A word on ChevronWP7 Labs, Homebrew, and Interop Unlocking
Posted on 11-09-11 05:50 am

To share a quick word to clarify developer/Chevron unlocking, and whether Interop Unlock is required or not.

"Interop Unlock" is basically a term to explain the Interop capability flag in an app manifest file. Before Mango, this was not an issue. Post Mango, however, the packman service on the phone checks the manifest for this flag, and if the device has an unsigned app count of less than 300, it blocks the deployment. 

In the general case, any ChevronWP7 Labs or official dev unlocked phone that is running Mango will block this deployment. The only way around it is interop unlocking, which currently only works on Samsung devices (and LG, but those things are freaking easy to unlock, thanks to the built-in registry editor). But do you really need it?

In the general case, the following things work without interop unlock (that is, a regular developer/ChevronWP7 Labs unlock):

  • Non-native homebrew apps
  • Native apps that do not require device drivers/system access
  • Examples: Fiinix's DllImport, Screen Capture, Folders

Apps that do require interop unlock use OEM drivers to gain higher system privileges. This includes:

  • Registry editors and provisioning tools
  • File explorers
  • Accent color changers (uses the registry)
  • Examples: WP7 Root Tools, TouchXperience apps

Of course, since Interop Unlock requires registry access, this causes a new problem non-Samsung and LG devices, as requiring system access to get system access is quite the paradox. Hopefully new developments should clear this issue up, but in the meantime, there's the list of what it's needed for. 

Average homebrew projects should be just fine without interop. Most non-system accessing apps will work fine without it, but there's still some pretty innocent tasks that still require it, and hopefully new developments should clear that up.

So, how's the homebrew front now that ChevronWP7 Labs is released?

#wp7 #chevronwp7 #homebrew

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