Oh dear. We already knew that there were a few drawbacks to Windows Phone Tango and the lesser-specced phones that were designed to run on it, but things have just got a bit worse. Got a Nokia Lumia 610? We’ve got some disappointing news…
So, when Microsoft launched Windows phone Tango, which is designed to allow budget handsets with just 256MB of RAM to enter the WP party, it warned that around 5 per cent of apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace would struggle on such low-power handsets. But we didn’t realise then exactly what that’d mean until now.
Today, it’s been revealed that several big hitters like Skype, Angry Birds and PES 2012 can’t squeeze down small enough to fit in the Nokia Lumia 610, as its sparse innards just won’t allow it. Try to install any of these more intensive apps, and you’ll get the following warning: “This application requires a phone with more RAM than the Nokia Lumia 610.”
Which isn’t really a big help if you’ve only just gone an bought yourself one. That’s bad enough – Skype is a particular worry, given that it’s actually owned by Microsoft – but it gets worse.
It seems that other apps will install, but will crash if their operation requires them to cache too much information. Reported trouble-makers are IMDB and Nokia Maps – the latter being a particularly frustrating thing to have randomly crash.
Of course, the problem here isn’t that these specific apps won’t run on the Lumia 610, it’s what that means for Windows Phone as a whole.
There’ll be plenty of developers who just won’t see the point in spending time and effort condensing their apps down to run for Tango handset owners, and plenty of owners themselves who’ll feel incredibly let down that their handset can’t run some of the biggest names in an otherwise slim app catalogue.
If Microsoft wants to succeed at this budget level then something has to be done before developers lose interest in the platform altogether; one of the biggest lures of Windows Phone was that the handsets specs were all on the same level, which removed the threat of fragmentation. Now that’s not the case, it could cause huge problems for the platform going forward.