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Windows Phone 8 "Apollo" being tested on Lumia 800? (Rumor)

WP Central

According to a thread over at a Chinese Windows Phone community wpxap, one member claims that the next version of the platform, code named "Apollo", is currently being tested by an employee on a retail Lumia 800. Take this with a grain of salt before we continue, we're not entirely convinced ourselves as to whether or not this is actual reality, but it's best to be informed nonetheless. (In addition, supposed "insider" MS_Nerd Tweeted early this morning that the Lumia 610 was also testing Apollo).

Should what this poster has written be true, this would continue the debate on generation 1 / 1.5 Windows Phones being able to receive the "Apollo" update. What is noted are some noticeable improvements including speed / touch responsiveness, folders, an Internet Explorer overhaul and gravity sensing. Insiders believes the last feature to be tilt mechanics, with an example provided for enlarging image thumbnails by lifting the device closer to the users' eyes.

The inclusion of folders is an interesting addition to the list. What else is active on the acclaimed test version of "Apollo" is VPN support, which is reported to be disabled on the final build. As well as these features that have been published by an unconfirmed source, we expect the next major update of Windows Phone to introduce higher screen resolutions and dual-core support.

Of course, we're in "silly season" mode around here so like we said, put this on rumor shelf as there is no solid evidence for any of this so far.

Source: wpxap, via: Insideris, WMPU; thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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Comments

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prowade says:

It just seems foolish to me for MS and Nokia to put all this hype behind the 900 and then not allow it to upgrade to 1.5. It seems like that would hurt MS rep with all the people that purchased a WP device and believed in the platform.

I recently purchased the 900 upgraded from original Focus and yes, I would be upset to not receive the update.

prowade says:

I have also convinced several friends to switch to this platform largely on the basis that the updates were supposedly better handled and not held back....it is already back firing on me.

lippidp says:

Being an advocate for something you can't control is risky. If someone asks me I just tell them what I like about the phone and let them make the final decision.

prowade says:

That is what I have started to do.

OMG55 says:

Just because they're using the 800 as a test device?????

Rico says:

This is what I've always done. My friends know that in a big Windows Phone fan, but but I realize that it's not for everyone. I tell them the pros and cons and offer support for whatever they need to do.

WinFan1 says:

i do this as well i got my friend to ditch his evo for the lumia 900 he is waiting for the white one and he said it isnt his preference but he is willing try anything once.

I wouldn't worry... Compared to android its a dream and IOS is for old people:)

OMG55 says:

So now Nokia can't test Apollo using the 800? Many of you tend to jump to conclusions rather quickly. The focus S, HTC Titan II, and and the 900 will BA able to receive the update, just hold your horses

Ton77 says:

I'm in the same exact boat. Hope it does update to wp8

stui83 says:

Speed improvements are a good sign.... Hope this ones true

lowlymarine says:

Compared to my old Galaxy S and especially my iPhone 3G, I honestly can't imagine my Lumia 900 getting any faster. Not that I would complain if it somehow did.

stui83 says:

The main thing is that it doesn't get slower, then we have a problem Apollo style

alex6272 says:

Well if Apollo can run on the 610 then all devices should get it

Tips_y says:

Hear, hear!

dkp23 says:

Screenshots feature. !!!

Jeff Kibuule says:

We are probably 3 to 4 months from RTM, but I don't need to remind you what happens when you put software on older hardware and it doesn't work quite as well as the user would like (see the iPhone 3G running iOS 4.0). 
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdk2cJpSXLg

lippidp says:

Mango on my Quantum has been the best in-place upgrade experience I've ever had for any operating system. It runs better than it did before Mango. Apple doesn't compare to Microsoft in this regard.

issieman says:

That's iPhone 3G tuning IOS 4. what about iPhone 3GS runing IOS 5? Sorry to tell you it runs just fine ... Remember IPhone 3GS was released in 2009.

GonzoMcGee says:

In my opinion it doesn't matter if WP8 will run faster or more responsive using a dual core or if it comes with a higher resolution as long as they'll keep the non-customizable box design of the metro interface. I am an early adopter of WP and I will be faithful until the end but I think they need to do something about customization! As long as people only can choose between 7 colors to change they will get bored by WP pretty soon no matter how cool it is.It just looks so depressing and crude after a while.

erwt says:

I guess I'm just weird, but I really don't understand the issue of customization. I still fall in love with the UI each and every time i open up the lockscreen.

