Following yesterday's news about the first homebrewed Google Maps Mobile client for Windows Phone 7, a smart developer streamlined the process of side-loading aka installing homebrewed .xap files (which are basically a kind of Windows Phone 7's .cab files). While the Tom XAP Installer also requires Microsoft's .Net 4.0 Framework and the Windows Phone 7 SDK (which are both available free of charge from Microsoft), users don't have to use Application Deployment anymore (which is part of the Windows Phone 7 SDK) but can easily double-click an .xap file to get it installed on an unlocked (this workaround is still necessary even if the ChevronWP7 project was canceled) Windows Phone 7 smartphone.
All it needs is to download and install Tom XAP Installer. Double clicking an .xap file opens it automatically and provides some application details like app name , version , author , application size and a description of XAP. From here, the application can be installed either on a connected smartphone or to the Windows Phone 7 SDK emulator.
Tom XAP Installer is now available free of charge from the source bellow (download requires registration).
Cheers ~ Arne