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Windows Phone Hacker has released Lock Widgets for the homebrew community, just in time with the recent release of Root Tools 0.9. Lock Widgets enables users, who have access to a rooted Windows Phone, to use small tiles on their lock screens to act as glance widgets. Information which can be displayed include Twitter feeds, RSS feeds and weather reports, to name but a few.

Feature highlights of Lock Widgets:

  • Weather widget
  • RSS widget
  • Twitter @user widget
  • Memory widget
  • Puts widgets on your lockscreen. Pretty simple.
  • Daily Bing wallpaper
  • Custom background

You can download Lock Widgets from Windows Phone Hacker's website, note that you'll need an unlocked and rooted handset to use this software. 

Source: Windows Phone Hacker

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Windows Phone hacker Heathcliff74 is announcing the immediate availability WP7 Root Tools 0.9 today. 'Root Tools is a suite of tools for Windows Phone that we've been following since inception and already features a full blown registry registry editor, file system browser, and certificate injection capabilities. But the new version comes jammed pack full of additional new and exciting features that will no doubt re-energize the homebrew community. I'm talking about features such as:

  • True and unfettered root access
  • Better performance
  • Increased device support
  • A new policy editor
  • A new software development kit

The more exciting news here, however, is the shiny new SDK (0.1) in tow, offering homebrew developers a set of APIs that tap into the same root-level features that the tool relies on. An application wishing to wield such power, however, must first seek permission from the user. That is, the users must explicity mark a particular app as "trusted". Grumble all you want, this gate is in place for obvious and serious security and privacy reasons. You don't want all those private photos on Twitter, right?

With no shortage of gullible install-everything phone users out there (see Android) policing root-required homebrew applications, Heathcliff74 admits, "will be tough." At this stage, we'll have to rely on the attentive homebrew development community to continue sniffing out crapware. In the future, however, a more centralized model complete with app certification may be in order.

All that serious stuff aside, Heathcliff74 was kind enough to let me play with the SDK prior to release and let me tell you: it's easy to use and full of awesome. Working with Delphi aficionado [ed -- *snicker*] David Golden (@GoldenTao), of MetroTwit fame, we decided to retry the implementation of my grandiose hackathon idea -- to create a complete backup the phone, including Marketplace apps. And succeed we did.

 

Screenshots of the upcoming Complete Backup app.

While the app isn't quite ready yet -- we still need to button up some networking code, resolve app guids to names, create a restoration app, etc. -- it will support the complete backup (and eventual restore) of Windows Phone application data to the PC via native sockets. And better yet, it'll be completely open-source and available on GitHub.

So at this point, you're probably thinking: "Where do I get this spoonful of delicious?" Simple. Head over to Heathcliff74's new home on the Internet, where he will blog about and host the WP7 Root Tools XAP. But be warned: The software drills deep into the phone. I can't recommend enough that you use Zune to backup your device prior to install. Oh, and you need to have a device that's "Interop Unlocked" (or flashed with a custom hacked ROM). Sorry.

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Well known Windows Phone hacker Heathcliff74 announced an upcoming revision to his homebrew suite of tools on Twitter today. He noted WP7 Root Tools 0.9 will bring additional device support and allow homebrew developers to mark their applications as "trusted", opening up unfettered access to the file system and Windows APIs.

He also noted that he'll release a mini SDK, allowing developers to use both Windows APIs and use model-specific functionality without infringing on the copyright of any major carriers, OEMs, or Microsoft [ed: like Julien Schapman's TouchXperience].

Keep your ear to the ground, we'll let you know the moment it's ready!

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While we believe Microsoft themselves will enable the APIs to access the camera for third party apps, rooting the device as seen days ago allows developers to do it now. In turn, so called augmented reality apps are possible, if one can sideload an app written in native  code on their device.

In the case above, Clarity Consulting threw together this demo app written Silverlight to show off the potential Windows Phone 7 and AR can have together.

Lets hope that Microsoft, busy as they are, can get around to delivering the goods sooner than later. Otherwise, rooted devices, here we come! Seriously, I need some Star Wars Falcon Gunner nao.

Source: Clarity Consulting; via iStartedSomething

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We mentioned last night about developer Chris Walsh getting full file system access to an HTC and Samsung device and how this was just the beginning.

Wasting no time he just posted this video demonstrating what file access looks like and it's pretty exciting (well, if you're geeky enough).

He notes on his blog that this just a preview and that "You’ve got FULL access, create, delete, browse files etc. Just can’t delete system ROM files, IE coredll.dll (obviously)."

Cool. One more video after the break of root access.

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We've already seen how on LG and Samsung phones, accessing the diagnostic menu can allow one to enable USB tethering. Now it is becoming evident that we can run unmanaged, native code on our phones too. Well kind of.

First, unmanaged, native code just means direct access to the software systems e.g. phone, email, etc., not just Silverlight applications that 3rd parties use. Second, the requirement here is you need to be able to sideload apps and only developers who pay the $99 fee get access to that feature. However, we've already heard from one of our sources that the whole "unlocking" business is tied to a single registry edit, meaning it may not be hard to circumvent at all.

What this all means is this: we may, at some point, be able to load custom software that not only is not approved by Microsoft, but changes fundamental restrictions on the device as well. In addition, changes to Metro UI may be possible. Of course, we won't be able to distribute these through the Marketplace, so you'll have to have the iPhone-model of a Cydia-like store. Cydia is the non-approved Apple App store where all the "hacks" and non-approved software are distributed. We so no reason why this won't happen eventually for Windows Phone either.

All of this comes back to what happened today with Australian developer Chris Walshie who was able to run unmanaged, native code on his device. The file modified “Microsoft.Phone.InteropServices” which may allow COM access in the future. By being able to modify that and write into a program, he was able to do something that only Microsoft, carriers and OEMs could do. In other words, today was the 1st day and 1st big step in "freeing" our phones.

Source: iStartedSomething

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