March 15, 2013 By: Conan Troutman
If you own a Surface or similar device running Windows RT and are reading this, chances are that you’ve already jailbroken it and are always on the lookout for useful ported apps to install. You may have been using some of those already ported by the development community, or even begun to port them for yourself. Either way, the selection of apps available to Surface owners is improving on a daily basis.
One of the latest traditional desktop apps to be ported across to RT is Process Hacker. It’s a tool for viewing detailed system information and interacting with the various tasks and processes running on the device at any given time. The RT port is currently still at a beta stage and doesn’t feature all the functionality of the desktop version. However, most of the functionality you would expect is there.
Some of the things that Process Hacker will allow you to do include:
If you’re interested in what’s going on with your RT device behind the scenes, this is well worth a look. Check out the original thread for more information.
One of the things Windows RT users have found most frustrating is the inability to run traditional desktop apps on their shiny new(ish) device. Although it was never any secret that this would be the case, it’s still something that many people were hoping would cease to be an issue thanks to the development community.
The release of the RT Jailbreak Tool, which allows the device to run .exe files that aren’t officially compiled and signed by Microsoft, was a huge step towards solving this problem. What remained was to start porting across applications to run on the ARM architecture. XDA Senior Member no2chem has put together a pretty comprehensive guide to porting Win32 apps to run on Windows RT, which will hopefully spur a few people on to porting and sharing some applications and helping to fulfill the potential of RT powered devices, at least until we see the selection of apps available for the platform bulk out a little.
If you have previous experience of developing for Windows, chances are you already have most, if not all of the required tools and shouldn’t struggle to get started with this. If you do not have any previous experience, you’ll probably need to do a little reading before attempting this, although no2chems guide does take you through the process in a good amount of detail. Check out the original forum thread for more information if you’re looking to add to the collection of previously ported applications.
January 28, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
In an move unheard of from OEMs, Sony has released an official Alpha build with the source code! A lot of other great news stories hit the Portal here at XDA this weekend. Jordan reviews all the important stories from this week. Jordan talks about the official Jelly Bean 4.1.2 for the Samsung Galaxy S II I9100.
In Windows RT news, Jordan talks about the whitelist tool that allows flash for certain sites. Also, a Windows RT jailbreak tool lets people installed non-Microsoft executables. Jordan talks about the new bootloader unlock for the Galaxy Note 2, with XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler‘s CASUAL Tool updated to make the process painless. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
January 27, 2013 By: Joseph Hindy
This is XDA Developers, and we like our devices a certain way. We like them unlocked, rooted, and free to do with as we please. However, very few devices are ever released in this condition. Thus, our large community of dedicated developers figure out a way to do it. After all, it’s happened again and again and again. When Windows RT came out, it wasn’t 100% open either. There were security features in place that prevented users from installing unsigned .exe files. This, of course, means that users can’t install much outside of the Microsoft App Store. Now, there’s a jailbreak tool to get around it.
XDA Forum Member clrokr observed the exploit first and XDA Senior Member netham45 wrapped it up in a nifty little tool. Called the RT Jailbreak Tool, it allows users to sign unsigned applications on their Windows RT devices. This is a pretty big deal since most of the fun applications are unsigned.
Using the tool is pretty simple. It comes in a zip file that must be extracted first. Once extracted, users run the .bat file included to make a menu open. There are a few options: Users can install the jailbreak just one time, have the script apply the jailbreak on every login, or uninstall the tool. You may notice it says that it can install it just once. One caveat—or possibly one advantage—to this exploit is that it is goes away upon a reboot. In other words, it’s quite easy to remove if you wish to go back for any reason.
There are some other fun facts that come with this tool. It won’t let you run apps like Photoshop, AutoCAD, etc. You can still only install RT applications. Installing a jailbreak doesn’t make traditional x86-64 applications suddenly compatible with ARM. However, apps that are open source and can be compiled for ARM processors will work. An example would be the growing list of ARM-compatible apps being ported from desktop apps being worked on already. In addition, there are also links to help people with things like lib problems and compiling their own apps from source.
There are a few issues as well. Some people who try this may get a BSoD. This has been tracked down to something that happens only in the first couple of minutes after logging in. So if you try it and get BSoD, wait a few minutes after the next reboot and try again. It is also suggested that you make sure you are fully updated via Windows Update. Also, since it allows unsigned .exe files to be installed, there is always a risk of a virus. So be sure you trust the source of the unsigned apps.
If this looks like something you want to do with your copy of Windows RT, then check out the RT Jailbreak Tool thread for more details.