AzD says:

I wouldn't mind more colors or custom colors, but I agree, the interface hasn't gotten the least bit boring for me.

rodneyej says:

Agree with AzD!

@ rodneyej I sent ur Xbox avatar a friend invite mines demonboydante we should put a video together on the 30th im make a shirt gonna be funny as shit when everyone sees it its a Nokia hate on apple kinda shirt lol

tN0 says:

Custom colors may never come. It is almost impossible because developers couldn't predict how their app may look. And all colors have to have good contrast to black and white at the same time to make text and other elements readable.
And colors look different on different screens. Simply compare the Lumia 710 to the 800. Even now on the Lumia 800 some pre-defined colors don't have good contrast to white text on accent color.

I guess we will see a lot more colors (like they have implemented in latest pre-RC builds in Windows 8). Maybe you can have a color and pattern as the background of the Start screen. But implementation of custom colors is very difficult.

s2korpio says:

Wait wait.. What?! I understand the improvement in lag if you've just opened a lot of demanding apps, but "touch responsiveness"?!...

10 millisecond delay... Here I come...

Alls fine and dandy, but please keep the dark metro design. I love it.

NW TylerB says:

I'd really like to think that Microsoft and Nokia working as hard as they have been together to get WP into the hands of more people, wouldn't be dumb enough to drop support for newcomers who bought in with devices like the 900 and Titan II within a year of release. I'm one of those new comers and I switched over because I thought WP brought the promise of reletively future proof devices. If they do drop WP 7.x devices, I'd at least like subsidized pricing on a new WP8 device when they come out. I think that's reasonable. Maybe?

clay113 says:

You raise a valid point.  It would be nice if that is a choice in case the Lumia 900 can't get the Apollo update.  However I did buy my 900 knowing full well there was a chance it would not get the update.  I'm pretty happy with Mango as it is, so I don't think it would kill me if later I have to buy a new phone to get Apollo.  My Lumia will do me good for at least a year as long as I don't break it or have a hardware malfunction.  Knocks on wood.  

oldpueblo says:

I have a hard time believing it can get faster, it's already way fast.

bjax says:

The thing I think 900 buyers and potential buyers should keep in mind is that the phone could have good resale value. So if wp8 isn't supported on older models, they could still probably get between 250-300 on a resell. You get the best of both worlds. You get to enjoy the 900 now, and you could use the money from from selling it later towards buying a wp8 lumia. Win-win.

dkp23 says:

that is my plan, sell 900 later if no upgrade...
 
I also got a $500 MS gift card for losing the challenge as well that i can use :)

Schnydz says:

WhAT!?  $500 gift card? wow! that's nice

dameon_03 says:

while I hope the rumors are true, I'm not going to get excited. I'll wait until msft says something or it is confirmed with proof. it's funny I'm this interested in this but I own an android device but I will make the switch to wp7 soon

I got 2.2 on my touch he and figured that maybe a full-on android would make matters great... It didn't. I'm happy that google is putting in the effort but I get pissed every tine I think of the is. My user experience is giving me heart-issues now (got a Lenovo pad with 3.1 now). You will not regret this futuristic great next generation ios:)

dameon_03 says:

I have a dell streak now with gingerbread. when wp7 first came out I didn't give it too much thought but now it has my attention. I do like android but I got tired of waiting on devs to port or try to port the latest version of android to my device. maybe if I learned how to dev it would be different but tinkering with the insides is what drew me to android because I did it on winmo. but I like how wp7 works and feels its like a breath of fresh air because its different. I'm just waiting for a chance to get a wp7 device it will be either the 900 ir titan II

I wonder if wp8 will have more tiles on the home screen side by side

Only hope this is true. If Apollo can hit every generation of WP to date, even as a subset of features,  it will be a feat.
If the 610 is testing Apollo, one wonders what sort of pixie magic dust MS and Nokia sprinkled onto Apollo to run on the low end. Maybe the Tango optimizations came into play? :)

Schnydz says:

You do bring up a good point there. I kind of wondered why MS is bringing Tango to all GEN1&2 devices? Especially if it was developed for the low end. It doesn’t make any sense. Unless, Tango is needed to bring the whole platform in line in order to accept Apollo. Of course, I don't really know the full ins-and-outs of tango so this is just speculative really.

