unlock | Windows Central

E3 2017

Everything we expect to see from Xbox's E3 2017

Computex 2017

ASUS ZenBook Pro (2017) + ZenBook Flip S hands-on

What could've been

This is Microsoft’s original vision for the Lumia 950 series

All in on AI

Did Microsoft shift to an AI-focused strategy because of Google?

Clamshell vs. Kickstand

Surface Laptop vs. Surface Pro: Spec showdown and form factor wars

Windows Central Digital Offers

Break into a cybersecurity career with this $69 certification bundle!

Microsoft vs Dell

Quick comparison of the new Surface Pro and Dell's XPS 15

Both great devices

Does the new Surface Pro really edge out the cheaper Surface Pro 4?

All the apps

Hey you! Don’t forget about all of Windows Central’s apps.

Microsoft mixes up Beam

Microsoft's 'Beam' service is getting a rebrand, say hi to 'Mixer'

Star Wars hits the big 4-0

Celebrate Star Wars' birthday with these great gifts!

Pro vs. Laptop

Should you buy Microsoft's Surface Pro or Surface Laptop?

Love/hate relationship

8 things you'll love about new Surface Pro – and 3 things you'll hate

Monkey see monkey do

Is Microsoft's Fluent Design a clone of Google's Material Design?

Surface FTW

Surface Pro beats iPad Pro in a tech spec comparison — by a mile

Cast your vote ...

Will you buy Microsoft's new Surface Pro? (poll)

The pinnacle of Surface

Why isn't the new Surface Pro named 'Surface Pro 5?'

Stay cool look cool

Introducing the new Windows Central 'Colors T-Shirt,' now ready to order!

Missing the future

Why Microsoft's new Surface Pro doesn't have a USB Type-C port

All new for 2017

Meet the new Microsoft Surface Pro!

< >

Pre-order: Surface Laptop | NEW Surface Pro


Have you looked at your Samsung ATIV S and thought what it would be like if you could have a third column of Live tiles? We'll be getting more room for Live Tiles with the 1080p hardware that will arrive alongside GDR3, but if you own the Samsung Windows Phone 8 device (interop-unlocked), you'll be able to add more tiles to your Start screen with some handy homebrew tools.

More →

"I am not a number! I'm a free phone!"

Word on the street is that starting yesterday (October 8th), those of you who are on AT&T or at least have an AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 can now call with your International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number and get your unlock code. That would allow you toss in a T-Mobile SIM (or anyone else’s) and use the phone freely on any network.

We called and emailed AT&T on the matter and we can confirm that they are unlocking phones but…this is AT&T we’re dealing with and our experience was far from smooth...

More →

Some sad, but expected news on the homebrew front: the Chevron Labs unlock, the only Microsoft-sponsored "jailbreak" for Windows Phone, has now officially expired. Chevron Labs' Rafael Rivera posted on the group's blog that, as of August 11, any unlocked phone will be once again locked the next time that device is synced using the Zune desktop software.

The change, which was announced back in April, will not affect any Windows Phone devices that are unlocked using other methods. It may, however, affect those who moved to a paid App Hub account. If you are one of those people, you may have to use the Developer Registration tool to unlock your phone once again. Instructions can be found here.

More →

For those developers with App Hub accounts can now register (unlocked) a Windows Phone to their App Hub account even if it was unlocked by another account. For those not familiar, a registered Windows Phone basically allows developers to side load apps that are in the works to their Windows Phone for testing.  This gives developers a lot more flexibility such as borrowing/sharing various Windows Phones for compatibility testing.

Additionally, the registration of the device expires annually and used to require re-registration from the original account. Now, all developers need to do is re-register the Windows Phone from an active App Hub account.  For more information on starting an App Hub Account, you can find all the details here at the App Hub Website.

Source: App Hub Forum

More →

Metro^7 is a custom Lumia 710 ROM built on the Tango release, and is now available over at the XDA developer forum. The author, XDA member vova1609, states that you need to have your Lumia 710 interop unlocked, but then you should be good to go with flashing. 

Some highlighted features:

  • Fully unlocked
  • Install XAPs using Internet Explorer
  • Bazaar pre-installed
  • Bluetooth File Transfer by DFT pre-installed
  • Exclusive wallpapers "metro ROCK"
  • Added tethering functionality
  • Deleted Nokia's apps (Nokia Music, etc.)
  • Added Google and Yandex as available search engines

As well as the ROM and included functionality, an exclusive pack of 'metro ROCK' wallpapers are included, featuring multiple designs to match the system theme. Please note that Windows Phone Central does not take any responsibility for any issues your device may develop using this (or any other) available ROM. Use at your own discretion.

Source: XDA, via: Plaffo

More →

We last reported on ChevronWP7 last month where the team announced the release of the service was to be within a few weeks. Fast forward three weeks and the Chevron Labs page has been updated with a login via Live ID button. The site is going live as we speak, so if you have any errors logging in, just give it some time as they finish updating the site to full-release mode.

The ChevronWP7 Labs will enable users to unlock their handset(s) for a fraction of the cost for the official developer membership. It will allow Windows Phone owners to have fun with homebrew apps without breaking warranty on the device and being hunted down by Microsoft. The process is fairly straightforward:

  • You'll need a Windows Live ID (it can be different from your Windows Phone Live ID)
  • Purchase an "unlock token". Cost is $9.00 via PayPal and is good for infinite unlocks per single phone.
  • Download and install an unlocking too, which is similar to the official AppHub registration one
  • Your phone will be placed in a queue to be unlocked and that's it!

So by show of comments, how many of you are going to be unlocking? If you do, don't forget to take a look at some of our past Homebrew coverage to get started.

Update: The tools have been temporarily pulled till two issues can be resolved.

Source: Chevron Labs, thanks H3ALY for the tip!

More →

We have been following the development of the Windows Phone Device Manager with a watchful eye, and the proposed addition to the software was the inclusion of a new "jailbreaking" tool that would allow unlocking a handset without developer registration. Julien Schapman has now sated this is not going to be included with WP Device Manager.

"Because I was bored getting hundreds of emails from people asking me to send them WP Device Manager so they can continue to use pirated applications, and because there will be a short term solution for homebrews, I decided not to include my jailbreak tool. I respect other developers and I don’t want to be responsible for piracy, I’ve been contacted by Brandon Watson from Microsoft and I wish to be involved in the official homebrew support on Windows Phone."

While I'm aware that the majority of folk will be surprised by the latest announcement (we are too!), one must consider the positives that were included in Julien's post. He mentions that he wishes to be involved in the official homebrew development/support on WP7. I believe Microsoft should have as much of the homebrew community onboard as possible to ensure that their solution will be more than what these developers were cooking up individually.

For now, it looks like we will all be extending our wait for setting Barbie Girl as our ringtones and using a colour wheel to select the OS theme. With NoDo just around the corner (should it actually work on all devices), our attention should be occupied with the features included within the update, not to mention the fantastic selection of Xbox Live titles and apps that are available. 

What do you think of this decision, and do you have high hopes for the homebrew support that Microsoft is promising?

Source: WindowsPhoneHacker

More →

For those of us who may travel outside of the United States, taking the Samsung Focus with us to use on Europe's vast GSM network seems like a no-brainer. Of course, lets assume we're going for an extended time and/or just don't want to use AT&T's high-priced voice/data roaming--what do you do? You carrier unlock of course, enabling the use of non-AT&T SIM cards on the phone and you're in pre-paid GSM heaven.

Not so fast there buddy, says AT&T.

Evidently, AT&T has an exclusive deal on the Focus till, we hear, at least May 2011. What that means is if you call them, regardless of your sob story, they will not give you a SIM unlock code for your Samsung Focus.  Many have tried and as far as we can tell, none have succeeded.

What about the other route? Paying a third party for the database access, like cellunlocker.net who are charging a modest $4.99 for the code. Nope, won't work either.  In fact calling Samsung directly is even resulting in the run-around (though at least a few have succeeded). Unlocker sites will return with "not found in database" (true) and Samsung will point you back at AT&T. Pretty lame.

The only solution we heard about (and we confirm works) is FastGSM.com, who provide a software tool to do it. This process will set you back though about $20, which is hardly ideal but at least works. If you go this route, make sure you follow the video and not the software-tool's instructions. To verify your unlock status, follow these directions. To get an idea of what to expect, you can see the video after the break...

Anyone have other solutions that worked or advice? Share in comments.

More reading at XDA

More →

Julien Schapman, developer of TouchXperience, looks to have pulled off quite the programming feat by developing an all-in-one Windows Phone Device Manager, based off of the Windows 7 Device Manager framework.

It will allow you to easily transfer files, tethered or wirelessly and even unlock your device (similar to ChevronWP7) for sideloading of homebrew apps. From his blog:

Windows Phone Device Manager allows you to manage your Windows Phone 7 device from your PC, you can simply view, install and uninstall "sideloaded" applications, explore device, transfer and sync files,... It is compatible with all Windows Phone 7 devices.

Windows Phone Device Manager detects when the phone is connected or disconnected, if you don't have a registered developer device it can automatically unlock your phone, so you don't need ChevronWP7 anymore.

You can also connect to your phone via Wi-Fi, for example to transfer files from/to your phone using Windows Phone Device Manager or the provided Windows Phone application.

If Windows Phone Device Manager becomes popular I think about creating an open marketplace for non-commercial applications. Developers are welcome to join the project!

Sounds pretty nice to us. Perhaps he should team up with Dave Amenta and his Send to WP7 Desktop project (which is evolving daily). We'll follow up on this when released.

