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Windows Phone 8.1 reportedly closes ‘Fiddler loophole’ for installed OEM exclusive apps

This is one of those Windows Phone 8.1 changes that will only affect like 0.1% of you, though it’s still interesting if you’re into security and what may be best described as piracy.

Last summer, we ran a controversial story about how to install OEM exclusive apps to your Windows Phone. Those apps are always ‘free’ though they are in theory subsidized by your purchase of that OEM’s phone. There was a method used where you can spoof your Nokia Lumia to look like a Samsung one, or vice versa.

Windows Phone 8.1 has apparently been patched, making the OS slightly more secure against such behavior. Reader of the site NFC Flaap wrote us in, detailing is experience:

 “One of the unnoticed changes in Windows Phone 8.1 is that the Fiddler route to install exclusive apps has been closed. Of course, this may also be because of the changes in the Windows Phone store itself. One of the apps I had installed on my phone worked fine until the 8.1 update. The app was there but simply refused to start. So I uninstalled it and then tried to reinstall again using the Fiddler route. This too failed. So I guess Microsoft fixed this loophole silently.”

We haven't verified this ourselves if this is accurate, mostly because lack of intent, but it seems highly probable.

It’s certainly interesting, and we’re surprised it took this long. But then again, the number of people doing this type of thing was always very small. For one, not all apps were able to be installed, mostly due to specific firmware requirements not on all phones, making this less exciting than initially thought. The second, Windows Phone and piracy while it does exist, is a very tiny segment of the user community. So far, custom ROMs, hacking of the registry, and installing pirated apps is more of a technical hobby than a big-time problem.

Regardless, it’s interesting to see this method evidently disappear. It’s not clear if it’s because Microsoft actively patched it, or it is just changes to the Store.

Thanks, NFC Flapp, for the update

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Comments

There are 92 comments. Sign in to comment

ruddevil says:

Never worked for me simply because the proxy is far far away from where I live and the bandwidth is simply too small.

I tried once, got caught up in the win8 troubles to be sorted out for fiddler. Would try again in a while, but hope that those apps dont stop working after 8.1

tkdmacgeek says:

Bone the loopholes

Ahndz says:

in her latest video review, molly wood said Siri is kicking Cortana's butt..

SwimSwim says:

Relevant how?

OTD-Razor says:

Don't mind this idiot shill. The account is a week old and the only posts are copies of themselves to multiple articles. Would be nice if there was a link to report the account.

shadow118 says:

When I found about this, there were also instructions how to make a local proxy. You had to change some lines in the fiddler config files (basically you had to enter the name of your device and the name of the device you wanted the store to think you have) and it worked. That's how I got the Nokia Pro Cam on my 620 when it first came out (it was on available for 920 or higher)

It's extremely simple to set up your own proxy

TSBnick says:

No more Nokia apps for my Ativ S

MS gave you HereDrive+ Worldwide...

Loco5150 says:

No, Nokia gave it, its not MS property so they cant give it.

I don't think so. I think it's part of the MS-Deal...

Wael Hasno says:

All the HERE services will remain with Nokia.

msirapian says:

Nobodo gives anything for free in this universe. HERE remains part of Nokia and if somebody decided to licence Drive+ for free, somebody else has paid for it. Probably Microsoft.

So Microsoft is most likely offering a free licence because of a deal with Nokia (and Nokia might have accepted because it means cash at the end of the day).

Novron says:

Be that as it may, supposed to be free after 8.1 is released.
http://m.wpcentral.com/here-drive-be-free-all-windows-phone-81

Really? I can't download the app for free (polish region).

Yep same here. No here drive +. (well it is here, but costs €40,99)

try to change your region to US first. and check the market again..

Micah Dawson says:

Lmao get a Lumia instead of pirating.

Flagz says:

Some of us don't like Lumia? Lol.

aitt says:

Wow. You really must not understand the concept of pirating

Lumia by far are the best Windows Phone. The only way I would ever do this is if my carrier didn't have any Lumias (cough* sprint cough*)

The ones that dont have a 16:9 screen aren't worth the time

neo158 says:

True but also no Samsung apps for hypocrite Nokia users either ;-)

Micah Dawson says:

Lmfao what Samsung apps?

neo158 says:

The ones that you Nokia users were installing and using, remember App Folders.

But I would expect a comment like that from a Lumia Hipster like you!!!

Micah Dawson says:

I never used app folder. Idont even use the app folder from Nokia because I find app folders stupid in general.

