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Access All OEM Marketplaces of Windows Phone easily, no dev unlock required!

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Access All OEM Marketplaces easily, no dev unlock required!

This previously required a dev-unlock, but no longer does. It does not require interop-unlock. It works on all phones (as far as I know).

UPDATE 3:

ZIP file usable on non-unlocked phones EDIT: I think this will not work on most phones. Sorry! The XAPs still work, if you can sideload them
I’ve added a ZIP file that can be used to switch the OEM Marketplace without needing to sideload a XAP at all. Instructions are inside, but basically you tap the XML file for the OEM you want, then reboot the phone.

UPDATE 2: Dell Apps.xap, Nokia Apps.xap (v2)
The Dell apps collection is hidden, like the Nokia one was (see Update 1 below). The only app I was able to find was “Newsroom” (another app kind of like HTC Hub). If there are others, please let me know and I’ll try to find them.

Nokia has collected their apps into a single marketplace section, like HTC/Samsung/LG. The new Nokia Apps.xap reflects this, so disregard the Update 1 note below for Nokia, and download the new XAP!

UPDATE 1: Nokia Apps.xap (See the Update 2 note – Nokia Apps.xap has been changed)
Be aware that this app works a little differently. Rather than actually adding a “Nokia” store to your Marketplace list, it just enables your phone to access Nokia’s apps though the normal marketplace. Not sure why some OEMs did their own store and others didn’t, but that’s why it wasn’t working before (it isn’t a stand-alone store section).

An easy way to find the Nokia apps is to do a seach for a well-known app, like Nokia Maps. Then, open it and tap the “More from Nokia Corporation” link. This will take you to a list of all of Nokia’s apps.

WHAT IS IT?
Install a XAP or tap an XML file in the ZIP, and restart your phone. Then, open the marketplace, and you’ll discover that, instead of “HTC Apps” or “Samsung Zone” or whatever your default is, you can install OEM apps from a different OEM.

WHAT CAN I DO?
If you want to install Nokia, HTC, Samsung, LG, or Dell apps, open the ZIP file on your phone, look for the OEM name you want, and tap the XML file immediately under that OEM name. You’ll need to restart your phone before the Marketplace changes.
If you want to help out, give me as much info as you can about the other OEM marketplaces (Toshiba/Fujitsu, perhaps?)

IS IT DANGEROUS?
Well, it’s a hack. There’s always *some* danger. However, you don’t need to worry very much. The phone will automatically revert the Marketplace after a day or so. You can also get your proper marketplace back by installing the corresponding app/tapping the desired ZIP.

However, you *really* should keep an up-to-date restore point any time you’re messing with stuff like that, especially with new hacks. If something screws up and doesn’t straighten out, restore a backup or hard-reset and it will fix itself.

EDIT: The ZIP does not appear to work on most phones. The XAP files should still work on 7.8, though.

WHO CAN I THANK?
Well, aside from myself

thanks go to:
Heathcliff74, for the XAP deployer hack and the Samsung marketplace configuration file.
Schaps, for TouchXplorer (let me find the relevant file).
Voluptuary, for info about both OEM and MO marketplaces (working on those).
wpxbox, for the info about “Nokia collection”.

Download Xap:

Nokia_Apps.xap

Samsung_Apps.xap

LG_Apps.xap

Htc_Apps.xap

Dell_Apps.xap

All_Marketplaces.zip

Help and FAQ:

DO I NEED TO RUN THIS APP?
No, you don’t. It doesn’t do anything at all after installing. In fact, I re-used another app that I had handy, so the message you see isn’t even accurate!

WHY DOES THE MESSAGE IN THE APP TALK ABOUT INTEROP UNLOCK? CAN I USE THIS APP FOR INTEROP UNLOCK?
It talks about it because I reused in interop-unlock app (which works exactly the same way, but with a different file). This app will not interop-unlock your phone, or even allow you to do so. However, it doesn’t need interop-unlock, either. Furthermore, why are you running the app? You don’t need to; none of the instructions say to run it.

CAN I DELETE THE APP?
Yes. Once it’s installed, you can delete it immediately if you want to.

HOW DO I GET MY OWN OEM’S MARKETPLACE BACK?
You can either install the corresponding XAP and reboot, or you can wait a day or so for the phone to recover on its own.

HOW CAN I GET BACK TO AN OEM MARKETPLACE THAT I ACCESSED BEFORE?
Remove the app (and any variant of it), if it’s currently installed. Then, install it again. Then, reboot as before, and you should see the marketplace corresponding to whatever XAP you used.

WHY DON’T ALL APPS WORK?
Many apps will use native drivers to do their work. These drivers are specific to each OEM’s firmware, and are baked into the ROM. Apps that don’t need special permissions, like the Samsung Now app or LG’s Look n Type, should work. Apps that have high permissions or do device-specific things, like a Network Profile app or HTC Sound Enhancer (if it ever appears again) won’t work on other phones.

SOME OF THESE APPS HAVE ID_CAP_INTEROPSERVICES, CAN WE USE THEM FOR INTEROP UNLOCK?
No. The apps may appear to work (even on interop-locked phones) because they were installed from the Marketplace and have valid signatures. However, they won’t actually be able to do anything useful, because the wrong drivers will be installed (see the previous question).

CAN YOU ADD A XAP FOR ANOTHER MARKETPLACE?
Sure, once the required configuration data is available. This can be tricky – for example, the values for HTC and Samsung are “HTC” and “Samsung”, respectively, but the one for LG is actually “LGE” (LG Electronics). I don’t know what they are for Toshiba/Fujitsu, and I’m not sure I have everything from Dell, and I don’t have any others. Any help here would be appreciated!

CAN I ACCESS MORE THAN ONE OEM MARKETPLACE AT ONCE?
No, sorry. I tried to build support for multiple OEM markets, but it didn’t work. The last one overwrites the previous.

WILL APPS KEEP WORKING AFTER THE MARKETPLACE REVERTS?
So far, yes. I don’t know whether they’ll get updates, although I suspect they will.

CAN SOMETHING BE DONE ABOUT APPS COMPLAINING THEY DON’T WORK ON MY PHONE?
Sadly, no (nothing safe). Most of the LG and Samsung apps that I’ve tried work just fine (interop aside) on my HTC phone. It helps that in Mango, a lot of formerly interop capabilities (like compass for LG ScanSearch) are now in the official APIs. Some apps will still check though, and there’s nothing I can do about that.

CAN WE ACCESS MARKETPLACES FOR OTHER OPERATORS?
It’s probably possible, but I haven’t bothered to try yet. If there are interesting apps for carriers that work outside of that carrier’s network, I’ll give it a shot. It’s a different file but the structure is very similar.

IS THERE A LIST OF APPS KNOWN TO WORK?
Courtesy of user JusThinK, as of 1 Feb 2012:

 

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