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Windows Phone Emulator In Airplane Mode – Unintentionally

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For those who were developing for Windows Phone for quite a while, you probably know that the emulator itself exposes quite a few gems. The one I found today is rather useless at this point, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

The default emulator settings are fairly limited and the developer isn’t able to customize the OS as much as he would want to.

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I already found a hook to get into the call settings, and today I found a way to get the emulator into the Airplane Mode, when all network communication is disabled.

NOTE: This behavior is detected only in the Mango emulator. The device running NoDo doesn’t do the same thing.

Go to Date+Time. While there, make sure that the status bar (where you see the carrier bars and the battery status) is visible. By default, the Set Automatically option (for the system time) should be enabled and you should see something like this:

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Now, disable it and re-enable it (whenever you want). Look at what happens in the status bar.

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The emulator switched to airplane mode, then to network searching mode and then finally to the normal mode when a cellular network (emulated, of course) is available.

Currently, there is no way to trigger the Airplane Mode in the emulator, although it might be necessary for general testing (e.g. in order to completely disable network access). The way I am showing in this short post is not enough to actually test against the OS being in a “cellular hibernation” state.