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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    There are a lot of rumors going around that Microsoft might eventually merge Windows RT with the Windows Phone operating system.  In many ways this makes sense.  Both are designed for the ARM processors while full Windows 8.x is still designed for the x86/x64 processors of the PC world.     We have no idea when or if Microsoft really intends to merge Windows Phone with the Windows RT operating system, but there seem to be quite a few hurdles that would be necessary to overcome.  Right now, Windows RT is exactly the same as the full Windows 8.x operating system except for the fact ...

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    There's a new Xbox SmartGlass app available for Windows Phone that's made for the Xbox One. It's kind of strange that you need a completely different SmartGlass app for the new Xbox One vs. the old app for the Xbox 360, but it makes sense that the new version is completely redesigned to offer many more features.  We don't have an Xbox One to test it on just yet, but according to the screenshots, it looks like there's some great new functionality such as volume control.  Having to pick up a TV remote with the Xbox 360 in order to control the audio volume or turn off the TV was so ...

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    Back at the launch of the Nokia Lumia 1020 in New York City, I was taking a few pictures with my Nokia Lumia 810 and the lead program manager for Nokia's new camera software approached me and we started talking.  I asked him about RAW support in professional photography software like Adobe Lightroom and Bridge. I already knew that they had implemented a non-destructive cropping mechanism which reminded me of exactly how non-destructive cropping works with RAW photo software on my desktop and Surface Pro tablet. I figured Nokia's cropping info could be translated into the sidecar metadata ...

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    You may have noticed recently that T-Mobile's new CEO John Legere has been shaking up the mobile phone service carrier business quite a bit lately. T-Mobile just recently announced free unlimited international roaming for data and text messaging services; something that has been unheard of until now. And even more recently, they've announced free LTE data plans for tablets that will give you 200Mb of data per month for life. That's another crazy awesome thing that's never been done before. They've also totally dropped the old contract-model where carriers would try to trick you into ...

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    Last night was the midnight launch event for the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2 which happened in a number of select Microsoft Stores.  We decided to check out the party in White Plains, New York, and got to take a look at the new Surface 2, Surface Pro 2, as well as the new type covers and touch covers.  Check out the video below for our quick "Hands on" video of the new tablets. The Surface 2 feels very thin and light. The new silver metal color looks great and the new 2-stage kickstand will help to adjust the screen for the right angle when using the device from a lower position.  ...

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    The Windows Phone 8 GDR 3 update was released as a preview for developers just recently, so in this video we're going to take a look at some of the new features. The update isn't terribly large, but there are some significant changes.  Check out the video below to see all of the new features. I'm going to start with my favorite new feature.  With Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8 GDR3 you can now access internet sharing without having to go into the phone settings, turn it on, and look up the password.  I've paired my Nokia Lumia 925 with my Surface Pro using Bluetooth and now even if I ...

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    The latest update to Windows Phone 8 was just announced today, but more importantly, a method for enthusiasts and developers who want to void the warranty on their phone for the privilege to install the update right away (instead of having to wait for their carriers to approve the update) has also become available.  We heard about this program a while back, but now it's finally come to fruition.  Having to wait for carriers to approve and allow the distribution of Windows Phone operating system updates has always been extremely frustrating for users.  Of course, the carriers want the ...

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    It seems like in the world of technology writers, many don't really know much or anything about Windows Phone.  A good example is CNET's executive editor Molly Wood who's review of the Nokia Lumia 1020 is full of completely inaccurate information (WPCentral's Daniel Rubino points this out pretty nicely.)  You'll see similar critiques around the web and many focus on things like "Not enough apps" or "there's no Instagram".  Repeating those makes you sound like you're just copy/pasting critiques from somewhere else.  The Instagram issue isn't even true.  Yes, the official Instagram app ...

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    What's going on in the world of mobile technology at Comic-Con 2013 in New York City? We wanted to find out. First off, Thursday night Fincon threw a party celebrating the launch of their new free-to-play mobile role playing game called "Hello Hero".  This will soon be available on iOS, Android, and Facebook with cross-platform multiplayer capabilities, hundreds of hero characters, multiple game play modes, great 3D graphics and even community boss battles. On the show floor, we found plenty of fun mobile tablet stuff as well. At the Wacom booth I really wanted to try out the new ...

