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Accessing features in Windows phone 8(.1) development

OP proch

15th May 2014, 02:19 PM   |  #1  
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When developing an application for desktop windows, there's always a way to access functionality - sometimes through back doors like the registry, etc... I'm developing an application for Windows Phone 8.1, but there are certain pieces of functionality that aren't exposed in the PRT APIset that is available to me. For example, we want to ensure that the user has password protection on the lock screen when using the application. There doesn't seem to be any associated APIs to readily use. So my question is, are there back door ways to do such things? How? Is there a way to access ALL system settings - like a registry or something of the like?
15th May 2014, 02:30 PM   |  #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proch

When developing an application for desktop windows, there's always a way to access functionality - sometimes through back doors like the registry, etc... I'm developing an application for Windows Phone 8.1, but there are certain pieces of functionality that aren't exposed in the PRT APIset that is available to me. For example, we want to ensure that the user has password protection on the lock screen when using the application. There doesn't seem to be any associated APIs to readily use. So my question is, are there back door ways to do such things? How? Is there a way to access ALL system settings - like a registry or something of the like?

Another question would be - if something like intune can enforce lock screen password policies, shouldn't I be able to do it the same way that intune does it? If so, how? If not - why not?
15th May 2014, 04:34 PM   |  #3  
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It's not possible to check if user enabled lock screen password or not as far as I know
but if you want to made your app secure (because it may include important data)
you can create a password for your own application !
I did it in a little notepad app my password page allow user to set a password with all English and Persian Characters , numbers and special Chars like !@#$ and etc.
15th May 2014, 08:11 PM   |  #4  
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16th May 2014, 12:18 AM   |  #5  
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It's pretty easy to check, using the registry, but at least in 8.0 that's not allowed at all for store apps (your app would get rejected). I don't know if the rules changed for 8.1. There are ways to sneak past the store checks, but they could pull your app from the store if they ever found out. I know of at least three ways to access the registry APIs (4 in WP8.1) and two of them are pretty hard to detect unless somebody checks for them specifically... but they're the kind of technique that malware uses, so such checks may be in place.

I don't know what InTune is doing, specifically - I'd need to pull the app apart to see - but there are special application capabilities (not normally available to third-party developers) that can query and even set policies. Apps without those capabilities will get Access Denied if they try to use the same methods though, and normally you can't add those capabilities to your app.
16th May 2014, 02:48 PM   |  #6  
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Originally Posted by GoodDayToDie

It's pretty easy to check, using the registry, but at least in 8.0 that's not allowed at all for store apps (your app would get rejected). I don't know if the rules changed for 8.1. There are ways to sneak past the store checks, but they could pull your app from the store if they ever found out. I know of at least three ways to access the registry APIs (4 in WP8.1) and two of them are pretty hard to detect unless somebody checks for them specifically... but they're the kind of technique that malware uses, so such checks may be in place.

I don't know what InTune is doing, specifically - I'd need to pull the app apart to see - but there are special application capabilities (not normally available to third-party developers) that can query and even set policies. Apps without those capabilities will get Access Denied if they try to use the same methods though, and normally you can't add those capabilities to your app.

Thanks for this great and detailed information. See, that's exactly what I'd do if I were developing a desktop app - since i know that intune does it, I'd figure out how intune does it and voila. I'm finally getting over the idea that the same methodologies apply to windows phone development.

For my own educational purposes (since I want to understand this platform better), I would really like to know specifically how you go about accessing the registry APIs (for example). If there's any way for you to describe any number of these methods, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks again!
19th May 2014, 10:06 AM   |  #7  
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My NativeAccess libraries (check my signature, or search on the forum or on Codeplex) contain an example of one way to access the registry. The code is open-source; you may use the libraries as-is (don't expect to get them into the store, though I won't stop you from trying), use the source code as a reference, or modify/build them yourself; the license is very liberal (MS Permissive). The functions I use are generally documented on MSDN, in the desktop APIs section; the phone has the same functions, although the DLL names are changed and the header files hide them.

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