Have a Windows Phone with 512MB RAM? Report shows you can enjoy 99% of apps and games

There have been numerous discussions surrounding exactly how many games and apps are available to Windows Phone 8 smartphones with only 512MB of RAM. All About Windows Phone, a fellow community dedicated to the platform, looked into their database of Windows Phone apps found on the official store to see exactly how many apps and games don't work on low-end hardware. The results are encouraging to say the least.

Before we crack on with the findings, we've covered this issue multiple times in the past, as well as reporting on games being updated to work on hardware with less advanced components - a good example being Temple Run. That said, the majority of apps and games should run on hardware with 512MB of RAM, or so consumers would like to think. Thing is, you'd be absolutely correct in believing just that.

WP 512MB Compatible

This isn't official data from Microsoft, but AAWP has been fairly accurate in the past when it came to Windows Phone Store figures. The above charts show just how much support is present for Windows Phones with 512MB RAM - 99.7 percent of apps are available (331 labelled 'incompatible'). But we really shouldn't be surprised. Not only have we come from Windows Phone 7 - the first generation of the OS that ran on smartphones sporting at most 512MB RAM, but apps shouldn't really be taking up that much resource (we did previously experience issues with phones with 256MB of RAM).

The games pie chart is interesting too. While we'll be the first to admit that future, more advanced mobile games will require more powerful hardware, it's positive to see that consumers won't be bored should they opt for a Lumia 520 or the HTC 8S. There are a plethora of titles on the store and this report shows that you'll be able to play 99.6 percent of them. But we're not finished as AAWP reveals some interesting details that hide behind the figures produced.

Of the 331 incompatible apps reported above, 199 of them come from just two developers: Maan and AppDesigner.com. Both are utilising app templates to create similar apps, the former being city guides and the latter video-based tutorial apps. If both developers were to be excluded from the data, we'd be looking at just 0.088 percent of apps being incompatible with hardware sporting 512MB of RAM. Good job, developers.


The issue with games is that while the percentage of those that are incompatible are low, these titles are high profile games. Halo: Spartan Assault, FIFA 13, N.O.V.A.3, Tiger Woods 12, Mass Effect: Infiltrator, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Sims 3, just to name a few. It's expected that apps and games will continue to receive future updates to bring them up to speed with latest budget hardware. And since the Lumia 520 is taking the world by storm, it would be almost mad not to have your apps and games supporting the more popular devices.

Should you own a budget Windows Phone, this is further proof that you're no worse off than those with the latest flagships. While a handful of high-profile games are excluded, it's positive to see just how low the amount of incompatible apps and games are. Head on over to AAWP to read the full report.

