Posts by Joe Levi

Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy". By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video. Read more about Joe Levi here.

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    I walked into my local T-Mobile store in little Syracuse, Utah, USA and set a nondescript smartphone down on the counter. "I need a SIM for this, please." The clerk picked it up, observing how light and thin it was, rolling it slowly in his hands, looking for the SIM tray. Then his eyes fixed on the bottom of the screen. "Acer makes smartphones?! Where did you get this?!" Before long the store manager was over looking at the little black slab. He, too, had never seen an Acer smartphone and took a good long time taking it all in. As far as the phone itself goes, it's light (110g) and fairly ...

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    Based on how 2014 is stacking up, I think it's safe to say this year will be remembered as the year of the phablet. We saw Apple's mammoth iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung released its Note 4, Google is set to begin taking pre-orders for the Nexus 6, and others like OnePlus and ZTE even threw their hats in the ring. Now Motorola has thrown another big phone into the race, and it's being called the DROID Turbo. Interestingly enough, it looks like it's pretty much a Nexus 6 for Verizon with a cool carbon fiber back. How do the two compare, and which one should you get? Specs Let's take a look at ...

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    Regardless of how large the batteries in our portable electronics are, or how efficiently their SoCs power them, we never seem to have "enough" power. Thankfully, Android lets you see what apps and processes are using your battery, so you can take corrective measures and (ideally) get the most out of the limited mAhs in your LiPo cell. Take a look at your own stats. Open Settings and tap on Battery. Depending on which version of Android you're running and how heavily your OEM has skinned your device, you'll probably see a chart with a list of apps and processes beneath it. The ...

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    When you're talking about trucks or race cars, once you get past how one of them looks, it's the engine which is important. It's got to be built very intelligently to maximize the energy that's being put into it (in the form of gasoline and oxygen) and convert it into mechanical energy that either enables it to pull heavy loads or makes it go fast. The engine isn't the only component in the equation, that's for sure. The transmission has got to be matched to the engine, and the exhaust has to be sized appropriately or it will choke. What do race cars, trucks, and engines have to do with ...

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    Here in these United States, Google's latest Nexus smartphone - the Nexus 6 - isn't available for pre-order until October 29th, 2014. That date is approaching quickly, so those of us who are considering making that purchase need to make our decisions quickly. Mine wasn't easy to make. Here's why I almost didn't buy the Nexus 6. I've been a "Nexus guy" since before they were calling them by that name. I started out in Android with the T-Mobile G1. Shortly after the Nexus One was released I joined Pocketnow (has it been that long?!). I've owned every iteration of Nexus smartphone since ...

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    When it comes to cellular phones, removable batteries are nothing new, even the very earliest phones had a battery that you could remove and replace. Historically, this was more a necessity than a convenience. Until the last few years, battery technology suffered from various limitations that necessitated their ability to be removed and replaced fairly frequently. For their size, energy capacity wasn't all that great. Charge times were slow, and discharge rates were fast. Over the years, these batteries even developed a "memory" that reduced their capacity due to the buildup of tiny ...

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    With all the news about Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google's flagship tablet (the Nexus 9), and Apple's updated iPads, it might be easy for some to forget that those aren't the only tablets available these days. Google's recent "Be together. Not the same." ad campaign illustrates what I'm talking about. If you're in the States and want a Nexus 9 you can head over to the Play Store and pre-order one that will ship by November 3rd. If you're not in the States, if the Nexus 9 is too big, or if you're looking for something a little different, there are some other tablets that you might want to ...

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    Samsung makes some of the most popular smartphones available today. The Galaxy family has been (and continues to be) insanely popular. Like most major OEMs, Samsung does not use stock Android (AOSP Android) to power its devices. Instead, Samsung uses a highly customized version of the Android operating system, filled with lots of special features available only to Galaxy users. One of those features, however, is driving us nuts! Why does our Galaxy S5 keep updating its security policy? What does that even mean? Galaxy S5 Security Policy Every few days, Pocketnow's Michael Fisher is ...

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    Earlier this week, Google announced the next version of its mobile operating system: Android 5.0 Lollipop. The new software development kit (SDK) should be released sometime later today (October 17th), and ROMs for the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and Google Play edition devices should start to roll out "in the coming weeks". What about Android Wear? Why weren't wearables powered by Android mentioned, and what will Android Lollipop do for smartwatches? Watch Face API Searching the Play Store for watch faces for Android Wear will bring up dozens of results. Some look great, others, ...

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    Yesterday Google introduced us to the HTC made Nexus 9, a 9-inch Android-powered tablet with an aspect ratio that's no longer for watching movies, and is more in line with productivity and getting work done. Today, Apple officially announced the iPad Air 2, and it became clear why Google went with a non-letterbox resolution screen. Screen Apple's new iPad Air 2 has a 9.7-inch display with a resolution of 2048×1536 and 264 pixels per inch. The Nexus 9's display is a little smaller at 8.9-inches but with the same resolution, Google's tablet bumps the clarity up to 276 ppi. While some may ...

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    There was no huge release party. We didn't even get a live-stream event. Instead, Google quietly announced the new Nexus devices and Android 5.0 Lollipop on its blog. Based on the hardware we're seeing, Google didn't need any hyped up fanfare, the devices speak for themselves. Let's take a look at the Nexus 6, and see how it just killed most of the competition. Nexus 6 Finally, after months of speculation, we know that Google's new smartphone is called the Nexus 6, not the Nexus X or anything else. We know that it's more of a phablet than a smartphone (some would even argue that it's a ...

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    Over the years WiFi has been an amazing technological advance! Being able to wirelessly connect our laptops and PDAs to traditional networks, whether at home, the office, or at school was significantly helpful not only for those using the networks, but also for those of us in IT departments who didn't have to pull as many new ethernet cables. As our phones became more capable, WiFi became more important - and just as well received - if not moreso! WiFi works by sending and receiving a microwave radio signal through the air to a Wireless Access Point. Radio waves are essentially ...

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    A little less than a month ago I wrote an article titled "Why I haven't bought the Moto 360 - yet" in which I detailed why I hadn't made the jump from my LG G Watch to the smartwatch from Motorola. I concluded that the round face was just too small a jump to justify replacing the G Watch with the Moto 360, especially given its shortcomings in battery life and performance. That was weeks ago. Then, just last week, Pocketnow Reader Christer Nilsen was watching my Kyocera Hydro Life unboxing video and noticed something interesting - yes, there I was with a silver Motorola Moto 360 on my ...

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    My wife kept waking up in the morning exhausted. Instead of being rested and rejuvenated she felt tired and groggy. Being the loving husband that I am, I immediately ran to technology for help! "Google, how can I sleep better using my Android?" The results were quite interesting. The first thing any true geek is going to do is look for ways to gather data. After all, how can you hope to fix a problem if you don't know the root cause? "Have you tried turning it off and on again?" apparently doesn't work in every situation. My first thought was to acquire a special piece of hardware like UP ...

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    By now we've heard the rumors, we've seen the mockups, and we've oogled over the guy who made a "Nexus 6" out of a block of wood just to show us its size. If all this holds true, the Nexus 6 (or whatever it will be called) is going to be big. Or is it? The Nexus 5 wasn't a small phone when it was released, but by today's standards, it's not overly large. We may be sitting on the edge of a screen size revolution and not even know it. Samsung's Note family and the new iPhone 6 Plus help illustrate this point - both are undebatably in the phablet size. One of the biggest complaints I'm ...

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