Source: TouchXperience Blog, XDA Forums; via: mobilitydigest

More →

We're gonna pat ourselves on the back here a little bit and pretend that it was our open letter and persistent persistence that finally got Verizon to open up the GPS on the HTC Touch Pro and Samsung Saga – and, finally, the Samsung Omnia.

Note that the update page is up, but the download link isn't yet live. But here's what's getting updated:

  • The latest Microsoft AKU Update 1.5.1.
  • Enhanced zoom for Internet Explorer.
  • Slight UI Modifications.
  • Various additional improvements to improve handset function.
  • Open Standalone LBS Supported and Performance Enhanced (This may Support 3rd Party Applications).
  • VZ Access Manager Supports Bluetooth Connection (SPP).
  • Correction of memory shortage issues.

OK, so it probably had nothing to do with us. That's cool. And it's the Saga, Touch Pro and Omnia owners who are the real winners here. Thanks for finally getting it done, Verizon. (And thanks, cplush, for the tip!)

Now, Verizon, about that Marketplace thing ...

Update: Rut-ro. Sure enough, the link got pulled. Keep an eye out folks.

More →

A ROM update has been released for the Samsung Saga on Verizon, and it might just have a little gem in it for which we've been waiting quite a while. First, the fine points of the upgrade:

  • The Latest Microsoft AKU Update 1.5.1.
  • Enhanced zoom for Internet Explorer
  • Slight UI Modifications.
  • Various additional improvements to improve handset function.
  • Open Standalone LBS Supported & Performance Enhanced. (This may Support 3rd Party Applications)
  • MMS Over GPRS Supported. (GSM Mode)
  • Softswitch For GSM (Allows handset to select correct network overseas)
  • Multiple Qualcomm Patches Applied To Improve Phone Performance.
  • VZ Access Manager Supports Bluetooth Connection (SPP).

Notice the fifth item there? LBS, of course, is location-based services. That could be cell-tower triangulation, or, GPS! So, that'd unlock two of the three phones that Verizon promised to unshackle in the first half of the year, with the other being the HTC Touch Pro. We've got a week left. Will we see the Omnia get an official update soon?

Go here to get the upgrade, and make sure you follow Samsung's overly complicated upgrade process.

Thanks, again, to cplush for the tip!

More →

That Verizon Touch Pro ROM update that unlocks the GPS? It's now officially up on PCD's Web site (that's where the official Verizon releases congregate), and it's there as a Version 2. Apparently a GPS bug was discovered in the first update that PhoneNews was hosting, and PhoneNews now lets us know that this new version takes care of it. And since it's the official official version, here's the changelog:

  • Added Visual Voicemail support.
  • Added EVRC B capability
  • Added Standalone GPS Capability.

Go get it here. And as always, back up your info first. And happy flashing!

Update: Sorry, folks, looks like the update's been pulled again. And nobody's saying why. We'll keep you updated.

Update 2: It's up again! Only change anyone can tell is in the date of the file.

More →

Verizon unlocks Touch Pro's GPS

We've been pushing and pushing for Verizon to unlock the GPS on its smartphones, and it looks like they're finally starting to get the job done.

A new ROM has been released for the HTC Touch Pro, says PhoneNews. [via] Version 1.08 opens up GPS for use in Google Maps as well as Live Search for Mobile. A commenter also notes that the GPS even works in airplane mode. The update also gives visual voicemail and a new voice codec.

For now, PhoneNews has the only link to the update, but keep an eye out for one from Verizon itself. UPDATE: That previous ROM had a bug, apparently. New link here.

Now, about unlocking GPS on your other phones, Verizon ...

More →

Big ups to jockyw2001 over at XDA-Developers, who has furthered the cause of unlocking your Tilt (HTC Kaiser for you international folks). He's put up two sets of instructions. The first is a Kaiser Sim Unlocker, if you need to use your device on a different network. The second is a SuperCID and Security Unlocker, which is something you'll probably be able to ignore. To vastly oversimplify: a

More →

Sprint to Unlock Phones

The tide is finally turning against the carriers, folks. Witness the latest piece of evidence: Sprint looks like they're about to settle a class action lawsuit filed last year in California. The gist: They'll be offering unlocks to outgoing customers so they can use them on competing networks. Since this is CDMA we're talking about here, “competing networks” basically means Verizon with a side of Alltel, but we'll take whatever we can get.

There are catches and caveats, though, there always are. You have to be fully paid up on your bill (that's fair) and the suit only applies to people who've purchased their phone between Aug 28th, 1999 and July 16th, 2007. Which makes us ask: What happened on July 17th?

“We believe this settlement is fair and reasonable,” Sullivan said, adding that the company denies wrongdoing and settled the suit “so we can continue to focus on our business.”

Read: The Associated Press: Spring Nextel Agrees to Unlock Phones

More →