Windows Phone "Tango" limitations officially confirmed

Microsoft has been busy updating the official Windows Phone website to include details surrounding new features and limitations that will be introduced with Windows Phone "Tango". LiveSide has rounded up all the restrictions that will be placed on handsets that sport 256MB RAM - the revised system requirement which will introduce low-end budget devices.

  • Windows Phone Marketplace app restrictions – Some processor-intensive apps have memory requirements, and will not work on phones with 256 MB of RAM.
  • Podcast Subscriptions and Video Podcasts – You won't be able to manage podcast subscriptions on your phone or watch video podcasts.
  • Local Scout – You won't be able to use Bing Local Scout services.
  • Fast app switching – Fast app switching (multitasking) will be disabled.
  • SkyDrive automatic photo upload – SkyDrive photo automatic uploading will be disabled.
  • HD video playback – Inability to play video compressed with some of the listed codecs.
  • Background agents – To free up RAM for the foreground on 256MB devices, generic background agents (PeriodicTasks / ResourceIntensiveTasks) are disabled.

As well as the above limitations, there have been a number of improvements seen in previously leaked photos of "Tango" that include multiple file attachments in SMS, ability to record and send voice / video clips, and the recently revealed location services alert icon.

Microsoft has also published a new blog entry for developers, which goes into some detail surrounding the issue of optimising apps for the lower system specifications. From improving startup time and lowering memory usage to handling feature reductions. Mike Battista, who wrote the blog article, also recommends developers make use of the 256MB emulator in the SDK to test the app with identical runtime behaviour as a 256MB sporting device.

Source: Windows Phone Team Blog, via: LiveSide

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.