Reading through the forum, it seems most of us got the Kin because we did not want to pay for the $29.99 a month data plan. In that same frugal spirit, I don't want to pay for a Zune pass or any other kind of service that costs money. I was hoping that folks would share tips/tricks/sites that enrich the Kin experience for free or almost free.
Since, I live in a metropolitan area, I ride public transportation to and from work. This gives me almost two hours of unoccupied time for my Kin Twom to keep me entertained. I'm no techie. So please forgive my tips for being so basic.
So far, I have been enjoying audio books, movies, and music that I've downloaded legally and at no cost from the following sites:
Free Audio Books
http://librivox.org/ - At LibriVox, volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain (aged past the terms of the copyright) into digital audio (eg. mp3), and then make the audio files available to the world, for free. You download the mp3 files from the site to your computer's zune music folder and then load onto your Kin through Zune.
http://www.classicfreemoviedownloads.com/ - This site has a rotating list of movies in the public domain. You download the mp4 files from the site onto your computer's zune video folder and then load onto your Kin through Zune. I've just downloaded "The Lady Vanishes" (1938)
http://www.artistdirect.com/music/free-downloads - This site is sponsored by Virgin Atlantic records and lets you download music from emerging artists for free. You download the .mp3 to your computer's Zune music folder. Note: only some of the music on the site is free. So don't get confused and actually purchase.
I had hoped to stumble onto a way to enjoy streaming internet radio on the Kin. Alas, I only have found sites that let you call into a phone number and listen to a radio show. I don't have that many minutes to burn. If anyone has had success finding a site to listen to streaming internet radio, I would be glad to hear about it.
In the interim, I have found another good free and legal movie download site (http://www.archive.org/details/movies) that works with my Kin and Zune. The site caught my attention because it offers Night of the living Dead. This movie has always been in the public domain because of an omission by the film editors to add a copyright to the film.
One of the links on the site points you to this bloggers top 40 movies availble for free from archive.org. You might enjoy other movies from this list.
I recently upped my family plan from a talk plan to a talk plus text plan. Now, my Kin Twom has unlimited texting. I would love to learn about any free texting/sms based services have my fellow Kin users have found. So far, I've found
E-mail and Social Networking alerts
I set up Facebook to send/receive posts and pics.
I set up my yahoo account to to forward e-mail.
Text based games
I tried out http://games.friendsquare.com/. They have Connect 4, Zork I The Great Underground Empire (an adventure game), and Pandora (chat with a virtual robot).
To answer your question, there are tons of sms services available, they're non-phone specific, but just to list a few, Google is what i use most (sports scores, weather, locations/addresses of restaurants, theaters, etc etc). there's local ones i use here, campus alerts, the city i'm in has daily discounts to restaurants around town, sent via sms, espn has game score alerts, etc. You will probably find whatever you are looking for in terms of text message services (within reason..), just search around.
It would be cool to find out of Orb works on this phone too. If you didn't know, Orb is a service that allows you to stream media from your computer, such as video, music, pictures, documents, and even live webcam video. It does this by converting the format on your computer to a format streamable on each device. It can even stream (some) online TV stations and radio stations.
Anyways, I have an LG Chocolate Touch now, and plan on getting the Kin TwoM on my upgrade in July. Orb works on my Chocolate Touch now, if you have it on the correct settings. Someone should try setting up Orb on the Kin. I'm curious to see if it works.
Warning: streaming uses quite a bit of data. So I'd suggest being on WiFi if you don't have an unlimited data plan.
I came across the site www.mobiles24.com while looking for downloads for my kin two m. However, I have not been able to download anything (tried an ebook) . It says free downloads for kin two and you get 30 downloads per day. (thats what they claim anyway, as I said, I haven't been able to get anything as of yet). Does any know anything about this site or has anyone tried it? Maybe I am just doing it wrong?...
I haven't personally used that website before, but it seems to have decent ratings on Web of Trust. But there are some people complaining about annoying advertising, and adult content. You can view the comments on the website here: http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/mobiles24.com
If you're looking for ringtones, I'd suggest Phonezoo, or simply use Verizon's Media Store. Sure, it costs money, but at least you know it's safe!
The kin One and Two also will take "non-protected" files from itunes and use them in Zune. Just download Zune and go to the settings tab on the top right. You can then tell Zune where to pull music, video, and podcasts from. i used this on my boys and he has several free podcasts from Vintage Tunes from iTunes. It entertains him for an hour or so depending on how long the cartoons are. i alos was able to get some movies on there as well.
I've ripped most of my CD collection (~80 disks) and built a playlist of about a hundred of my favorite songs. I start my playlist at a random place when I get in the car and get only my favorites with no repeats on my >1 hr commute. No fumbling while driving when an album ends!