But hey I've never been called a hipster before. That's a first lol. I have no need to pirate the apps that aren't meant for my phone and if I did, I wouldn't go for Samsung apps.

neo158 says:

What would you rather I call you then, a dumbass Lumia fanboy?

Good, Samsung apps don't need input from you anyway!!!

Keep your 3 Samsung apps... Lol

brayvefart says:

No one cares for those ' SamDung' apps. Lumia users are way more privileged not only because the quality of apps being very high but also the support and and not to mention the design that it delivers!

SIMONator24 says:

Stfu fanboys, everyone has his own taste

neo158 says:

Here we go, typical Lumia Hipster Bullshit. You know fuck all about Samsung and Windows Phone so just STFU!!!

The_Lord23 says:

I think you're rather misusing the term 'hipster'

neo158 says:

Not really hipsters are generally fanatical, just look at the Apple Hipsters!!!

aitt says:

This to a point. Hipsters like trending things.

Not the true definition. What society calls hipsters is another story

spinzeroWL says:

You don't sound educated enough to know the difference.

I've owned a few Samsung phones and have the opportunity to play with a GS5. How many Lumias have you owned? My guess... 0

kenzibit says:

They keep on coming

neonspark says:

I doubt anybody wants anything but the nokia apps and now that MSFT owns them, it is unlikely they will wage war on their own OEMs by keeping them exclusive instead of being just free apps released under the microsoft corporation publisher.

Micah Dawson says:

I certainly hope they do keep them exclusive. Its bad enough here drive is now for everyone.

Jas00555 says:

That only creates more work for OEMs and would be bad for Windows Phone as a whole. Microsoft's job should be to make it as easy as possible for companies other than itself to make phones.

aitt says:

Lmao. Comical.

Micah Dawson says:

It is comical, isn't it? Personally, if Samsung and HTC apps(not that they have anything worthwhile really aside from a few) aren't coming to everyone then why do the more desired apps from Nokia need to lose exclusivity? Lmao. If people want the apps, make em paid. Free for Lumias, paid for the others.

aitt says:

Cry me a river.

Micah Dawson says:

Nah, the non Lumia owners do that when they keep asking for our apps.

neonspark says:

ultimately irrelevant. The MSFT phones (lumia or otheriwse) won't give nokia a dime for anything beyond what their purchase terms under MSFT's deal demand. I suppose what may happen (and nobody knows because the details are confidential) is that the Lumia post MSFT will be basically HERE-less which is due to the fact nokia owns the services even if not the app itself. So in fact bing will go back to being the primary provider for all that here used to do.

The service-less apps, proably will end up in the redmond turf so they will likely just be renamed and released under the MSFT corporation publisher. MSFT doesn't offer any app for free that OEMs don't also get for free under windows 8. There is no reason to believe they will start this war with OEMs now, specially when they are begging for support. If they are not part of the deal, I suspect if nokia starts asking for $ from post aquisition owners, they'll just die off as nokia has zero interest in WP development at this point and MSFT will just re-create them better and free for all.

Either way, I think we're seeing the end of this fragmentation which IMO is excellent. I much rather see essentials like navigation and things of the sort be addressed by MSFT and not an OEM. Maybe it will make MSFT improve the services and make bing maps, suck less.

If you didnt know Bing maps is powered by NAVTEQ(Nokia here division) so nokia is still licensing access it just may not be in their own app but in the ms app which has different direction algorithms

hopmedic says:

I am a Nokia user, and I would actually hope they release them, at least most of them, to ask phones that have the required capabilities. The more features out there, the better for the ecosystem, and the more OEMs making Windows Phones, the better. More software will entice more OEMs.

Slovenix says:

Yes, there is free navigation on Android, so why should we pay on WP, and MS Maps cant compete, so it's definitely needed a lot. One more reason to stick with WP and easier for OEMs

hopmedic says:

I'm talking about a lot more than maps... ;-)

Novron says:

MS maps is just a different front end on the same system. It can compete, they just have to add more features.

