Some processor-intensive apps have specific memory requirements, and will not work on devices with 256MB of RAM.
- Podcast subscriptions and video podcasts - Devices with 256MB of RAM will not be able to manage podcast subscriptions of watch video podcasts.
- Bing Local Scout - Microsoft is disabling Bing Local Scout on 256MB of RAM devices.
- Fast app switching - The fast application switching, introduced with Mango, will be disabled on 256 MB of RAM devices.
- SkyDrive automatic photo upload - Automatic upload of SkyDrive pictures will not be possible on 256MB of RAM devices, but users can still upload these manually.
- HD video playback - 256MB of RAM devices won’t be able to play video compressed with certain codecs.
- Background agents - Microsoft has removed background agents functionality for devices with 256MB of memory.
In addition to these specific restrictions, Microsoft has also recommended Windows Phone developers to optimizing start time and reducing memory usage while focusing on the low specifications for 256MB RAM devices.
Although Microsoft is cutting some functionality for low-memory devices, the company has also added in a number of new features to Windows Phone:
- Better media messaging. Now you can attach multiple pictures and videos—along with voice notes and ringtones—to text messages. You can include a video, picture, voice note, or ringtone in an instant message, too.
- Location awareness icon. When an app is accessing your phone’s current location information, an icon will appear next to the battery status indicator:
- Export and manage contacts to SIM card. All Windows Phones allows you to import contacts from a SIM card, but only some phones allows you to export contacts to a SIM card, or create and edit individual contacts on the SIM card. For more information, please contact your mobile operator. (Strangely, this feature is only documented on the Chinese version of the website. The English version states that “you can’t save contacts from a Windows Phone to a SIM card.”)