The other day, we took the Windows Phone 7 Series emulator out for a spin, only to find that access was quite limited. We were able to navigate some of the settings and use the web browser, but the Start screen and other components were quite bare which kind of put a damper on all the fun. That disappointment didn’t last long as Dan Ardelean has successfully “unlocked” the ROM image in the emulator and with that feat, some of the missing features that were demoed at MWC and MIX10 are now accessible.
If you want to experience the features first hand, as I did in all these screenshots, first install the required developer tools to get the emulator. After you’re all set up, download the .BIN file from Dan Ardelean (mirror) and then follow the instructions posted at XDA-developers to unlock the emulator. It’s still an early build of WP7S, but it should be interesting to poke around and explore. You can interact with the live tiles, check out the hubs, fumble around with the elusive voice search feature, and even use basic apps that are preloaded. Speaking of explore, is that a file browser and part of a task manager pictured below?