Phew – it’s not all bad!
Today, I can score one up to WM5 – at least in terms of Symbian not having yet another practical advantage.
While Symbian devices are effectively permamently on – meaning that you can run processes in the background even when it’s in your pocket in an ‘inactive’ state – WM5 instead has a ‘Suspend’ mode, which it enters when you press the Power button. In this mode, Apps are, well, suspended, but the phone subsystem is still awake, and calls/alarms/notifications will still exit Suspend mode in order to execute.
So – I wondered… if I’m running an IM program like Agile Messenger, and put the device into suspend – will it still be able to receive IMs? Or will they queue until I next switch it on.
Well, a quick test shows that the device does switch on almost instantaneously when a message is received; perhaps due to the phone subsystem receiving the data, and waking up the device. So – it works as you’d want it to: you can leave Agile Messenger running, hit the power button, and it’ll still wake and ping you if a message is received.
Hopefully this should also apply to Skype – in which case using it for (unexpected) incoming calls is feasible.
There is still the power drain question: WM5 Pocket PC devices have to do a number of things when going into / out of Suspend mode, which can mean if you’re being pinged and waking the device every few minutes, it’s probably more efficient to leave the device permamently on.
The WM5 Team Blog also suggests that some apps simply keep the system fully On, even though the screen is blanked – this is Unattended mode. Apparently this is true for the WM5 version of Live Messenger, but hopefully isn’t for Agile (my preferred client) or Skype, otherwise we’ll be back to sub-working-day battery lives.