99.7% of Windows Phone 8 apps run on 512MB devices

With this morning’s announcement from Nokia, about their brand new Lumia 625 device, and the recently disclosed massive sales of the Lumia 520, many Windows Phone users have been asking if having only 512MB of RAM leads to a sub-par experience?

Well it turns out that the short answer is: absolutely not. All About Windows Phone, a community website formed around Microsoft’s mobile OS, has done a bit of digging recently and they have tracked how many Windows Phone apps are incompatible with 512MB devices.

The numbers are very encouraging. AWWP has been tracking just shy of 150,000 apps in the Windows Phone 8 Store and out of those, only 331 are incompatible with low-end handsets. That means a 99.76% compatibility rate, which is simply awesome for all WP8 users.

But wait, you say, games are the ones that require the most memory so there’s likely to be lots of incompatible games, right? Well, not really. According to this same report only 0.36% of games are incompatible with 512MB devices.

And yes, many of the incompatible games are important, high-quality ones such as N.O.V.A 3, Mass Effect: Infiltrator, the recently launched Halo: Spartan Assault, and so on. But the good news is that many games receive updates that make them compatible down the line. This happened with Temple Run and it’s set to happen with Halo next month.

So there’s lots of good news when it comes to lower end Windows Phones, as the OS runs smoothly in every scenario and you get to run almost every app there is with a cheap but high-quality device.

Source: AAWP Via: WPCentral | Images via Windows Phone Store and AAWP

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Microsoft did a great job with the API giving you the opportunity to build apps without worrying about performance and memory while keeping the device stable.

My L720 can't run many of the games I want to play, and the new Paint app by MS won't work either. I wouldn't suggest anyone to buy any WP with 512mb, unless someone gives it to you for free, even then you may get frustrated. Not to mention this 512mb RAM does affect the performance when switching between apps, think Skype.

Actually no, what matters is system performance, nobody cares about MEGABYTES or GIGAHERTZ as long as every action is smooth and fast and it's able to handle most apps.

Is funny how some people talk about how "optimized is WP" even for "low hardware". However, it is not true. For example, Lumia 620 with WP is slow, as expected of a cellphone with low hardware.

IMHO, both Android, IOS and WP are pretty much the same about performance. However, WP and IOS gives an "impression" of speed mainly because the userbase owns the latest iphone, or the lumia 9xx.

Errr... i'm not sure what experince you have, but as an owner of a 521 lumia... i've literally never felt any sluggishness or lag, even on cpu-intense websites. There are a few things that will chew it up, but the basic day to day uses of a smartphone outside of gaming are not among them. I've literally never felt frustrated by my phone except for when the store tells me i can't install something...but then again, I paid $100 for it and it has a better web and phone experience then my brother's nexus

Brony said,
Is funny how some people talk about how "optimized is WP" even for "low hardware". However, it is not true. For example, Lumia 620 with WP is slow, as expected of a cellphone with low hardware.

IMHO, both Android, IOS and WP are pretty much the same about performance. However, WP and IOS gives an "impression" of speed mainly because the userbase owns the latest iphone, or the lumia 9xx.

And then you read this: http://www.neowin.net/forum/to...-ascend-w1-windows-phone-8/

and retract your statement.

WP8 is generally pretty well optimized in my experience. Recommend people try it out. Even buying a low end device allows it to run well. You don't need a $500+ phone to get the "full experience"

But... But... My Droid Razr Moto Galaxy Incredible Thunderbolt Prime has 3 cores and 2 GBs of RAM, therefore it's better! (Sorry, couldn't resist)

That's the beauty of Windows Phone. :-)
People with lower-end hardware still get the buttery smooth experience, and people with higher-end hardware (like my Lumia 920) get an even better experience.

So a lot of apps can run on 512mb of available memory. Is this assuming you have no other apps running in the background?

Yes, since WP8 and 7.8 have background tasks and can still update the live tiles. That's the awesome thing with WP.

Windows Phone always puts background apps to sleep. Pretty much like Windows 8. So you never lose performance or have to kills apps.

It's not about the % of apps that can run , its the number of quality apps that cannot run on 512 memory . So far , so many "quality" apps/games ( Halo Spartan, FIFA 13, Freshpaint, Zinio etc ) are unable to run on 512mb devices because it's not optimized.

kinpin said,
It's not about the % of apps that can run , its the number of quality apps that cannot run on 512 memory . So far , so many "quality" apps/games ( Halo Spartan, FIFA 13, Freshpaint, Zinio etc ) are unable to run on 512mb devices because it's not optimized.

Exactly. But that's a fact that some Windows Phone enthusiasts can't seem to grasp.

kinpin said,
It's not about the % of apps that can run , its the number of quality apps that cannot run on 512 memory . So far , so many "quality" apps/games ( Halo Spartan, FIFA 13, Freshpaint, Zinio etc ) are unable to run on 512mb devices because it's not optimized.

Depends a lot on your definition of quality. Nothing starts a gamer ragefest like arguing about what 'matters' in games, though.

srprimeaux said,

Exactly. But that's a fact that some Windows Phone enthusiasts can't seem to grasp.

Ok, now what percentage of quality apps can you run on a low end Android phone?

You can have a perfectly good and responsive phone with only 512MB memory for a very very good price, with minimal sacrifice.

rfirth said,
Ok, now what percentage of quality apps can you run on a low end Android phone?

What does this have to do with Android? Shouldn't Microsoft be rising above and beyond the competition?

rfirth said,
You can have a perfectly good and responsive phone with only 512MB memory for a very very good price, with minimal sacrifice.

