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.

Contact Joe Levi

  • by | February 18, 2014 7:18 AM

    Ever since the advent of the modern personal computer, the promise of a "paperless" office has been omnipresent. To-date, that promise hasn't been fully realized. Even with tablets, which are excellent reading devices, there are still times when we need to get the information from our screens and put it on to paper. Until recently, that hasn't been very easy. Let's go hands-on with printing support, one of the lesser known features that comes built-in to Android 4.4 KitKat. Android Printer Support What we're showing you here should work on any device running Android 4.4 and up. In this ...

    Share
  • by | February 17, 2014 7:09 AM

    The Nexus program is a somewhat shrouded in mystery. We suspect that Google it running it to a platform upon which it can demonstrate the "pure" version of Android, and to serve as a reference platform from which the other OEMs can look to. It also proves that fairly high-end and high-quality hardware can be made and sold for a very reasonable price -- in the States at least. Thus far, Google has selected one OEM to partner with at a time to make a Google-branded smartphone or a Google-branded tablet -- tablets being the late arrivals to the lineup. So far, Google has partnered with HTC to ...

    Share
  • by | February 14, 2014 7:31 AM

    Wearable technology is nothing new. Today we have Google Glass, Pebble and several other smart watches, medical devices like insulin pumps, Bluetooth headsets, and more. Taking a step back, we've had watches that tell us the time, the date, and the day of the week. Some even had built-in calculators, calendars, altimeters, and barometers. Historically, we've generally placed our technology in our pockets (smartphones and pocket watches, for example), or we've worn them on our wrists. It's only recently that tech has started to make its way to our faces. It stands to reason that the wrist ...

    Share
  • by | February 13, 2014 7:22 AM

    Anyone who has been around cell phones since the "early days" can tell you about an interesting phenomenon. Early cellular phones were huge. Some were installed in your car, others were neatly packaged into a suitcase that you could carry around with you. After that, the race was on to make them smaller and lighter weight. Eventually, whoever had the smallest cellphone was the "winner" (of what, we're not quite sure, but at least they had bragging rights). Then smartphones came along and the trend reversed. Previously small phones started to get bigger and bigger with every passing ...

    Share
  • by | February 12, 2014 7:23 AM

    Smartphone customers are always on the lookout for the "perfect" smartphone. So far, we haven't seen it, not yet anyway. There's always something that's just not "good enough" to be perfect. The camera isn't great. It doesn't have an SD card slot. The battery is too small. There's no Qi wireless charging in it. The screen uses the "wrong" technology. The colors aren't "Miniman-tastic" (or is it "Miniman-ilicious"). You get my point. In short, manufacturers have to keep pandering to a constantly moving target and a sometimes fickle customer-base -- and they've got to do it without giving ...

    Share
  • by | February 11, 2014 10:50 AM

    As I sit here writing this article, my Pebble smartwatch is on my wrist and my mind is racing back to my time with the Galaxy Gear -- and finally getting it to "work" with my Nexus 5. I love my Pebble. It's a watch that does so much more than a standard wristwatch, and helps keep my smartphone in my pocket, rather than in and out, over and over when I check notifications. Samsung's Galaxy Gear is a different breed of smartwatch. In addition to doing most of what Pebble does, it also serves as your phone's handset, lets you snap short videos, and more. Unfortunately, it's only "compatible" ...

    Share
  • by | February 10, 2014 7:24 AM

    Generally speaking, whenever Apple introduces a product, many claim it to be "perfect". This always strikes me as odd when a new iteration comes along, and somehow "improves" on the previous one (which was supposed to have been "perfect"). One thing that was "missing" from Apple's phone offering until recently was a "low priced" device. When the iPhone 5C came out, many saw a new era of low-priced iPhones in the not-too-distant future. That future has thus far failed to materialize. iPhone 5C When it comes to smartphones, adding a splash of color not only makes otherwise "bland" devices ...