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    Two of Dell's newly announced tablets happen to be very similar; the Venue 8 and the Venue 8 Pro. These are both 8 inch tablets optimized for portrait orientation usage, but the biggest difference is that the Venue 8 is running Android 4.2 while the Venue 8 Pro is running the full Windows 8.1. Both have 1280 x 800 displays and 2GB of RAM, but the Android version has an Intel Clover Trail Plus Atom SoC while the Venue 8 Pro has an Intel Bay Trail Atom processor. Another big difference is the price. The Android tablet is about $180 while the Windows 8.1 tablet is about $300. The Venue 8 Pro ...

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    Another one of the new tablets that Dell announced is the Dell Venue 11 Pro.  This one has a nice 11 inch screen which would be better for desktop applications compared to the smaller Venue 8 Pro. The tablet includes options for Atom or Core i3/i5 Haswell chips, a 10.8-inch 1080p display, and 2GB of RAM (with up to 8GB available). Storage starts at 32GB (going up to 256GB), and this tablet measures 10mm thick and weighs 1.57 pounds. The base Venue 11 Pro will go for just about $500. Separate accessories include a Touch Cover-like keyboard, as well a docking station, and a hard hinged ...

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    Today, Dell announced a variety of new tablets and laptop PCs to be available for the Holiday season and one of the most interesting ones is this Venue 8 Pro.  It's a small 8" tablet running the full Windows 8.1 operating system.  Windows 8.1 launches later this month and brings some enhancements designed specifically for this type of smaller form-factor tablet. The Venue 8 Pro has an eight-inch 1280 x 800 display, 32GB or 64GB storage options (with microSD expansion), runs a Bay Trail Atom, measures 9mm thick, and weighs 0.87 pounds. It should offer cellular connectivity, and prices ...

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    One time I rented a car to go away for a long weekend and I was happy to see that it had Microsoft's Sync MyFord Touch in-car computer built in.  I thought, "Cool! This should work great with my Windows Phone since it's made by Microsoft!"  Wrong!  It turns out, Microsoft's in-car computer works best with the iPhone according to this compatibility chart (PDF).  You'll notice that only Windows Phone 7 devices are on that list.  Another list shows some Windows Phone 8 devices, but the number of features supported is paltry.  I was using a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8.  It paired with ...

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    Back in the 80's and 90's, if you were a creative professional using technology, you probably had a Mac. Macintosh computers were indispensable for the cool creative types.  In fact, the Macworld conferences weren't so much about the Macintosh computers as they were about creative software and tools that so many artists were using at the time. Most of the conference sessions were about things like learning about creative techniques in Photoshop, QuarkXpress, or Avid video editing. Fast forward to 2013 and Apple is all about selling phones and music players and cheap little apps these ...

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    Back when Windows Phone 7.5 Mango was released we thought Microsoft had kicked Windows Phone into high gear with all the hundreds of great new features we had seen over the hastily developed Windows Phone 7 operating system.  Then Microsoft rebuilt Windows Phone with the NT kernel as Windows Phone 8 Apollo.  Sure, that brought some huge potential with the standardization of building upon the full Windows operating system… up to 64 processor cores and huge amounts of RAM are now possible… but that put a bit of a set-back on building out breakthrough features and innovations.  How can ...

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    Friday, Apple released their new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.  Of course lots of people lined up to buy one, but Apple's newest mobile operating system, iOS 7, happens to include a pretty major security bug.  With only a few button presses, you can bypass the security password lock and biometric security.  It takes about 11 seconds.  That's like having a safe with a combination lock, but anyone can open it by knocking the side of it in the right spot.  Forbes has a video that shows how easy it is.  The 11 seconds between 0:55-1:06 is all that's required.  LookOutMobile has another video ...

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    Every time I’ve tried Evernote it has been a disappointment.  OneNote is far more flexible and feature-rich.  Of course, both Evernote and OneNote have multiple different app versions that vary in features and quality across each operating system and platform. Because of that variance, OneNote on Windows Phone 8 may be better than Evernote on Windows Phone 8, or Evernote on Apple's iOS may be better than OneNote on Apple iOS.  For the sake of simplicity, we'll mainly look at what would be the most powerful OneNote and Evernote clients; the Windows Desktop versions of both apps.  Both ...