Minimal sacrifice would be subjective depending on the needs/wants of the consumer. Why not standardize handsets so the consumer doesn't have to make such a sacrifice to begin with?

kinpin said,
It's not about the % of apps that can run , its the number of quality apps that cannot run on 512 memory . So far , so many "quality" apps/games ( Halo Spartan, FIFA 13, Freshpaint, Zinio etc ) are unable to run on 512mb devices because it's not optimized.

yup beacuse i can totally play nova 3,boa,gta3,fifa 13 etc on my low end android

Sounds to me like the MS apps are better optimized?
I have a Droid device, and the requirements for memory are pretty high. Sloppy coders?

It's [android] a hard to write for programming language. The developer tools are pretty terrible, and there's hardly any money to be made. It's easier to just tick a box that says "requires > 1gb of RAM" than it is to properly code and debug everything.

EDIT: If WP/C# Express dev tools were a car, it would be a 2000 era car, with automatic windows, locks, and a sweet sound system, the VS Pro would have bluetooth and keyless entry, while the Android SDK would be American made from the late 70's or early 80's. If you want to see just how bad it is, ask Google: They're dropping the Eclipse based SDK completely, and starting over with an SDK based off of an entirely different IDE.

Edited by greenwizard88, Jul 23 2013, 5:34pm :

greenwizard88 said,
It's [android] a hard to write for programming language. The developer tools are pretty terrible, and there's hardly any money to be made. It's easier to just tick a box that says "requires > 1gb of RAM" than it is to properly code and debug everything.

EDIT: If WP/C# Express dev tools were a car, it would be a 2000 era car, with automatic windows, locks, and a sweet sound system, the VS Pro would have bluetooth and keyless entry, while the Android SDK would be American made from the late 70's or early 80's. If you want to see just how bad it is, ask Google: They're dropping the Eclipse based SDK completely, and starting over with an SDK based off of an entirely different IDE.

Spoken like someone who has never written a line of code on either platform...

John Nemesh said,
Spoken like someone who has never written a line of code on either platform...

O'rly?

I'm of the same opinion and I've written code for both, thank you very much.

deadonthefloor said,

O'rly?

I'm of the same opinion and I've written code for both, thank you very much.


Same opinion here, too, though Java kicked my dog once and I've been angry at it ever since, so I might be a little biased.

Joshie said,

Same opinion here, too, though Java kicked my dog once and I've been angry at it ever since, so I might be a little biased.

Ran over my dog, then backed up over it to make sure. Same opinion. But I'd much rather code in Java than in Objectionable-C.

The andriod fanboys are the only ones that believe you need 2 gigs of ram + quadcore processor to make a phone usable. Its all about the code. I am sure the same people think that the more horsepower your car has, the faster it is too.

Correct about Android. Horsepower, however, while among many other things, does influence top speed (if that is what fast means) quite directly.

rippleman said,
The andriod fanboys are the only ones that believe you need 2 gigs of ram + quadcore processor to make a phone usable. Its all about the code. I am sure the same people think that the more horsepower your car has, the faster it is too.

Well it helps if the programs you want to run are actually developed for the phone you have...just sayin'.

rippleman said,
The andriod fanboys are the only ones that believe you need 2 gigs of ram + quadcore processor to make a phone usable. Its all about the code. I am sure the same people think that the more horsepower your car has, the faster it is too.

My Motorola Milestone (300mb ram) is still up and operative. It is unable to run some modern game of apps for Android 4.x but for the rest, it works pretty fine.

Android fanboy? Is that what you call someone who goes for better specs for lower price and more software to choose from? Lot of Android fanboys out there, apparently.

rippleman said,
The andriod fanboys are the only ones that believe you need 2 gigs of ram + quadcore processor to make a phone usable. Its all about the code. I am sure the same people think that the more horsepower your car has, the faster it is too.

Yup, "usable"… nothing more.

Yes. Your car might have larger engine, off-the-shelf parts and plenty of room, but it is also very heavy, therefore it might lose the race.

startscreennope said,
Android fanboy? Is that what you call someone who goes for better specs for lower price and more software to choose from? Lot of Android fanboys out there, apparently.

I'm yet to find an Android that cost the same as my Lumia 520 and operates as smooth. More apps? The apps I need for a phone are available too. So, yeah.

sanctified said,
I'm yet to find an Android that cost the same as my Lumia 520 and operates as smooth.
Hate to break it to you but verizon and at&t's website don't even sell that phone anymore. On both sites the Nokia 920 is $100 w/ 2 year contract, while you can find Androids with the same or better specs for free w/ 2 year contract.

$100 cheaper, same or better specs, better software ecosystem, just as smooth in daily use w/ Android 4.1+. Don't pull the smoothness FUD, Android 4.1+ is as smooth as it gets.

I had 4.1 on my note 2 and its extreme specs and was still lag, guessing its not from andriod but rather touch wiz, no lag at all on my nexus 4 with 4.2.2 but it shouldn't. If it did, I would sell instataly and never go back to driod.

startscreennope said,
Hate to break it to you but verizon and at&t's website don't even sell that phone anymore. On both sites the Nokia 920 is $100 w/ 2 year contract, while you can find Androids with the same or better specs for free w/ 2 year contract.

$100 cheaper, same or better specs, better software ecosystem, just as smooth in daily use w/ Android 4.1+. Don't pull the smoothness FUD, Android 4.1+ is as smooth as it gets.

startscreennope said,
Don't pull the smoothness FUD, Android 4.1+ is as smooth as it gets.

Android 4.1+ is as smooth as Android will ever get.


There, fixed it for you.