    Share
  • by | February 7, 2014 4:20 PM

    The Galaxy Gear is a really interesting and fun wearable, but it only works with a select few devices. Only a couple of Samsung phones and phablets are currently supported, but what if you've got another phone? In general, you're out of luck, but thanks to some tinkering by some pretty talented folks, if you've got a Nexus 5 and a bit of patience, you might just able to use your Galaxy Gear with the Nexus 5. This work-around (dare we call it a "hack"?) has been around for a few weeks, but we couldn't get it working. We weren't alone. Now, however, two of the files needed have been ...

    Share
  • by | February 6, 2014 7:23 AM

    We all know that a platform without many apps isn't very attractive. As far as mobile computing platforms are concerned, Android is somewhat uniquely positioned when it comes to apps.  Most platforms require their apps to be compiled for the particular processor tucked neatly inside the device. This has some significant advantages, not the least of which is speed. Programs that are written and compiled for one particular architecture are generally much faster, more responsive, and a lot less "laggy" than devices that go through a middle-tier -- like Android does. Google's working on that ...

    Share
  • by | February 5, 2014 7:34 AM

    Like it or not, you've got to admit that Android has come a long way, and is finally proving to be a formidable contender against entrenched devices running iOS. Android has smartphones, phablets, tablets, and even TV set-top boxes. Google has its ChromeBook and ChromeCast to push devices into the home as well as the office. Google even has Glass, a wearable companion to help put commonly used information as well as activities (snapping pictures, recording memos, looking stuff up, and even shooting videos) on your head. What about your car? Google has been working on a self-driving car for ...

    Share
  • by | February 4, 2014 2:17 PM

    You're out on the town, you're having fun, and your smartphone is the furthest thing from your mind -- until you get home and check your pockets, and it isn't there. It's happened to the best of us, even some important people at Apple have left their super-secret prototype phones in bars. Though your device may be lost, there is something you can do to make sure your private information isn't compromised. Here's how you can use encryption to make your Android a little bit more secure just in case it gets lost somewhere along the way. Android Encryption We do a lot on our smartphones and ...

    Share
  • by | February 3, 2014 7:24 AM

    Back when I started getting involved in cellphones I was a Nokia guy... so was everyone. VoiceStream gave me the option to pick up any one of several phones -- all of which were made by Nokia. They could all make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages, and if you were really lucky you could even play Snake! At the time the phones were between $50 and $150 (on contract). Jump ahead to today and we've all but given up on the candy bar phone -- and the affordable prices that came along with them. Today we're surrounded by smartphones, but until recently they were all several ...

    Share
  • by | January 31, 2014 7:23 AM

    CyanogenMod has long been one of the leading names in the custom ROM community. Only recently did the group go "corporate" when they formed Cyanogen, Inc. Before that, CyanogenMod was available as a flashable ROM for devices from virtually all manufacturers, and brought unofficial updates and current versions of Android to devices that had been abandoned by carriers and OEMs alike. However, CyanogenMod was limited primarily as a second-class-citizen, since devices came with their own ROM pre-installed, which would then be replaced by a custom CyanogenMod ROM. What we needed was a device ...

    Share
  • by | January 30, 2014 12:10 PM

    Power users will likely recognize the name +Chainfire as one of the developers who brought superuser to Android and helped make rooting achievable for countless others. As you might expect, he's still very much into the "guts" of Android, and recently came across something a little troubling. When some power users pointed out a recent commit to the AOSP master tree, Chainfire found a significant amount of Android root changes -- which could break the majority of today's root apps. The change AOSP is the "core" Android code that developers use to create ROMs for their devices. Rooting is ...

    Share
  • by | January 29, 2014 2:41 PM

    Anyone who has ever rooted their Android-powered device should be familiar with two things: superuser and BusyBox. The former is a permissions management tool that lets you, the user, decide which apps get issued superuser permissions (and for how long), and which ones get rejected. BusyBox is something different, and it may be slated for replacement. What is BusyBox, and what do we know about the "new BusyBox" that may be replacing it? I'm glad you asked! What is BusyBox? BusyBox was originally written by Bruce Perens and "finished" in 1996. It originally was aimed at putting a complete ...

    Share
Mobile Version