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Microsoft KIN phones focus on social networking

Posted on Monday, April 12 2010 @ 21:14:03 CEST by

Microsoft introduced the KIN ONE and KIN TTWO, these two phones are the result of the company's acquisition of Danger, the company that designed the Sidekick phones. Both models are equipped with a touchscreen and a slide-out QWERTY keypad, the Kin ONE features a square design while the KIN TWO has a candybar-like design. The KIN has a new UI and focuses heavily on social networking (Facebook, Twitter, ...), the "Loop" home screen of the phone aggregates social content from your friends, and the green "Spot" at the bottom of the screen will enable you to drag content and share it with your friends. The US will get the KIN phones next month via Verizon, while Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK can expect it this Fall from Vodafone.
Kin One -- the phone we'd seen rumored as "Turtle" -- is basically a curved square slider with a QVGA display, 4GB of internal storage, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, and a full QWERTY keyboard. Kin Two, meanwhile, is the phone leaked as the "Pure," upping the ante with a HVGA display and a more traditional landscape QWERTY slide form factor. It also moves up to an 8 megapixel cam and 8GB of internal storage, but otherwise, the experience is roughly the same as what you get on the One; both phones have WiFi and Bluetooth in addition to their 3G cellular radios.. For what it's worth, Microsoft is emphasizing that internal storage really isn't a big deal with the Kin phones, because your entire photo and video collection that you capture using the onboard camera is synced seamlessly with your bottomless online storage; you can access the entire collection from your phone at any time by browsing thumbnails, and if you want the full content, you can download it. Kin comes bundled with a desktop web experience that's entirely based on Silverlight for viewing and sorting just about all of the major stuff that you can see on your phone -- contacts, social network status updates, images, and so on -- and we've got to admit, it looks pretty slick.

Source: Engadget

Here's a snip from the KIN press release:
“Working closely with our partners, we saw an opportunity to design a mobile experience just for this social generation — a phone that makes it easy to share your life moment to moment,” said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “We built KIN for people who live to be connected, share, express and relate to their friends and family. This social generation wants and needs more from their phone. KIN is the one place to get the stuff you care about to the people you care about most.”

A New Kind of Social Phone
With KIN, social networking is built into the fabric of the phone. KIN has a fun, simple interface, which is designed to help people publish the magazine of their life by making the people and stuff they love the focus rather than menus and icons. The unique hardware design was developed in partnership with Sharp to create a new kind of social phone. There are two models called KIN ONE and KIN TWO. Both phones feature a touch screen and slide-out keyboard. ONE is small and compact, making it a perfect fit for a pocket and to operate with one hand. TWO has a larger screen and keyboard, in addition to more memory, a higher resolution camera, and the ability to record high-definition video. The 5 and 8 megapixel cameras in ONE and TWO, respectively, are designed for use in low light with image stabilization and a bright LumiLED flash.

The New Way to Share
The home screen of the phone is called the KIN Loop, which is always up to date and always on, showing all the things happening in someone’s social world. KIN automatically brings together feeds from leading Microsoft and third-party services such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter all in one place, making it easier to stay connected. Customers can also select their favorite people, and KIN will automatically prioritize their status updates, messages, feeds and photos. Another unique feature, the KIN Spot is a new way for people to share what’s going on in their world. It lets them focus first on the people and stuff they want to share rather than the specific application they want to use. Videos, photos, text messages, Web pages, location and status updates are shared by simply dragging them to a single place on the phone called the Spot. Once all the people and content are in the Spot to share, the consumer can choose how to share, and start broadcasting.

Your Phone, on the Web
KIN Studio is your phone online. Almost everything created on the phone is available in the cloud from any Web browser. Photos and videos are freed from the confines of the phone and presented in an online visual timeline so they are easy to view and share. The KIN Studio automatically backs up texts, call history, photos, videos and contacts, and populates a personalized digital journal so it’s easy to go back in time to relive a crazy weekend or recent birthday. And the KIN Studio gives customers tons of storage to keep all those photos, videos, contacts and texts so they’ll never run out of space on their phone and lose a memory.

Music and More
KIN will be the first Windows Phone to feature a Zune experience — including music, video, FM radio and podcast playback. With a Zune Pass subscription, customers using Zune software on their PC can listen to millions of songs from Zune Marketplace on their KIN while on the go, or load their personal collection. KIN also has other features customers want in a phone including a rich browser with the ability to share pieces of the Web, local and Web search by Bing, and an RSS feed reader to pull down information on people and stories from the Web.



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