Excel Formula Adding 2 Cell Values To An Existing Value Is the Microsoft Kin 2 Worth Kinsideration?

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Is the Microsoft Kin 2 Worth Kinsideration?

Kin 2 is a three-way collaborative effort involving Microsoft, Sharp, and Verizon. The result is a new approach to smartphone telephony that for me was a pile of disappointment upon disappointment. While the Windows Mobile operating system is poised for a serious redo, this Microsoft device has nothing to do with WM OS.

Right out of the gate, the most profound and surprising defeat is the fact that it is not possible to add any applications to this unit. It should be accepted as it is. So there’s no use complaining about the lack of an app store, because there aren’t any apps. Unbelievable.

You can’t even add things like Google Maps. Of course there’s no GPS and there’s no way to add third party functionality to the antenna because you can’t install any software.

While you can access Google Docs and Notebooks, you can’t edit or create new documents. If you want to access other Microsoft applications like Word or Excel or PowerPoint, you can forget about it. There is also no way to take notes or record audio notes.

I could go on about how it doesn’t make 31 flavors of ice cream and how it won’t prevent a missile attack, but that was never the intent for these things. What was the intention? Clearly the developers have singled out the target market for this device to be the younger generation and its preoccupation with music, photos, texting, and social networking. But what about gaming? Sorry, no games – not even solitaire.

The programs pre-installed on the device facilitate the above functions, and that’s about it. Installed apps include: Phone, Music, Help, Alarm, Browser, Settings, Email, Feed Reader, and Search. Well, the search function only applies to items on the phone, not on the Internet, and there is no voice search.

All of these apps appear in one of three panels that can be rotated into view when the device is turned on.

Two more panels are available with the flick of a finger (yes, it’s finger friendly—but scrolling is slow). One screen includes posts from your favorite social networking sites such as My Space, Facebook and Twitter. Why is this page called the loop? The rest page includes your favorite contacts with pictures if you want and access all your other contacts.

These will be useful functions for many people. You can add more content to the app page like links to your favorite websites, which is great. But you’re still limited to three pages.

An innovative feature that goes with the teenie bopper crowd that this device is clearly aimed at is the ability to share stuff. At the bottom of each screen is a small blue button. This is called the Kin Spot. All you have to do is drag something on it and you can share it with your friends. It can be a file, a website, a picture, a video, a tune, an email, a text message, whatever you want, however you want to send it. It’s good.

Another innovative feature of Kin 2 is that everything is backed up online in Kin Studio so you don’t have to worry about losing your data. There’s no sync as such, but you can connect to your online account wirelessly and remotely to transfer files back and forth. I like this feature, but I’m afraid it might add to the cost of the account.

I was able to import all my Gmail information and contacts. I was also able to access my calendar and my tasks from Gmail.

Thanks to Google. Without Google, this tool would be less useful. While I can edit and add items to the calendar, tasks and notebooks, I can’t edit or create new documents in Google Docs, which is a shame. At least the notebook gives me the ability to take notes, a functionality that is otherwise lacking. However, I understand that Google has stopped supporting Notebook and if you don’t already have an account, you can’t get a new one. too bad

Separately, there are some good alternatives available for notebooks such as Evernote and Zoho Notebook. I prefer the latter because of its helpful features.

I’m happy to report that Google Voice works with the Kin 2. If you are not familiar with Google Voice, I recommend applying for an account. Voice not only records your voicemail, it transcribes it and allows you to scroll through your list of voicemails so you don’t have to listen to each message. It compiles a directory of all your messages in one place so you can quickly review your email, text, IM, and voicemail. It also notifies you of incoming activity.

But that’s not all. Voice also gives you a free Voip phone number that you can use to make free phone calls over the Internet. People can also call you at that number. You can also use it for free texting, which makes it a great money saver and convenience.

Browsing on the Kin 2 at first looks great with the initial screen fitting the device perfectly and small tabs along the top. You can type a new address or drag down the address bar to return to the previous screen.

