updated 09:35 am EST, Thu March 8, 2012
Windows Phone Tango loses fast app switch on 256MB
Microsoft has confirmed many of the suspected limits for Windows Phone devices using the Tango update with just 256MB of RAM. Phones such as the Nokia Lumia 610 will both see some apps off-limits from the start, but they will also lose fast app switching introduced in Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango). Background agents won't work, and Local Scout is pulled on this hardware.
Media takes some steps back as well. Certain video formats won't play in HD, and photos won't automatically upload to SkyDrive. Video podcasts will be off-limits, and it won't be possible to manage any kind of podcast subscription.
Developers who think they might target these devices are being encouraged to either remove features that would break 256MB RAM support or otherwise tune to make sure the app works. It's possible, though not clear, that apps may scale up and switch on features for anyone with 512MB of RAM.
Tango was designed primarily to allow for pushes into China, India, and other countries where low-end Android is increasingly the primary choice for a smartphone. The Lumia 610 and others like it should cost roughly $250 or less off-contract where using 512MB of RAM and a more recent processor would have likely made it too expensive. Other changes are tailored to these areas, such as support for many more local languages, SIM contact management tweaks, and MMS improvements for areas where many don't have data plans. [via LiveSide]