Posts by Stephen Schenck

Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!

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    Today's Apple event showed the company coming around to certain technologies it had actively avoided in years past: maybe the most notable among those was the inclusion of NFC support in the two new iPhone models, as well as its Apple Watch wearable. Following the big announcements, we have some time to start looking more closely at all this new hardware, and as we do so we're picking up on some other pertinent details. Another tech Apple is finally giving some attention is wireless charging, and we see such support confirmed for the Apple Watch – though not in a way that many fans of ...

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    The new iPhones are here; earlier today, Apple officially launched both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and while we're tempted to start calling these the "big" and "little" new iPhones, that's a bit a misnomer, as compared to previous generations, both new Apple smartphones soundly fall in that same "big" category. Size may be the most obvious factor separating these two iPhones, a consideration that spills over into categories like screen resolution, but that's not the only difference between the two. To help you with an at-a-glance breakdown of some of the key iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus ...

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    Apple just got done launching the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Watch, and its Apple Pay service – sure, no new tablets, but all things considered, more than enough content from a launch event to keep us happy. Amidst all those announcements of new products and systems came some news that's going to be very relevant for you Apple users who aren't quite ready to shell-out the cash for this new hardware, as Apple shared its plans for the wide release of iOS 8. Beginning a week from tomorrow, September 17, Apple will release iOS 8 for existing iPhone and iPad models. Supported hardware ...

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    "One more thing..." Those words are music to an Apple fan's ears. In years past they've brought us some of our favorite Apple launches and today's no different, as the company introduces us to its brand new wearable, the Apple Watch; no "iWatch" here. The Apple Watch features a flexible Retina-quality glass or sapphire display, sensing not just touch, but force as well. Navigation is also possible by means of the Digital Crown on the side, for convenient scrolling. Tapping in on the crown will bring up your list of apps to launch. Underneath, the Apple Watch features an array of LEDs and ...

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    Apple just announced its latest iPhone models, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Among the laundry list of hardware features just confirmed for these two phones is NFC support, Apple's first foray into the tech on its smartphones. With its arrival, Apple's finally ready to get into the mobile payment game, launching its Apple Pay system. Apple Pay lets users add payment cards to Passbook with their phones' cameras, securely storing your data. It supports Visa, Master Card, and American Express, and a number of big-name banks are similarly on board. Beyond tap-to-pay at retail locations, ...

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    IFA 2014 has passed its mobile launch baton to Apple, and today in California, with members of the press in attendance at the Flint Center and millions of Apple fans watching at home, it's time to announce the company's latest products and services. With Tim Cook beginning the event with promises of "the biggest advancement in the history of iPhone," our attention is piqued. Wasting little time, we get right to the meat of today's event, as Apple announces the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus. The iPhone 6 is our 4.7-inch model, while the iPhone 6 Plus is the 5.5-inch version. The resolution of ...

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    Yesterday we checked in on the latest Android L rumors, with a claim suggesting that when the software leaves development and goes public this fall, it might do so as Android Lion. But that's not the only candidate that's been put forward so far, and today we check out some possible evidence in favor of another L-name, while also revealing some ongoing changes to the Android L Material Design interface. In a recent Chrome bug report (since taken down), we get to see a Nexus 5 running an Android L dev build. The code suggests a very recent build, coming from earlier this month, and we see ...

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    It feels like there are a million little things users are paying attention to about the new Moto 360 smartwatch. From the circular display to its wireless charging abilities, this is a smartwatch unlike any we've seen hit the market before. So it's hardly surprising that iFixit felt compelled to tear the smartwatch and but its components under the microscope, seeing what makes this wearable tick. What they found are some dense circuit boards and tiny interconnects, sure, but also a few surprises, including a battery that's not as advertised. Motorola's clear in its Moto 360 spec breakdowns ...

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    Today may very clearly be Apple's day in the sun, but even as we prepare for the its latest announcements just a few hours from now, there's another A-company catching our attention on the mobile front, with Amazon pushing a pretty sizable update to its Android app. Amazon had already been on our radar this week due to the much-appreciated Fire Phone price cuts we just saw go live, but this time it's Amazon Prime that's our focus, and specifically Amazon Prime Instant Video. Thanks to the latest update to the Amazon Android app, Prime subscribers in the US will now be able to watch free ...

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    Has it been a week already? Last Monday we were still gearing-up for IFA 2014, preparing ourselves for the torrent of phone, tablet, and wearable news that would consumer our lives for the days to come. We had high expectations going in, having heard no shortage of rumors for what new products would be on the expo floor, and that's not even touching upon the many launches we saw in the weeks leading up to the conference, from manufacturers too eager to wait for IFA itself. With our crack team of Taylor Martin and Michael Fisher on the ground, we've brought you hands-on report after ...

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    We're well used to learning about current events through social media by this point; reacting to news of anything from a celebrity break-up to a natural disaster with “yeah, I heard about it on Twitter” is hardly uncommon these days. But while the service may have become a ubiquitous tool for thought-sharing, Twitter would like to see people start using it for other things – things that can help make Twitter money. Someday soon, you may even find yourself saying “yeah, I bought that on Twitter,” as today the company starts rolling-out in-tweet purchasing opportunities for its ...

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    With IFA 2014 dying down, it's about to return to business as usual in the smartphone world. Well, after tomorrow's little event from this upstart smartphone maker out west, anyway. But now that you have a chance to take a breather and let all the hardware launches of the past week start to sink, we wanted to remind you of a contest you've still got time to enter. Last Monday, we started our latest round in the Don't-Tell-Us-It's-Almost-Fall-Yet Pocketnow Summer of Giveaways. With the help of those skin-making geniuses over at dbrand, we're hooking a lucky Pocketnow reader up with a brand ...

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    Last week, Motorola finally opened the Moto 360 floodgates, bringing us the start of sales nearly half a year after the smartwatch was first announced. And sure enough, you could drop $250 and pick up a shiny new Moto 360 for yourself – well, as long as stocks held out, at least. But that was only one of the 360 options Motorola announced, also revealing plans to sell a Moto 360 with a premium metal band. Problem was, the only ETA we got for that was “sometime this fall.” Now we're starting to close in on exactly when the Moto 360 with a steel band might be available, with a carrier ...

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    Ever since Amazon launched the Fire Phone a few months back, we've been anxious to learn if the company's first smartphone effort would find success. Going in, we were nervous about what effect its flagship-level pricing and carrier exclusivity would have on sales, and based on the projections we've seen, it doesn't really look like Fire Phone sales have been, well, on fire. But now Amazon may finally be ready to start doing something to turn the phone's fate around, and today we get word not just of an expansion of Fire Phone sales, but a godsend of a price drop. Starting today, the Fire ...

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    What will be the final designation Google gives to its next major Android release? Following Jelly Bean and KitKat, it's time for an L-named treat, but just which? Back at Google I/O, Google managed to side-step the issue with this “Android L” business, but that's just a placeholder. With the big public release of Android L due for this fall, along with expectations for new Nexus hardware, when are we going to lean this software's final name? We've got a couple news developments along those lines to check out as we start the week. First up, there's what happened over the weekend – or ...

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