Source: AAWP

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • 1st
  • 2nd. And on an unrelated story: just spoke to an AT&T rep at the mall about the Lumia 1020. I will quote him: "I just had special training on the 1020. 41 mp camera, it can sit on a tripod and it runs Android".
  • Lol, seriously!
  • Some training he got -_-
  • Lol
  • hahahaha.....bunch of fools comparing WP with Android.
    Android not only got more apps but it also have free games which are paid on WP and still lack quality. In simple Android free apps offer better quality than WP paid apps.
    Wanna know example - try Andry Birds and compare with it Android.
    and please don't make fool comment like WP has better apps, if it has give me an example.
  • Halo says halo
  • No lag, no hacks, less bs apps, lots of free games, live tile... Innovation.
    Have fun with Angry Birds, I'll be playing Halo: Spartan Assault.
  • Hill yaaa
  • You showed him.
  • I would argue about the free games on windows phones. Android and iOS have extremely popular games for free once on a while. Live tiles stop working as well.
  • Lots of free games on Windows Phone... are they as "popular", probably not since they may not be on iPhone and Android.
    If your lives tiles stop working, you have a problem or your apps do. Mine always work.
  • hahaha...and what makes you think that WP phones doesn't lag and not have BS apps. Sorry Microsoft hate to develop good games for 512mb RAM devices. But you haven't answer my question, why WP apps/games aren't good as in Android?(Games/apps which available on both devices) but instead answering this question you bring Halo, some tell me go to Android central, some said stupid comment. If you guys don't have answer atleast accept the fact ,.....why hell off topic nonsense commenting.
  • lol.. there are free games like temple run, jetpack, moto 3d lot more. Just search the store and you will find many quality free games. BTW.. I use wp8 just coz it works. It doesn't do a lot like android , but it's best in what it does.
    skype to fb messaging, people hub to office, xbox to nokia music, navigation to offline maps to kids corner everything just works.
    I have nokia lumia 920 , my cousin just bought 520 and we exchange our phones . I have been using 520 since a month and trust me the user experience remains the same. Now 920 is 35k and 520 is just 9k, but my friend , you android user cannot understand it. My friend has 32 gb iphone 4s which he bought in 38k and when he used 520 , he was amazed by fluidity and responsiveness of wp8, now this is the power of wp8.
    You android user need to buy s3 , nexus 4 and other high end phones to enjoy this smoothness. Then too, you have to wait for updates , then you hunt for custom roms. You waste your productive time by fixing or customizing your phone. You install antivirus to make your phone secure. When you search for apps , you get 100s of search result, then you need to find app which is best reviewed. You android user really waste a lot of time on your phone, where as wp8 just works. You won't understand it, untill you use it.
    So my friend wp8 just works, give it a chance buy a super cheap 520 and it will amaze you
  • Integrated fb chat is the worst thing on my wp8. It's pretty moody when receiving im's sometimes it works but most of the time it doesn't. My WP is almost perfect. Except for that.
  • nexus 4 is $300-$350 phone. Do you really think its a price of high end phone?
    Temple run is good but keep crashing on my Lumia. I didn't like Moto 3d and jetpack.
    Yes, Moster Island was good game.
    But again Those games which are famous and avaiable on both WP and Android phone, I find it that normally those games are paid on WP and free on Android and even if we paid, still it doesn't match with quality of Android. Angery Bird is just an example of that.
    I hate this thing about WP.
    Everyone has its taste, some like to cutomize and some don't, some like freedom and some like closed OS. It's matter of preference. No comment on that.
    and if you don't know there is no need to customize, its just and option dude. You can use it the way it come out of box.
  • Try downloading Tom and Jerry on both phones and tell me how that goes :)
  • Sorry, Not interested in watching video.
    If it's a game , give a link i'll try on both my WP and Android phone.
  • What makes us think that WP doesn't lag? How about the fact that 99.999% of us on here actually own a WP, unlike you!!!!
  • Agreed......
  • Stoopid comment. Get back under your bridge
  • Android users get Andry Bird? Wtf is a Andry Bird they screw you guys up pretty badly eh.
  • Jaja people's in drugs guys
  • Lol
  • If you want spyware, a phone that's updated once a year, only to get slower and slower, buy android
  • This is soooo true
  • Hahaha again. With all those ads? Have fun with ads then :)
  • There is android central...go and write there
  • Angry Birds on WP has no ads and they have Xbox Achievements.
  • Lol I cant
  • Did you correct him?
  • Actually after 2 minutes of blabbering he did stop for a second and say "actually I think its windows. Yeah its windows 8, an upgrade from 7"
  • Sad.
  • I don't understand :S
