WindowPhoneHacker have been teasing a new app which they call Mass Storage which would allow a user to transfer files to and from their Windows Phone.
The app has however nothing to do with USB Mass Storage mode, and actually transfers files over a data network with WindowsPhoneHackerâ€™s servers mediating the connection between the phone and a PC. A nice advantage of this method is that the transfer should work with any PC with a data connection without the need to install client software on that PC. The disadvantage is that both the PC and phone will need a working data connection, which may be a problem in some locations.
Jaxbot notes the app does not need root privileges to run, so it should presumably be OK to submit to Marketplace, which is exactly what we hope they do.
1800PocketPC have posted an interview with the famous Windows Phone Hacker from the eponymous website.
Jaxbot is revealed as a hard-working student who has also dabbled in Linux and who started as a Windows Mobile hacker.
He is a Samsung Focus user who interestingly does not use his phone for much more than communicating, noting his Xbox Hub was completely empty.
About Windows Phone as a mobile OS he says:
Currently, with WP7 and the way itâ€™s advertised, I donâ€™t see it competing directly against the other players. I feel like WP has itâ€™s own niche, a place for people who want a simple, sleek, fast phone, who are not overly concerned with being able to power-use their phone in the way iOS or Android users do. I say this because the capabilities of the phones are very different; Android allows much more flexibility in applications and the feel of the system is quite different, and reminds me of the good days with my Windows Mobile devices (except, in this case, much more usable). WP has a very limited scope for applications, and focuses on a consistent, fast, secure user experience, which certainly has its advantages. The way Microsoft leads the platform will determine a lot of things, but simply put, I feel like WP currently serves a role in the market that is rather different from other two big platforms.
He notes that the developer unlock system is the same in Windows Phone 8 as Windows Phone 7, and expected the homebrew scene to continue even in with the new OS.
One problem with using notifications, such as the excellent push notifications on the official WMPoweruser app, is that they may very well end up waking you up at night, as Windows Phone 7 does not include any way to mute notifications during certain hours.
If you device is unlocked, JMD Software may have the answer. Their latest app, Snotify, is a Windows Phone 7.5 application that silences notification sounds based on a schedule. The application will let you set a schedule to turn off notification sounds once a day and keep you waking up at nights due to emails, text messages or toast notifications.
The app needs access to the registry, so needs a fully unlocked phone or an unlocked phone compatible with WP7 Root Tools.
Djfoxer on XDA-Developers has created an app which makes it simple to assign ring tones to your SMS alert sounds.
His homebrew app makes it easy to select from your list of custom ring tones, but given that the SMS alert will continue for the duration of the ring tone (up to 30 seconds) it is probablyÂ a good idea to add shorter sounds specifically for the SMS alert.
Unfortunately like all the better hacks, MyRingtone2SMS needs a fully unlocked handset or WP7 Root Tools.
If you have a unlocked Windows Phone with root access, and you wish to use one Live ID for app purchases (maybe to get lower US prices) while using another for everything else, a homebrew solution has just popped up on XDA-Developers.
ID Switch lets you switch the primary live id on the phone and then buy the app by making registry changes and then rebooting the phone. When the phone turns on again, it uses the id provided by the user and treats this as primary id. To make purchases you still need the password for that ID however.
WindowsPhoneHacker have updated his home brew Orientation Lock app, which, as the name suggests, disables the accelerometer on Windows Phone 7, allowing one to read your email in bed easily for example without the screen constantly flipping.
The updated app now, besides bug fixes and optimizations, features a secondary live tile which can be pinned to your home screen and which acts as a quick toggle for the functionality of the app.
If you tap on it the application will fire up for about half a second, then close and take you back to start.
Orientation Lock v3 need a developer unlocked handset, but not Interop unlocked, so should be accessible to the 100,000 registered app developers .
We posted yesterday about the lucky few Nokia Lumia 710 and 800 handsets shipping with an unlocked Qualcomm bootloader, meaning those owners can easily flash custom interop unlocked ROMs which will basically let them go to town with homebrew software.
Now G-gabber on XDA-Developers have found a signed unlocked Qualcomm ROM for the Nokia Lumia 710, meaning Nokiaâ€™s official Nokia Connection Suite can be used to easily downgrade any Nokia Lumia 710 to an unlocked bootloader, at which point of course the device is wide open for custom ROMs.
The bootloader will unfortunately not work for Nokia Lumia 800 handsets, as the signature is specific to the Nokia Lumia 710.
It seems the experiment of providing cheap developer unlock for Windows Phones have come to an abrupt halt, with ChevronWP7 shutting down and unlocked handsets automatically relocking in 120 days.
Of course after selling $90,000 worth of unlock tokens in about 2 months from November last year, the ChevronWP7 team did close down any further sales in January already for unclear reasons.
Those reasons have now been revealed â€“ apparently the aim was â€œ First, to determine if we could supercharge the Windows Phone beginner/hobbyist community by removing the initial cost barrier (i.e. App Hub membership.) And second, to convert potential developers into published developers.â€
Apparently the second goal (ie Microsoftâ€™s goal) did not quite work out as expected. It should really not have come as any surprise â€“ the unlock was really only for non-technical users who wanted to use homebrew apps, and any developer who was remotely serious about developing for marketplace would as easily pay $9 as $99.
For the 10,000 people who have already unlocked their handsets however all is not lost â€“ If they are in a supported country they can sign up for App Hub, and Microsoft will refund their $99 cost within 60 days. If you are not in a supported country however it appears you are out of luck.
Supporting the Home Brew community in a limited fashion won Microsoft a lot of goodwill. With this really falling away, while the home brew community is blooming at the other end, one wonders what kind of backlash Microsoft can expect.