No gyroscope access for current Windows Phones, only new 'Mango' devices?

Andrew Clinick gave a talk today on the future of the Windows Phone platform, specifically on 'Mango', going into more detail than the keynote (we'll have a video up later).

During the sensor discussion, it was mentioned that current Windows Phones won't have access to the Gyroscope API since they evidently don't have the hardware to support it, in turn, only "new" devices with 'Mango' on board will have this feature.  Of course, for all we know there may be one or two devices out there with gyroscope access on board already, but it doesn't seem to be the case. Either way, it does raise a conudrum of how older phones will deal with newer software that uses this feature.

Update: We confirmed with Clinick after the talk: current devices do not have a gyro, so only new Mango devices will have this. So what about software and devs? Basically with a combo of the accelerometer and other APIs for hardware, you can simulate, to a lesser degree, the gyroscope behavoir.  So you can run the apps, they just won't be as awesome as devices with gyros. Fair enough.

Update 2: Per Microsoft's Istvan Cseri, the gyroscope sensor is optional, up to the OEMs

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Good thing I waited. Fall can't come soon enough. Never liked summer anyways! =P
  • Not a big loss. I think game devs will be fine without it.
  • I don't know how much this will limit future apps on older phones but only time will tell in the end.
  • Fragmentation here we come - why cant current phones access the gyroscope?
  • If written well and with consideration, there will be no problem at all. Some apps will need it, some will have it as added functionality. No big deal really
  • i think it stinks. apps like stars3d will never be able to work correctly.
  • I hope I didn't choose an already outdated phone with the HTC Arrive...
  • This isn't that uncommon. The iPhones have had this for some time now. Most apps won't use it. And those that do you could just be missing out on that functionality. I don't think this is a major fragmentation issue. Just another step in newer hardware having better benefits. This has ALWAYS been the case and ALWAYS will be!
  • Yeah, I agree with the aboves who say it's more than likely not going to be a big deal. I'd guess it'd be like the Wii MotionPlus, not many if any games actually require it, but a few do try to take advantage of it.Besides, a developer would have to be pretty silly to require it while a lot of phones don't have it. "I don't want your money since you bought an older phone. herpdedurr"