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Everything you need to know about Windows Phone 8 (FAQ)

OP thals1992

3rd October 2013, 02:01 AM   |  #1  
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A lot of people are flooding the WP8 sub-forums by asking questions that haven't exactly been answered in a straightforward manner. This is my first stab at this and this post will grow over time.
  • What are some pros and cons of using Windows Phones?
    I'll just refer you to this post over at Windows Phone Central. The person who wrote this had an HTC 8X, and had made it before YouTube was an app, so a few things might be dated about it, but its still essentially the same when it comes to the user experience.
    Pros and Cons with Windows Phone 8
  • How do I "unbrand" my device?
    By installing a region generic ROM for the same device.
    Here's a tutorial for the HTC 8X - [Guide] Unbrand HTC 8X
    Here's a tutorial for the Lumia 920 - Lumia 920 Amber Update via Rogers (Canada) Dev ROM
    Note: Once you flash the Rogers Dev ROM, you can't go back to your factory ROM.
  • How do I enable BitLocker on my device?
    You can have your company administrator enable it.
    You can also enable it using an Office 365 subscription. More details will be added soon.
  • Once I install a ROM or InteropUnlock my phone will I still get updates?
    It will still receive updates, but it will be as often as either the other carrier pushes updates or as the manufacturer pushes generic model updates. If you chose to jump on the Developer OS Preview(Beta Update) train, you'll receive updates directly from Microsoft months before your manufacturer will push an update and even faster than your cellular carrier can push an update.
  • Does my device work internationally? Can I use a different carrier with my current device?
    It depends if you device shares the same cellular bands. Also you might need your SIM unlocked. You can either call you MO and tell them you need it unlocked for international travel or pay for a SIM unlocking service.
    NOTE: Paying for an unlocking service is technically illegal in the US due to an unfriendly consumer law the government has decided to enact, but not enforce.
  • Will LTE work if I leave my home country/Will LTE work with another carrier?
    LTE (E-UTRA in most implementations) is a different standard to GSM and CDMA. It has features that allow it to work with GSM and CDMA hardware, but essentially is a completely new beast. This has its own frequency blocks (it can also share the same bands as 3G, but lets not go there) and operates independent of the "3G" networks, so if you want LTE to work, you'll also need 3G and 2G bands to work as well.
    To start, lets say we have a Lumia 928.
    It has the following:
    • LTE network bands: 4 (1700 MHz - block f), 13 (700 MHz - block c) Verizon says that it needs a firmware update to enable the 4th band
    • WCDMA network: 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1900 MHz, 2100 MHz this will usually be the same as GSM
    • CDMA network bands: BC0, BC1 (we can safely ignore this; these are the main bands that others will use, but there might still be an exception to this.)
    • GSM network: 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz
    So, if I wanted to use this with a GSM carrier and LTE, I need to find a carrier that uses LTE band 13.
    That limits me to Open Mobile (Triad 700) in Puerto Rico, Entel Bolivia in Bolivia, and Digicel Cayman in the Cayman Islands. That's just the Americas.
    In Asia, I can use MTS Uzbekistan and UCell in Uzbekistan. That's all the places that share LTE band 13 and the 700 MHz c block. When ever LTE band 4 is enabled on the device, I have a plethora of other carrier I can use in the US alone and three of the main carriers in Canada ( Bell, Rogers Wireless, and Telus)
    Check the tables here to make sure they share the same LTE band and frequency. YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY!Well, at least betteer than mine anyways...
  • My phone apps have stopped updating/I have GDR2, but no Amber.
    You have two options.
    1. Install SysApp Pusher and check for updates.
    2. Flash a ROM for your device using the respective tools.
      Note: Not all devices have public factory ROMs yet. The Samsung ATIV S 899M, the ATIV Odyssey, the ATIV Neo, and the HTC 8S&8XT are all the current offenders.
  • Where can I get a ROM for my device if its available?

    Check your device specific forum if its available.
    If your device is manufactured by Nokia, go to seidea.com and either download the latest Nokia Product Tool or Nokia Software Updater. This tool will have the Latest ROM for your specific device and you can run a few hardware tests on it as well. You can also follow the tutorial in the WP8 Dev and Hacking section as well.

    If your device is manufactured by Samsung, having a ROM for your specific device will be hit or miss. The ATIV S (SGH-T899M model) and the ATIV Odyssey (SCH-I930 model) does not have a public ROM. The I-8750 has several ROMs available. If you need to know more, just visit the WP8 Dev and Hacking section.