  • Stop hiring disillusioned, don't care attitude teenagers, at&t
  • My experience was much better. A rep at a local store actually pulled out a yellow 1020 and I was able to play with it and took a couple of pics and recorded few video clips. Zoom is awesome. The funny part was that internal name was Lumia 909. I'm torn between staying on att and getting 1020 or something else in the fall or getting 925 which is an absolutely gorgeous phone too. I can live with 16GB of storage.
  • Oh my god, kill me now
  • You really want to rot 6 feet under for such a stupid reason?
  • Just let go
  • Wow, that's better compatibility than WP8 has with WP7.  (But maybe I'm still just bitter about some of the WP7 Xbox games not working.)
  • Call or chat with MS support and get a refund.
  • Doubt they'd give me a refund for all the wp7 angry birds games I paid for, or all the other apps I paid for that didn't transfer over.
  • I got refunded $33 bucks of games and songs that I couldn't download again or play because some apps weren't updated.
  • Maybe around $20-25 here due to games that ran on WP7 and wont run on WP8..just get on a live chat about it..
  • A refund isn't the same as the games I enjoy actually working.
  • Soooo, you'd rather have no money *and* no games because you're unhappy about something?
  • LOL!
  • Very encouraging article, Rich!
  • Rafe
  • @Mike Rowsoft: American
  • @krox1105: cheeseburger
  • I don't mind being unable to run latest and greatest games on my Lumia 620, but if the games and apps *could* be optimized... There's a difference between impossible and difficult to do :)
  • Android? Hemorrhoid more like
  • I actually LOL...
  • Me 2 I laff'd
  • LOL.
  • Good. I feel that, with the added RAM in the latest flagship phones (on every platform, really) that developers see the added ram has an excuse to not optomise the software. I'm guilty of it myself, too. When I know I have a certain number of resources dedicated to a task, I don't normally care to code my software to optimize it for effective memory usage, even though I know I should.
  • You evil you
  • The problem is, with targeting flagship only, you'll miss those potential buyers from very larger group of user base. That means less potential income. CMIIW :)
  • Personally, developers should *always* use progressive enhancement when it comes to resource usage. There is absolutely no excuse for not making your code as efficient as possible. People on high end devices will be 100% happy with getting a version of a game with slightly lower frame rate or lesser polygon count, with a promise that enhancements for high memory devices will be coming shortly. However people on lower end devices (the majority of the user base) get very upset when a game they're excited about is not available right away. No developer is excused from optimising their apps. An optimised app also uses less battery and (if you apply your optimisation to all areas of the app) less storage space and less data usage. This is standard development practice but so many developers are lazy and ignore it. This coming from a Lumia 920 owner who is enjoying *all* the games available, but also a developer who believes in perfection in all areas of the app, especially optimisation.
  • I hate when Microsoft announces that a certain high end game is now on "windows phone" eg fifa 13 ....they should at least try to be sincere and stop misguiding people n should instead say "fifa 13 is now available for 1 Gb ram windows phone"
  • They should just say "FIFA 13 - now available on Windows Phone. Except, most likely YOUR Windows Phone can't play it." Looking at the usage stats (most phones being WP7 or low-end WP8 devices), it would be the truth.
  • Surprise, those 0,24% means actually those serious and high-enough quality software, that is worth downloading to your phone. This ratio is completely distorted because of the 100s of useless / stupid farting apps, flashlight apps, single-purpose webpage front-end-apps, etc. If all the junk would be thrown out, this number would have a more real meaning. Until that, it just shows 0,24% of the entire windows phone marketplace is the really potent siftware, the rest was created by developers who just finished their "learn how to code in C# under 7 days" ebooks.
  • +1
  • I see a lot of conjecture but no facts. Back up your assertion.
  • to put it in simple terms for you he means those 331 or so are top tier fare that get a lot of publicity (halo) and stick out like a sore thumb that they cant be run.
  • Except that 199 of them (clearly stated in the article) were clone template apps using a template that hadn't been optimised for low ram devices. Which kind of nullifies the argument.
  • Well the sad part is these numbers mean nothing, If we had atleast 50% of high profile/popular games that are there on ios/andriod then these numbers would be soothing factors for budget hardware owners but when wp store which is already lacking and repeatedly being bashed up of lack of apps/games. even a single popular game miss for budget devices pinches the WP as whole. And i'm not only talking abt lumia 520 but even the 720 which shud ideally be in the premium segment but unfortunately loaded with 512mb ram to save the 820 is hurting its sales definitely.
