Disclosure: Well before the publication of this article, WPCentral contacted Microsoft's Brandon Watson directly about the breach and we are cooperating with Microsoft in any way we can. Microsoft may be providing a statement to us addressing this issue, which we will of course post in its entirety if they choose to do so.
Yesterday we reported on a controversial "whitepaper" over at XDA (since pulled) which gleaned publicly available information to outline how the WP7 Marketplace could be cracked. To some, this was new. For others, it was very old. And for others still, it was information that was plain incorrect.
For developers, the weakness in Microsoft's DRM for Windows Phone 7 applications has been well known for quite some time, and there have been calls for Microsoft to address these concerns (see here in their forums).
Since then, a "white hat" developer has provided WPCentral with a proof-of-concept program that can successfully pull any application from the Marketplace, remove the security and deploy to an unlocked Windows Phone with literally a push of a button. Alternatively, you could just save the cracked XAP file to your hard drive. Neither the app nor the methodology is public, and it will NOT be released (please don't ask). It is important to note that this was all done within six hours by one developer.
After the break, you can see a video of the application (called "FreeMarketplace") in action, demonstrating how easy it can be to download any app from the Marketplace. While many will condemn us for "promoting piracy," we respectfully disagree. We have heard many complaints from developers about this weakness for months now and it is their right to know about the flaws in the system. We are confident Microsoft will work hard to implement a stronger DRM system, in part due to this proof-of-concept demonstration.
Tobias, technical adviser for this article, can be contacted via WPCentral
Considering how Mobile Internet Explore is currently the only browser on Windows Phone7, we sure have a lot of amazing options e.g. Metro Browser, Browse On and Browser+. Now there is another new app called SurfCube which once again, redefines browsing on our device.
In short, it adds a 3D cube to the mix that allows you to rotate around to other screens (settings, bookmarks, etc.) while maintaining a full-screen browsing experience. It's surprisingly very fluid and easy to use even makes sense.
We'll be doing a more thorough look in a bit but for now, you can give it a spin in the Marketplace for a trial or purchase for a fair $1.99. Check the video of it in action after the break.
Just being a little over two months old, 2010 was a very short year for the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. Having recently passed the 5,000 app mark the Marketplace offers a wide range of applications for your Windows Phone. As 2010 comes to a close, we thought we'd take a peak to see what apps were tops in the Marketplace.
The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace offers two top ten lists; Top Paid and Top Free apps. The top ten free apps are:
- Xbox Live Extras
- Adobe Reader
- The Weather Channel
- Tetris 7
- Kill the Duck
To see the Top Ten Paid Apps list, follow the break.
Following successful test launches in NYC, Charlotte, NC and Chicago earlier in 2010, AT&T announced today that it plans to deploy more Wi-Fi Hotzones in certain major markets around the country. The first initiative will be to expand its current NYC coverage in Times Square, Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the next few days.
Walking the fine line between black and white hat security, XDA member V@l€n has gone and posted a detailed "security whitepaper" on the state of app piracy in the Windows Phone Marketplace.
We almost hate to write on the topic since it will attract claims of supporting piracy, but the fact is developers and Microsoft need to know just how vulnerable the platform is so that it can be improved on before it's a problem. And that's just it, right now there is no issue with app piracy for Windows Phone, but it is inching closer and once those few remaining hurdles are cleared, there will literally be a flood of pirated apps on the market.
But before we jump into all of that, lets detail exactly what is going on here. For better or worse, V@l€n has done a great job of outlining all the steps needed to make a ridiculous piracy campaign, showing all the necessary procedures that need to be cleared.
Follow us after the jump as we walk through this story...
Although WP7 can support many characters (we had an email written in Thai read just beautifully), full-on language support is a whole other issue. Microsoft is busy at regionalizing WP7 for Asian markets and we can expect that in the second half of 2011. Until then, developer "kaorun" (Kaoru Nakajima) is in the early stages of bringing Japanese to Windows Phone 7 through his app called FlickPad X2.
The app is distributed via XAP file and he plans to publish it to the Marketplace in the future (whether or not it gets through is another issue). Evidently, you can do email and web searches in Japanese as well as other functions. Seems good to us and we're pretty impressed.
Check out the video after the break to see it in action.
While Windows Phone 7 devices are available in many countries the access to the Windows Phone Marketplace isn't. According to an online petition, the Marketplace is only available in seventeen countries and Windows Phone 7 owners want that to change.
The petition is directed to Microsoft and simply asks:
While "Sense 3.0" on Windows Phone 7 is a bit underwhelming (although that weather update helps), HTC is still interested in developing it further for our new OS. What exactly that means is anyone's guess because evidently, they're not talking.
Windows Phone 7 custom ROM development got a big boost today with the advancement in two areas: