Lumia 800 'won't change the world', but Nokia will build bridge to feature phone market, reckons Revo's Hanganu

Attractive for new adopters

Lumia 800 'won't change the world', but Nokia will build bridge to feature phone market, reckons Revo's Hanganu
It's possible that in a couple of year's time Nokia's Lumia brand will have been consigned to history.

The coming weeks will cast light on just how much of a future it has, yet either way, it certainly marks the start of a long family of Nokia devices running Windows Phone.

According to Romanian outfit Revo Solution's lead developer Andrei Hanganu, it's this longterm partnership between Microsoft and Nokia that could "change the world", rather than the flagship Lumia 800 itself, with Hanganu arguing only Nokia can bridge the gap to the feature phone market.

We caught up with Andrei for his take on all things Windows Phone.

Pocket Gamer: Mango updates Windows Phone's Xbox Live hub and Marketplace. Do you think this will make any difference to a game's visibility?

Andrei Hanganu: Mango brings a bit more of the Xbox Live experience onto mobile. Compared to other markets, this delivers more than just featuring and promoting some titles, and that's good news for the user.

I suppose Microsoft itself picks the user suggested apps from some sort of pool – hopefully it'll push quality games on this front.

Mango also adds multitasking to the platform. Was this a feature you'd been looking for?
Rise Of Glory already saved a player's progress even when multitasking wasn't fully supported – for us, the only difference with the native support is the absence of a loading screen, and that's always welcome.

Have you re-coded any titles to take advantage of Mango?

We worked with Microsoft on an updated version of Rise of Glory for Mango. Luckily, very little code had to be changed to implement new features.

A small update with multitasking support and to enable 60 frames per second has been online for some time. The last part of the update - Live tiles and ringtones from the game - was certified a couple days ago and should hit the Marketplace any time now.

None of these are exactly game features, but they serve as nice toys the user can enjoy.

What's your take on the platform's performance so far?

I prefer not to give numbers, but they are not very high compared to other platforms.

However, Windows Phone Marketplace does has its advantages. Conversion rates from the lite version to full version are very high, for instance.

The bottom line is, install counts are not the highest, but we think this will change in time.

What do you make of Nokia's first two devices - the Lumia 800 in particular? Will it change Windows Phone's standing in the market?

I don't think Lumia 800 will change the world – it's definitely not a 'spec star' compared to what some of the competion has on the market, so it's unlikely to start turning users from one platform to another. It just looks like a reasonable smartphone at an appealing price.

The real game-changer is the Microsoft-Nokia partnership itself, and not one specific handset. While both iOS and Android are driven by consumers searching for the best specs, Microsoft and Nokia can act as a bridge between the feature phone market and the smartphone market.

They can release a variety of handsets together, targeting consumers who pick their phones based on things like case colour rather than what the CPU clock is. That's a huge market, where the two parties can sit very elegantly.

How do you think Mango compares to the likes of iOS 5 or Ice Cream Sandwich?

It's actually funny how Microsoft seems to be taking the lead in terms of delivering an extremely simplistic interface.

Mango is not as stuffed with features as the other two operating systems, but that may well be more appealing to some consumers.

Is there anything missing from Mango from a game development perspective? Where should Microsoft go next?

What we are definitely missing is the option to create and deploy native applications.

XNA is a great tool, but a lot of people have developed great tech for smartphones that's not compatible in any way with the platform. The day we can deploy native apps on the Marketplace will be a good one indeed.
Thanks to Andrei for his time.

You can find out more about Revo Solution Games on the firm's website.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.