Unlock your Windows Phone for full access to developer utilities

Microsoft does not give consumers the ability to capture screenshots in Windows Phone, but now you can easily unlock your device for development purposes.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

I purchased my HD7 and Dell Venue Pro last year and when given the chance I updated the OS as early as possible while also installing 32GB microSD cards in both devices. Thus, I was interested in trying out the ChevronWP7 experience where I could unlock my device and side load apps.

The developers on the ChevronWP7 team worked with Microsoft to release a valuable tool that has little risk of damaging your device. You can now visit the ChevronWP7 Labs page and then pay $9 for each device token to unlock your devices. I unlocked my Dell Venue Pro yesterday, primarily so I could finally use a screen capture tool to take review screenshots.

You will need to use a Windows computer and have the free WP7 SDK loaded to use the ChevronWP7 unlock utility. After you unlock your device you can develop and test apps or find ones that others have created, such as:

  • Screen Capture v3 - Take screenshots from your Windows Phone 7 to share a funny SMS or illustrate an app on a blog post
  • Webserver (Mango) - Why wouldn’t you run a web server on your phone? (be sure to download the “no-interop” version)
  • Folders for Windows Phone Mango - Organize apps and settings into folders on the Start screen
  • Mango Battery Status - Check your phone’s battery stat in a Live Tile and graph your battery usage

Have any other readers tried out ChevronWP7? If so, do you have any other apps or utilities to recommend to me and the readers?

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