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bazaar

Bazaar is a Windows Phone alternative marketplace designed to provide both users and developers a means to share and install homebrew apps easily to your unlocked Windows Phone. Bazaar hosts and shares only free homebrew apps and is similar to the Deepshining Marketplace we mentioned some time ago.

While Bazaar has been available from the PC, it's now available through the Bazaar Windows Phone app. It functions just like your Windows Phone Marketplace app but delivers homebrew apps to your phone instead.

Bazaar supports a wide range of unlocked Windows Phones. Developer unlocked devices can browse apps from the Bazaar app but must install them via the Bazaar for PC application. Fully unlocked devices can browse, share, manage, and install apps directly from the Bazaar app.

If you're into homebrewing on your Windows Phone and are looking for an alternative marketplace, Bazaar might be worth looking into. You can find all the details and download both the Bazaar app and Bazaar PC application here at Bazaar's website.

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We've mentioned Bazaar before--it's the first serious attempt at a homebrew Marketplace for Windows Phone, a place where developers can centralize and easily distribute their work for end users, allowing people to keep up on updates and learn about new apps. That's important as browsing our forums, XDA or just watching our front page, while helpful, can cause you to miss things.

Previously though, Bazaar was restricted to custom ROMs as an addon app for Windows Phone. While extremely useful and impressive, this limited its influence. Today though that all changes with the release of the Bazaar Desktop client.

If you have a developer or Chevron unlocked phone, you'll definitely want this. The app is quite impressive allowing you to browse, as far as we can tell, all the homebrew apps that are out there. You have concise app descriptions including if it will work on your device (lots are restricted to Gen 1 devices, for instance) and screenshots to see what the app looks like.

Perhaps more importantly though is the ability to download and install directly to your phone, making the whole process extremely easy. The app simply piggybacks off of Zune Desktop and if you have your device paired with that app, it will "see" this one. That latter part is very useful as it even shows you already installed homebrew/sideloaded apps, making management a breeze (most of us are still limited to just 10 homebrew/sideloaded apps). 

Other worthy mentions include Featured, Browse, and Favorites making it a snap to find an app (although even we admit that the homebrew scene is a bit anemic).

Bazaar for Windows Desktop is free, well designed and just works. For that we're giving it a big recommendation and a thumbs up to the hard work of the dev team who are certainly worthy of a donation. Get more information and screenshots at their distribution page: http://118.139.161.234/bazaar/BazaarForPC.aspx

Source: Bazaar for PC; via Plaffo

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The idea of an alternative to the Windows Phone Marketplace, one based on homebrew and freeware analogous to the iOS Cydia, has been kicking since Day 1 (see this early attempt). But with the increasingly wide spread availability of official unlocking opportunities e.g. ChevronWP7 Labs, the notion has become more reasonable, mostly due to the increase number of users.

Over at XDA, 'BAZAAR' has launched as an early beta for those interested in taking it for a spin. The alternative Marketplace won't be confined to the strict, seemingly arbitrary rules of the official Marketplace (see Ffffound) but it also won't be a haven for cracked or pirated apps. Instead, this will be a source for developers to distribute their homebrew apps that Microsoft would not approve as well as standard freeware apps.

That's the good news. But here's the bad: you need to have a DFT, NextGen or Deepshining Custom ROM installed on your phone i.e. a ROM that supports XAP-installation by IE9 (yeah, you can do that in a custom ROM). That's a shame and quite a big limitation right now as going the custom ROM route cuts out a huge chunk of potential users, including all Gen 2 devices. Still, it's an initial framework and we can hope that there will be a breakthrough where this will be allowed

The app itself only allows browsing right now as they work on getting permissions for the repository. The developers are looking for user feedback from those with custom ROMs and will be adding the following features in the future:

  • Creating an account within Bazaar
  • Managing favorites applications list and the ability to download and install them as a batch process (very useful after reset/flashing new ROM version)
  • Add ratings and comments for applications
  • Submit new applications via Bazaar web site
  • Online search in Bazaar applications repository
  • And many more…

It is cool looking and we hope the start of something bigger. Maybe Microsoft could land a hand to an unofficial Marketplace?

Source: XDA; Thanks, Carlos, for the tip!

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