Windows Phone “Apollo” reportedly arriving middle of 2012

By Tom Warren, on 27th Oct 11 4:59 pm with 71 Comments

Windows Phone Apollo

Microsoft’s next major update to Windows Phone, codenamed Apollo, is due to arrive in the middle of next year according to reports.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone Apollo will be a “very different game” according to Michael Halbherr, a senior Nokia executive who spoke to Engadget at Nokia World this week. Halbherr confirmed to the gadget site that Microsoft is planning to launch the update in mid-2012. Nokia is currently pushing Microsoft to support NFC and a better “positioning framework” for Windows Phone. Little is known about Apollo at this stage but industry insiders believe the codename will eventually become known as Windows Phone 8.

Microsoft is already working on its next versions of Windows Phone. Tango is believed to be an interim release between Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” and the next-generation of Windows Phone, currently codenamed “Apollo.” There is reportedly two versions of Tango scheduled for release before Windows Phone “Apollo” is ready. Tango is allegedly designed with Nokia in mind and focused on lowering the price point for entry Windows Phone handsets. Windows Phone build 7.10.8200 was recently discovered in server side logs of a Windows Phone application. A screenshot, believed to be a Tango build, also leaked last month and demonstrated a new device search feature for Windows Phones.

Microsoft has already started seeking customer feedback for its Windows Phone future releases. The software giant is curating feedback from end users to record the most requested features for future versions of Windows Phone. The feedback is recorded and publicly viewable for others to rate and comment on over at Microsoft’s suggestions forum. Top requests include enable all (bing)features for non US-countriesDevice Backup and Turn-by-turn GPS.

  • Anonymous

    Windows phone is sexy and I know it.

    • http://twitter.com/Koki_v3 Koki_v3

      wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle…. oh wait

  • Harsha

    Tangyo 1 is not released yet, Tango 2 is not der yet…Appollo Rumors, Keep them coming !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guest2009

    Hmm, will this update be available to current models? Seems unlikely, but I hope so ^^

    • Jinge

      I think they said you can have at least 1 major update. So it probably will.
      Anyway I think the new hardware specs in 2012 may push you to change ;)

    • Anonymous

      based on the 2 year contract model, it is reasonable for mst to drop phones from the upgrade train after 3 years. meaning you’ll get apollo no matter what. will it have every feature enabled? off course not, you can’t simulate hardware sensors in software. But I see no reason MSFT can’t push an update to a gen1 phone a year from now.

    • Anonymous

      Well, Mango brought all the standard sensors into play. Unless they bring out a barometer or something, we a pretty much covered on sensors. FFC is supported, so basically the next major hardware item would be NFC, at least that I can think of.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_D6WUPKQ2XQANZT4VXR3NWK32YY Sam

      Yeah that’s what I’m wondering. Is this like a Mango update but with only newer devices being able to upgrade (like Android ICS) or is this something that will only be made available for devices designed to run it?

    • Anonymous

      “like Android ICS”

      windows phone isn’t made by google. that’s why it will work :)

    • Collins

      No. It will only work for devices able to run it. See my answer above.

    • Anonymous

      That will be great but I’m okay if WP8 marches on only with newer HW. Most people here upgrade every two years anyway.

    • Anonymous

      if you can install windows 7 on an machine built 10 years ago, why would you not be able to install this update in your year 1.5 year old phone? this is microsoft we are talking about. not some advertisement company with an OS :)

    • Anonymous

      Ok, 1st gen devices, may or may not get the Apollo update, most likely so. (Just the part of the managed way that MS is handling WP7, it will partly depend on the carrier) A first gen unlocked device, yes it will get the Apollo update.

      2nd gen WP7 devices will for sure get Apollo.

      Now, that said, if you dont have the hardware, NFC for instance, then you get the update, you just dont get the NFC functionality, of course.

    • Collins

      As far as I know neither WP7 or WP8 will ever run on more than one SoC (WP7 on the Qualcom S2 and and WP8 on Qualcom S4). As a result, WP7 devices will never get upgraded to WP8 as WP8 will not run on WP7 generation hardware. Of course, WP8 will also run apps that were developed for WP7.

