Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More WP7 nonsense - Interop Unlock

So (see previous post), I finally got my Microsoft App Hub account to work. MS had to manually enter my credit card info -- their sign up pages are very broken. Lots of pain there.

But I did it and then I found out that there are several levels of unlock for the Windows Phone 7.

  • Locked - This is how a phone comes. You can't upload any apps.
  • Student Unlock - "Student" developers can sign up for this and are able to upload 3 development apps to their phone.
  • Developer Unlock - This is what you pay $99 for at AppHub. It gives you up to 10 apps that you can upload to your phone. I have this.
  • Interop Unlock - Upload as many apps as you want. But, even better, the apps that you do upload have can access all kinds of features that you can't access with lower accounts: The registry, etc.
Obviously the Interop Unlock is something to shoot for. There appear to be lots of jailbreaks for this for First Generation WP7 phones, but not many for second generation like the HTC Radar that I have.

So, after signing up, I still am pretty limited on what types of apps I can write for my own hardware. 

This is a little bit different from Apple. When I developed iPhone apps, I could write any app I wanted and use any API I liked -- I couldn't put the app in the store, but I could put it on my phone.

I'm so used to Microsoft giving developers a lot of freedom. In fact, if you bought earlier generation phones, they even supported Homebrew. But that era seems to have ended.

So I don't have full control of my hardware.

This situation will not stand.

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