imageApparently Microsoft took to heart the criticism that almost every review of Windows phone 7 had – that the applications had to restart every time that the lock screen was disabled. As we noted, developers do have access to disable the app from closing when the lock screen is enabled but they’ve gone a step further to make it easier to enable this (and now the user does not need to be notified as long as requirements are met). Here are the new requirements:

  • The minimum battery life of the phone must be greater than six hours while the application plays audio under a locked screen. If an application is not playing audio when the phone is locked, the application must remain idle while the phone screen is locked.
  • Applications that do not play audio under a locked screen: The minimum battery life of the phone must be greater than 120 hours while the application is running under a locked screen.

One other change deals with music and the goal is to let you keep listening to your music and not the app:

When the user is already playing music on the phone when the application is launched, the application must not pause, resume, or stop the active music in the phone MediaQueue by calling the Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Media.MediaPlayer class.
If the application plays its own background music or adjusts background music volume, it must ask the user for consent to stop playing/adjust the background music (e.g. message dialog or settings menu).

On the memory side they have also reduced the amount of RAM that an app can use (which should make apps faster, less laggy and easier on the battery while loading faster). They’ve also extended the ability to upload photos to third party sites that can integrate right into the photo viewer lie native apps.

You can get more details from the Windows Phone Developer Blog.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Nice to see that Microsoft is focusing on battery life and memory with regard to 3rd party apps. But if the only reason is because their own built-in apps are so power and memory hungry the user experience will be dimished if anything else is running (think Sense) then they need to get back to the drawing board right quick or push the development of 2Ghz processors and fuel cells.

    I don’t expect we will have any real tools to analyze WP performance (no task manager, etc.) so when you launch a 3rdParty app and your phone becomes sluggish, you are going to blame the app. While the real culprit may be the OS using 98% of available resources. Looking forward to some real world feedback.

  2. Battery life is a very important issue and i’m glad they are carefully watching what they allow to go on. I need my active user experience to be enjoyable far more than I need perceived must haves that are used seldomly.

  3. @jimski: I think your fear is MS’s fear. They have optimized the hell out of the OS (and that’s why there’s only one chip you can use at this time) so they now what the OS can do. The reason to prevent multitasking and ‘bad’ apps is that they don’t want them to ruin the experience of the OS. It’s the opposite of Android that let’s anything and everything run until you have no battery left. MS is being careful to not let developers ruin what they’ve done and I think from all indications the battery life on WP7 is in line with other smart phones and the snappiness of the phones is top notch. They won’t let third party apps ruin that.

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