XDA is known for its excellent Android device development. From custom ROMs to great apps, XDA is one of the largest Android development sites in the world. However, we aren’t a one trick pony. There are members of the XDA community who toil away in the challenging landscape that is Windows Phone 8.
In the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem, there are three primary OEMs producing devices: HTC, Nokia, and Samsung. The benefit (or drawback) of large manufacturers is that they always have their own set of proprietary apps. Sometimes these apps are useful, and sometimes they are not.
The drawback with all apps though, is they need to be updated. Sometimes you don’t always get your update notifications, or you may have to jump through hoops for the OEM apps. XDA Retired Moderator herg62123 has a solution for your Nokia or Samsung Apps. His apps (Nokia App Updates and Samsung App Updates) make quick and simple work of making sure that your OEM provided apps are up to date. This simple process should be called “herg-a-fying” your apps.
To get your copy of these apps or to learn more, check out the application thread.
September 13, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Suddenly, a potentially leaked image of Windows Phone 8.1 appears. Jordan uses skepticism. It’s super effective. Jordan also covers all the important stories from XDA this week. Included in this week’s news is an article about the interop unlock for Samsung Windows Phone 8 devices and news about Xposed Framework being updated.
Jordan also talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin released a video talking about unlocking your screen with LockScreen One Touch, TK gave us an Android App Review of SoundSeeder, and later, TK gave us an Android App Review of Showtime. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
September 9, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
If you’re an aficionado of Microsoft’s latest mobile OS, you are more than likely waiting on the edge of your seat for Windows Phone 8.1 Blue. To whet your appetite further, XDA Forum Member when im gone ”found” an SD card with a blurrycam image of what appears to be Windows Phone 8.1 Blue running on a Nokia Lumia 620. From his original post:
i found a SD Card and this photo was in it
who can confirm if this is wp8.1 or GDR3 ??
If you look closely, you’ll see an interesting asterisk in the status bar and mail tile, corresponding with rumors of a notification center in 8.1. Unfortunately though, when im gone hasn’t been able to recover any additional data. And the EXIF data has been wiped from the JPG image. Furthermore, it’s incredibly easy to fake a shot like this. However, given what we’ve seen in the GDR3 leak, anything’s possible.
Head over to the original thread to get in on the discussion and share your opinions.
[Thanks to User Experience Admin svetius for the tip!]
September 6, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
It is no secret that development on Windows Phone 8 is but a shadow of what it once was on Microsoft’s older mobile operating system. Be it because of smaller market share, more security features, or simply less of a need to modify the OS thanks to the already streamlined and speedy interface; Windows Phone development has taken somewhat of a backseat to Google’s juggernaut.
Luckily, things are about to get exciting, as XDA Recognized Developer GoodDayToDie has just achieved interop unlock on his Samsung Ativ S running Windows Phone 8. For those who don’t remember, Recognized Developer GoodDayToDie has an extensive history of Windows Phone development. Thus, it should come as no surprise that some of WP8′s limitations would fall at his hands.
Unfortunately, GoodDayToDie’s method currently relies on the Samsung diagnosis app. What this means is that for interop unlock to work on other (non-Samsung) devices, either this app must be loaded onto the device somehow or a similar vulnerability must be found. However, this is still an encouraging start, and given GoodDayToDie’s extensive track record, Windows Phone 8 users are clearly in good hands.
August 8, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Back when Windows Mobile ruled the roost in the pre-iPhone days of yesteryear, registry modification was quite a common means of device tweaking. This should come as no surprise, as such modifications have been commonplace for quite some time on the Windows platform on traditional computers. This process then continued onto Windows Phone 7.
Thanks to efforts by XDA Recognized Developer snickler, this is now possible for Nokia devices running Windows Phone 8. A couple of important notes to keep in mind, however, are that in the current release only HKLM (HKey_Local_Machine) is accessible. The other limitation is that currently, users cannot change dword values. Because of the dword limitation, changes to MaxUnsignedApp will not be saved. That said, progress towards that end can be made through Recognized Developer GoodDayToDie‘s WP8 Native Access project.
