ChevronWP7 team has signed off on their "ChevronWP7 Labs" official unlocking service for Windows Phone. The unlocking tool -- developed with Microsoft's blessing and help -- is aimed primarily at homebrewers interested in developing Windows apps.
"We believe Windows Phone development should be accessible to anyone. We are providing a Windows Phone developer unlocking service to developers across all skill levels and regions for just $9 USD per phone," stated the team members Rafael Rivera, Chris Walsh, and Long Zheng.
"ChevronWP7 Labs was designed to allow hobbyist developers to install, run, and debug unsigned applications on their personal Windows Phone. You log into the site with your Windows Live ID, pay a small fee, and presto -- you're ready to write and share some homebrew code," the team blogged.
The WP unlocking tool, which comes in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors, costs $9 per Windows Phone unlock. Homebrew app developers who want to publish their apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace still need to register for a Microsoft App Hub account.
"ChevonWP7 Labs allows hobbyist developers to unlock their personal Windows Phone devices and install, run, and debug unsigned apps for a small fee - at USD$9 per device - without having to register at the App Hub and pay for the USD$99 yearly registration fee. Of course, it won't allow you to publish apps in the Windows Phone marketplace, as the aim of the service is to foster the homebrew apps community for Windows Phone."
Another advantage of using ChevronWP7 Labs service is that your phone's warranty will remain intact, given the team had worked closely with Microsoft and the unlocking tool behaves identically to the official tool.
The team also posted some great homebrew WP apps including:
- Screen Capture v3 - Take screenshots from your Windows Phone 7 to share a funny SMS or illustrate an app on a blog post
- Mango Battery Status - Check your phone's battery life on a Live Tile
- Webserver (Mango) - Why wouldn't you run a web server on your phone
To get started, follow these steps:
- A Windows Live ID is required for registration. (does not need to be the one tied to your phone)
- Purchase "unlock tokens" for USD $9 via PayPal or credit card. Each token equals one unique Windows Phone device registration. (You get unlimited re-registrations of that device should the need arise.)
- Download and run a ChevronWP7 Lab's unlocking tool on the PC. This tool works identical to the official "developer registration" tool, but requires you to have purchased an "unlock token" first instead of an App Hub account.
- You'll then placed onto an "unlock queue". This queue exists to serialize unlock requests for various security and administrative reasons,
- Your WP is now developer unlocked and can now install homebrew XAP app packages.