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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  • by | April 1, 2014 7:27 AM

    Yesterday we talked about the benefits of 802.11AC over 802.11n, and the majority of our readers agreed that the newer AC spec wins out almost every time. But what if you don't want to jump on the 802.11AC bandwagon just yet? Good AC routers still cost around US$200, and from a speed standpoint, 802.11n may suit you just fine. Isn't there something you can do with your current 802.11n router that could help without spending any money? After all, if it isn't broken, don't fix it! Luckily, yes, there may be something you can do hiding inside the wireless router that you already own. History ...

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  • by | March 31, 2014 8:23 AM

    I've been having some problems with the WiFi side of my router -- the wired side works fine, but WiFi has been giving me problems. This isn't an uncommon occurrence and usually happens as routers age, but happens more frequently as the chips that run the radios get hot. It's that latter part which is kind of interesting. Besides distance issues, I can't recall having had problems with WiFi connectivity in my home. Then over the last year or so I've been suffering from intermittent connectivity problems, dropped sessions, slow transfer rates, and more. The manufacturer of that router ...

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  • by | March 28, 2014 7:11 AM

    (Updated to include Pebble's official comments at bottom and a more precise timeline of events.) I'm a watch guy... okay, I'm a smartwatch guy. From calculator watches to Microsoft SPOT, and finally now with the Pebble smartwatch, if you find me out in public, check my wrist -- you're all but guaranteed that I'll be wearing some kind of technology on it. Before I found my current smart watch I went through quite a few Bluetooth watches. None of them did what I wanted. Then I was pointed to a Kickstarter campaign: an e-paper smart watch with real potential. Just two hours after its ...

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  • by | March 27, 2014 7:18 AM

    One of my favorite shows of all time is Joss Whedon's Firefly. Like most of Whedon's shows, a passionate fan base quickly emerged. Unfortunately, it was cancelled after just one season, and none of the networks wanted to pick it up for a second. Why? The numbers weren't that great. The characters, the sets, and the story were all fantastic. So why did it do so poorly? Even Serenity, the major motion picture that followed the series, didn't break any box office records. Why? In both cases, it came down to marketing -- or the lack thereof. We're seeing the same thing play out again, only ...

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  • by | March 26, 2014 1:26 AM

    If you're looking to buy a phone and the one at the top of your list has been around for a while (the Nexus 5, for example) you could easily take it for a spin. For devices that have just been released (or are still awaiting release from certain carriers), or if you'll be ordering your phone online, going "hands on" before pulling out your wallet may be a luxury that you cannot afford, or may be impossible depending the part of the world you call home. In those situations, sites likes Pocketnow try and take the guess work out of your decision process by providing in-depth reviews and ...

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  • by | March 25, 2014 7:06 AM

    Those who know me have heard my smartwatch story before. How I went from Casio calculator watches to Microsoft SPOT watches that got data updates over the FM airwaves, made my way through various Bluetooth connected timepieces, until I ultimately landed on the Pebble that's on my wrist right now. Even still, smart watches are still in their infancy -- no, perhaps they've made it beyond that. Let's say they're in their awkward adolescent phase. We're still trying to find out exactly what a smart watch is supposed to "do". Most of us agree that they need to be a watch first. If they can't ...

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  • by | March 24, 2014 7:20 AM

    When talking about smartphones, Apple and Blackberry are somewhat alone in that they make their own  hardware. Phones powered by Microsoft's OS and Android are built by OEMs like HTC, Nokia, Samsung, LG, Motorola, and others. Back in the day, major companies like Dell, HP, Compaq and others would outsource the production of their devices to OEMs. Over time, these OEMs began to gain popularity and eventually brought hardware carrying their own brand to the market. Ironically, Compaq, Dell, HP, and others have all but gotten out of the smartphone/PDA game, having been replaced by the OEMs ...

