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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    Some people think Amazon is a book reseller, others think the company sells tangible products. Those people are exactly right - and totally wrong. Amazon is in the content delivery business. Sometimes that content is words on a page, other times it may be a disc of your favorite sci-fi series, or some other physical item. The future, however, is digitally delivered content: books, magazines, music, TV, movies, games, apps, and who knows what else. Switching to digital makes things easier all around: there are no warehouses to stock inventory, no need for people to staff those warehouses, ...

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    Huawei will be selling the Ascend Mate2 4G LTE direct to consumers via GetHuawei.com. Read that again: direct to consumers! For our readers across the pond and in various parts of the world outside these United States, that might not sound odd, interesting, or unique. However, for those of us in the States, it's somewhat unusual. Most phones over here are sold with a contract. Sometimes they're peddled by a carrier, but more often than not they're offered by an "authorized reseller" or "value added reseller". That might be a store down the street, a kiosk in the mall, a big box store, or ...

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    It's been a week since Google started releasing Android 4.4.3. Many have reported getting the update delivered to their Nexus over-the-air, and others have impatiently taken it upon themselves to download and manually flash the entire factory image - myself included. However, many are still waiting for the update to arrive, and that's where things start to get a little "weird". I've got a lot of Nexus devices in my household: two Galaxy Nexi running CyanogenMod, one 2012 Nexus 7 that's still on Android 4.4.2, a Nexus 4 that got the 4.4.3 OTA a few days ago, my own Nexus 5 onto which I ...

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    Take a look at that computer in your pocket. Yes, I'm talking about your smartphone - or your tablet. They really are full-featured computers, complete with an always-on, high-speed Internet connection. But today's portables go further than yesterday's computers ever did. These days smartphones and tablets know where you are, what direction you're heading, how fast you're going, what the barometric pressure is, how many steps you've taken, and more. Some know when you're looking at the screen, others can capture your fingerprints. They can even listen to you and record videos of what's ...

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    There was a time when, if you wanted to type something on your smartphone, you'd just type it. No muss. No fuss. It was simple. You pressed the keys of the letters you wanted to appear, and that was that. Unfortunately, that wasn't good enough. We had to get auto-correct (and the hilarious fails that came as a result). We had to get spell check. We got the ability to swipe our fingers across the keys, rather than all that annoying "typing". Some keyboards even got smart, watching our communications and adapting to how we write, getting better and better over time. We even got predictive ...

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    Our smartphones offer us many ways to communicate with each other. We can send SMS messages to one another. We can use Facebook to chat. Twitter lets us send direct messages back and form. Google's Hangouts offers us similar functionalities. On iOS there's iMessage. And let's not forget Skype, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, Jabber, ChatOn, Kik, Snapchat, and who knows how many others. One could make the argument that there are simply too many ways with which we can communicate with one another. I wouldn't argue against that. The bigger issues, however, are identification and standards. If you want ...

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    HTC makes some great high-end devices, and we gave the One M8 one of the highest scores that we've ever given a device. But that's a "flagship" phone, what about the mid-tier? Luckily HTC has you covered there as well, in more ways that one! When diving to the middle, HTC had a couple ways it could go to keep the price of the device down. One option was to make the device smaller, the other was to drop the specifications - or both. We've already told you what we think of the HTC Desire 816 in our full review: a mid-tier phone with flagship DNA. Similarly, we've given the HTC One mini 2 ...

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    People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones - but what about people with glass smartphones? Pocketnow Power User is a series of videos and articles aimed at the "average Joe", explaining core concepts that might seem confusing, even daunting. On this episode of the Pocketnow Power User, we're going to talk about the glass that covers your smartphone, tablet, or wearable. Almost all of our smartphones, tablets, and wearables have a screen. Some are very small, like on your smartwatch or Google Glass, others are very large, like on your iPad or Surface. Still more are somewhere in ...

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    Root and SuperUser access ("su") are two terms that are often used interchangeably. Essentially, if you have Root access, you can modify and replace system files. With this access level a user can run an app that will automatically sync the clock on their smartphone or tablet with the Atomic Clock, tweak the color settings of their display, or make a complete backup of their device. Users can replace radio firmware, or even swap out an entire ROM with something that's been customized by the community. It's just as easy for a malicious user to utilize Root as a vector for attack - running ...

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    Yesterday's WWDC 2014 keynote brought a lot a fun, interesting, and exciting things - especially for Android users like you and I! Why? Apple validated the direction that Android is taking, and improved upon some of Google's services and features in some creative ways. Before you draw-and-quarter me for blasphemy or for being a witch, hear me out. I'm Joe the Android guy for a reason. I was even offered an iPhone free of charge from my day job. I turned them down and opted to pay for my own device as well as my own line of service. Why? I like what Android does, and I think it's better ...

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    32-bit versus 64-bit: What's the difference? What are the advantages to both? On this episode of Pocketnow Power User we're going to talk about which you're going to want on your next smartphone or tablet. What are bits? When we're talking 32-bit versus 64-bit we have to first talk about "bits". Computers -- even smartphones and tablets -- run on a binary system, one and zero, on and off. Simple, right? As an interesting aside, a byte is 8-bits. Half a byte is 4-bits and is called a nibble. What does 32-bit mean? In this context, a 32-bit system refers to how much "stuff" the system can ...

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    Buttons on Android-powered devices have long been a source of confusion and frustration. Sometimes they're there, sometimes they're not. Sometimes the back button is on the left, sometimes it's not. They may be physical buttons, capacitive buttons, on-screen buttons, or some combination of two or three. Even the graphics for back, home, and running apps vary between devices made by different OEMs. Apparently, the only thing consistent about these buttons is inconsistency. We've talked about why the hardware home button needs to go away before and the menu button has virtually disappeared. ...

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    Devices in HTC's Desire line have never been intended as flagships, but phones sporting the vaunted "D label" have usually been quite well received. Rather than going all-in and stacking the spec list with high-end line items, Desires sit much closer to the middle. Such is the case with the Desire 816 – but it's also packing more than a few pleasant surprises under the hood. Did HTC make too many concessions with its mid-tier phone, or did it manage to find the perfect balance between specs and user experience? Let's find out in our Desire 816 review! • Video Review · Specs & ...

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    We've already shown off a few of the features of the mid-tier HTC Desire 816 and compared it to its top-tier sibling, HTC's One M8. This time around we're looking at another popular phone from another manufacturer: here's the Desire 816 vs Moto X. Both devices run Android Kitkat 4.4. HTC's runs Sense UI 6 and Motorola stays a bit more true to what many would call "pure" Android. When it comes to weight, you're going to feel a difference. The Desire 816 is 5.82-ounces  compared to the Moto X's 4.59-ounces. As far as size is concerned, the Desire is bigger -- a lot bigger. Turning ...

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    Comparing a mid-level smartphone to a high-end smartphone isn't exactly what you'd call "playing fair" -- then again, it's not supposed to be. Here's how the HTC Desire 816 stacks up against the HTC One M8. Both devices run Android Kitkat 4.4.2 with Sense UI 6, although certain features found on the One M8 are missing in the Desire 816. Tap-to-wake is missing on the 816, as are the quick gestures to launch the camera. UFocus and Zoe are missing, too. Rounding up software, we doubt there will be a Google Play edition of the Desire 816, but thanks to all the refinements in Sense UI 6, ...

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