Developers pull tool that allowed unauthorized WP7 apps

The creators of ChevronWP7 are now working with Microsoft on making it easier to load homebrewed apps

The developers of a tool that lets Windows Phone 7 users load applications that aren't in the Marketplace have pulled the tool, less than a week after publishing it.

They're doing so after being contacted by Microsoft on Wednesday.

"Through this discussion, we established a mutual understanding of our intent to enable homebrew opportunities and to open the Windows Phone 7 platform for broader access to developers and users," the developers wrote in a blog post.

The developers have decided to pull the tool and pursue their goal with Microsoft's support, they said. Microsoft has said that it doesn't recommend that people use the tool.

"We are excited to explore the opportunity to become more involved with the shaping of the platform and to build a feedback channel for developers around the world," the developers wrote.

Rafael Rivera, Chris Walsh and Long Zheng published the ChevronWP7 tool on Nov. 25. People who downloaded it were able to transfer applications to their WP7 phones that are not published in the Marketplace.

The call from Microsoft came a day after the developers published their first application -- a custom ringtone manager -- that users of the ChevronWP7 tool could download.

Regular WP7 phone users are not permitted to load applications that aren't approved in the Marketplace on their phones. The three developers released the tool to let developers or regular users load experimental applications or apps that can't be published in the Marketplace, including those that access private or native APIs (application programming interfaces). For instance, corporate users who build custom apps for workers cannot load those apps onto the phone unless they are willing to make them publicly available in the Marketplace.

Judging from comments left after the blog posts, developers, particularly those living in countries that are not yet approved to register as WP7 developers, are most interested in the ChevronWP7 tool. One commenter from Lithuania and another from Czech Republic expressed their regret at the loss of the tool.

Rivera said he didn't get the sense that Microsoft was focused on letting people load applications outside of the Marketplace, implying that the buzz around the ChevronWP7 tool may have shown Microsoft there is a demand for the capability.

Still, one expert said he suspects Microsoft eventually would have enabled the capability. "I would think that the evolution of WP7 would be similar to iOS," said Tim Weingarten, CEO with Visage Mobile, a company that offers software for managing smartphones. Apple initially similarly didn't let people download applications from outside the App Store, but with iOS 4, released in the middle of this year, that changed. "I would expect a similar evolution [with WP7] from highly limited, highly secure to ensure the most control, then slightly loosen the strings of control as they build additional flexibility."

Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags application developmentconsumer electronicsMicrosoftsmartphonesPhonessoftware

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >


Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on PC World

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?