    If your device is manufactured by HTC, chances are your out of luck. There are only two ROMs available and you can follow the tutorial in the HTC Windows Phone 8X Development and Hacking section. NOTE:The only ROMs available are European, it might not work on other devices designed for your region.
    If your device is manufactured by Huawei, check the WP8 Dev and Hacking section... I know very little about the W1, let alone the W2.
  • How do I install apps from other OEMs?
    1. Install SysApp Pusher
    2. Use either reker's proxy, or use [EXE] [1.7.5] Store OEM Changer
  • Can I install Android on a WP8 device?
    NO. These devices are extremely tight security wise and it is very improbable that someone would code an emulator.
  • Can I get WP8 on an Android device?
    NO. WP8 is pre-complied for the device that it was aimed for.
    EDIT: News from WPCentral has noted that MS is working with HTC to have dual-boot devices between Android and Windows Phone. AFAIK, most of our WP dev hacking team barely know anything about Android or even how it works.
    Microsoft and HTC in talks for more devices. We could see hardware with both Android and Windows Phone installed
  • What's this interop-unlock thingy? How do I get it?
    It's a hurdle for deploying xaps that require additional permissions that aren't normally available to developers.
    To get Interop-Unlock, you need either a Samsung ATIV S, an ATIV S Neo (AT&T's model is untested), or an ATIV Odyssey.
    HTC, Nokia, and Huawei devices aren't supported at this time, due to things how specific the Interop-Unlock mod is. It requires the Diagnostic app from Samsung, and IT WILL NOT DEPLOY to other OEMs, unless the respective permissions are removed, but then its useless anyways.

    If you have an ATIV, deploy [XAP] Interop Unlock Helper app for Samsung WP8 phones AFTER you dev-unlock the phone.
  • I want a custom rom! Where's the download at?
    Woah! Hold on there! We are just in the early stages of custom roms. The only two available right now are for the Samsung ATIV S and the ATIV S Neo (the Neo ROM is considered a beta as there isn't a full ROM out for it yet. AFAIK, It isn't exactly a custom rom, but its actually a customization package that's inside a rom. Essentially, the stuff that a MO could deploy to your device, mostly settings and things of like that, but not really apps (they can be added, but they are really more useful in the MainOS package; and they don't have a size limit too....)
    You can get it here --> [ROM] Custom ROM for ATIV S.
    The Huawei Ascend W1 is soon to be receiving a custom ROM too, but check the Dev and Hacking forum for the time being.
  • How can I help unlocking different devices like the Lumias?
    The first thing I can recommend that you could do is to understand a bit about programming. The biggest thing is that you can at least READ code, whether is in .NET, C, C#, or C++, or even Native Code. (We need this the most along with people who have a grasp on Assembly!)

    The second thing I'd recommend to do, is to obtain a ROM for your device. Make sure its the right Product number, or the same edition of your device. That will be helpful if your phone dies and gets the spinning gears of death.
    Then, I'd obtain a tool to extract/mount your rom to be able to peer through various files that would be of use, along with a tool to flash it to your device.

    The third third thing I'd recommend is to obtain a decompiler and a good app that does comparisons between two files. @GoodDayToDie recommends Reflector or JustDecompile. I use dotPeek, because I don't need it to run in tandem with Visual Studio 2012.

    The fourth and final thing I'd recommend is to learn some low level stuff. Whether that's how to analyze USB traffic, how to code in assembly, or just simply learning how to use a network packet sniffer. Packet sniffing isn't too difficult to pick up.