    So as a conclusion these numbers dont cheer me up, i'm still waiting for a real good news abt WP to cheer me up.(and this is on the software side, hardware side amazes me with phones like lumia 92X & 1020.
  • You might actually want to read Rafe's original article.
  • It's kind of oversimplistic analysis. What about the top 10, 50, 100 games? And I doubt this comforts those that have 512MB hardware and can not download an app/game they want. 
  • I don't think its a huge problem with apps, just games. And how many games could you even fit on a 520 or 8S? 2-3?
  • Read the original story on aawp
  • I should certainly hope that Windows Phone apps work on Windows Phone devices.
  • Haha sums it up.
  • Yeah but u can't play Halo Spartan on 512 or unless ur on Verizon!
  • I misread. So I am retracting my comment.
  • No, they don't.
  • Halo: SA for 512 MB devices is due in August...about the same time as Verizon exclusivity is over in the US.
  • As a developer 512mb devices have not been an issue. 256mb devices though, different story.
  • Now now... Don't get all nostalgic! 256MB is prehistoric.
  • I still have a lumia 610 with 256 ram...what a shame
  • It still baffles me that they spent the time and money to allow WP7 to run on 256MB devices just a few months before they killed it off. 
  • What about the storage issue? Most devices with 512 Mb only have 8 gb storage and apps can't be stored on SD card
  • Yes you can...check the windows phone website...
  • You can install apps from the SD card, dropping the xpa file to the root of the card. The app still installs to phone memory.
  • +1
    The lack of onboard storage rather than RAM is the limiting factor for games on budget WP handsets. If you're unlucky enough to only have 4GB onboard (HTC 8S, Huawei Ascend W1) then you have not much more than 1GB available for applications and games out of the box.
  • So... 1%ers?
  • As mentioned in the article, the best and most high profile games don't work on the most popular device, the Lumia 520/521.
    And then the article goes on to basically ignore this rather salient fact, even saying that if you own one of the 512MB phones, you're no worse off! What? "Sure, you can't play the most popular and high profile games, but maybe one day you'll be able to, so this proves you're no worse off." Makes no sense.
  • IMO, great game does not necessarily equal heavy graphics game.
  • Maybe so, but in the 1% of games 512MB can't run, there is: Order&Chaos, MC4, N.O.V.A 3.
    And, these are the only games I play on my phone, so... :D
  • Well, get a 1GB phone then! :P
  • I quote myself: "And, these are the only games I play on my phone, so... :D"
    So, I do have a 1GB phone!
  • I know, I was commenting on a generic way to the first part of your comment.:)
  • The other 1%? Nokia exclusives.
  • Yeah exactly.... But the problem is the non available apps, infact they are games such as spider man, batman, halo n many more... N everyone is interested in playing such games.... That's the real problem...
  • Not a real problem... You get what you pay for, and there are WP devices available with more ram.. These higher end WP devices have much better screens, and graphics processing as well.. Anyone that is interested in gaming surely would invest in a higher end WP device.. Besides, if you look at Android there's a higher percentage of phones that can't run more resources extensive games than phones that can... And, there is no way Android devices with 512mb can run 99% of apps available.. Also, the amount of apps available is irrelevant here because 165k apps is enough to have plenty of differentiation with various resource usage.. You really don't need 750k to make a fair comparison.
  • Microsoft face swap and the like need 1gb
  • I've never had an iPhone - do they have the same issue with compatibility? If I have an iPhone, let's say 4, does that mean that there are games that are unavailable to me, but available to other iPhone users?
  • I think any app can run on any iPhone as long as you have the newest software updates. But running a demanding app on an old iPhone like the 3 is really laggy.
  • Some apps require the latest sftwre, and iPhones like the 3 get dumped after a certain amount of time. Eventually, you cannot run some apps
  • Its not exactly the same thing, as iPhone makes their own devices and basically only has one model. Whereas WP8 has multiple manufacturers with multiple models.
    A better comparison for your question would be with Android (if they have 512 Mb phones)... to which I don't have an answer.
  • I think its similar though cuz don't the 4 andthe 4s only have 512mb ram?
  • I had an Iphone 3. It was fine for about a year. Then noticed that almost every app i tried downloading, wouldn't because i didn't have Iphone 4.
  • MikeSo made the best comment. Can't agree more.
  • Sure you can get those games on the old iPhones. But they run like a dog.
  • Because Windows Phone was programmed from the ground up so it's very light-weight and not based on Linux or that shit.
  • ⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇
  • This just further proves how much Android sucks❕
