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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    Android L is the working title for Google's next version of the Android operating system. It was announced at the end of June, 2014, and entered a developer preview that has seen two releases thus far. All signs point to Android L being released within the next few months, but what does that mean for you? Android L Android L is full of new improvements and eye candy all over the place. It's beautiful, fluid, and has consistent animations and transitions that help convey how parts of an app are interrelated (not just for fluff). In no uncertain terms, as Michael Fisher puts it: "Android L ...

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    We're all getting just a little excited now that the traditional release of the next devices from Google is just around the corner. Center among them, we suspect, will be a new smartphone to replace the Nexus 5 from last year. We've heard plenty of rumors, some contradictory, but what do users want? Here is my Nexus 6 wish list. Battery Life All of us have been complaining about battery life for years. The bigger the screen and faster the processor, the more we are able to do with our devices. Combined, these can add up to miserable battery life, or the requirement to be next to a ...

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    The LG-built Nexus 5 is a wonderful phone. Before it landed, many complained that the screen would be too big, and the overall size of the device would be prohibitively large for a smartphone. In the year since its been around, however, the Nexus 5 has proven to be very usefully sized, without being too large to comfortably carry. Now that we're getting close to when we suspect the "Nexus 6" will launch, we're hearing rumors that it may be called the "Nexus X" and codenamed the Motorola Shamu. If what we've pieced together holds true, the Motorola Shamu will be Google's first Nexus ...

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    HTC has been making smartphones for a very long time. The company was often used by big-name OEMs as the manufacturing company that built their hardware. Compaq and HP (back when they were in the personal digital assistant business) both used HTC to build their devices, which were arguably some of the best pieces of consumer electronics of the day. But what about an HTC tablet? HTC Tablets HTC has made some very high-end smartphones recently. The One M8 lineup looks and feels great, thanks in part to its aluminum construction - which doesn't bend like Apple's latest aluminum smartphones. ...

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    There's a widespread push for a "kill switch" that would supposedly enable law enforcement to track and disable a stolen cell phone. There are even some States that are trying to mandate this functionality by law. I find all this curious since we've had the ability to remotely lock, disable, and even wipe our devices for the last few years. Why the big push to make it mandatory now? If I want to remotely wipe any of my Android powered devices, I can. Quickly, easily, securely. Apple has the same feature. So does Windows Phone. Put another way, we already have the ability to remotely ...

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    Every time a new smartphone or tablet comes out we ache to see more cores, faster frequencies, better graphics, more RAM, and increased storage space. All this comes at a cost: run time. For years we've been asking for improvements in battery life to better meet the needs of our always-on, media-intensive lifestyles. Why can't battery technology improve at the same pace as other electronics? If the science holds true, we might be poised to see such an advancement thanks to a special formulation of lithium and sulfur. Capacity The batteries in our smartwatches have around 300 mAh capacity ...

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    OnePlus was founded in almost a year ago by Pete Lau, who was previously the Vice President at OPPO. For those of you who don't know, OPPO didn't have the best reputation, so seeing another smartphone born from the "creative juices" of OPPO was a welcome sight. As time passed we started to see a much closer relationship between OPPO and OnePlus, most of which were brushed off with what seemed like a "nothing to see here, go about your business" attitude from the company - but we still had our doubts. Invitations are for parties! Nonetheless, OnePlus pushed forward. Time magazine even ...

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    When Android Wear was announced, I had a difficult decision to make: stick with Pebble or take a chance on a smartwatch that I'd only seen in pictures. I was one of the gazillions who backed the Pebble Kickstarter project, putting money down on a product that hadn't even been created yet, let alone made it to display-room floors. Jumping into the Android Wear ecosystem wasn't much different. When the first watches powered by Android Wear were announced, only the two with square faces were available. The "round one" by Motorola wasn't available - and wouldn't be for months. Honestly, ...