January 25, 2013 By: Joseph Hindy
For those who don’t know, Internet Explorer 10 has what is called a Whitelist. The Whitelist determines which websites Internet Explorer allows Flash for. For instance, if you went to a Flash heavy site and it wasn’t on the Whitelist, none of the Flash content would load. This is a real pain for those who either enjoy Internet Explorer or have to use it due to lack of replacement browsers on Windows RT. We’ve previously covered a way to to add sites to the Whitelist manually. Now, there is a script that will help make it much easier.
XDA Forum Member TheDroidKid released the script, presumably based on the prior work linked above. As stated, this can be immensely helpful for people who have to use Internet Explorer. It’s pretty easy to run, and it’s a simple .bat script that opens up to a menu driven command prompt window.
To get to the interface, just open the script. It is recommended that users reset their Whitelist settings before actually doing anything. This not only allows users to start from scratch, but it also prevents the list from auto-updating, which would delete all your hard work. After that, it’s a matter of choosing the proper menu item to add new websites. Then, just type in the URL of the website you need Flash support for. After adding the site to the list, the script will clear browser cache to prevent further issues. Finally, you can open up that site and Flash content will play. There is also an option to load a custom Whitelist included with the script. TheDroidKid doesn’t mention what sites are included with this custom Whitelist, but it’s likely a number of popular streaming video websites.
There are a few caveats. It can take up to two to two and a half minutes for a change to apply, which can be tedious if you’ve got a long list of sites to add. Also, as some users have reported, deleting the browser cache will remove any active log ins. So if you’re logged into Facebook and then use this script, you’ll have to log in again.
If you have a Microsoft Surface, this is yet another essential tool. The idea that Internet Explorer even has a whitelist like this is a bit off-putting as Microsoft has no idea what Flash enabled sites people like to use. If they did, tools like this wouldn’t exist. To get more Flash enabled websites in your life, check out the Whitelist script thread.
January 18, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Jelly Bean 4.2.1-Based AOKP for Nexus Devices. That and more news happened this week at XDA-Developers. Jordan reviews all the important stories from this week. Another story talks about Super Backup for your all-in-one needs. Additionally, Jordan talks about finding UART on Qualcomm variants of the Samsung Galaxy S III.
Additionally, this week Jordan released three other videos, one is a Sony Xperia Z and Xperia ZL Hands-On, one is a discussion on Nvidia’s CES releases, and the last is a recap of the whole CES 2013 event. Finally, Jordan talks about standard desktop apps being ported to Windows RT. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
January 17, 2013 By: Joseph Hindy
One of the main limitations of Windows RT is that most 32- and 64-bit applications aren’t compatible. Therefore, if you are buying a Microsoft Surface and intend to install all your favorite Windows programs, then you’re going to have a bad time. To remedy this issue, XDA Recognized Developer GoodDayToDie has begun an initiative to get some desktop apps compiled for RT users.
So far the initiative has gotten attention from a number of users and developers. To begin with, everyone has been focusing on re-compiling free, open source software to work on Windows RT. Here is the current list of applications that have been ported already:
Bochs. x86 Emulator. Known issue: no network support.
TightVNC. VNC server and client.
PuTTY Suite. SSH/Rsh/telnet client and helpers. Printing fixed in this build.
7-Zip. Utility for file archives and disk images.
Notepad++. Powerful but simple text/code editor. New direct link:
SciTE. Code editor (Thanks to XDA-Devs member FearTheCowboy)
IP Messenger. Peer-to-peer chat/file transfer.
Unikey 3.1. Vietnamese character entry tool. This version is out of date, but is the latest with full source code available.
Unikey 3.6. Known issue: without RtfIO, the “Toolkit” and “Conversion on the fly” features won’t work. (Thanks minhtuan99bk)
CrystalBoy. Nintendo Gameboy emulator. Known issue: uses GDI+ instead of DirectX, may reduce performance. Reported issue: JIT is broken so games don’t actually play (unconfirmed). Thanks to DXA-Developers member daveoggy.
In addition to working on the porting, GoodDayToDie is also keeping a running list of applications that work without modification. These include Mouse Without Borders and Keepass Portable. This is a great initiative by everyone involved, and it continues the great development currently in progress for Windows 8 and RT. Also, do check back on the list frequently, as both lists are sure to grow.
For more details, check out the original thread.
Let’s say you have a device from 2009, and at times it seems like it’s just a little bit out of date. The latest devices coming out are all competing to become “The Next Big Thing,” and this device just doesn’t seem to stack up to the competition. And with the latest mobile Operating Systems out there, any device running Windows Mobile 6.5 just seems, well, outdated. But then you realize what device this actually is: It’s the Mighty Mouse of devices, the HTC HD2. The same device that has run not only Windows Mobile 6.5, but Windows Phone 7, Android (all versions up to Jelly Bean), Ubuntu and MeeGo of all things.