Using the registry editor is extremely simple, as described by the developer:
To Read Values:
1) Put the Registry key in the first box (ex. SOFTWARE\Classes\MIME\Database\Codepage\1254
2) Put the Registry Value in the second box (ex. 1254)
3) Press Get Value.
To Set Values:
1) Put the Registry key in the first box (ex. SOFTWARE\Classes\MIME\Database\Codepage\1254
2) Put the Registry Value in the second box (ex. 1254)
3) Put the new registry value result in the Set Value box.
4) Press Set Value.
Head over to the original thread to get started with the registry tweaking.
Objectively, there’s no question that Microsoft’s latest and greatest faces less app and feature fragmentation when compared with everyone’s favorite green robot. That said, the ecosystem isn’t entirely the same across devices. One such example is in OEM-supplied proprietary apps. While Nokia Maps (or HERE, if you wish) is now available on all Windows Phone 8 devices, not all OEM-specific apps are so universal. However, that doesn’t mean that we’re forced to live with that.
Thanks to XDA Senior Member xdevilium, you can now easily install all Nokia, HTC, and LG Apps on any WP8 device. How does it work? Xdevilium’s contribution is a simple app that configures the free web debugging tool Fiddler2 to change your device’s apparent brand to one of the built in options, including LG, Nokia, HTC, and Samsung.
However, one thing to keep in mind that you should stick to applications meant for your device’s native resolution, as straying away from that could cause issues with installation or further down the line.
Getting started is just a few clicks away in the original thread.
Back on Windows Phone 7, XDA Recognized Developer fiinix released an interesting web server app that allowed users to browse their mobile file system through a LAN. Following up on this, Recognized Developer GoodDayToDie has created a similar application for Windows Phone 8, WP8 File Access Webserver.
As with its spiritual predecessor by fiinix, GoodDayToDie’s app enumerates files visible to the sandbox, and it also allows users to download them. Getting started is fairly simple. All you have to do is sideload the app, connect to LAN, run the application, and point the client web browser (on the same LAN) to the phone’s internal IP address. Once in the index page, enter your desired path into the text box and click Get Files to access the file list. After you have the file list, click any file to download it.
The app is still under heavy development, and as you would expect, there are a few quirks that users must deal with if they want to play with this as it’s being developed. For instance, there is currently no way to tell the difference between a file and a folder in the list view. Also, occasional errors and exceptions are to be expected while GoodDayToDie finishes adding polish. However, for those who can’t wait and wish to give this a try, there is no reason why not.
Want to know the best part? GoodDayToDie has made this fully open source, with the sources available in the thread OP. Head over to the original thread to get started.
March 19, 2013 By: Conan Troutman
Microsoft announced earlier this week their plans to officially stop supporting both Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 8 in the second half of 2014. Due to some rather unfortunate release dates and the fixed eighteen month product life cycle, it seems that the more advanced WP8 will actually cease to be officially supported before 7.8. Now, when I say that Microsoft “announced” their plans to end support for the two operating systems, that’s not entirely accurate. What they actually did was to quietly slip the information into their support page.
The resulting news created a certain amount of confusion and in some cases anger among users of the platform, especially those who may have recently purchased a device on a two year contract, only to find out that their device will no longer be supported after three quarters of the new contract’s duration. Even so, this is an improvement on their announcement of the lack of upgrade path from Windows Phone 7 to 8.
Chances are that more recently purchased devices will have already been upgraded to a newer version of Microsoft’s mobile offering by the time the support officially ends, and the initial concerns voiced by some are unfounded. It’s already known that there is no clear upgrade path from Windows Phone 7 to 8, with the rather awkwardly named 7.8 being something of a stopgap to curb the resentment of early adopters who would need to purchase a new device to see the full benefits of WP8, but little is known about the plans to advance on the latest version of the OS. It would be highly surprising though to find out that current devices will be receiving few or no updates.
I guess it’s possible that MS will throw in the towel when it comes to mobile operating systems, but let’s be honest, that is highly unlikely. It surely won’t be long now until we begin hearing speculation of which direction the latest incarnation of WP will take. When we’ll actually hear from Microsoft themselves though, is another thing altogether.
