Windows Phone Store recently had a pretty interesting update, adding the ability to install apps from an SD card.
In the past, users could only download apps from within the Store, so this is a pretty big change. Users will need to download the .XAP files from the store and then copy them to an SD card. This SD card can then be inserted into a phone and users will be able to access and install them from there.
This is an interesting idea, but why does it matter? Largely it’s importance is for users that change or reset their devices regularly. No need to redownload an entire library of apps when you can simply send them to an SD and re-install from there.
There does seem to be some limitations though. SD apps will need to be up to date to install, or they will show up as “incompatible apps”. As for free apps, they will install directly but paid apps will install as trials and need to be purchased later to be installed as full versions.
Additionally, if your region doesn’t support an app, this isn’t a way around it. Windows Phone store will only allow .XAP files that are compatible in your region.
One thing I’m personally curious about is if this feature could run into piracy issues. While Windows Phone is rather secure, pirates tend to be tricky individuals. Could they find a way to make it so that Windows Phone store thinks pirated .XAP files on an SD card are legit and allow them to be installed? If a hack did exist, what would Microsoft due to combat it?
I can’t say I know enough about Window Phone Store security procedures, but it certainly seems like a possibility– even if unlikely.
With Microsoft allowing SD card installs for Windows Phone Store, could a similar feature be coming to Windows 8 and Windows RT devices? What do you think of the new feature, good idea or something that is relatively useless for most consumers?