Microsoft continues to secretly update KIN

Gone, but not forgotten, the Microsoft KIN received two small Twitter updates this week, proving once again that Microsoft isn’t leaving its 10,000 users out in the cold just yet.

  • The KIN Loop now shows pictures from picture links directly in the shell without having to open the browser. They also show up in the Online panorama of the Pictures/Camera app. I’ve seen this work for Twitpic, TweetPhoto and yfrog so far, not sure about other picture-sharing sites (though these are the most popular ones). What’s nice about this is that the picture displays full screen with pinch-to-zoom. Uploading your KIN pictures to Twitter via these sites, however, is still missing.
  • Some Twitter replies now show up on a tweet when you select it: If you select a tweet from someone you follow, and someone else you follow replies to that tweet, that reply will show up in the Comments feed. Interestingly, however, replies from people you don’t follow will not show up. And replying or retweeting tweets yourself is still missing.

The build number (2814.0) remains the same. That and other evidence from the KIN support forums leads me to believe that this is indeed the original build number from when they shipped, meaning they are adding these features without changing the build number. It also may help explain why Microsoft hasn’t publicly acknowledged (or denied) that they continue to update this phone, presumably because they would then have to explain when the meaningful, big update, is coming (if at all).

Another interesting thing to note here is that all the updates so far have focused on Twitter functionality. What’s interesting about that is that the developer builds of Windows Phone 7 we’ve seen so far have lacked Twitter functionality, even though Microsoft has promised it. I don’t want to read too much into it, but could it be that Microsoft is testing the Twitter functionality that will eventually go in WP7 in KIN? Obviously they are two very different platforms, but already we’ve seen Twitter contact-linking show up in KIN, even though Microsoft had been unsure about adding it to WP7. Like I said, I don’t want to read too much into it, but it seems to me like we may be seeing the effects of the former KIN team joining the WP7 team.

One last thing to note is that the KIN app user count on Facebook has been updated for August, and it now shows 10,500 users. July’s numbers were 9,705, meaning during the past month after KIN was discontinued, the KIN actually saw an increase of 800 users instead of a decline. My guess is that these numbers reflect Verizon’s efforts to liquidate KIN stock as much as possible over the last month, giving the phones at aggressive prices (wish the monthly fee would be at an ‘aggresive price’). I expect it all to go down from here, and in September there will most likely be a decrease of users.

Some links in the article may not be viewable as you are using an AdBlocker. Please add us to your whitelist to enable the website to function properly.