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Angry Birds coming to a Nokia Lumia 610 near you?

If you're an Angry Birds fan and own a Nokia Lumia 610 we may have some good news for you.

We had heard back in May that Rovio was going work on optimizing Angry Birds for the Lumia 610. While it may have taken six months to accomplish, it is our understanding that Rovio has optimized all versions of the Angry Birds games to work with the RAM memory limits of the Lumia 610.

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A few days ago some sites made some hay over the fact that the Nokia Lumia 610 (and any other 256MB devices) can't run certain apps or games. Some of the big titles thrown out include Tango Video Calls, Skype and and Angry Birds which at first blush appears to be bad news. Insert fragmentation commentary, yadda yadda.

While certainly true, the situation is far from permanent or dire. In short, neither app has been updated for 256MB devices as requested by Microsoft. There's no real reason why Angry Birds can't be optimized for 256MB devices, nor presumably Tango Video Calls. Heck, Angry Birds has barely been updated at all on Windows Phone.

That's about to change though as Rovio is working on a 256MB optimized version for the Luma 610 and any other low-end Windows Phones. Heidi Lemmetyinen, Editor-in-Chief, Nokia Conversations, responded in comments on Nokia's Blog with the following (translated):

"The Rovio team is currently being Angry Birds Lumia 610 for the optimized version. Yet it is not therefore available to the public but we've known about this.  We will notify you, of course as soon as possible."

So bump in the road? Yes. Permanent fiasco? Hardly. We expect Angry Birds and the remaining 5% of apps and games to be updated over the coming weeks as the Lumia 610 and other 256MB start to come online. Let's not forget: Nokia and Rovio have forged a partnership to fast-track Angry Birds Space and their other titles to Windows Phone, so making their previous title compatible with the 610 shouldn't be a surprise.

Sorry folks, nothing to see here. Time to move along.

Be sure to check our demo of Skype on the Lumia 610 and our unboxing video for more info.

Source: Nokia; via Nokia HD Blog; Thanks, simone, for the tip

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As you may or may not recall, Skype for Windows Phone officially does not run on Windows Phone "Tango" hardware--devices with 256MB of RAM or less--like the Lumia 610 and ZTE Orbit. But Justin Angel from Nokia called up our podcast from his Lumia 610 using Skype and it sounded great, what's more Nokia themselves seemed okay with it too.

Then two days ago, word came out that Nokia with withdrawing support for Skype and the Lumia 610, causing even more confusion i.e. so is it available at least for those who want to run it?

Truth be told it's not available to download. As can be seen in the image above, users are given a notice that they cannot download the app. However, if we sideload version 1.1 of Skype onto our 610, it works just fine as you can see in our video below.

So what's the deal? We'll take Nokia's word that there are performance issues (we tested over WiFi and it seemed fine) and that's the reason why users won't have access to it. However, to us Skype for the Lumia 610 appears to be okay, at least from our limited testing.

What we're hoping for is with a version 1.2 or later, Skype and Microsoft can hammer out any performance problems and get the app on to Tango hardware. Because to us, it seems like they're very close to achieving just that making this a temporary problem with the platform.

See our hands on and unboxing of the Lumia 610 here.

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Before you rush to your phone, it's not in the marketplace just yet! However I'm pleased to announce that the official WPCentral app v2.2 has been finalised and was submitted for certification 2 days ago.

So what's new this time around? We've been focusing on three key improvements: user experience, error reporting, and 256mb device compatibility. Most of these changes are a direct result of feedback or suggestions that our amazing community has sent us, so read on to find out exactly what's changed.

 

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This whole Skype-256MB RAM situation is getting a little chaotic. First we all ran the beta, then came version 1.0 and the app requirements which strongly hinted that Tango phones (Lumia 610, ZTE Orbit, etc.) can't run the program due to only having half the required RAM. Heck, even Skype commented to us on the matter that they're working on improving the Skype app, etc.

Now, Nokia are claiming after "some challenges early on" Skype works just fine on the Lumia 610 and it'll be available for users in late April when the device launches.

Of course, we kind of knew that already as our trusty Jay Bennett remembered that a Nokia employee by the name of Justin Angel guested on our podcast a few weeks ago. What was remarkable about his appearance was how he was speaking to us -- via Skype on his Lumia 610.

At the time that was the beta version of Skype and who knows what transpired since that day. And even though Engadget's story sheds some light on the matter, we're still unsure if this means there will be a special version of the Skype app in the Nokia Collection or that version 1.0 (as is) will run on all Tango phones, making the whole "512MB of RAM" requirement a moot and pointless number.

Yes folks, we now have more questions than answers. Hopefully we'll sort all of this out soon.

via: Engadget

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Take heed developers, you'll want to go update your Windows Phone SDK to the official 7.1.1 version which was just released today.

This latest update offers support for 256MB RAM devices aka "Tango" phones like the Nokia Lumia 610 and ZTE Orbit.:

"The Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 Update provides additional functionality to the existing Windows Phone SDK 7.1. Using this update, you can more easily develop apps and games that are optimized to run on 256-MB devices. This update includes a new 256-MB version of Windows Phone Emulator, an updated 512-MB version of Windows Phone Emulator, and IntelliSense support."

As noted by Microsoft, 95% of the apps currently in the Marketplace will have no problems running on these lower-end Windows Phones, but those remaining 5% will need to think about optimizing their app if they want it to run on these news devices. Microsoft began contacting developers who's apps won't be able to run the new Tango update back in February so as to avert any confusion on the matter.

Grab the new 7.1.1. SDK update right here from Microsoft and the read announcement on the Windows Phone Dev Blog.

For further information and tips on developing your app for Tango device, check out Nokia's developer guide and Best Practice Tips which should go a long way in making this an easy transition.

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With the upcoming "Tango" update to Windows Phone, OEMs will have the ability to make phones with just 256 MB of RAM, shaving off a few precious dollars from their bottom line. Of course in doing so, about 5% of the apps currently on the Marketplace (including ours) won't work unless the developer re-works aspects to make it more efficient on memory usage. Such phones include the Nokia Lumia 610 and possibly the ZTE Orbit. Those devices display a similar notification in their "About" section too:

Of course there are instances where developers may not want to adjust their app--either they don't want to compromise performance/esthetics or they use periodicTask or a ResourceIntensiveTask. In that case, developers can actually opt-out of making their app compatible and instead a message will appear alerting users that this app won't work on their phone.

Nokia has now published details on both how devs can enable this feature as well as what the user experience will be like. The latter part involves a message noting that the app cannot be installed and when tapped a pop-up window will notify them that they need a phone with more RAM.

Source: Nokia Developer; Thanks, anon, for the tip

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It looks like Microsoft has started to get in touch with developers behind the 5% of apps which "do not run satisfactorily on 256 MB devices", just as promised. The intention behind these e-mails is to give developers time to profile their apps, optimise them, and then test out any improvements on the new 256MB emulator.

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