March 19, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
If you’ve seen XDA Developer TV Producer Steve’s last couple of videos, than you know he’s been using Windows Phone. He reviewed an app for Windows Phone for Google Music called CloudMuzik, and then he reviewed an e-reader called Freda.
However, his satisfaction with Windows Phone has waned, and he is switching back to Android. Steve takes the time to explain why Windows Phone is not the operating system for him. He shares his frustration and quirks he experienced with Windows Phone. Check this video out.
March 6, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Windows Phone has a small, but present market share. The market share is unfortunately not enough to garner the attention of a lot of large app developers, including Google. So if you have music from Google Music how are you going to access it on a Windows Phone Device?
XDA Recognized Developer snickler has an app that allows you to access your Google Music on a Windows Phone Device. In this video, newcomer and XDA Developer TV Producer Steve reviews CloudMuzik. Steve shows off the application and gives his thoughts on its functionality and uses. Be sure to check out this app review.
Say what you wish about HTC and their recent shenanigans, but despite their recently announced and frankly staggering drop in profits, they still make devices that many people cannot wait to get their hands on. They usually follow this up by releasing another version with a random letter placed at the end of its name. Jokes aside, their latest flagship Windows Phone device, the HTC 8X, was no exception and proved to be a hit with WP users.
One of the biggest bugbears that power users have with the Windows Phone platform is the lack of custom firmwares for many devices. Some are effectively stuck on whichever carrier branded ROM the phone is shipped with. Thankfully for 8X users though, XDA Elite Recognized Developer xboxmod has devised a way to unbrand the device and install an unmodified stock HTC firmware. The process is applicable to all PM232***/c620e devices with a bootloader of version 162966 or below. This method bypasses the CID check and can also fix a bad flash or bootloop, so it may be handy to know even if you have no intention of unbranding.
You’ll need a few things before you start, namely a Y cable, SD card or flash drive, and the appropriate .nbh files provided in the guide thread. After that, it’s essentially a case of flashing the right thing in the right order. Once complete, you should have a fresh ROM free of any carrier enforced bloatware.
Check out the forum thread for more information.
January 15, 2013 By: Former Writer
Windows Phone 7 enthusiasts may remember an application called CloudMuzik. It was a Google Music client for WP7 that was essential for Google Music fans running the platform because there were no other options. It had some limitations, but was overall a very useful and welcome application. Now, Windows Phone 8 users have access as well.
XDA Recognized Developer snickler, who also released the app for WP7, released the app for WP8 as well. Unlike the early releases for WP7, this release is much more complete with much fewer bugs. The features include:
The application supports the following:
Full Library support
Full Refresh of music library
Refresh of latest songs uploaded
Social sharing of current song
Repeat and Shuffle capabilities
Pinning of Artist, Album, Playlist and Genre to Start
Local song caching
So if you have a Google Music account with a whole bunch of songs, then this is the application you’re looking for. There have already been a couple of updates, so many of the initial bugs and issues have already been fixed, and a few extra features have been added. Just like the release for WP7, the WP8 version is also available in the Windows App Store.
For more info, check out the CloudMuzik thread.
January 13, 2013 By: Former Writer
There are quite a few Google Reader apps for Android, but this is not always the case on other mobile platforms. It’s well know that if Windows Phone 8 is going to succeed, either Microsoft or third-party developers will have to plug gaping holes in its app library—like for instance, limited Google Reader app choices. Now, WP8 has quite a good option.
XDA Forum Member FourSpotProject posted about NewsSpot, a Google Reader client for Windows Phone 8. It has the usual features of any good Google Reader app, like two-way syncing and offline reading options. Here are some of the other features:
- Gorgeous live tiles with headings and images
- Full lock screen integration
- Read whole articles in a beautiful Readability™ view
- Open YouTube or Marketplace links from within the application
- Change the read or starred status of an article within a list by using our quick actions
- Swipe or tap while viewing article to display the next or previous one
- Choose from three different themes: light, dark and golden white
The app has received fantastic reviews so far, and there haven’t been any bugs reported. If you’re an avid Google Reader user who has a WP8 device, this is definitely an application to check out.
For more details, go to the NewsSpot thread.