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    There was a time not so long ago when a person who told you that the government was reading your emails, tapping into virtually every phone call, had developed facial recognition software to identify individuals in a crowd, or track your movements anywhere you went would have been called a "nutcase" or "conspiracy theorist". Now, however, although we're reluctant to admit it, we know they were right all along. There are many ways through which our privacy can be violated, especially through our smartphones and tablets. One such way is your Internet browsing history. Though some may ...

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    Apple was on top of the smartphone market for quite some time, and Samsung wanted a piece of it. Between all the lawsuits and patent claims, Samsung has been running commercials trying to convince us that Samsung products are superior to Apple products. In addition to the normal commercials that one might expect, Samsung has also run commercials making fun of Apple, and everyone hated them. But not for the reasons you might expect. Back when Apple was set to release its new iPhone, Samsung ran commercials of people lined up, waiting to buy the latest creation from Apple. We'd overhear ...

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    One of the primary reasons sites like Pocketnow exist is to review and evaluate the vast array of smartphones on the market at any given time, compile our findings, and report our thoughts and observations back to you. We do the hard work and heavy lifting so you can make the most informed decision when you go to by a smartphone for yourself. If this were a static, unchanging list, the task would be fairly easy, but it's not. The smartphones available t0 buy at any given time can easily rise into the dozens for mainstream devices, and into the hundreds when looking at everything that's ...

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    HTC recently sent out invitations to an October 8th event which included the cryptic message "Double Exposure". Double exposure is a term used in photography to describe the repeated exposure of a photographic plate or film to light, which can often produce "ghost images". Subsequently, Bloomberg reported that we may soon see an HTC camera - no, not a camera embedded in a smartphone or tablet, an actual, stand-alone camera. Thanks to the popularity of the GoPro (a small, rugged camera designed for recording extreme situations and "action sports") a relatively untapped niche has emerged. ...

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    LG's G Flex did what no other OEM seemed bold enough to do: make a curved smartphone - and make it flexible! If that weren't enough, the company managed to include (perhaps out of necessity) a "self-healing" feature. Minor (and even "more than minor") scratches on the back would simply fade and disappear over time. Outside of a Terminator movie, it doesn't get much cooler than tech like that! It's been almost a year since the first-generation G Flex was announced, and we've heard some rumors that a new G Flex is slated for the same time this year (or not until early next year, depending on ...

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    Apple only recently announced its first real wearable, the Apple Watch. Patterned after Google's Android Wear and Samsung's Gear line, Apple Watch tries to fill the void in that part of Cupertino's product offering. Though not yet available, Apple has spelled out what its smartwatch looks like, and has even given us a fairly thorough walkthrough of what we can expect when the Apple Watch finally lands. Interestingly, Apple Watch misses out on a few key points that, at first glance, its competition already does better. Since there is time before the Apple Watch comes to market (if you'll ...

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    My LG G Watch arrived on July seventh and got slapped on my wrist just moments later. Since then I've worn it, my Pebble, and the Moto 360. I'm convinced that my days with Pebble (at least in its current incarnation) are behind me. Android Wear is significantly more advanced, easier to use, more intuitive, and all around better looking - especially when referring to the Moto 360. Even still, and after more than one OTA update, Android Wear still needs work. Watch Faces First and foremost, the watch faces that come with the G Watch aren't that great. Sure, they get the job done, but they're ...

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    Apple has announced the iPhone 6 - in two different sizes, no less. But what did users really get? The next version of the iPhone, that's for sure, but how does it compare with what Android users already have - and what they don't. Screens First off, let's talk about sizes. The iPhone 6 comes in both 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions. The former is a little better than 720p resolution, the latter is 1080p. If those numbers sound familiar, they should! The Nexus 4, released in 2012, had a 4.7-inch screen with a little better than 720p resolution (better, in fact, than the iPhone 6). The Nexus ...

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    Today was the big day: Apple announced its smartwatch, unimaginatively named "Apple Watch"- not iWatch or  iTime, simply "Apple Watch". Perhaps that's the best summary of Apple Watch: unimaginative. While the rest of the world is losing its mind over Apple's new timepiece, let's take a minute, step back from the hype, and see how Apple's new competitor stacks up against the already saturated smartwatch playing field. Features & Functionality When it comes to features and functionality, there are a few differences between what Apple offers and what everyone else does. Apple's product ...