KeegdnaB42 says:

I think the discrepancies with whether or not existing devices will be upgraded has all to do with they haven't actually decided on it yet. They'll make every effort to make it work, and I personally believe they will, but until they definitively have it running they won't announce anything and risk having to backtrack if for some reason it doesn't work out

Tips_y says:

Since I switched to WP7 from Android last December 2011, I've fallen completely in love with the platform. I don't hate Android at all, I just love WP more. Nothing can make me hate it even if my HTC Radar doesn't get updated to WP8. I'll treat it like my desktop. Windows 7 has been out two years (?) but I just recently upgraded from XP to W7. So when the right time comes, I'll upgrade my WP7 device to a WP8 device.

meddyrainzo says:

Everyone is talking about the Titan 2 and Lumia 900/800. What of the Titan holders? Is there a chance for an update?

Now hold on. The only thing that prevents me from recommending Windows Phone to my coworkers is the lack of VPN. VPN is the only reason I would consider trading in my Trophy for a WP8 device. Why in the world would they put VPN in the OS and then go through the trouble of ripping it out before they release the update? IOS has VPN. What kind of world do we live in where an Apple product has better enterprise support than a Microsoft product?

eights_tw says:

Someone tells us an information that all the device with Windows Phone 7 will be upgraded to Apollo. But no guarantee all new functions will run well on these old devices. There is already a new device with windows phone 8, maybe it will be shown on Nokia World 2012. This is a good news for you. Source from : http://www.mobile01.com/topicdetail.php?f=129&t=2698244&p=2#35327680

ayejay0601 says:

I dont know if anyone else saw this....(I think it was on wmpoweruser but I cant remember).  EDIT: Here's the link http://mobilitydigest.com/microsoft-has-not-confirmed-wp8-upgrade-plans-because-of-the-complexity-of-flashing-phones-for-a-new-os/
 
it appears that WP8 IS designed to work on older hardware.  That's not the issue.  The issue seems to be that the carriers dont want all to waste resources installing it.  They dont want thousands of users coming into tech support to install.  WP8 is a whole new OS and therefore everything needs to first be backed up, then the OS overwrites and then everything needs to be reinstalled.  
Its not a big deal for most people on this website I think, but the average user doesnt want to deal with that.  
What this means is that in the worse case, you will be able to install Apollo but it may require some work on our part.  However, I am still hopeful that MS finds a way to do a smooth install on all older devices.

Schnydz says:

If true, I'll take it. I don't mind breaking my L900 to get WP8 on it. Hopefully regardless of the outcome someone (XDA) will make it available.

Why WP8 will not be on legacy devices:
 
If you're looking for reasons to believe that MS *will not* push out WP8 to current handsets, read this article by Paul Thurrott:
 
http://www.winsupersite.com/article/paul-thurrotts-wininfo/wininfo-short-takes-april-20-2012-142888
 
In short, the logic behind a "No" answer:
1)  There’s no economic imperative - Microsoft’s partners have sold very few Windows Phones and supporting a new platform on legacy hardware would be expensive.
2) Windows Phone 8 is based on Windows 8, not Windows Phone 7.x, and requires headier, higher-end hardware with two or more core processors.
3) Handset makers and wireless carriers would never support this upgrade; they want to sell new phones.
 
Repeat after me: "phones are not PCs"
 
Techiedude

I have an hd7. Got it in November '10. With mango, this thing blazes past my sisters vibrant and my wife's mytouch 4g. I can only imagine what Apollo will do on it. As for custom colors, it could be done. Devs would just have to make icons for their apps that don't change color with the theme of the phone being used. Most of the apps I have now do this anyway.

Sy7ygy says:

Id say the 3GS is the best value Smartphone ever released - 2009-2012, still selling, still supported and still worth some £. Fantastic phone.

Still, my Lumia 800 - now after firmware 12070 is the best phone i have ever owned.

johnXO says:

I started working for MSFT less than a year ago and decided to hold off buying a WP until Lumia 900 came out. Now that I am finally ready to buy the much awaited 900, I hear that the device may not upgrade to Apollo, which is supposedly due to come out end of this year. That is completely unacceptable, and I am now beginning to really debate whether I should buy it or wait for the new devices running Windows 8. If MSFT knows that the current devices will upgrade, then it would be foolish of them to not come out and say it, as their silence is killing the momentum of the Lumia phones. That's why I honestly believe the devices will NOT upgrade. Too bad.