      For programers this is similar to a blessing from heaven! A programmer can target WP7 ensuring the app runs on every available windows phone (largest market), or target WP8 if the app needs the extra hardware muscle. In both cases programmers need not worry about varying hardware configurations. This allows programmers to optimize the hell out of their software and take full advantage of the targeted hardware platform… no messing
      about with hardware fragmentation.

      Furthermore I have a hunch MS will keep delivering updates for WP7 even after WP8 is released. For example the WP7 calendar will get updated to whatever is running on WP8, so not getting upgraded to WP8 wouldn’t mean getting left behind.

      If this is true than MS truly has a unique release concept and a very very good one at that.

  • Mobile user

    WP7 does not support NFC and other features until Appolo is a bad sign. I thought they would support those features in Tango release. This will be like year behind Android and iOS. MS needs to stop playing catch up in terms of features.

    • Anonymous

      i thought ios does not support NFC yet !!! what are the other features you are talking about?

    • Anonymous

      correct, iOS doesn’t. because it is pretty useless at this point :) may as well add support for flux capacitors too while on the subject of useless things.

    • Anonymous

      I guess they have to change the kernel to the real Windows 8 kernel with the Apollo release to support dual-core and NFC.

      And the Lumia family may be coming in february with Tango1 (LTE support) to the U.S.

    • Anonymous

      lol. no. the kernel is a multi-tasked kernel. MSFT needs to develop a chasis specification. the software itself could support as many cores as you throw at it.

    • Anonymous

      That’s not true. Windows Phone 7 is build on Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3 which doesn’t support dual-cores. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Embedded_CE_6.0 )

      Windows Embedded Compact 7 has dual core support but that is not running inside Windows Phone 7. But I believe that Microsoft is switching to the real NT kernel with Apollo, that may also be a reason why they enabled ARM support in the next version of Windows NT.

    • Anonymous

      MSFT has been creating kerners for multi cores since the 90s. no reason they can’t do that for wp7 in a matter of days. the real reason is the chasis specification needs to be out there before carriers can make it. as you recall, they are not allowed to just put a dual core cpu without consent from msft. part of the agreement to get wp requires them to adhere to the chasis specs to make sure battery life as well as usability is consistent across devices.

    • Anonymous

      NFC isn’t going anywhere in 6 months. couldn’t care less.

    • Anonymous

      NFC is a nothing feature until retailers support it. Why the obsession?

    • Anonymous

      Retailers won’t support it until phones have it. And it future proofs your phone for a while.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/6G3ZZJCHOLYP3S5CRCIHQ7WDSE MVIM

      Exactly. I have yet to even find a retailer that supports NFC for phones. Meanwhile, the direct-contact magnetic strip reader and coin-counting human being/vending machine that nearly every retailer in America has works just fine for accepting my payments.

    • Anonymous

      Are they really playing catch up anymore?  I think they’ve reached feature parity with Android and iOS; now it’s just a matter of some features are available on x while others are available on y and z.  

      For instance, Android supports NFC, but iOS and WP7 don’t (yet).  WP7 has built-in Twitter AND Facebook integration that lets you check your feed, see notifications, and update your status.  In iOS, Twitter is built-in, but you can’t update your status from the OS natively, you still have to use the Twitter app to do that.  Android, iOS, and WP7 have voice controls, but Siri is the best of the bunch.  And the list goes on…

    • phil jay

      Well Android still has lots and lots of features… But it doesn’t matter, now Mango supports features that are actually expected and I actually use them because they are done very nicely(love the vision thing, I never have to type anything interesting in I see in a newspaper anymore!). It’s not about implementing thousands of gimmiks no one uses.

    • AlokC

      Did the article anywhere say that NFC will first appear in WP8 / Apollo?  There has been earlier discussions about Tango supporting NFC.

    • Collins

      The article didn’t, but the current hardware specs don’t mention NFC at all. The missing spec tells me that it’s highly unlikely we will see NFC on WP7, ever (NFC isn’t just a software update). However, WP8 will utilize qualcomm’s Krait SoC which has an NFC chip built in. This evidence strongly suggests we will get NFC on WP8, but not before.

    • Anonymous

      NFC is unless at this point. What are you going to use NFC for, passing contacts and files between other phones? 