You can scroll with finger gestures, but it doesn’t glide like other devices I’ve tested. You can also use finger gestures to expand or contract the image on the screen. However, when the image is large, you have to be prepared to scroll around because it doesn’t wrap around the screen, which I find annoying and inconvenient.

While my first choice of keyboard is in the vertical position, I have to say that the slide-out QWERTY, horizontal, backlit keyboard on the Kin 2 is much nicer. The keys are rounded and high for a good tactile quality that makes typing easy without mistakes.

I found sound quality on the phone satisfactory as well as audio playback on the FM radio and stereo music player. I frequently missed calls because the phone didn’t ring for incoming calls even when the volume was at the highest level. Media playback formats include AAC, MP3, WMA for audio; h.264/AVC, MPEG-4, WMV for video; JPEG and PNG for images. There is a 3.5 mm jack for stereo audio output and built-in speakers.

As far as music goes, you can import your own, but the device is an extension of the Microsoft Zune, and you’re encouraged to join the Zune music streaming service for $15 a month, which adds a lot to the monthly cost.

The Kin 2 has a good 8 MPX camera on board with video, auto focus, digital zoom and flash. Pictures are automatically geotagged if they are within range of cell towers for triangulation. I’ve found this feature rarely works.

The device comes with 8GB of internal memory that can be filled with tunes and pics quickly. Unfortunately, there is no expansion slot. I think this is a good reason to take advantage of the Zune’s streaming media in order to use up valuable storage space.

With a 3.4-inch display and 320 x 480 resolution, the Kin isn’t the brightest kid on the block. It measures 4.25 x 2.5 x .75 inches and weighs 4.7 ounces.

Its 1390 mAh Li-ion battery has a suggested standby time of 232 hours. I found that the battery drained quite quickly under normal use and I would have a hard time getting through the day without recharging. At least the battery is replaceable so you can carry a spare.

Connectivity to the outside world is accomplished via 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi with WEP, SPA, WPA2 encryption and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. There is no infrared and no GPS. Localization is accomplished by means of cell tower triangulation, known as GPS.

The Kin 2 is capable of sending both SMS and MMS messages. It supports POP3, IMAP, and Push Email (Exchange).

There are built-in sensors for accelerometer and ambient light detection. Additional features include flight mode and TTY/TDD accommodation.

The Kin 2 costs $199, but you get a $100 discount, bringing the price down to $99 with a two-year contract. A contract would cost in the neighborhood of $69 per month for text, phone, and data. Add another $15 to stream Zunie tunes.


Kin 2 has some innovative features like wireless web sync and automatic backup of online data. Kin Spot for Sharing is also a creative idea unique to Kin. I think the Zune tune streaming approach is also a good idea, if you want to pay for it. It has a good 8 MPX camera, and you can easily send video clips via email or MMS. The slide out horizontal keyboard is a pleasure to use. I hope Relatives will appeal to the target audience with its orientation on social media.

However, the Kin 2 strikes me as more of a novelty phone than a serious productivity device. I would never personally consider the Kin 2 because I can’t pair it with a bluetooth keyboard for travel and meetings. I can’t access, create or edit my Office documents. There is no way to take screenshots in it. Maybe a memory card. Navigation with GPS would also be better.

I could go on and on about what it doesn’t do but that’s not fair because it clearly wasn’t designed to be a workhorse for the road warrior who wants to leave their laptop at home. It’s a toy for teens hooked on Twitter, text, and tunes.

The biggest deal breaker for me is the fact that there are no apps available for it, and it’s incapable of downloading common apps like Google Maps. In this day and age with iPhone, Android, and Palm Pre Plus competing for market share with a bazillion cool apps is truly unimaginable. And what about the target audience’s interest in playing the game? No game. big mistake

I’ve heard a rumor that Microsoft may eventually integrate Kin with Windows Mobile 7 when it’s released and then it will be possible to add apps to it. But for now the lack of apps is a very negative factor.

While the Kin 2 doesn’t measure up to my expectations for a device I want in my pocket, if the interest is really focused on social media, pictures, music, and text it may well meet the needs of the intended audience.

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