Windows Phone Internals 2.3 may help resurrect ageing Lumia devices
Windows Phones have been largely relegated to the history books for now with only a few loyal users who wished to hold on to their lifeboats after Microsoft sank the ship. Many Lumias of the x50 series such as the Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL, and the Lumia 650 along with the HP Elite X3 and Alcatel Idol 4S are still getting OS updates from Microsoft but they are definitely not on par with the features being rolled out to the desktop version of Windows 10. For those who are still clinging on to their Windows 10 Mobile devices, especially the Lumias, the Windows Phone Internals tool by XDA Developer Healthcliff74 could prove to be a life saver.
The tool enables jailbreaking of Lumia handsets that can open a wide range of possibilities hitherto thought to be impossible in Windows 10 Mobile. Android smartphones can be rooted and developers can add extra capabilities to the OS or even create a custom ROM addressing specific needs that OEMs didn't implement. Windows 10 Mobile is a much more locked down platform and there is a chain of security checks that the handset must pass before it can even boot. This made it difficult to root and that's the reason there are not many ROMs or customizations available. WP Internals might be able to change all that.
Another bone of contention is the ability to run Android apps on Windows 10 Mobile. Users of the platform were an elated lot when Microsoft announced Project Astoria, which enabled some Insider Preview builds of Windows 10 Mobile to run Android apps natively alongside regular UWP apps. Project Astoria was, however, shelved with Microsoft citing developer feedback as the reason for the decision. While there are few hacks in the wild that enabled users to install Android on Lumia handsets, it came with reduced functionality and carried a lot of risk. Now that WP Internals is finished, Heathcliff74 is looking forward to port back Project Astoria code into current Windows 10 Mobile builds.
Watch the video below to hear straight from the man himself on some of the questions that were asked ever since he announced this project. It comes with the usual disclaimers so stop, look, and proceed to prevent turning your device into a paperweight.
Giving up on mobile would be foolhardy in this age of connected hardware and services and Microsoft knows that. We'll probably have to wait for some more time before we get to know anything about the unicorn 'Surface Phone'. Until then, Windows 10 Mobile users do have some hope due to the efforts of developers of the likes of Heathcliff74.