XDA Elite Recognized Developer Cotulla has a long track record of doing extraordinary things with Windows devices, and the HD2 is no exception. After teasing the developer world with what he called a “proof of concept” of getting Windows Phone 8 installed and running on the HD2, he released the first images of the device running Windows RT. While he hasn’t released any more details as to the full status of the project, the image gallery below should give anyone who owns the HD2 butterflies of excitement. After viewing the images, you can stop by the discussion thread to follow along with updates as Cotulla provides them.
And for those wondering why it is the HTC HD2 continues to live and breathe over 3 years after it’s release, it is because the device is completely wide open thanks to HTC’s old philosophy. They have since gone away from that, which would account for part of their meteoric slide in sales and relevance. When developers can do anything and everything they desire to a device, we get gems like this one. When they can’t, they stop recommending the manufacturer and people stop buying.
With the release of the Microsoft Surface, users are getting their first real world tablet experiences with Windows 8. Of course, it’s not perfect. That’s why we mod things—to bring it closer to perfect. There is now a simple tutorial that gives you the ability to use your SD card to store media in Windows 8.
XDA Senior Member mk1151 posted the tutorial link, and it isn’t very difficult to follow. Essentially, it sets the default save locations for documents, pictures, videos, and music to the SD card. Then it creates symlinks to those folders so that the the default photos, videos, music, and docs apps see the SD card by default.
As stated, it isn’t very difficult to pull off. Users will need little more than some command prompt knowledge. Users start by making the proper folders in the proper paths. Then, it’s a few symlink commands as administrator to link everything together. Once done, you should be able to open the applications mentioned and see your content from your SD card. There are a few issues mentioned, including having to name the Camera Roll folder to CameraRoll2 in order for it to display properly. Otherwise, it works fine.
If you’re looking for new and fun ways to expand your storage, check out the original thread.
The release of Windows 8 has come and gone, and people have mixed feelings about it. Some like it; some hate it—pretty much the consensus on everything ever released. Now that it’s released, though, it’s time to have some fun with it. That means hacking it, making it more usable, and more fun. To start, users of the Metro Browser can now get full Flash on any website.
XDA Recognized Developer Marvin_S has figured out how to get past Metro Browser’s Flash restrictions on certain websites. As Marvin_S explains:
As we all know Windows RT/8′s IE Metro browser has limited flash support based on a whitelist. However a lot of sites are not (yet) whitelisted and hence do not work as desired. So I did some digging in the whitelist mechanism and found a way to hack it.
To apply the hack, users navigate to and open C:\Users\[USER_NAME]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IECompatData\iecompatdata.xml. From there users can add their favorite websites to the whitelist and, thus, full Flash support. The syntax is quite easy and users shouldn’t have any problems getting it to work. This has been confirmed working not only on desktop versions of Windows 8, but the RT versions as well, like the on one the Microsoft Surface.
To learn more, check out the original thread.
By now, we are all surely familiar with MetroUI, the critically acclaimed interface powering Windows Phone 7 and the upcoming Windows 8 operating system. While the Windows 8 test builds have proven that the interface is indeed usable under the traditional computing model, many assumed that Microsoft had an ace up its sleeves. This is exactly what Microsoft announced yesterday at a mystery event in Los Angeles.
Roughly ten years after the launch of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, Microsoft announced its next generation of tablets—one running Windows RT, and the other running Windows 8. While the two devices share some DNA in the form of PVD (physical-vapor deposition) magnesium casing, screen size, and basic design language; the two devices feature markedly different internals.
The Windows RT version weighs in at just 1.5 lbs and is 9.3 mm thick. It will come in 32 and 64 GB flavors, and will be powered by an ARM processor. The Intel-based Windows 8 version is a bit chunkier at 1.9 lbs and 13.5 mm, and it will be available in 64 and 128 GB varieties. It will also feature USB 3 connectivity, a “Full HD” (we assume 1920×1080) display, and digital ink support with a magnetically-attached pen. Both versions will featire a 10.6″ ClearType screen, a built-in kickstand, and a magnetically-attached Touch and Type keyboard covers.
Retail pricing for the Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets is currently unclear, but many expect it to be in line with current ARM tablets and Ultrabook PCs, respectively. The Windows RT version is expected in October, and the Windows 8 should be available around three months later.
Can’t wait to get your hands on one? Is this what you envisioned as the first step towards the future of computing? And most importantly, do Microsoft’s new tablets live up to their claims of a “no compromises” experience? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below, and join the discussion in our newly created Microsoft Surface sub-forum located in the Windows 8 Development and Hacking forum.