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    Microsoft released Xbox Music apps for Apple's iOS and Google's Android today in order to expand the cross platform capabilities of their music subscription service once known as Zune Pass.  The service has been available on Windows, Windows 8, Xbox 360, Windows Phone and the old Zune players since forever, but now you can finally use it on iOS and Android devices as well.  How does the experience compare though?  Is it just as good or not quite? Xbox Music for iOS and Android The new Xbox Music apps for iOS and Android are practically identical to each other... and absolutely nothing ...

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    Back in the Zune days, one of the coolest features was the ability to download playlists and "mixtapes" from the Zune music store.  That feature kind of got lost with the switch to Windows Phone and the rebranding of Xbox Music.  You could sometimes find some good store-generated playlists if you did a search, but they were never very discoverable in the Windows Phone Store.  Luckily that has changed today as now you should see a "Top Playlists" section in the Windows Phone 8 Store's Music section.  You can find playlists within each genre now.  It's easy to start playing each ...

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    The BBC was able to interview Microsoft's corporate vice-president for Skype, Mark Gillett recently and revealed a few interesting things on the road-map for the future of Skype.  One thing that I found odd was when Gillett was quoted as saying "I can imagine a day when you have a 3D-cellphone screen that doesn't need 3D-glasses to use it, It's less clear to me that we're close to having 3D cameras on cellphones."  I think we can all imagine that day and it was back in the summer of 2011 when the Thrill 4G, HTC EVO 3D on Sprint, and LG Optimus 3D were all available.  All of those phones ...

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    When you see a smartphone available on the Home Shopping Network for $99, you might think that it would be something horrible that would fall apart after a month or it would be so slow and crashy that it would be unusable… unless it's a Nokia Windows Phone. We went ahead and ordered the budget friendly Nokia Lumia 521 to see how it works.  It's also available from T-Mobile, Walmart and other retailers, but the Home Shopping Network bundles a few extra accessories for a really great price.  Not ony is this Nokia Lumia 521 a really great deal, but there are a few things that actually put ...

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    The news of Steve Ballmer's retirement is really big.  The CEO of the world's largest software company is responsible for the tools that support a huge number of businesses around the world.  I wouldn't be surprised if almost all industries are affected by Microsoft software in some way.  Will Ballmer's retirement change the world again?  Will it be a good thing or a bad thing? Of course no one knows just yet, but we do know that Microsoft had changed CEOs in the past.  Originally all was overseen by Bill Gates.  The transition to Ballmer has seen plenty of criticism, but if you look ...

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    Taking incredible photos is not really so much about the smoothness or sharpness of the image or the resolution or the technical superiority of the photo or the equipment used to create it. Really incredible photos come from imagery that communicates emotion to the viewer. That's what photography or any kind of art is all about and sometimes people forget that. You don't always need amazingly powerful equipment to capture and communicate powerful emotions. That being said, amazingly powerful equipment can give you less limitations when trying to capture those emotions and it can let you ...

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    While you may have already seen our review of the international version of the Nokia Lumia 925, a special version made for T-Mobile USA was recently released. This marks the first time that T-Mobile really has a good high-end Windows Phone to offer its customers. As the model number would indicate, the Lumia 925 has a lot of similarities to the Lumia 920 that's been available on AT&T for quite a while as well as the Lumia 928 which is available on Verizon in the US. T-Mobile's Nokia Lumia 925 finally brings the carrier up to speed with the amazing technological advancements that ...

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    Last week you may have noticed that the Home Shopping Network had a little sale on the T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 521.  For only $99, we decided to hit the buy button especially since we didn't give it too much coverage when it was first released and since then the phone has become quite popular.  It was just delivered so naturally we're going to give you an unboxing video.  You might be surprised by just how much is actually included in the box if you buy the Lumia 521 from HSN.  Most phones these days have a simple little box with a charging plug and a USB cable.  Not very ...

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