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    Motorola's smartwatch, the Moto 360, is now listed on the Google Play Store and with various online resellers - though availability and stock is very limited due to the device's insane popularity. Thanks to Motorola, we were lucky enough to get our hands on the watch early and spent a weekend with it. You won't want to miss what we found out! If you're waiting to see if it's for you, here are three things about the Moto 360 that no one else is talking about. Battery expectations You can't judge a device's battery life by only a couple days of use. Stop for a moment and let that sink in. ...

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    Tracking down the best smartphone is like hitting a moving target. Manufacturers are continually trying to unseat their competition with the latest and greatest piece of hardware from their company. Now that announcements from Samsung and Motorola are behind us and IFA is winding down, it's time to look at the playing field and find out which smartphone is on top. Trying to narrow this down to just one may be a bit unrealistic since opinions vary by user. To try and get a better idea, we asked the Pocketnow team what they feel is the best smartphone for fall 2014. Here's what they had to ...

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    Samsung's latest feat of technological wizardry is the funky curved screen on the Galaxy Note Edge. While that may appeal to some, it really takes seeing it in action before the utility of the curved part of the screen can really be appreciated. We went hands-on with the Note Edge to help you see just how cool that new feature is... but we're right-handed. Most of the time, tech sites don't focus too much on the right- versus left-handed utility of devices. Other than power and volume buttons, smartphones and tablets are typically dominant-hand-agnostic. Once the device is on, the ...

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    Samsung just unveiled the all new Galaxy Note 4 - the phablet that all other phablets aspire to beat. At least that's apparently what Samsung thinks, and wants the industry to believe. At its event, Samsung seemed to treat the Note 4 with much more care - and even reverence - than than it gave the Galaxy S brand. Currently Samsung holds its own with the Galaxy S, and it needs to expand. That's the key in this industry: expand, or die. If you're not making new products in new product lines, which helps to pull in new customers, you're not going to be around long. Samsung has been in ...

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    When it comes to desktop and laptop computing, 64-bit is pretty much a given, though many apps are still stuck in 32-bit limbo, running quietly alongside their 64-bit siblings. What's really nice is that you don't even notice the difference whether they're 32-bit or 64-bit, the apps just work. Now, 64-bit Androids are here - sort of. I was first in line back when 64-bit was coming to desktop computers. Jumping to 64-bit meant a new motherboard, new hardware, and most importantly, a new CPU. To take full advantage of all this new hardware, a 64-bit operating system complete with 64-bit ...

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    Storing sensitive data in the cloud has always been questionable. Over the weekend we learned just how "sensitive" that data can be. Just in case you were on vacation, unplugged from technology, and haven't heard the news, reportedly dozens of celebrities had their iCloud accounts hacked and nude photos stolen and posted publicly on the Internet. While some may celebrate this as a triumph, it's really a horrifying violation of privacy. How would you feel if the leaked images were of your spouse, your child, or your parent? Basically, what's being reported is that some "celebrities" used ...

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    Earlier this month I wrote about why I'd use the heck out of multi-user support on my Android phone. That spawned quite a debate among Pocketnow readers as well as those in my social circles. Before we dive too deeply into that, let's look at the history of multi-user support on Android. Back in the early days of Android 4.2 A New Flavor of Jelly Bean, we got our first taste of multi-user support - but it was limited to only tablets. Phones didn't get the same multi-user capabilities. As it turns out, it's built into the operating system and many custom ROMs took advantage of that fact and ...

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    Contrary to what many may think, smartwatches have been around for quite a long time. I'm not talking about the kind of wristwatch that includes barometers and moon phases and whatnot, rather, I'm referring to the kind that can connect to smartphone using Bluetooth (or a similar technology). These modern smartwatches (Pebble, Samsung Gear, and Android Wear) are taking much longer than I'd anticipated to really take off in the mainstream, and be adopted by the watch-wearing public. What we need a smartwatch killer app! When talking about computers and technology, according to Google's ...

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