Slovenix says:

Yeah but not in EU or at least my country :) its real pain in the ass looking on my phone for all kind of routes and traveling options in HERE Drive, Maps (walk,car,train) as on my Nexus, It shows total time, length of traveling including walking from start position, trains left in the day, train stops, everything you could imagine, it also knows where I live, work, shows up with traveling directions at the time I usually leave, all this without adding any information in my device, they can steal all my data, I only care that everything works perfect.
And yes all these features are already here and for free
and yes I know, but maps are so much needed :)
I love my Windows Phone, but all this US only and useless services are making it useless..
If Nokia made Android with 41mp I would sure go and get one, as Google services are just too powerful and easy here
Plus it would most likely get more attention and gain money than selling the best thing they made to MS
About PC MS side, its Windows and only Windows, no comment on that.

msirapian says:

HERE and all associated services remain Nokia and are not part of the deal.

neonspark says:

There are many apps which aren't services. Off course the Here services stay with nokia (the backend). But what about the front end? Does the billions include the right to offer the front end apps on the WP platform? The development team for these apps is likely redmond's now, so it is unlikely nokia will care for the panorama app, etc, when they don't even sell windows phones any more.

If access to the here services isn't universal on all WPs, I see these services basically dying off because MSFT has bing maps which will go back to being the default and the android crowd will stay with google.

Slovenix says:

The best thing really would be Google Now and Maps on WP really.. But thats probably not going to happen anytime soon, makes me pissed off on MS and Google at same time cos they all care about money anyways.. On the other hand I really like WP exlusive apps the same way as on Android side and that makes me like both.. So its 50% 50% .. But yes I think that would help roll in more users and it would look pretty nice on wp..

raghav013 says:

Samsung OEM Apps which i installed before 8.1 update like Photogram , HTC app , Manga are working after 8.1 update as well in my 1520 but yes Proxy method doesnt work anymore i verified it.

neo158 says:

They may well still work but try updating them!!!

cruelvaldez says:

Its good thing I have the 920 instead of the 8x

neo158 says:

What's your point, every OEM has exclusive apps?

cruelvaldez says:

That Nokia does best with exclusive apps :)

neo158 says:

ROFLMAO, you mean Microsoft Mobile, don't you?

Really, then why were all you Nokia users using Samsung App Folders?

_Emi_ says:

idiot :)
you really want attention, don't you? it's good to see people like you around here, who will troll someone only because he/she is happy for having a better supported phone like it's Nokia, with more exclusives.
but troll more please!

paulomalley says:

Um, we aren't using Samsung's app folders... Nokia has their own... ;)

Nokia lock screen? Wats that?

Aryan Angel says:

WP store has like total 5 apps, so...

Chef316 says:

Wow...didn't know that
..lol

The_Lord23 says:

Hmm. Either poorly executed humour or deliberately inciting conflict. Which to choose...?

TURNERO says:

Is mommy not giving you enough attention so you have to come and troll for it here?

wetworker says:

I did That when I had my Samsung Focus in 2011. HTC had a few good apps that worked on my Focus.

2tomtom says:

Off topic, but in IE on WP you can swipe left to go back, is it me being stupid or is this new??

Slovenix says:

Left and also Right to move forward. It's new I think

Chef316 says:

This is new in IE 11

Not True

After I hard reset my 8x after the update (desperate to get cortana). I didn't use my backup to restore.
I manually installed Here Drive + afterwards. Using a proxy setup with Fiddlr. Its still €40.99 over here.

I have some screens if you peeps wanna see:

it is not available free, yet. unlike 44quattrosport stated

theefman says:

Prime example why this loophole needs to be closed.

Just did some fiddling since WPcentral reported it was "blocked" whilst it is obviously not. The 8x is obviously not my primary device, I just use it for development. (hence it's running 8.1)

Because of the "lack" of support and exclusive apps I purchased a 620 as my primary device.

I dont really understand why debunking a WPcentral story is a prime example why the loophole needs te be closed but I assume you assumed I was pirating the software. (which is why we don't make assumptions based on limited information.)

BadCoder says:

Bummed about this, would really like to have the att app on my Verizon phone so I can manage my families phones..

Novron says:

What did it let you do?

BadCoder says:

I can manage my kids data and see their usage as well as see the bill. That type of stuff..

Am on HTC 8x and the exclusive apps are still there.

hkdrj says:

Shame, I liked Samsung App Folder more than it´s Nokia counterpart.

BaritoneGuy says:

^^ This. I liked the layout better and the fact that I could also pin settings tiles directly on the screen. I do admit though that
I like the 1520 a lot. On my 4th WP. LG Quantum > Focus > Ativ S > 1520.

SwimSwim says:

Don't really care. Never had any allure, simply because of how limited it was. I feel no more than 100 will mourn this loss.

WinOMG says:

I'm pretty disappointed with Windows Phone. Needs these improvements: http://pastebin.com/13nzxjqD

FAHMI BASSEM says:

This is better, now Samsung users can't use our-Lumia users- apps :)