Allows coding for 256KB RAM equipped phones
Microsoft has updated its Windows Phone software developers kit. The update doesn't add much functionally, but it does enable developers to write code on Windows 8 machines. It also incorporates a second emulator for entry level devices such as the Nokia Lumia 610 that only have 256MB of RAM and which run Windows 7.5 Refresh.
Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh/Tango ROM leaks early
A leaked ROM of the Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh (previously known as Tango) has been dissected by the programmers over on the XDA-developers forum. What they've found, other than that the minimum hardware specs have been dropped to 256MB of RAM, is that the update will allow users to run up to eight apps in the background when multitasking. Previously, that number was believed to be only five.
Early builds appear ahead of official update
A Windows Phone Tango build has reportedly surfaced ahead of the formal update, which will be relabeled 7.5 Refresh when it arrives. Unofficial developers quickly jumped on the leak, crafting unofficial ROMs for HTC's HD2 and Samsung's Omnia 7 handsets.
Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh event coming next week
The Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh, codenamed Tango, will arrive in China on March 21, according to an invitation sent to media outlets. This will be the first time handsets with Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile operating system will be officially sold in the country, LiveSide reported. HTC has already released a phone in China on March 14, the Titan, ahead of the event, however, which is said to have 7.5 Refresh preloaded.
Windows Phone Tango to be called 7.5 Refresh
Duico Stefania, the Italian head of Windows Phone, revealed to WindowsPhoneItaly that the codenamed Tango update to the mobile OS is called 7.5 Refresh. The update lowers the practical minimum hardware specs to 256MB or RAM, or effectively half. As such, however, some functions and features of the OS won't be available, including fast app switching, HD playback for some video formats, and more.
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.
ZTE Orbit first Windows Phone with real NFC
ZTE has confirmed that the Orbit should be the first Windows Phone with NFC. Both the booth display and zpokespeople confirmed both to The Verge and Electronista that it would have the short-range wireless when carriers ask for it. Specific use cases weren't outlined, although providers' requests could point to mobile payments.
We try Nokia's entry-level Windows Phone
Among the many introductions Nokia had at its Mobile World Congress event was its centerpiece, the Lumia 610. The device is one of the least expensive Windows Phones to date and will cost just 189 euros ($254) off-contract. Read ahead to find out if it's good enough to take on Android, and possibly Apple, in the low-end space.
Windows Phone Tango may bar some apps
A pair of discoveries from Russia's WP7Forum have potentially given much more insight into the differences for the Windows Phone Tango update. Every user will now have the option of attaching more than one picture or other media clip to an MMS, addressing one of the more common complaints. Also, those coming from a basic phone or switching Windows Phones will now have the option of exporting contacts to the SIM card's memory, not just importing them.
Lumia 610 to be offered on pay-as-you-go only?
The Nokia Lumia 610, expected to be unveiled at the upcoming Mobile World Congress show, should be the least expensive Windows Phone handset to be offered on pay-as-you-go plans. TechRadar's sources say this will be the case when the phone goes on sale in UK shops, where it will be priced aggressively, suggesting it will be Nokia's entry-level Windows Phone smartphone. The handset will also likely use the Tango version of the Windows Phone OS to keep prices down.
Lumia 800 with CDMA due in China in March?
Nokia is working on a CDMA variant of its Lumia 800 smartphone, the 800c. The phone is due to launch on China Telecom sometime in March, WPCentral learned. It will be available in cyan, white, and black, though pricing is yet to be announced.
Nokia expected to announce Lumia 730 at MWC
A new rumor originating from WPDang has Nokia announcing the Lumia 730 phone. It would slot in between the existing Lumia 710 and Lumia 800 and run on the unreleased Windows Phone Tango. It would have similar specs to the 710, but would forego the ClearBlack display and polycarbonate casing.
Windows Phone Tango and Apollo dated
Microsoft's roadmap for Windows Phone was given a possible outline in a rumor Saturday. Tango, the first minor update, was pegged by Digitimes contacts as going live in March or April if Microsoft clinged to its roadmap. The rumored second Tango update would arrive in mid-year.
Windows Phone Tango may catch up in speed, reach
Microsoft may have inadvertently spoiled many of its plans for Windows Phone's Tango update after an Indian developer presentation was recounted (since pulled at Microsoft's request) this weekend. During the event, WPSauce heard from attendee Karthik Ragubathy that "the next release," possibly Tango, would support truly native apps for the first time. The approach would let apps optimize for performance without having to be written using XNA code intended for games.
Windows Phone Tango may halve RAM needs
Microsoft's Windows Phone Tango update was given more specific details in possible discoveries on Friday. The Windows developer was said by The Verge's source to be optimizing the OS to fully support its use on just 256MB of RAM. Although that's already the current baseline, every Windows Phone to date uses 512MB and has its experience tailored around the higher RAM.
Lumia 900 may be last Nokia WP7.5 phone
Nokia's Lumia 900, possibly called the Ace on AT&T, should be followed up by the first phones based on the Tango update in the spring, if a rumor late Thursday is accurate. Taiwanese contract manufacturers reportedly told Digitimes that they would be making Nokia's "entry-level" smartphones, which need Tango to work, in the second quarter. The Lumia 900's production was being brought into Nokia itself for unknown reasons, even after the Lumia 800 and 710 had been made by Compal.
ATT may have three 4G Windows Phones at CES intro
Quickly coming on the heels of the HTC Radiant and Samsung Mandel leaks, a second potential scoop may have filled in considerably more detail with US launch plans. Windows-focused writer Paul Thurott understood that the Mendel and Radiant would be joined by the Nokia Ace, likely the Lumia 900, on AT&T. All three would have LTE-based 4G and ship before mid-2012, with an introduction at the AT&T and Nokia events at CES.