  • dont care. i just want to clear that others storage shit or ill have to swtich to open source
  • Too bad that 1% includes all the apps that matter the most to me. LOL jk I have a 920. I'm fine.
  • Love my 521 and it is close to the speed of my 920!  I just added a 64GB microSD card and waiting for Microsoft to open up this card so I can store apps on it like Android has done.  Not sure if going to be in GDR3 or 8.1.  Hopefully, it GDR3.   I read many of the post and I guess if you store stuff on the SD Card and then delete it; the WP8 shows that it card storage remains occupied and does not go back to reclaim the space.  I just put it in because I did not want to loose it since it is so tiny!
  • Dont hold your breath, as MS will never allow SD cards to store and run apps, every single piece and component of the WP8 operating system was designed with that in mind: NOT to allow such unorthodox behavior.
  • I think they will be force into it since Android already had this capability to do just that!  Microsoft is behind the eight ball!  They should try to be ahead in doing things like this; not prevent it and make life more difficult for the end users and in the long run hurt themselves.
  • Nokia the king 4ever,
  • Your name says it all. :)
  • There may be more games that require only 512mb ram but its a big loss if you can't play games with a 1gb ram required.
    (just my opinion, I only have a wp7 but I want to buy a 820)
  • Apps for windows phone 7 : 10% compatible, 90% incompatible. Based on popular app and games.
  • theres only one game I wasnt able to get from my htc hd7 and that was Pirates! All my other games work great on my nokia 521. And if I remember reading somewhere isn't Halo going to be 521mb optimized by august? Im surprised a lot people haven't jumped over to windows phones 8 phones. A lot of the contracts should be up or close to it.
  • How about the WP8.1 upgrade, will that work just as smoothly on a 512MB RAM device as it surely would on a 1GB/2GB RAM device?!! I hope the answer is yes because if it will work fine, then great value for money on the Lumia 520/521 512MB RAM phones!
  • Certainly should, although we don't know what 8.1 will entail for sure. I would guess if there are features of 8.1 that a 512 Mb couldn't handle, they just wouldn't be made available for models. I would doubt that to be the case though.
  • I'm playing the world's smallest violin for everyone who bought a budget phone expecting access to every feature and every app.
  • Ugh, even with this article i'm still undecided if i should buy the 720 or not.
  • 4.3" AMOLED screen with somewhere over 200 dpi, 6.7mp; Pureview camera and a front-facing camera that can shoot 720p video, all in a sleek form factor with excellent battery life. Think I'll be getting one soon.
  • As the owner of a 521, I can't get too butt-hurt if a certain app won't work cause of RAM or hardware limitations. It's a very capable device, but like just about anything else, you get what you pay for and it's unrealistic to expect a $150 device to have all of the capabilities of a $500 device. I knew that before I bought it, so I can't complain. Besides, as long as I can play solitaire and a blackjack or poker game, it's all good!
  • I just hope that people don't think the 512mb Nokia 521 cant handle cool games. I run these games just fine, granted theyre not all high profile games:
    Angry Birds, Burn the Rope, Droplitz Delight, Feed Me Oil, Fruit Ninja, Jetpack Joyride, MonstaFish, Oregon Trail, Parachute Panic, Plants Vs. Zombies, Pocket God, Shuffle Party, Wordament, Aces of the Luftwaffe, Ae Coin Mainia, Ae Gun Balls, Ae Jewels, Ae Lucky Fishing, Battleloot Adenture (awesome final fantasy type game), MonsterUp, My Country, Temple Run, vNesLight Pro, and Words By Post Free, Inifinite Flight. A lot of the high profile games sometimes get updated later 512mb compatibility. 
  • It can definately handle cool games. I'm just a low key gamer and use the old standards LOL
  • Yes its true i'v run many apps and games including temple run its run good on my 720.....
  • The real problem for Windows Phone is the long term financial viability of Nokia,  The fact that the low cost 520 line is becoming the best selling phone while the Average Selling Price (and therefore the profit margin) for all Nokia phones continues to decline means that Nokia will never have a profitable business model.  While Nokia may be able to survive with Microsofts subsidies that is not a viable business model for Nokia's shareholders and means that eventually Microsoft will need to buy Nokia (as the only real supporter of Windows Phone - HTC, Samsung, etc. are only making Windows Phone as a hedge against Android without really commiting to the platform). or give up on Windows phone like they did on Zune.  Celebrating as #3 when all that happened is Blackberry sales fell to Windows Phone market share (approx. 3-4 percent) rather than Windows rising to catch Blackberry at 
    8-10 percent.
  • I'm going to buy Nokia Lumia 520 today. So tell me if it's a good choice.
  • hi
    its good if ur ok with a 4inch phone id suggest if  u can streach get the 625 im using it and its real good hered it got a cut im price now i mean in India