Microsoft offers Windows Phone app hints for Tango

As we reported earlier today, Microsoft's has revealed some of the new features along with the hardware and software limitations of the upcoming lower cost Windows Phone devices such as the Lumia 610. These phones, which will have the "Tango" software update, will have an upper limit of 256 MB of memory and as such not all of the current Windows Phone apps will be able to run on those devices.

Today the Windows Phone developers blog site has some helpful hints for app developers to make sure their creations are able to run on Windows Phone devices with that new lower limit in place.

Microsoft's Mike Battista says that one way to optimize a Windows Phone app is to keep the app's startup time as fast as possible. He states:

The basic guidance here is to defer as much activity as possible until the first frame of your application is rendered. This means minimizing code in App/Page constructors and keeping Launching/OnNavigatedTo activity minimal.

The simple task of adding a splash screen to a Windows Phone app can also increase its startup time. The reason, according to Battista, is that " ... this frame is drawn by the OS itself as part of the launch sequence."

Memory leaks can also decrease an app's performance. Battista gives an example of such a situation: "Apps which use a home button, for instance, can result in circular navigation loops which can fill the back stack with redundant page instances."

Creating a responsive and efficient user interface for a Windows Phone app can also help when they are run on Tango-based lower cost phones. Battista says:

Balancing the tradeoff between style and performance is a decision that should be made per app. If transition animations are causing performance problems in your app, disabling them completely, or at least on low-memory devices only, can significantly improve in-app navigation performance.

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yardmanflex said,
So if devs target tango spec phone there apps might/should run better on higher end phones.

These look like general tips anyway, more like information for people without a lot of experience creating apps. It looks like Windows phone 8 might give a lot of boosts.

Gaffney said,

These look like general tips anyway, more like information for people without a lot of experience creating apps. It looks like Windows phone 8 might give a lot of boosts.

Exactly...

The ease of development with the platform has created a new class of developers that are more graphic designers or tinkerers, when they can throw text and images into Blend, not write a single line of code, and create fairly impressive applications.

Anyone that was 'around' and programming when VB 1.0 and 2.0 hit the market in 1992, will remember it was a massive shift in the level of developers and access to development to non-developers.

Both were 'good' in bringing rather complex development concepts to a level that anyone can use, but there is always the adjustment period of things and help that non-developers need since many have no idea what a memory leak or other things that slow down their App.

Sounds like, true to form, Microsoft will be working with developers and providing plenty of documentation for apps to be able to run efficiently on these lower powered devices, which will benefit everyone. Sounds good to me.

I wish it didn't have the same name as an app - one of the options we have until Skype for WP is released to the public. I keep forgetting Tango is the name of the next update. Yes, I know I shouldn't expect Microsoft to give info on another company's product. Just had one of those moments.

This does sound good for the next update.