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  • by | March 21, 2014 7:28 AM

    Tethering is one of those things that many of us got really excited about way back in the early days of cell phones. Here we had a little phone that we could connect to our laptop which would let us access the Internet or closed network (the office, university, etc.) without having to plug into a land-line to do so. Speeds weren't all that great, but being able to work from anywhere often trumped that. Today we have our choice of various high-speed technologies offered by any one of a handful of cellular carriers. We also have numerous ways to connect our laptops to our phones -- and we ...

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  • by | March 20, 2014 7:25 AM

    Over the last little while we've heard that various devices (typically tablets) may be released that have the ability to dual-boot into your choice of operating systems. Some may know what dual-booting is, and others may not. The majority are probably scratching their heads and asking, what is dual-booting, and what are the pros and cons. What is dual-booting? Let's start with something basics. What is "booting" when it comes to smartphones, tablets, and even computers? The basic explanation is "turning on" or "starting up".  In more detail, "booting" is loading a set of instructions ...

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  • by | March 19, 2014 7:25 AM

    Last week Google updated several of its Android apps. While there's nothing unusual about that, what was out of the ordinary was an interesting little "bone" icon where YouTube's "Play" icon normally resides. Additionally, a new menu and settings were available under the heading of "Dogfood". As Pocketnow's Stephen Schenck pointed out, "When employees of a company run not-yet-released versions of their own software in order to try and spot bugs, we call that 'dogfooding'", or "eating your own dog food". Alpo According to one of my college professors, back in the 1970's actor Lorne Greene ...

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  • by | March 18, 2014 7:18 AM

    The original Nexus 7 was quite a piece of work when it was originally released back in 2012. Pocketnow's own Brandon Miniman even rated the device an 8.7 out of 10 in his review. Not bad for a tablet that cost less than US$200. What starts to happen almost immediately after we get our fancy new devices? They start to slow down. At least that's what it feels like, right?  Usually this perception is caused by installing a whole bunch of apps that take up more space in the system's RAM, apps getting bigger and slower, and updates to the operating system taking up more space. All of these are ...

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  • by | March 17, 2014 7:16 AM

    Back when I started working for Pocketnow, I brought my own HTC-made T-Mobile G1 with me. Shortly thereafter I was sent the Nexus One (also made by HTC) and used that as my daily driver until I replaced it with another HTC device. Over the years I've had long-term experience with every single Nexus out there, which is fitting for the type of user that I am: I'm a power user and a developer. Even for tech journalists, devices in the Nexus family were (and arguably still are) the best by which to reference all the different OEM "flavors" of Android. The Nexus program worked well. Devices ...

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  • by | March 14, 2014 7:26 AM

    Finally, after years of you and I telling them so, mainstream carriers are starting to offer "unlimited" plans. Why the "air quotes"? Because even though we're told they're "unlimited", these plans still have "limits". We had unlimited mobile to mobile minutes (but not to land lines or to people on other carriers), then unlimited talk time (but only on the weekends and after 7pm). Eventually we got unlimited texting (which we really should have had all along, but that's another article entirely). The odd-ball has always been data. Some plans offered a few hundred megabytes of data, others ...

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  • by | March 13, 2014 7:09 AM

    Curved screens are nothing new to Google's Nexus family of smartphones -- or are they? The second iteration of Google's flagship phone was made by Samsung. It was called the Nexus S. It's successor was the Galaxy Nexus. Both had curved screens. But that's not entirely true, is it? Both the Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus had curved glass, but that glass covered flat screens, thereby providing only the illusion of a curved screen. Perhaps that's just semantics, and it's all in the past anyway. When you jump forward to today we have a very different situation: both the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 5 ...

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  • by | March 12, 2014 7:10 AM

    I like watches -- perhaps "quality timepiece" is a more accurate term. From the Gobots watch that I wore through most of my elementary school days, to the Casio calculator watch that adorned my wrist through junior high, my watches always had something "techie" about them. I wore two iterations of watches sporting Microsoft SPOT technology, a Sony smartwatch, and another Bluetooth connected watch before finally backing Pebble on Kickstarter. I make no apologies when I say that Pebble is the best smartwatch of all of these, and is arguably the best of all the smartwatches available today. ...

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