Looks like the wish of many developers and users who are into Homebrew Apps is soon going to be true on Windows Phone 8 devices. First of all, let’s take a look back into history where the concept of Root Tools came into existence:
What is a Root Tool:
This is similar to Android’s Super User program, allowing you to run unauthorized or uncertified apps to run on Windows Phone which in turn can also make use of special permissions and access areas which generally are not allowed to regular programs which we download from Windows Phone store.
The first Root Tool came out for Windows Phone 7 devices almost 2 years ago, which then resulted in tons of apps bringing in features which Windows Phone did not have at that time.
The guy behind is the genius Heathcliff74 who gave us WP7 Root Tools.
WP8 Root Tools Progress:
Today, Heathcliff74, posted more details on his progress on WP8 Root Tools. Mind you Windows Phone 8 comes with lots of security features and closed APIs which make it quite difficult to hack it but the developers don’t give up easy!!
He has detailed a lot of things about it on his posts but here are some major facts:
- WP8 Root Tools is not a reality as of now. Windows Phone 8 new security engine uses sandboxing mechanism where all apps seems to be running but at Kernel Level there is still some scope.
- He started by targeting the emulator instead of putting lot of efforts directly on the device. After a lot of effort made, he has ROOT Access to the Emulator. This is a big news because he was able to bypass the Windows Phone 8 security feature by a large margin. However taking this to the devices is completely different story.
- Even though GoodDayToDie was able to inerop-unlock Samsung ATIV-S, Heathcliff74 says that Interop-Unlocked still needs some empowerment to work with Root Access. Looks like Microsoft did lock down things here as this was an easy hack on Windows Phone 7.
- Root access for the Windows Phone 8 emulator is an approach from the kernel-side and Interop-Unlock is an approach from the application-side, but they still need to meet in the middle. So far, that hasn’t happened for Windows Phone 8 yet and this will need a lot more research.
All that said, since he has root access to emulator, he will be working towards a prototype of WP8 Root Tools of which some core-parts are already done.
Concluding, to all my regular readers, please ignore this if this was bit of overdose. In short Windows Phone 8 will soon be able to run third-party and homebrew apps and may bring in features which many of us been dreaming off. Nevertheless, this is not an easy job.
A big applause to all the guys working on it. Read more about it here