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Team who window-broke Windows Phone reveals its Lumia 920 power tool, holds it back for piracy concerns

Team who window-broke Windows Phone reveals its Lumia 920 power tool, holds it back for piracy concerns
Last December, word got out from distant China that a local hack team, named POANDSOUL, busted the Nokia Lumia 920 open. Now, the same guys have published some photos and information on their Weibo account, outlining a first of its kind tweak app for Windows Phone 8. 

It looks like something that came straight out of a WP8-based Cydia app store. When the jailbreaking method goes out in the wild, it will be the first step towards forming an open developer community around Microsoft's tightly controlled platform.

Team who window-broke Windows Phone reveals its Lumia 920 power tool, holds it back for piracy concerns
POANDSOUL's tool lets the user get around some of Windows Phone's limitations. For example, it has an option to turn off the display's auto-timeout feature. It can make the text in system apps smaller. 

Notably, the tool lets you choose the number of columns on your start-screen, making it possible for the Lumia 920 to display three columns of Live Tiles - a privilege only for 1080p Windows Phone 8 handsets. 

The app also has the ability to save maps to the SD card, disable the FM Radio option, and enable Data Sense. It's not yet clear whether this tool works only on the Lumia 920, or covers all Windows Phone handsets.

Currently, POANDSOUL is keeping the jailbreak method and tool to themselves and their friends, as they fear the hack would lead to rampant piracy. We agree, it doesn't take a Nostradamus to predict that this will be the exact outcome.

source: POANDSOUL (Weibo) via WMPowerUser

  • Options

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 09:54 1

1. alpinejason (Posts: 262; Member since: 06 Sep 2011)

damn come on and release it and hopefully it would work on lumia 520

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 10:16 2

2. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 2287; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)

About time someone successfully hacked windows phone OS, hope it works on 1020

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 10:25 3

3. rihel_95 (Posts: 301; Member since: 21 Mar 2012)

familiar term for familiar os:-
iOS - jailbreak
android - root
windows - broke? open?

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 11:08 1

8. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


posted on 31 Jan 2014, 12:24 1

10. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2227; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)

Gate/gated or windowcrack/windowcracked.

posted on 01 Feb 2014, 07:51

15. SonyXperiaNexus (Posts: 374; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)


posted on 31 Jan 2014, 10:54 2

4. trinkner (Posts: 13; Member since: 28 Jan 2014)

Amazing that Microsoft couldn't program these basic features themselves,

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 11:01 6

5. tedkord (Posts: 14229; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

They could. They chose not to.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 11:01

6. tedkord (Posts: 14229; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

They could. They chose not to.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 11:01

7. tedkord (Posts: 14229; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

They could. They chose not to.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 22:22 1

13. buggerrer (Posts: 306; Member since: 21 Sep 2011)

Okay, we get it!

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 12:59 2

11. elitewolverine (Posts: 5192; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)

I dont think you know anything about the WP platform.

Visit the developer page and you will find that the WP has about 16,000 api's the phone works with. 10,000 are hidden from developers that make the phone 'locked' and that you cannot interact with. 4,000 are cohabited meaning those 4k interact with the 10k apis, the developer then has 2,000 api's that they can use to interact with the phone.

What the china team has done is broke access to those 14,000 api's that govern the rest of the phone.

During the last GDR3 for developers they initially had the option put 3 rows on non 1080p screens, they removed it later.

I would go on, but to be honest, i dont it really matters for a person like you.

posted on 01 Feb 2014, 10:17 1

16. trinkner (Posts: 13; Member since: 28 Jan 2014)

Well, if it didn't "really matter" to a person like me, I woudn't have taken the time to post.

Thanks for your explanation. I'm now uncertain how I feel about Microsoft's attitude toward WP, developers, or their users. They seem to want to make WP the most locked-down platform, almost to the point of inflicting frustration on their users. I can understand needing to make many APIs solely available to their own developers in developing the OS, but if they refuse to open many of the APIs to app developers, how can they expect the platform to develop the rich app ecosystem of iOS, Android (or even Symbian, historically, for that matter)?

For example, as a former software engineer, I have the skills to create an app that would allow for automated sound profiles on WP, which seems sorely lacking on WP. But I can't do that because MS has not made available the APIs to do so.

One of the key differences between a mere feature-phone and a smartphone is the ability for developers to extend the OS experience and allow for customization by the user. MS seems to be crippling their potential developer community by preventing key API communications with the OS and it's basic apps, like the calendar and contacts.

I know that MS claims that they're locking down the OS for the benefit of user's security, but unless MS steps in themselves to offer a richer user experience with basics like sound profiles, a fully developer-extensible calendar, etc., the user experience will remain hobbled.

I'm left wondering about three possibilities:

1. MS likes WP as it is with its more limited abilities than Android or iOS.

2. MS does not have enough resources dedicated to WP to bring the OS and its APIs up to par with iOS or Android.

3. MS is afraid to allow developers to extend the OS and apps in unforeseen directions. This is the magic of innovation in technology today. One comany's vision can't innovate for all. Neither Apple nor Google can do so for their platforms, and they know it. That's why they've created an environment for innovation to flourish on their platforms.

I'm drawn to the WP OS mostly because of Nokia's camera technology. None of the Android or Apple models come close to the camera technology on the 808 (which I use) or the 1020. I'm familiar with the WP experience because my wife has a Lumia 521 and I've spent hours test driving it in hopes that I can come to like the OS and perhaps move to the 1820 when it is released. Unfortunately, I'm more demanding of customization and automation of the OS than my wife is. She likes her 521 very much. I'm still trying to convince myself that I could be happy with WP.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 11:57

9. xoxoGeorges (Posts: 209; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)

I only need the 3 windows

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 16:14

12. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3576; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)

Obviously someone has interest in WP... If I were a hacker I would probably choose a platform that has a good foundation for performance, and stability, to hack as well.. That way you're not wasting time trying to figure out how to get it to run smooth, or remove bloat ware... Instead you can get strait to business...
Even a non hacked, rooted, or jail broken WP device is still a joy to use..

posted on 01 Feb 2014, 05:53

14. Mohammad_Abu-Shukur (Posts: 25; Member since: 08 Nov 2013)

i think all kinds of phone hacking (jailbreak, root, and window break) only do 1 thing which is destroying the phone

posted on 02 Feb 2014, 04:39

17. Ishmeet (Posts: 111; Member since: 16 Sep 2013)

Unless you know the right way to unlock infinite possibilities of the device in your hand.
I myself used to be scared of these things. But after I rooted, it became a daily habit to experiment with, backup, edit and tweak my dearest Note II.

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