Just like iOS; Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform is a well monitored and closed system. All apps that are submitted for Marketplace goes through a strict screening process. If an app is found to be violating guidelines set by Microsoft, then well, it is rejected and sent back to the drawing board.
Microsoft has a history of having a soft-side for hackers and homebrew developers, unlike the folks at Apple, who are trying their level best to scrutinize jailbreak developers by patching jailbreak exploits with never ending updates for iOS. For example, Microsoft recently worked with an Australian team to help them release an official unlocking tool called ChevronWP7, which can developer-unlock Windows Phones, allowing users to side-load apps on their devices.
Those of you who have been following Redmond Pie sure must be familiar with Cydia, a store full of tweaks and apps to enhance functionalities of jailbroken iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. Today, Windows Phone 7 is also joining the league with the first ever third party homebrew store named Bazaar, where users will be able to download apps and tweaks which are not approved by Microsoft.
The news comes in straight from XDA-Developers forums, where all the amazing hackery takes place:
Meet Bazaar – an alternative Windows phone Marketplace.
Bazaar is an application that will allow you to browse applications by categories, share, download and install them directly within your device without the need to connect your device to your PC.
The aim of Bazaar is to house-in homebrew apps which are rejected by Microsoft’s rough and tough screening/approval process.
At the moment, Bazaar is in a very early beta stage, and a lot of features are said to be missing. But in the near future, many additions will be made. Some of the features which will be added are as follows:
• Creating an account within Bazaar
• Managing favorites applications list and the ability to download and install them as a batch process (very useful after reset/flashing new ROM version)
• Add ratings and comments for applications
• Submit new applications via Bazaar web site
• Online search in Bazaar applications repository
• And many more…
The only deal breaker about Bazaar right now is that currently it does not work with Chevron-unlocked-only Windows Phone devices. You must also have a custom ROM tossed in your device in order to make Bazaar work. As WPCentral points out:
you need to have a DFT, NextGen or Deepshining Custom ROM installed on your phone i.e. a ROM that supports XAP-installation by IE9 (yeah, you can do that in a custom ROM).
But this is just a start, hopefully there will be a way around that as well. Fingers crossed!
Head over to this thread over at XDA for more details about Bazaar.
Be sure to check out our Windows Phone 7 apps gallery to explore more apps for your Windows Phone 7 smartphone.