Posts by Adam Z. Lein

Adam has had interests in combining technology with art since his first use of a Koala pad on an Apple computer. He currently has a day job as a graphic designer, photographer, systems administrator and web developer at a small design firm in Westchester, NY. His love of technology extends to software development companies who have often implemented his ideas for usability and feature enhancements. Mobile computing has become a necessity for Adam since his first Uniden UniPro PC100 in 1998. He has been reviewing and writing about smartphones for Pocketnow.com since they first appeared on the market in 2002. Read more about Adam Lein!

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    Seriously, just show up. The Lumia 830 doesn't count. The last real flagship smartphone Microsoft had for showing off what they (and Nokia at the time) are capable of was the Lumia 1020. That was announced in July of 2013. That was ages ago, and 2014 is almost over. Nothing in 2014 really tops that phone especially in terms of camera innovation and that includes non-Windows phones. The Lumia 930 and Icon don't have glance mode, so they're out… and everything else had some other sort of compromise. I've even started to see articles claiming that Microsoft has given up on high-end ...

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    One of the big selling points of Windows Phone 7 that was touted by Microsoft and Joe Belfiore when it was launched was that all of your personal content could be placed right there on the start screen. It wasn't just a launcher for apps, it was all of your stuff… all of your friends, your pictures, your music… all the real stuff you wanted right there on the start screen in whatever arrangement you wanted. That was a pretty great idea. Unfortunately, things have changed recently. Microsoft isn't really allowing us as much access to our content as before. You can no longer pin OneNote ...

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    Recently, I got to try out a prototype of a new product that brings a virtual reality platform to the iPhone 6 and 6+. Pinć is a new device and platform from Cordon Media; a company with experience in building software interfaces for large wall-sized screens, but that doesn't really work on small smartphone screens... unless you turn them into virtual reality goggles. We've already seen Samsung try something like this with their new Gear VR product which can turn the Galaxy Note 4 into an Oculus Rift style portable virtual reality headset. I also got to use that one for a bit, and you ...

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    The "Microsoft Band" came as a bit of a surprise when it was unveiled late last month. There weren't any leaked pictures of the device and all we knew about it came from the Windows Store, where the Microsoft Health software appeared the night before the new wrist band went on sale in Microsoft Stores nationwide. The Band is mainly geared towards fitness tracking, though it does have quite a few "smartwatch" type features. We think Microsoft would prefer that people compare it to other fitness trackers as opposed to smart watches, but it certainly does fit somewhat into both ...

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    Last week Microsoft released a new health service along with a fitness tracker called the Microsoft Band. Microsoft Health is the name of the service that goes along with it, and that's meant as a new platform for centralizing all of your health and fitness related information. Currently the software runs on Windows Phone 8.1, Google's Android, and Apple's iOS so that consumers can enjoy the benefits of platform agnosticism. The new platform is also meant to be very open to both app developers and device manufacturers so that anyone can really tap into it and create products that ...

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    Sometimes I ask my assistant to remind me about something, and when she's sitting in the same room as me and it's time to be reminded about something important, she claps her hands twice to get my attention. If I don't look at her right away, she won't tell me what the message is, and then she'll wait a few more seconds and then close her eyes and go to sleep. If this was a real person, that scenario would sound pretty ridiculous, but that's exactly how our smartphones behave these days. I'm sorry, I don't understand what 2 hand claps means. We're in the same room though. I can hear you. ...

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    Today we had a brief 15 minute first look at the new Nexus 9 tablet from HTC running Google's new Android Lollipop operating system. We were not allowed to photograph it next to any other tablets or devices, so all you're going to get is some photos of the tablet by itself and a few first impressions. Also, the device is running a preview version of the new Android operating system, so of course things are going to change on that end, but we can get a pretty good idea of what the hardware is going to be like. The new tablet was announced last week and its pricing is going to start at ...

