20 Minutes long KIN hands-on video


Here’s a 20 Minutes long hands-on video of the KIN devices and KIN Studio from MS’s Channel9:

KIN Studio, KIN Camera, KIN Loop and KIN Spot Videos

Micrososft has just uploaded a couple of KIN videos on YouTube showing the product and UI in action:

KIN Studio:

Continue reading KIN Studio, KIN Camera, KIN Loop and KIN Spot Videos →

Microsoft KIN Press Release


REDMOND, Wash. — April 12, 2010 — Microsoft Corp. today announced KIN, a new Windows® Phone designed specifically for people who are actively navigating their social lives. Brought to life through partnerships with Verizon Wireless, Vodafone and Sharp Corporation, KIN is designed to be the ultimate social experience that blends the phone, online services and the PC with breakthrough new experiences called the Loop, Spot and Studio. KIN will be exclusively available from Verizon Wireless in the U.S. beginning in May and from Vodafone this autumn in Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

“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.

Microsoft Kin One and Kin Two Specs unveiled


We finally have the full specs of Micrososft’s Project Pink Handsets :

KIN ONE specs:

Form factor: Vertical slide, QWERTY
Display: 2.6″ TFT, QVGA (320 x 240), capacitive touch screen
Chipset: nVidia Tegra APX 2600
Camera: 5.0MP CMOS anti-shake, autofocus, dual LED flash
Speakers: Mono
Memory: 256MB DDR RAM, 4GB storage
Battery: 1240 mAh
Connectivity: EV-DO Rev A, Bluetooth 2.1 w/A2DP, Hi-speed USB, 802.11b/g
Other: Assisted GPS, FM radio, accelerometer

KIN TWO specs:

Form Factor: Vertical slide, QWERTY
Display: 3.4″ TFT, QVGA (480 x 320), capacitive touch screen
Chipset: nVidia Tegra APX 2600
Camera: 8.0MP HDR CMOS from Omnivision with anti-shake, autofocus, Lumi LED flash
Speakers: Mono
Memory: 256MB DDR RAM, 8GB storage
Battery: 1390 mAh
Connectivity: EV-DO Rev A, Bluetooth 2.1 w/A2DP, Hi-speed USB, 802.11b/g
Other: Assisted GPS, FM radio, accelerometer

Here’s the official website: www.kin.com

Update: added the Tegra APX2600 info

Multi-Tasking on Windows Phone 7 explained


Microsoft’s Peter Torr has posted what is probably the best description of how Multi-Tasking (multitastking) currently works in Windows Phone 7:

A picture tells a thousand words, and I think this one actually does a pretty good job of explaining what happens on Windows Phone 7 (but then again, maybe I’m biased). If your application is running when the user switches to another application (by using the Start menu, or tapping on a notification, or via some other means) then our assumption as a platform is that the user now wants to focus on the new application, and doesn’t want the previous one interrupting their experience by grabbing memory, CPU, network bandwidth, or other resources.

Before we suspend the application, we give it some time (exact time TBD) to prepare to be suspended. In this time, the application can save global state to disk, sign-off from web sites, or perform other clean-up operations. In general this should be relatively simple, because the page-based model of Windows Phone applications facilitates a relatively stateless programming model – much of your application’s state can be encoded in page URIs (as query-string data) or as small blobs of state stored and retrieved on each page navigation, just like the web.

After your application has finished pausing, it will be suspended and no further user code will execute. Note that you can still have push notifications coming in from the cloud, so the user can be kept up-to-date via toasts or you can have your tile updated with the latest information from the web.

When your application is suspended, it is not killed immediately. If the user returns to the application “soon” then it can be resumed very quickly and the state saved during pause may not even be necessary. But if the user launches other applications that end up needing a lot of memory, your process will be killed and the memory will be relinquished to the foreground application. This is a key difference between Windows Phone 7 and previous versions of Windows Mobile – the foreground application gets access to virtually all the resources on the phone (memory, CPU, etc.) without having to worry about being starved by background apps that are doing random things at unpredictable times in the background.

If your process was not killed, resume is trivial – you don’t need to restore any state from disk, but you may need to re-start device features like accelerometer or location, and you may need to re-connect to any web services. Assuming your process was killed, you can use the previously-saved data from pause to re-create your global state, and the per-page state / query-string data to recreate the page state for each page on the back stack.

The end result of all this is that users can switch back and forth between applications and have the illusion of multi-tasking without the downsides of erratic resource usage. Now there are certain multi-tasking scenarios that this model can’t mimic, such as persistent location tracking or background music streaming, but for the vast majority of cases users simply want the ability to either get back to where they were (resume a previous task) or to be notified of updates (via toasts). For these scenarios, we think Windows Phone 7 does a great job.

It should be noted that this was posted on March 26 (before Apple’s iPhone OS 4 announcement) and that it’s still unknown if Microsoft will modify (add a task switcher?) this function before RTM (unlikely IMO). On the other hand we already know that Microsoft is working on enabling third party applications to have access to background services in the future (GPS, Music streaming etc..) but this won’t be available in the initial release.

Micrososft One & Microsoft Two Pink handsets show up on Verizon: Kin One & Kin Two


There’s only a couple of hours left before Microsoft unveils their Project Pink handsets but it looks like Pure and Turtle are already showing up in Verizon‘s database according to the picture above. The phones are names MS ONE & MS TWO or Kin One & Kin Two , it’s still unknown if these are the final names.

Source: PhoneArena

Emulate HVGA Screens in the Windows Phone 7 CTP


As you probably already know Windows Phone 7 only supports two screens resolutions: WVGA at launch and HVGA later on. Unfortunately those who want to start developing HVGA applications may be disappointed by the lack of support in the current WP7 CTP dev tools. Thankfully Microsoft’s Peter Torr has posted a small tutorial on how to emulate HVGA in the current build:

We don’t have tooling to support the HVGA screen size yet, but rest assured it will be provided before devices hit the market! In the mean time, if you want to experiment with HVGA there is a pretty easy way to do it – just re-template the frame!

Head over here to check out the code.

Plam up for sale and seeking bids


This came out of nowhere, especially after Jon Rubinstein’s Fortune interview 2 days ago. According to Bloomberg, the company is now up for sale and is seeking bids for the company as early as this week. Unlike some people I don’t expect HTC to acquire them (I can’t see any reason for them to do that given their current sitution with Android and Windows Phone)…anything’s possible though..

The company is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Frank Quattrone’s Qatalyst Partners to find a buyer, said the people, who declined to be identified because the sale isn’t public. Taiwan’s HTC Corp. and China’s Lenovo Group Ltd. have looked at the company and may be potential bidders, said the people. Dell Inc. also looked at Palm, though it decided against an offer, according to two of the people.

Source: Bloomberg

HTC Incredible accessories info and pricing


Here’s another HTC accessories post fro the night, this time about Verizon‘s upcoming HTC Incredible:

- HTC Incredible Battery Cover – $14.99
- HTC Incredible Extended Battery (Red – 2150 mAh) – $59.99
- HTC Incredible Rubber Case – $29.99
- HTC Incredible Display Protectors (3-pack – $12.99)

Now the only thing missing is the handset’s release date and pricing…

Via: Phandroid

HTC EVO 4G Accessories info


Unfortunately there’s still no info on the devices release date bur according to a Sprint “Overview Deck” document the HTC EVO 4G is going to get a few accessories once it officially hits the streets later this year. There’s going to be multi color back covers (plastic and silicon), a battery charging case with holster, the HDMI video dock (won’t be available before launch) a car mount etc.

Source: Engadget