Windows Phone Store Now Let’s You Side-load Apps, Sort Of
Ah, side-loading. Android has had this feature, and Symbian too. You can side-load apps on your iPhone after jailbreaking it. But on Windows Phone, you cannot, no matter what (only if you’ve dev-unlocked it etc), you cannot side-load an app. Microsoft, however, had mentioned that you can side-load apps starting with Windows Phone 8. No one knew how, though, but the Windows Phone
Marketplace Store received a facelift recently, and this feature went live.
This is how it works. You download a .XAP, that is, the app installer, from the Store, on to your computer. Then, you transfer it to your phone’s memory card, then put the card back into your phone. Launch the Store client, it will have an additional “SD Card” option. Tap on that, and after the phone’s done scanning for any .XAPs you might have, it will verify them with the Store’s servers. Matching apps will be allowed to be installed. Free apps can be installed right away, paid apps’ trial versions can be installed. Paid apps with no trial versions cannot be installed, even if you’ve bought them. Only latest versions of apps will be installed.
Now, there’s just one benefit I see out of this – saving bandwidth. That’s as much as it can help you, so, really, what is this for, Microsoft?
Friendly reminder: This will work only on Windows Phone 8 and above. Early adopters, don’t get pissed, it doesn’t matter much anyway.