One of the new features of Windows Phone 8.1 is Live Lock screens, which allows 3rd party developers to create their own interactive lock screens which overlay the actual Windows phone lock screen.
Microsoft is however currently limited access to the new APIs to only a few developers, and we do not yet know if they will be opening it up widely to all.
That has never however stopped the folks at XDA-Developers, where user -W_O_L_F- has uploaded a XAP for InterOp Unlocked devices like the Samsung ATIV S which brings the first true 3rd party Live Lock screen.
That by itself is not that interesting, but the app also supports controlling music from the lock screen, a really useful feature when driving for example, when you may not want to fiddle with the volume buttons to get access to the drop down controls.
Unfortunately the official API uses Silverlight technology, which means official apps may not in fact have access to the music transport controls, which is a pity.
If you have an Interop unlocked device and is feeling experimental, drop by this thread at XDA-Developers to try it out yourself. User snickler has also uploaded a version which can be used on the WP8.1 emulator.
LordMaxey on XDA-Developers has managed to Interop unlock the Nokia Lumia 520 using the JTAG approach.
This hardware-based hack uses a Advanced Turbo Flasher box and clips which connects directly to the chipset of a disassembled handset to write directly to the flash memory of the handset, and by doing this LordMaxey was able to bypass the security of the Windows Phone 8 OS and enable to handset to accept modifications to the registry and side-load arbitrary apps. The hack also survived the upgrade to WP 8.1.
An Interop unlock allows a number of high-privilege app capabilities, which can be used to make changes to the OS which are normally not possible for a third-party app. The name comes from ID_CAP_INTEROPSERVICES, the capability which was most important in WP7. In WP8, however, there are a great many interesting capabilities.
The approach is of course not very useful for the average Nokia Lumia 520 owner who does not have access to the hardware, though one could potentially set up a shop to unlock people’s handsets, but the work may enable hackers to work on a software-based approach which will be more widely applicable.
Bored geeks can do some rather interesting things, such as XDA-Developer member Moonlits, who, failing to get the leaked WP 8.1 SDK running on his PC, decided to grab the disk image included and try and boot it up on his old netbooks.
Surprisingly this went a lot better than expected, with a functional version of Windows Phone 8.1 appearing on both his Samsung NC10 and Asus eeePC 701SD.
Of course, as can be seen from the video, the UI does not fit very well into the landscape screen, and Moonlits reports most buttons do nothing, making this more of a demo than anything practical.
Many have said Microsoft should be using Windows Phone as their low-cost PC OS. After seeing the demo, do our readers still think that’s a good idea? Let us know below.
Well, that did not take long. Even before the first Nokia X has shipped the handset has already been rooted by XDA-Developers, and Google suite of applications , including Google Play Store, various Google Apps, and the Google Experience Launcher has been installed on the handset.
Given the infinite malleability of Android, I suspect it is pure delusion for Microsoft and Nokia to think they can funnel users to Microsoft’s ecosystem when it is so easy to get the real Android deal from Google.
Nokia and Microsoft’s ambition is to sell cheap handsets and gain Microsoft customers, but the hack demonstrates that the cheap handsets will still end up mostly being used by Google customers, which was the reason Nokia went Windows Phone in the first instance – to differentiate you need your own platform, not cribbing from some-one else’s.
It seems the Huwei Ascend W1 is not the most secure handset, as hackers on XDA-Developers have manage to load a custom ROM on the device.
Apparently the handset can be set to accept an unsigned ROM, allowing the Custom ROM to be flashed as any other official update.
As of yet there is no obvious implications except for a custom splash screen, but I suspect it will not bee too long before we see a variety of apps from other OEMs and other more nefarious hacks showing up.
See a video of the device booting up after the break.
An XDA-Dev Hacker Good Day to Die has managed to finally succeed in Interop Unlocking his Samsung ATIV S.
The hack relies on a vulnerability introduced by the Samsung Diagnostics app, meaning it is not yet transferable to other handsets, but of course the XDA-Dev hackers are hard at work trying to extend the crack in the Windows Phone defences.
Theoretically the hack will allow hackers to run unlimited number of pirated apps, but the hack also allows developers to access part of the operating system and APIs normally reserved only for Microsoft and its OEMs.
It seems XDA-Developers, built on a culture of sharing, has recently become a very different place, with ROM cooks holding on to the base ingredients for their ROMs instead of making it available to the rest of the community.
In a small sign of change, the RTM version of Windows Phone 7.8 has finally been made freely available and can be download from HD2Ownerâ€™s thread on XDA-Developers here.
Label=WM7_Main_Ship ParentBranchBuild=8858 TimeStamp=20121105-2048 Builder=mojobld sys contains all 24 langs and is in "osb-multibuild-format"
WP7 Root Tools reports that if you are the brave sort, you do not have to wait for an official Windows Phone 7.8 update to be pushed to your phone, as Custom ROMs for multiple handsets, including the popular Nokia Lumia 800, is available on XDA-Developers already.
The build number of these ROMs are 8858 and the build tag "WM7_Main_Ship" , is believed to be the final Release to Manufacturers version of the ROM.
The ROMs vary in feature list but all have at least:
Full unlock v4 – now with root access notifications.
Ringtones from your personal music collection.
High quality WP7.8-compatible tiles.
XAP deployer built in.
Windows Mobile Device Center Launcher.
Of course flashing a Custom ROM is a lot more risky that waiting for an official update, and will result in your data being lost, so its not recommended, but it is nice to know the option is there for those that just cant wait.
The first custom ROM with USB video out has now been released by DotCompt on XDA-Developers. The ROM includes the necessary drivers and software to allow the user interface to be transmitted via USB to a special app on a desktop, making presentations and screen shots very easy.
Dotcomptâ€™s Deepshining ROM also include both HTC and Nokiaâ€™s special apps, such as Nokia Camera Extras / Nokia Contact Share and Nokia Counters, and also the latest version of the homebrew marketplace Devstore8.
The ROM supports English, Czech, Danish, Greek, Finnish, Hungarian, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Swedish, Portuguese Brazil, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Melayu and Turkish .