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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    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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    The utility of a jumbo-screen without the jumbo-sized price tag, all inside a case that many may confuse with that of an HTC One. The HTC Desire 816 is the mid-range smartphone that looks great, without breaking the bank. We recently got our hands on this gem, and are eager to unbox it for you! We'll be taking the Desire 816 for a drive over the next few days, after which we'll show you how it compares to the other phones you might be considering. Want to help? Drop your comments below! Let us know what questions come to mind as you watch our Desire 816 unboxing video, and tell us what ...

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    We live in a day and age where electronic devices are an integral part of our everyday lives. What's inside them that makes them do everything that we need them to do? On this episode of Pocketnow Power User we're going to talk about another very important component: RAM -- Random Access Memory -- and how much is really "enough". All about RAM When talking about the memory that goes into our smartphones, tablets, wearables, and even our routers, desktop computers, laptops, and other pieces of hardware that power our digital lives, there are essentially two kinds of memory to talk about. ...

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    OnePlus is a bit "unusual" when compared to other smartphone manufacturers. Samsung, HTC, LG, Nokia, and even Motorola all make smartphones, just like OnePlus does. Unlike OnePlus, with the others, what you see is what you get. Specifications are debated in board rooms, and phones are cooked up according to a very specific formula. Customer feedback doesn't seem to be much of a concern. OnePlus listens to customers, so why can't larger OEMs do the same? OnePlus Listens OnePlus is a relatively new brand. Sure, we've since learned that OnePlus is very tightly coupled with OPPO, but it's a ...

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    Our phones have to be durable, but exactly how that's accomplished is something that some OEMs are still trying to figure out. The material for the front of a phone is pretty obvious: some sort of glass or hard plastic, though sapphire is a nice option. The back of the phone seems to be the blank canvas upon which manufacturers feel the need to exert their creative juices. Some choose glass. Others pick metal. A few have gone with exotic materials like kevlar or even wood. Many, however, opt for something much more simple -- yet significantly more complex: "plastic". The many names of ...

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    CPUs, GPUs, RAM, and even storage space all seem to be headed in the right direction: more! Thickness and weight are headed in the opposite direction: thin and light. What's stuck in the middle? That's right, your battery. Batteries are interesting things. They store energy, exactly how they do that has evolved over time -- albeit slowly. There are many kinds of energy out there: solar energy, kinetic energy, nuclear energy, potential energy, hydro, wind, heat, pressure, rotational, chemical, and more. No, those aren't all the same "kinds" of energy, but it illustrates that the topic is ...

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    When it comes to smartphones, LG is one of the underdogs. I've personally liked LG since back in the days when I built custom computers for a living. When given the choice, we'd go with an LG optical drive when we needed something good, but the name brand wasn't of paramount importance. Later, I ran the Returns Department for that company. It was my job to take defective products and get them repaired or replaced by whoever made them. LG had a very low return rate, and it was easier than most others when something needed to be replaced. I always kept my eye on LG as it started making ...

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    We live in a day and age where electronic devices are an integral part of our daily routine. What's inside them that gives them the power to do so many amazing things? On today's episode of Pocketnow Power User we're going to talk about the brain that powers your device: the CPU. The Central Processing Unit, or CPU for short, has been around for quite some time, but has changed significantly over the years. Traditionally the CPU has been the "traffic-cop", the component that handles and routes all the commands flowing through the system to the place where they need to go. It's backed up by ...

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