This is the second post of a series on WP8 App Security and is focused on setting up the environment where you will test WP8 apps. You should already have a basic understanding of how the WP8 platform works. We will focus on the prerequisites for the tools and methods required to test WP8 apps.

  • Physical Device or Emulator
  • Windows Phone SDK
  • Unlocking the Device

Physical Device or Emulator

This series will use a physical device to test WP8 apps, a Nokia Lumia 925. I personally prefer testing on a physical device but testing through an emulator is also possible. The emulator comes with the Windows Phone SDK and is installed in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft XDE\8.0\XDE.exe

Windows Phone SDK

The Windows Phone SDK requires a Windows 8 64-bit operating system with Hyper-V enabled for the emulator to work. If you insist on trying to run the SDK on Windows 7 64-bit here is how but do so at your own risk. The Windows 8 system does not have to be a physical system and can be a virtual machine. If you are using a virtual machine you need to ensure you enable hypervisor applications in the virtual machine. This is set in the processor settings of the virtual machine in vmware products and add this line to your .vmx file: hypervisor.cpuid.v0 = ”FALSE” Here is a great tutorial for those choosing to virtualize on Windows and one for Mac.

If you are using an emulator, ensure that Hyper-V is turned on by going to Control Panel – Programs – Turn Windows Features on or off – check Hyper-V.

Now you are ready to download and install the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 from Microsoft.

Unlocking the Device

To side load applications once you obtain the XAP (application) file, you will need the device to be unlocked. Side loaded applications allows you to view the local storage of the app which is important in your assessment.  Here is how to register your device and unlock it for testing. You need the SDK, a Microsoft account, a physical device, and join the dev program. Using a developer account ($99/year) you can side load up to 10 applications at a time. Using a student account (free or $19) you can side load up to 3 applications at a time.


You should now be ready to test a WP8 app. You have a device or an emulator, you have the Windows Phone SDK installed on a Windows 8 system, and you have unlocked the device.