Verizon: No Windows Phones unless it supports LTE

Waiting for Verizon to finally offer a Mango handset this year ? Don’t waist your time because the company’s chief market officer, Marni Walden, has officially stated that the carrier won’t push Microsoft’s mobile OS unless the devices support LTE (the HTC Trophy is still on sale though).

“We’ve communicated to Microsoft that LTE is critical to us,” she said. “We need to see a timeline that makes sense if we want to continue to represent them.”

It doesn’t get lamer than that, right? The latest rumor is that Nokia is preparing an LTE version of the Lumia 800 for AT&T so it’s safe to assume that this one would also be carried by Verizon too but then again this is nothing more than a rumor. Keep in mind that to support LTE a 2nd generation Windows Phone 7 device will have to feature a Qualcomm MDM9600 multi-modem alongside it’s MSM8655 SoC.

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Why Android is laggy compared to Windows Phone 7 and iOS

I just came across the best in-depth explanation regarding the well known UI performance issues that Android exhibits even on really high-end devices compared to modest hardware running Windows Phone 7 or iOS. The lengthy post was written down by Andrew Munn (in response to Google’s Dianne Hackborn’s earlier post about GPU HW accel in Android here) who was an intern on Android team (and who is interning on the Windows Phone Team at Microsoft next month). There are a couple of errors in his description of the way iOS handles the UI thread so keep that in mind when reading him. Other than that it’s a fairly accurate view of why Android is and most probably will never be ass efficient as iOS and Windows phone when rendering UIs simply because of early design choices when the framework was created. Throwing more processing power seems to be the only solution so far (plus the addition of HW acceleration in so parts of the OS in Honeycomb and ICS).

There are three main causes:

- The UI rendering isn’t done in a separate dedicated high priority thread but in the main thread with normal priority instead
- GC (Garbage Colector) / Timing issues.
- Lack of Hardware acceleration in the vast majority of the OS and the way UI rendering is handled: “On iOS, each UI view is rendered separately and stored in memory, so many animations only require the GPU to recomposite UI views. GPUs are extremely good at this. Unfortunately, on Android, the UI hierarchy is flattened before rendering, so animations require every animating section of the screen to be redrawn.”

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Nokia Lumia 800 face off

Long story short: I now own two Nokia Lumia 800 phones. The one you see on the left was supposed to arrive a long while ago but got lost in translation so I bought my own a bit more than a week ago (the one on the left). Oh well never mind I guess I paid for one (on contract and finally got the other one free. Anyway the first thing I obviously did was to try to reproduced all the issues I have discussed in my previous post and sure enough they are all present on the second handset. That a good thing I guess because this implies that they are present on all handset and can most probably be fixed by a firmware update. There one big different between the two handset (which have exactly the same firmware, hardware revision number etc: The screen on the second Lumia 800 doesn’t exhibit the yellowish thin of the first one (the whites are brighter which means that the battery will be drained faster). I check the phone’s serial number and it seems like they are not from the same batch so the AMOLED panel is either not setup the same way or is also from a different manufacturing run (Both are Carrier branded but not by the same one..). Check out the picture below:

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Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone to be released on December 6th

Ready for some real Microsoft ecosystem cross platform integration? The Xbox Companion app will finally launch tomorrow (December 6th) alongside the consoles fall dashboard update according to Microsoft’s Major Nelson. This new Xbox Companion app will let you remotely control your Xbox 360 console through your Windows phone 7 handset similarly to a DLNA remote and will also give you access to some of the new console feature like Bing to search the unified Xbox catalog for movies, TV shows, music, games and apps.

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Carrier IQ not present on Windows Phones

I’m sure that you’ve all already hear about the Carrier IQ mess that’s been making the headlines today and which started earlier last month after Trevor Eckhart over at the XDA-Devs forums found out about the tracking software on most Android handsets. As it turns out more than 121Million devices have the Carrier IQ installed logging phone usage, keystrokes etc and sending everything to the carriers or OEMS. HTC, Samsung Sprint AT&T Apple (prior to iOS5) etc are all involved. If you are a Windows Phone users you should then be happy to know than none of the WP7 devices are “infected” by this according to Joe Belfiore. Nokia has also issued a statement saying that none of their devices have it either (this includes S40, Symbian, WP7, Meego phones)

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Nokia Lumia 900 rumor

Another day goes by and another rumor is sees the light of the day. This time it’s the return of the mythical Nokia Ace now dubbed the Nokia Lumia 900 which is said to be nothing more than a Lumia 800 with a 4.3″ screen (CBD AMOLED) instead of 3.7″ and only US bound (early 2012) and will be running Windows Phone Tango. Chances of this being true ? I don’t know but let’s thinker a bit here… a 4.3″ WVGA AMOLED display would look like crap unless it’s has an RGB matrix which is currently exclusive to Samsung in the form of the Super AMOLED Plus panel used on the Samsung Galaxy S II and Samsung Focus S. Now, given that Samsung is also the manufacturer of the AMOLED panels on Nokia’s devices it’s safe to assume that this rumored Nokia Lumia 900 sports a PenTile Matrix panel. But why wouldn’t it have an RGB panel you say? Well like I said; Samsung is keeping it to themselves for now on (it’s one of the main selling feature for their SII and Focus S phones) and even Motorola got handed a crappy 4.3″ QHD PenTile panel for their top of the line Razr handset.

More surprising things have happened before so maybe this Nokia Lumia 900 is indeed coming soon with a super amazing AMOLED panel or maybe not. Where’s my salt?

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