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    Microsoft recently released a technology preview of their new Windows operating system that's meant to unify desktop PCs, tablets, phones, and even large screen televisions. In this video we're going to take a look at some of the changes as well as the advantages and disadvantages in the Windows 10 Technology Preview. Be sure to remember that this is an early version of the operating system update so many things are sure to change as development continues. There's nothing special about installing the Windows 10 Tech Preview. You simply run the setup program, and it does it all. You should ...

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    Since the new iPhone 6 came out, everybody's talking about all the new features and especially the new 8 megapixel camera. Many are giving it some great praise, but as Micheal said in the "Here’s what the iPhone 6 camera can do" piece, it's a good camera, but it ain’t no Nokia. In this piece we're going to take a close look at how the picture quality of the iPhone 6 plus really compares to a few of the other smartphones out there, as well as a midrange DSLR just for fun. Before you go reading through all of my commentary in this camera phone shootout, I'd like to invite you to look ...

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    Well, okay, maybe it's not better at everything, and maybe it's not better for everybody but this one-year-old phone is still better at a few key things that I've been spoiled by. Yes, I've tried the new Galaxy Note 4 flagship Samsung device, and I've tried the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the HTC One M8, the HTC One M8 for Windows, etc., etc. After I saw those, I decided to buy a Nokia Lumia 1020; a phone that was originally released back in July of 2013 well over a year ago. I've never bought a new phone that was originally released such a long time ago, but considering that there is no ...

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    One of the reasons that Apple has always been reluctant to release a large-screened phone was because you couldn't reach all parts of the screen with one hand while holding the device. That's a very important aspect of mobile phone usability. When we're mobile, we're often carrying something in one hand while walking with our legs and we may need to use a phone with one hand to make a call, send an email, look at a map, etc. That's the whole reason that Steve Jobs was so adamant that the original iPhone's screen size was the perfect size. Then screen sizes started getting bigger on the ...

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    First of all, let me clear up that headline right away. Samsung's "new craziness" is meant as a compliment, not an insult. We need some craziness in the mobile technology world. Have you ever looked for a new phone on any of the carrier websites? They all look the same except with different pictures on the screens!  Anyway, Samsung itself recognized the original Note smartphone as a bit crazy. Most reviewers derided it as being way too big and too difficult to use, but customers didn't care what the reviewers thought and they bought it in droves anyway.  Today, Samsung is taking some ...

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    As some of you may know, my usual daily driver is the Nokia Lumia 925 on T-Mobile since it's got wireless charging, T-Mobile's LTE, WiFi calling, and a decent OIS camera, but since I've been running the Windows Phone 8.1.1 developer preview and since T-Mobile still hasn't released the Cyan firmware update, my Lumia 925 has been freezing randomly, over heating, and stuttering during music playback over Bluetooth. So when MixRadio sent a new Lumia 530 over with a couple of Coloud Bang portable speakers, I decided to switch my SIM card into it for the weekend. Ergonomics are great When I ...

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    It's easy to tell if an app sucks when there are issues with its basic functionality. If it crashes all the time, or causes the phone to freeze, or just doesn't respond to certain functions, that's a pretty obvious problem and we all know how to inform the developers of those issues in the app store reviews. However, there are lots of really poor design decisions that are common-place in today's smartphone apps. For some reason, people don't care as much about these obvious flaws that should be common sense, but have somehow become acceptable. Perhaps Paul Rand put it best: "The public is ...

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    HTC recently announced a new version of its flagship HTC One M8 smartphone and the only difference is that it's running Windows Phone 8.1.1. This instantly made many of us remember the old days when HTC was king of smartphones in part because it allowed the hacking community to have free reign over their phones. The comments on our first impressions of the device lit up with wishes and hopes for dual-boot capabilities. Back in 2002, HTC released a touch screen smartphone codenamed the "Wallaby" and it was originally released by O2 as the O2 XDA. That's how the XDA-Developers site came ...

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