HTC, Samsung to get early LTE Windows Phone update
Microsoft's promised LTE support in Windows Phone may come very early with two devices. A leak Thursday to The Verge had two devices, the HTC Radiant and Samsung Mandel, running an interim version of the OS that would predate Tango but add 4G. Little is known about either device besides that the Mandel would likely have a larger screen than the 4.3-inch Focus S (shown).
Windows Phone roadmap gives Tango window
An uncovered roadmap may have solidified Microsoft's Windows Phone update plans. Its first update of 2012, Tango, is now penned in for spring in WMPowerUser's copy. Apollo, possibly Windows Phone 8, would arrive in the fall.
Tips have Lees demoted for poor WP7 performance
Microsoft's decision to move Andy Lees to a new position was his punishment for Windows Phone 7's failure in the market, leaked details may have uncovered. The vague role he was given of creating "maximum impact" for WP7 and Windows 8 was described by The Verge's source as a sign that "he's been benched." Lees' public portrayal of how soon Windows Phone would get share versus real results was reportedly causing angst within the company.
Nokia Lumia 900 identified in news app
Nokia's possibly already leaked Lumia 900 gained much more credence after the Times of India's news app's user logs showed the unannounced phone. It's expected to be Nokia's best phone, WMPowerUser said, with at least a 4.3-inch AMOLED screen, HSPA+ 3G, an eight-megapixel camera, and at least 16GB or as much as 32GB of built-in storage. Rumors have linked it to AT&T and possibly LTE for an early 2012 launch, although these haven't been corroborated with hard evidence so far.
Tango video chat now out for Windows Phone OS
As promised, the Tango video calling app is now live for Windows Phone handsets in the US (Windows Marketplace). The cross-platform software lets users make free phone calls and video calls using 3G or Wi-Fi networks. Calls can be made to and from iOS phones and tablets, PCs and Android devices that also have the software installed.
Microsoft issues media invite for new WP7 event
Microsoft is planning on holding a Windows Phone 7 event in New York on November 7. The company has issued an invite to the media for the event that it says will showcase new Windows 7.5 (Mango) Phone devices and chat to Joe Belfiore and Andy Lees. The event also coincides the rumored launch of the Tango third-party video chat app for Windows Phones.
Tango app to beat Skype to Windows Phone video
Tango said Wednesday that its Windows Phone app would go live November 7. The release is timed to have the app ready in time for the first US Windows Phones, which should include the Focus S, Focus Flash, and Titan on AT&T. HTC and others should have Tango already installed given its existence on the Radar and Titan.
Windows Phone may stay year behind in speed
Windows Phone might repeat history and go without competitive high-end features until Windows Phone 8, according to a pair of tips. Historically accurate MS_Nerd claims that Apollo, WP8's codename, will add a Chassis 3 spec that brings the dual-core processors that Android and iPhone users already have. It should also bring 720p Retina Display-like screens, putting them just on par with the Galaxy Nexus and a handful of other phones arriving soon.
Microsoft tips much more Windows Phone hardware
Microsoft's mobile president Andy Lees added to Windows Phone plans for the year early Thursday with confirmation of plans to add NFC to Windows Phone. Devices should start getting the short-range wireless support sometime in 2012. The step would help put them on par with the leading edge of Android and BlackBerry hardware and pay in shops or share data just by tapping the phone.
Microsoft vows faster Windows Phone hardware
Microsoft is planning to move Windows Phone's to modern hardware features like dual-core processors and LTE 4G once the timing's right, the company mobile head Andy Lees said in a discussion Monday. While Android and now the iPhone were already dual core, Lees told AllThingsD that Windows Phone will be getting the option once the code is optimized to use the extra cores. It wasn't as much of a concern given that Windows Phone's design is inherently lean and helps it run faster.
Windows 8 and WP8 link, 2 Tangos seen
Beliefs that Microsoft would try to unite Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 may have been borne out by Microsoft's own employees. A recently departed Windows Phone program lead's resume mentioned by name early looks into "Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 OS convergence." While it doesn't prove that the next OS (codenamed Apollo) will necessarily integrate the two sides, it hints Microsoft has at least seriously considered the option.
Tango to bring early video calling to WP handsets
A Tango video calling app was spotted by WPCentral on an HTC Windows Phone 7 handset, the Omega, at the HTC event in London. The cross-platform app will allow users to hold video chats from Skype and, reportedly, even with Apple's FaceTime. Not to be confused with Microsoft's own Windows Phone update of the same name, the app is already available for Android and iPhone handsets.
Xtreme Mac has four iOS, Mac speakers at IFA 2011
XtremeMac on Thursday rolled out four speaker systems tailored chiefly to iOS and Mac owners. The Soma Stand is rare in having a tent-like design: it unfolds to reveal its dock and uses the two speakers as legs. It can fit everything up to iPads and lasts for as much as six hours on removable batteries.
Windows Phone Tango to focus on developing world
Microsoft's next Windows Phone update, Tango, is focused regaining control of the low-end smartphone market, insiders gave away on Tuesday. The release is expected to be "all about Nokia" and would aim at cheaper devices than what Microsoft's partners can field today. One ZDNet informer expected Tango would center primarily on Asia, which has been underserved so far.
Updates appear to follow name pattern
Microsoft is reportedly beginning to license its upcoming Windows Phone 7 update to handset manufacturers. The revamped software is said to be codenamed 'Tango," unnamed sources have told DigiTimes. If true, the company appears to be maintaining 'o' endings for the series of updates, which started with NoDo and moved to Mango.