Microsoft Kin hits the spot “well…almost” Part 4, 5 & 6

Previous: Website and apps

Part 4: Apps continued…

The Bing search implementation is convoluted and they need to redesign with quick links on the page like the picture above. It would be great if they could add all the Bing search/map apps available on the desktop version. This would basically cover the need of a majority of commonly used Apps. The text bubble on the searchbox initiates voice command. The different apps are location-aware and have settings where the user can for example enter their favorite resturant , store, band etc and the latest info will surface dynamically. Pressing any of the buttons provide more indepth detail, reviews, directions, reservations and more. A weather app, ATM , Parking finder would be on this page too. More apps can also be added to this page.

  • Bing Map app with driving directions and turn by turn navigation.
  • The Zune player needs the lacking Zune HD features like the Smart DJ mix, Picks, Wifi Sync, Zune social and video out to a TV or monitor.
  • Ability to browse the Zune marketplace and sample music without the need of a pass.
  • A new Zune feature for easy local bands discovery and their current playing venues .
  • Video playlist capability.
  • On the contacts Profile page, the ability to view their full profile and online availabilty on Facebook, Myspace, WLM, FourSquare and interact with them .
  • The facebook intergration needs to be enhanced to include the inbox, chat, news feed and ability to share what I’m listening to like on the Zune HD app.
  • Fully functional Twitter intergration with capabilities to reply, upload photos, retweet e.t.c without having to go to the Twitter website.
  • Better theme support with a color wheel and gradients instead of just four presets and no need to restart when the changes are applied.
  • Built in ringtone editor for use with personal music collection.
  • Voice command.
  • Visual voicemail.
  • Notes App. Just port “Onenote mobile”
  • Better dialer screen with smart dial(?) and easier way to enable conference calls.

If the Kin can provide a pleasant email, text, IM and social network intergration together with already superberb multimedia experience provide by the Zune player and backup features of the Studio, the Kin could be a strong challenger on the consumer front.

Part 5: Hardware

After playing around with the device, I agree with the reviews about the ackward positioning of the camera button and volume control. They need to revise the hardware to fix the problems and maybe swap out the current phones.

  • The Kin 2 needs a virtual onscreen keyboard for quick text entry.
  • Predictive text with auto correction/spell check on the hardware and and virtual keyboard that can be turned on or off.
  • Video-out capability to a dock.
  • A send and end key on either side of the Home/Back button for quick dial access. It is a phone after all right?

Part 6: Accessories

Out of the block the Kin should have been accompanied by various accessories.

  • Kin Originals customisations were promised similar to the Zune HD were promised at launch. Where are they?
  • I would also like to see a TV dock/adapter like Zune HD’s to connect to TVs and Home theater stereo systems and the like. An adapter for it to work with the current Zune HD dock and remote would be awesome!
  • A wireless inductive charging cover and pad.

Next Kin Studio

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