When Microsoft announced that it’s Windows Phone Tango software would support devices with as little as 256MB of RAM, app incompatibility immediately came to everyone’s mind. How can a phone with such a minuscule amount of memory run the more intensive applications available on today’s smartphones? With the Lumia 610 and ZTE Orbit making their way to store shelves, All About Windows Phone took it upon themselves to size up the scope of the problem.
Microsoft has previously indicated that applications for 256MB devices should not exceed 90MB of RAM usage, and should disable background agents to free up some of that paltry amount of memory. In total, approximately 1.6% of all applications available on the Marketplace today are incompatible with 256MB devices, a number expected to drop even further as developers release updates for their applications to comply with Microsoft’s policy. But what about the most often used applications, the ones people generally use every day?
When considering the top 10,000 applications only, the 1.6% incompatibility number grows to about 4.6%. If you look at just the top 1,000 apps, it grows even further to 6.4%. A full 64 of the 1,000 top applications on the Marketplace currently won’t be supported on 256MB devices, with less than half of unavailable applications being games. Skype is arguably the most high-profile offender, though Microsoft has indicated they are hard at work on making Skype compatible with low-memory devices. A detailed listing of incompatible applications can be found in the full report.
We’re actually a bit surprised that the number of incompatible apps is so low, and will only shrink as more developers make their apps compatible. As it stands, 256MB Windows Phone devices could emerge as a cheap way for current feature phone owners to adopt to the smartphone market with a decent user experience, and could help Microsoft eat into Android and iOS’s market share lead.
[via All About Windows Phone]