Microsoft’s Natural User Interface revolution Part 2: Windows Phone 7/Kin

Click here for Part 1 that deals with Kinect

I’m “giddy” about the Metro/hub stuff. Again, the thing just lights up with your stuff. It is amazing.

That’s a quote from Paul Thurrott as he described WP7 back in July. Microsoft went out of their way to integrate social elements deeply into the OS from the start which has led to it being described as the real Facebook phone by wired magazine. It is a big risk that Microsoft took  starting with the Kin despite criticisms from the usual suspects and it will pay off once the general public sees it in action.

So this morning,  I could not help to chuckle when read about a new social networking app for the iPhone called Twezr. First of all, lets go back and refresh our minds with a clip  featuring the Kin Loop.

For a longer video of the Kin interface, Click Here.

The next video is of the Twezr app for the iPhone

Listen to the narrator’s description of the app and it is a dead ringer for the goals that the Kin Phone set out to accomplish. You can’t help but realize that the Kin Loop and Kin in general accomplished the social network integration in more more natural, seamless and visually pleasing way than Twezr does. Android has a somewhat similar app called Aro mobile according to Robert Scoble. I think the HTC  Sense for the Android would also be an option.

The great thing about Windows Phone 7 is that all the social elements are baked right into the OS. Wired magazine says

Every aspect of Windows Phone 7 is geared to social networks: phone, contacts, gaming, photos, even Office. Focusing the phone around Hubs doesn’t just mean that local client apps and cloud apps are grouped next to each other. It means that the local client and cloud work together.

One thing among many that I would like to see is the Kin loop appear on WP7 as a hub or more of its elements applied in the People hub. I liked that in the Kin Loop, a person could manually choose ones favorite contacts and rearrange them as needed, something not present in the current version of WP7. I also liked being able to go to a Facebook or MySpace wall by just swiping to the right and the Loop was also a great as RSS feed aggregator. To top it off, the Kin spot was the most innovative and intuitive method to  quickly share items and I would like to see it back in some form.

The Mornings surprises continued with yet another app , aweditorioum, which supposed to bring an immersive music experience to the iPad. Here is a video of the developer showcasing the app.

For all of you with WP7 and Zune HD devices, I bet you are all smiling because you are already way ahead when it comes to experiencing music in a more immersive and social  way. Watching the app on the iPad though makes me yearn for a WP7 OS based tablet and running the Zune service on it.

That is not to say WP7 has it all together. Copy and Paste would be  huge welcome, and so would be multitasking for 3rd party developers especially music and navigation and location based applications. An email hub to consolidate emails for people with multiple accounts with an option for a unified inbox and a quick jump list  for the application list round up the list. I’m sure I have missed some but hopefully they will all be rectified with software updates in due time.

The NUI and social features of WP7 will help it stand out and gain market share in a “world where all other smartphones look the same” Read Robert  Scoble’s  article: What Silicon Valley should learn from Windows Phone 7 app developers which contains some interesting insights about the OS. I also like quote from Michael Washington on twitter when talking about the default apps

@ADefWebserver

Main problem with selling apps on #WP7 is that it already do SO MUCH already…


The important take away from al this is that when Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer described the new OS as “ always delightful, wonderfully mine” he meant that when you get a WP7 device and connect it the right way to all various services, it truly becomes delightfully and personally yours, something that a mere wall paper or 7 home screens cannot match at this time. Now if Microsoft could just get their act together and get these devices in stock.

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