    If you do happen to do some of these recommendations, it will be useful outside of Windows Phone, but for "hacking" in general and useful if you need a job where you could use this kind of knowledge.
  • How do you install .xap files?
    It depends where you got it from.
    If its from the marketplace/store, it can only be installed from a MicroSD.
    If the app was originally generated from the Windows Phone Dev Studio, you can directly download it from your phone's browser.
    • Go to the aetx url provided by MS.
    • Download the app either by the QR code or the direct url given.
    If its from your employer, you will either need to follow the same steps above (get the .aetx file and download the xap), or enter your company email and password in the settings menu for "Company apps."
    If its from xda-developers or somewhere you know its a developer app and not a store app, then make sure you have the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 Application Deployment tool installed. IMHO, use Windows Phone Power Tools.
    NOTE: You can also deploy WPDS apps this way if you choose to do so.
  • How do I developer unlock my device?
    Get ready, lots of things are going to get thrown at you. This is only officially supported on Windows 8 Pro x64 and Windows 8.1 Pro x64. Using any of these other tools, is going to have issues.
    1. Purchase a MS dev subscription or use a free subscription from Dreamspark. Dreamspark is only available if your college, university, or trade school offers it. You can also sign up for a dreamspark account via an ISIC Card.
      NOTE: If you don't have a dev account, you can skip the step above, but you can only have 2 apps installed at a time. If you've had a Dreamspark developer account for a while, you can deploy 3 apps, new ones have a limit of 10 apps. If you have a full Developer account by purchasing one from MS, you can install 10 apps.
    2. Download the Windows Phone 8 SDK ISO or use a Visual Studio Professional 2012/2013 ISO offered by Dreamspark.
      • NOTE: The WP8.1 SDK has been leaked and an official edition is expected to launch during BUILD 2014. The process below is expected to be the same.
      • It is only officially supported on Windows 8 Pro x64 and Windows 8.1 x64. It can be installed to Windows 7 x64 with a modified installer. Get the file from the first post here --> Tutorial: Install Windows Phone 8 SDK on Windows 7 the Easy Way and follow the steps below!
        1. Extract the ISO, using 7zip or WinRAR, or use anything that can extract ISO files for that matter.
        2. Replace "WPexpress_full.exe" with the modified file from the OP.
        3. Run the modified installer and follow its instructions.
        4. Install Visual Studio 2012 Update 4.
      • If your running a 32 bit edition of Windows, you might have luck with theWindows Phone 8 SDK Tools Lite Av1.0 by Arnold Vink. You can follow the steps below, but keep in mind that this only installs the deployment and unlock tools. Visual Studio and the emulator will not be installed. (I tested with Win8.1x86 and it has no complaints.)
        1. Extract the zip file and run InstallWP8SDKToolsLite.bat to start the installation!
        2. After a few minutes WP8 Lite SDK should be installed on Windows 7 and Windows 8
        NOTE 1: If a "Connectivity.dll" error shows up during the SDK installation, make sure to install .NET Framework 4.5.1 before running the SDK installation which can be downloaded from Microsoft.
        NOTE 2: If an "IpOverUsbSvc" error shows up in one of the tools and you have already tried rebooting your PC, try reinstalling your phone's drivers by switching it to an other USB port and make sure Windows Update downloads the drivers.
      • It might complain about your computer isn't SLAT compatible. This is only referring to the WP8 emulator requiring Hyper-V to run, it will still install the WP7 emulator, but the WP8 one won't be installed.
    3. Acquire and enter your product key once the Windows Phone SDK is installed. (You just need to enter your email account stuff to get a key. Its free after all! )
    4. Launch the Developer unlock tool that was installed with the SDK.
    5. Enter your email address that your MS developer account was attached to along with your password.
    6. If you followed these steps properly your phone has been developer unlocked.
    7. The last step is to launch the deployment tool, select the xap, plug the phone in, unlock the screen, and click Deploy. (Note: Some people prefer to use Windows Phone Power Tools. It has more features than the one that ships with the SDK.)
That's all I can think of. Reply below, if you can think of anything else!
Last edited by thals1992; 23rd March 2014 at 07:51 PM. Reason: changed title
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4th October 2013, 08:15 AM   |  #2  
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Good, but I'd point out that dev-unlock is now supposed to be possible with any arbitrary Microsoft Account (Live ID). It's got a two-app limit and doesn't allow submitting to the Store, but it'll work if you just need a single homebrew app... or if you are installing an interop-unlock app, which will wipe that limit anyhow.
6th October 2013, 01:54 PM   |  #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodDayToDie

Good, but I'd point out that dev-unlock is now supposed to be possible with any arbitrary Microsoft Account (Live ID). It's got a two-app limit and doesn't allow submitting to the Store, but it'll work if you just need a single homebrew app... or if you are installing an interop-unlock app, which will wipe that limit anyhow.

just wondering if you have a source for that?

ive had a look but have been unable to find anything, of course its possibly a UK/US regional difference but just in case anyone else was wondering.

To be honest, paying the 15 a YEAR is a small price to pay even if its not free and may even encourage people to do something with it...
6th October 2013, 08:24 PM   |  #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazza9075

just wondering if you have a source for that?

ive had a look but have been unable to find anything, of course its possibly a UK/US regional difference but just in case anyone else was wondering.

To be honest, paying the 15 a YEAR is a small price to pay even if its not free and may even encourage people to do something with it...


I thought it was the Windows Phone Studio announcement over at Windows Blog. I could be wrong though.
8th October 2013, 03:31 PM   |  #5  
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Just install the SDK, connect your phone, open the developer unlock application installed with the SDK, enter your Microsoft Account details and it should unlock your phone, no matter if you have a paid account or not.
15th October 2013, 03:38 PM   |  #6  
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Okay, I've added more content regarding Interop and full unlocks. I've added the bit about dev-unlocking without a dev account. I still think its worth it for those of us who don't have Samsung ATIV or ATIV varients, to use dreamspark or actually buy a year subscription. Consider this a thread bump.
24th October 2013, 06:50 PM   |  #7  
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I updated the OP, but there isn't much more I can add right now. I'm hoping I can get a moderator to come by and sticky this thread.

Also, does anyone know of a few things that should be added? I was thinking about doing some adding a thing about SIM unlocks, but its kinda trivial.

EDIT: Added the proxy stuff and unbranding your lumia and htc 8x.
Last edited by thals1992; 25th October 2013 at 03:36 PM.
8th December 2013, 07:21 AM   |  #8  
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I added carrier swapping and flashing ROMs to the OP.
9th December 2013, 06:40 PM   |  #9  
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Nice faq, just a quick question.

I've a lumia 625, so i don't even know if i have the ability to side load apps even if i get a developer account. But just wondering if this "2xap" limit is 2 in total or 2 at a time?
9th December 2013, 07:43 PM   |  #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syraphin

Nice faq, just a quick question.

I've a lumia 625, so i don't even know if i have the ability to side load apps even if i get a developer account. But just wondering if this "2xap" limit is 2 in total or 2 at a time?

2 at a time.

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