For those of you leaving on the edge of your Windows Phone 7 software (e.g. Google Maps, ringtone manager), you would be a little experienced with installing .XAP files (pronounced "zap") which are basically the WP7 version of .CABs. While installing them isn't that hard (Start Menu --> Windows Phone Developer Tools --> Application Deployment --> Select file), looks like someone wanted to make it even easier.
If you remember the old add on .cab installer for Windows Mobile called CabViaActiveSync, this app by Tom Condon should be very familiar: it basically allows one-click install of any .xap file on your computer. Simply download the zip, extract the .exe and Run As Administrator. Now, whenever you click on a .xap file, you'll get the above dialog screen allowing direct installs to the phone.
While many of you haven't unlocked yet and the Homebrew scene is still in its infancy, we recommend you bookmark this or make a mental note as this app will be very useful later on.
Source: XDA Forums
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.
Ok, call me silly, but I'm sure MS sees the apps and uses coming out of this homebrew stuff and figures the smart thing to do is just allow it without the need to unlock the phone from the get go. So I think we could see them giving access to 3rd party devs to use the same APIs they're able to use by unlocking the devices right now. I can't wait to see what sorta little things the first update brings because although I don't expect something totally massive feature wise just allowing 3rd party devs access to background APIs and thngs like Sockets will help boost the quality of apps all around.
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