  • http://twitter.com/abhi1manyu Abhimanyu Jamwal

    wow! so there will be two releases in next 8 to 9 months…thats awesome and means before the next release of android and iOS, we will be on par or may be ahead of the game….bring it on microsoft, lets get this going all out for the kill :)

  • Adam

    cant wait to see what apollo will bring, hopefully this

    • Beyercüst

      The video doesn’t work..

  • BigChiefSmokem

    I have turn by turn GPS already in Mango via Bing or am I missing something??

    Looks real nice too formatted specially for the phone.

    • Anonymous

      it is not hands free turn by turn. that’s what people want.

    • Anonymous

      Its such an easy update that I hope they just include it in Tango.

    • OMG55

      I was driving my car the other day going to a destination and to my surprise, when I went a route that was not on the bing route, my phone told me I went off course and to get back on a specific route. If thats not turn by turn, then what is? if it knew I was off course, I’m sure it would have told me when to exit, etc.

    • Anonymous

      you must have never used a hands free gps. WP7 FORCES YOU to tap after each turn point to get voice nav to the next. nothing out there is so silly. even my garmin 1990′s inspired stick on windshield doesn’t required me to tap anything to get the next verbal directions after a turn point.

    • Anonymous

      I just ask that you don’t drive with it, by yourself that is. Please!

      I LOVE WP7, but the turn by turn that is built in is just plain dangerous and needs to be fixed ASAP.

    • Collins

      1) Compared to what Nokia offers on the new Lumia 800 Bing is a complete joke.
      2) Outside of the U.S.A. Bing maps are absolutely useless.
      Functionally both are still far far away from a real navigation system (iGo, Tom Tom, etc), but that is where windows phone needs to be!

    • BigChiefSmokem

      I used Bing’s Nav again and I see what you guys are talking about. It needs more voice commands and no tapping at all and it’ll be good. Sucks that Bing maps suck outside the U.S. ; is Nokia’s coverage better?

      So we want Nokia’s GPS on all WP7? I wouldn’t mind that at all.

    • Collins

      Nokia owns the company Navteq. Navteq provides mapping data of the entire world (including 69 million points of interest). If you buy a high-end navigation solution, chances are it is based on Navteq data. Apparently Bing maps also use Navteq data, but Microsoft has only licensed it for the U.S.A. This might change going forward, now that the two companies are working together more closely, but who knows?

      Apart from the mapping data a real navigation solution also must be able to:
      - guide you into the correct traffic lanes
      - use real time traffic information for route calculation
      - let me specify routing options (fastest, most economical)
      - let me specify road types (no freeways, without toll booths, etc)
      - let me specify vehicle type (truck, car, motorcycle) and route accordingly
      - offer voice guidance
      - tell me which exit to take from roundabouts
      - help me find and display public parking, gas stations etc.
      - render in 3D
      All of this has been around for years. If what is available on other Nokia devices is anything to go by, then the Nokia Drive app will offer this at some point. However, I would prefer to see this on an all WP7 devices… something that WP7 can really use to stand out with!

  • How Much Longer WP7?

    Middle of next year?! Nokia go to hell!

    • Anonymous

      Uh… what? Why are you mad at Nokia that Microsoft is pushing out updates at an incredibly rapid pace, lest we forget TWO tango updates will hit before Apollo

    • How Much Longer WP7?

      Ooops! You’re right!  I had been reading so much disappointing news from Nokia’s US release that I thought this was one of them!  I should have read more carefully, haha!

    • Anonymous

      Nokia hasnt had their US release yet, where were you reading all of this at?

    • Anonymous

      Let me see if I can help. In the keynote, Stephen Elop said “We will be bring a portfolio of devices to the US market, including CDMA and LTE, in early 2011.”

      So, in January, in Las Vegas is this somewhat important convention called the Consumer Electronics Show.

      Months ago, Nokia said Nokia USA was working on designs targeted at the US market.

      Don’t get so frustrated and impatient, does your soul no good. Instead, think of the unveiling of the 800 as a movie trailer of coming attractions. We are going to get some Nokia/Mango goodness, its just taking a bit of time to ripen. :)

    • How Much Longer WP7?

      what I meant to say is Nokia’s “lack of” US release. and I read everywhere.  I’m anxious for a good windows phone device like most ppl in these forums.

    • Anonymous

      you’re incorrectly assuming nokia will not release more mango/tango sets between then.

