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The Death of the Kin – On Film

Remember the Kin? Of course you do! No, really, you should – it was the original Windows Phone, Microsoft’s first attempt to redefine mobile phones after Windows Mobile was pushed face down in the dust by Android and iOS.

However, the platform died a death very early (making webOS look positively ancient) and Microsoft quietly swept it away, under a big carpet. Visually it was an interesting device, but the real problem was that it just didn’t work, for one reason or another.

Wired have recently released these videos of the Kin being tested. It’s not pleasant.

It seems that even dialling – that most basic of phone functions – was difficult:

The lag wasn’t limited to fialling, either….

Somehow the Kin was launched, despite the evidence seen here – to pretty poor reviews. The evolution of the Kin is a little convoluted – it’s inspired-yet-flawed social networking integration would be removed, downgrading the phone to a feature phone – but essentially it didn’t live long past the summer of 2010, existing in the wild in its original form for about two months.

Of course, there is a happy takeaway from all this – without the very patient testing group, Kin wouldn’t have been dropped, and I wouldn’t be sat here with a nice new Windows Phone 8 😀

(Via the wonderful WPCentral)

Windows Phone Apps Mysteriously Dropped…

Playing with my new Nokia Lumia 920 this week, I noticed that there were few titles missing from the Windows Phone Marketplace.


I don’t mean missing as in “there’s no app/it’s shit!” but in the sense of they were there a few weeks ago on my Windows Phone 7.5 handset, but where are they now?

Most crucially, I wanted to restore the same app set to my new Windows Phone 8 device, but the lack of some key apps and games made this impossible.

My list at present consists of:

  • Spotify
  • Crimson Dragon
  • Sid Meier’s Pirates
  • Pulse
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Tango
  • AskZiggy
  • TuneIn Radio

These are apps that I consider usable on Windows Phone 8 as far as functionality goes. Games speak for themselves.

The biggest omission is obviously Spotify, followed by TuneIn Radio. I’m a big fan of the latter, and I’m really missing the lack of any public response from Microsoft or the app developers.

Three weeks into Windows Phone 8 going live, I don’t think that this is good enough. The SDK has been available for months – it’s not as though the developers of these titles didn’t know about it.

New Windows Phone Ad Sneak Peak

Not content with lacing soap operas and other shows with their Lumia phones, Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone, the Lumia 920, plays a leading role in a new TV advertising campaign starring Holly Willoughby (This Morning, Dancing on Ice, Celebrity Juice).

Promoting the phone to busy working Mum’s and highlighting the Kids’ Corner hub is a wise move, however, and if the campaign gets the right audience – namely those watching Willoughby on a weekday morning – then this could certainly prove in Nokia and Microsoft’s favour.

For those Metro naysayers out there, a word in your shell-like. If Windows Phone can gain some good market share, Nokia should be able to survive – something that is in everyone’s best interests. Additionally, if Windows Phone can make a decent stab at the market, perhaps it might inspire Apple to try something different with their tired rows of icons…

Are You INTO Windows Phone?

Windows Phone - effortlessly connecting you to your friends
If you’ve so far missed the boat on Windows Phone, now is the time to get on board with the fastest growing mobile phone platform around. Nokia has done great work over the past few weeks in promoting its first two phones to feature Microsoft’s new mobile OS, and the Nokia Lumia 710 and 800 devices are featuring in some great advertising campaigns on TV and in print in the UK and Europe.

It’s also good to see Microsoft pushing some quality apps for the platform, and INTO certainly seems like one to install as soon as you get your new Windows Phone (whether a Nokia, HTC, Samsung or LG).

With Blur bassist Alex James as its creative director, INTO offers a way to get more from the things that you are interested in via your Windows Phone.


Following the launch of INTO, exclusive content from key names such as James and special offers from fashion specialist Coggles will be available. This app offers an exciting new dimension to Windows Phone, one that isn’t prominent on either of the competitor platforms. Launching INTO now, following the launch of the super-cool Lumia 800 is a master-stroke – it won’t be long before everyone is using this app!

As you can see, it also offers a way of sharing offers with friends and family, making this an app that no Windows Phone owner should be without. Like the platform, INTO puts the user first, placing them at the centre of the phone experience. A quick example – you can snap a photo and upload to Facebook in under 5 seconds. That’s not just fast, it saves you from messing around on your phone longer than necessary.

You can find out more about Windows Phone and the INTO app via the facebook.com/windowsphoneuk page, where you can look out for opportunities to win an Arctic adventure for two in Finland, two Lumia 800 handsets and tickets to the INTO insider social event with Alex James and Sophie Ellis-Bextor or Monday December 5th!

Windows Phone Mango Device Roundup

The Nokia 710

Windows Phone is Microsoft’s latest stab at the mobile phone market, and after years of trying it seems that they have finally got it right, offering a wealth of features and integration with popular services (both in-house and external) backed up with a functional and increasingly growing app store.

While the original 2010 release of the platform was missing a few vital features, the 2011 Mango update is the Real Deal, a super-functional operating system that relies on the fast and responsive Metro user interface that we’ll soon be seeing as the star attraction of Windows 8.

Microsoft’s original partners were HTC, Samsung, LG and Dell, and each of these electronics giants released a fair selection of devices that were easy to use and reasonably successful for a brand new mobile platform, if a little similar to other handsets that had already been released (such as the HTC HD7’s similarity to the HTC HD2).

In 2011, however, a new range of devices are available. These second generation Windows Phones come courtesy of HTC, Lenovo, Acer, ZTE and of course Nokia, and join the first generation devices which are all capable of running the new Mango release.


With five original devices such as the HTC HD7, Mozart, Surround, Trophy and HTC 7 Pro, HTC are expected to deliver improved handsets in the shape of the aptly named HTC Titan and the smaller HTC Radar. Both equipped with front facing cameras (presumably to support an impending Skype app) these devices look set to attract the HTC adherents to the second wave of handsets.


Offering the Samsung Focus S – a cousin of the Galaxy S Android device – and the Omnia W, these two devices will again include the front facing camera along with 1.4 GHz processors. One of the beauties of the Mango upgrade is that it unlocks a lot of the potential from the first generation devices, which is why many owners of these original handsets might not be interested in the second gen phones. However Samsung have an edge over HTC by offering exclusive devices – the Samsung Focus S is only available via AT&T in the USA, while the Omnia W is also known as the Focus Flash; both names recall previous Windows Phones from Samsung.


The legendary Finnish mobile phone manufacturer has had a torrid time in the past 5 years, since around the time of the launch of the iPhone (although its problems are more deep-root than that) but they’re hoping to turn things around with the launch of the Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 devices.

While the 710 is positioned as a mid-range Windows Phone handset, it is the Lumia where most of the attention is focussed, offering as it does a clear alternative to the much-vaunted but ultimately unsuccessful N9, and features a 12 MP Carl Zeiss lens.

Curiously, however, both Nokia phones are missing the front facing camera, despite having Windows Phone 7.5 Mango pre-installed.

Notable Mentions…

It isn’t just these big names that are bringing second generation Windows Phone handsets to the masses. Names that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with Microsoft such as Lenovo, Acer, ZTE and Fujitsu are all expected to release devices with Mango pre-loaded, although their availability outside of Asia will depend on various factors.

We reckon spotting an Acer device will be easier than getting hold of a ZTE handset outside of China, for instance.