The ChevronWP7 team (Rafael Rivera, Chris Walsh, and Long Zheng) has finally signed off on their “ChevronWP7 Labs” official unlocking service for Windows Phone users. To recap, 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. Here’s a how you can sign up:
- A Windows Live ID is required for registration. (This 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 will then placed onto an “unlock queue”. This queue exists to serialize unlock requests for various security and administrative reasons,
- Your Windows Phone is now developer unlocked and can now install homebrew XAP app packages.
Note that another advantage of using the 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. To get you started, the ChevronWP7 team posted some great homebrew Windows Phone apps already available:
- 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, register at the ChevronWP7 Labs website (http://labs.chevronwp7.com) now!