    • AlokC

      What was that about?  What did Nokia do wrong about Apollo coming in mid-2012?

      Did you even understand what the Nokia exec said?

    • Guest

      Is this the alias you reserve for the really stupid comments?

  • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

    It’s the same schedule as NoDo and Mango..  So that’s no surprise.

    I suspect that Nokia released the N9 as a test concept to push Microsoft in a direction that Nokia would like to go.

    Namely “NFC” and “buttonless designs”.  It’s possible that WP8 may work similarly to Windows 8.  In that it doesn’t rely on hardware  buttons.  It’s likely that the search, back, etc. buttons will slide in and out like Windows 8 “charms”.   

    Like keyboards and virtual keyboards if you have hardware buttons it will use them but if you don’t the buttons will be displayed for you in the OS.  They may even be able to to detect your finger as it gets close to the screen.

    I think we’ll seee more of this duality between hardware options combined with corresponding software ones in the years ahead.  So you’ll porobably see the same thing for joysticks, etc.

    • Anonymous

      there isn’t a chance in hell they will get rid of the back, home, search. instant backlash. NFC will surely be around for the minority that actually has a use for it. personally I couldn’t care less for dual cores, nfc, or more/less buttons. I want software features, which is what matters for real and where the next generation mobile war will be fought. the days of competing on stupid hardware specs are numbered just like it is in the mac vs pc war.

    • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

      I didn’t say they will get rid of them.  Just that it would work like soft keyboards.   If your phone has the buttons it will use the buttons if not it will create it in software.  Just like phones with slide out keyboards.

      This gives people the choice in what kind of hardware/design they want in their phone.  They can go with a simplistic edge to edge screen design or something with lots of hardware buttons.

    • Collins

      With the exception of NFC I agree totally! With NFC we’ve got a chicken-egg problem. Putting NFC chips in all handsets is probably the best place to start.

  • Anonymous

    My guess is Apollo will support HD resolution as the primary feature along with more TellMe capabilities. Siri has made MSFT up their game.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, it’s time for MS to get Siriouse about speech :)

    • Guest

      Yeah, WP7 is using Bing speech which still hasn’t integrated TellMe’s capabilities. Sounds like they’re on it now and that will change over the next year, but as usual they’re late.

    • Anonymous

      Dont care how late they are, as WP7 showed its also usually much MUCH better

    • Pacifica1

      Also dual-core and 3D would help appeal to a lot of people.

    • Collins

      Dual-core, LTE and a higher resolution display are things they will definitely give us. From what I’ve heard the novelty of 3D displays has already worn off (marketing potential is almost non existent at this point), so I doubt that will be in the mix.

  • http://kissride.wordpress.com Candide Yams

    So does this mean ms nerd was right?

    http://msnerd.tumblr.com/post/11725284513/rhythm

  • http://www.facebook.com/MRWisbey Morgan Wisbey

    So what this tells me is I should hang on to my Samsung Focus and wait until July for the new Apollo devices. The reason is AT&T will surely not allow me to upgrade my device in 7 months so I may as well wait.

  • Anonymous

    Mid year is the normal time for a release, lets not forget that 7.5 was RTM in July.

    Nokia, Microsoft, and all other OEMs should stop talking about the next version though. If they start talking about how great it will be, they will end up making people not buying now and wait until that’s out

  • http://www.mainstreetchatham.com/ JimmyFal

    Do you think Android and Apple will be able to compete with Windows Phone, all I have to do is look at an Android and I want to barf. Leo LAPorte must be on acid like Steve.

  • Anonymous

    Apolllo musts for me 1. Skype built in so I can call a number and have a choice to use Skype credit. 2. Built in Lync divide People feed personal/business same thing with Messenger online contacts. 3. Native Outlook client – MS lets do this!

  • Owais_503

    nice pic u use up threre… Tom

  • http://twitter.com/calimike1 JAG

    Is there WP 7.6, 7.7, 7.8, 7.9 and 8 incoming?

  • Anonymous

    Microsoft has pretty much caught up to the competition in regard to the major features. now they have to think how to get ahead and let the competition play catch up. 

    • Anonymous

      Microsoft should chase that concept video they put out. Keep innovating until they reach the dream.

  • Moid Iqbal

    do the current devices will be updated to the newer version?