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XDA forums

Interop-unlocking of the Samsung ATIV S has reportedly been accomplished, opening the gates for deeper level OS changes

The hacking scene for Windows Phone 8 so far has been pretty dismal, with a lot of the legends in the community moving on to more open systems like Android. Although Windows Phone 7.x did see some minor movement within the fringe hacking community, its replacement OS has not met the same fate. The reason for that is Windows Phone 8 was unable to be interop-unlocked, a phrase not familiar to most casual users.

When it comes to operating systems, especially Windows Phone, there are different levels. Developer unlocking is the easiest and can be achieved by joining Microsoft’s developer program. Once registered, users can unlock their device by connecting to a computer and logging in. This allows developers to side-load XAP files i.e. apps not from the Store. But even side-loaded XAP files are sandboxed by the OS and cannot touch the deeper level functions. OEMs and carriers get access to this area, which is why they can roll out system updates.

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If there is one thing we can say about Windows Phone 8 is that it is reportedly very secure, specifically  during the boot process. But that doesn't mean that the OS cannot be "dumped" and looked at for exploits or--the holy grail--to be back ported to older Windows Phone 7.x handsets.

That process has now officially begun over at XDA Forums where a user named 'neilgoco' has managed to get his hands on an HTC 8X engineering device. That means it is more 'open" and has access to developer tools not found on the commercial release.

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Earlier this morning we reported on a neat little trick that a few Windows Phone apps can do which is keep your Wi-Fi connection active even when the display is powered off.

That’s pretty useful feature for some people who are using a public Wi-Fi access point that requires you to “accept” the terms of service each time you re-connect. On a Windows Phone, every time you turn the display off it kills the Wi-Fi connection meaning you are forced to reconnect which can be problematic--even more so if you’re downloading some files.

Over at XDA, developer Ha Mai Tung (WinPhoneViet.com) has created a neat little homebrew app called Keep WiFi Alive which exploits the trick that some audio apps use. The app creates a fake music stream that makes the OS “think” it is downloading music, thereby keeping the Wi-Fi connection active.  The app is simple to use—just launch and hit the button.  To disable you can either turn off Wi-Fi in Settings or restart the phone.

Demo of Keep WiFi Alive

The app is homebrew, meaning you’ll need a developer unlocked device (either AppHub or Chevron) and does not require interop access, meaning many of you can use it if you can sideload the XAP. It’s still in beta form so there could be some bugs and of course battery usage will presumably increase, so be warned.

Source: XDA Forums; via Windows Phone Daily, Plaffo

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"Enthusiasts" can now load custom ROMs on devices like this HTC Titan

Good news for those with "2nd generation" Windows Phone like the HTC Radar and HTC Titan, the Dark Forces Team (DFT) have released their custom Hard Secondary Program Loader (HSPL) for those devices, including a "wizard" to guide you through the somewhat complicated process. Announced back in March, the team has made solid and steady progress over the last few months on the project.

HSPLs are needed to "unlock" the bootloader of certain smartphones in order to get custom ROMs to load onto them (think of it as a layer of security). Without this tool-set, modified OS's for those devices simply have nowhere to go. Now that these tools are available comes the second step: the creation of custom ROMs which will require some "chefs" to cook them up,

Second generation HTC devices have been notoriously difficult to crack for DFT so this is a fairly big win for the homebrew community. Unfortunately, devices like the Titan II still won't work with this tool so it's best to still wait for DFT to get that going.

In a well planned release, there are at least two custom ROMs now available too:

  1. HTC Titan by mwang - Tango OS (8773), Replace HTC Apps software,add Registry editor,file explorers ...etc; Few tweaks ,DFT FullUnlock support XAP IE download and install,full play XBL games; ISharing,Static MAC Address
  2. HTC Radar by mwang - Tango OS (8773), Replace HTC Apps software,add Registry editor,file explorers ...etc; Few tweaks ,DFT FullUnlock support XAP IE download and install,full play XBL games; ISharing,Static MAC Address

Once again we need to stress to proceed with caution when attempting these modifications as this can "brick" your phone if you don't follow the directions carefully.  Regardless, it's exciting to finally see some movement on these two fantastic Windows Phones. We're sure the community will be releasing some fantastic creations over the next few months.

Source: XDA Forums; via: WP7.com.pl; Thanks, Tony and dragonide, for the tips

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