Posts by Adam Doud

Adam joined the tech world after watching Jon Rubenstein demo the most epic phone ever at CES 2009. He is webOS enthusiast, Windows Phone fan, and Android skeptic. He loves the outdoors, is an avid Geocacher, Cubs/Blackhawks fan, and family man living in Sweet Home Chicago, where he STILL hosts monthly webOS meetups (Don’t call it a comeback!). He can be found tweeting all things tech as @DeadTechnology, or chi-town sports at @oneminutecubs. Read more about Adam Doud!

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    The rumor mill suggests that there is a four-inch, cheap iPhone on the way, maybe as early as this spring. The prospect of a four-inch iPhone has garnered some admittedly strong opinions among some tech journalists whose initials happen to be “AD”, but that was one of my admittedly close-minded moments. Anyway, moving past that, we’re going to assume that a four-inch iPhone is in the works and that it’s a good idea because people dig choice. Ok, cool. We’ll run with that. Now, let’s take a look and figure out how we want this four-inch iPhone to manifest itself. What do we want ...

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    In any industry, you will generally find three competing standards that stand out above the rest of the field. Look no further than Windows, Mac, and Linux. That’s just one example, but there is a certain beauty to this rule of three that one must appreciate. Unless one is not an Android or iOS fan, then this rule starts to look a little crappy. There has been a long, drawn out battle to win that third spot in the hearts, minds, and pockets of the phone-buying public, but Microsoft has thus far failed to take a stranglehold on that third spot despite it being in arguably the best shape ...

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    The term “life in a box” is one that many of us are familiar with. Often it refers to a smartphone, or in olden times, perhaps a PDA or even a computer. Regardless, today that term is becoming more and more appropriate. Starting in January, I started buying my train pass via mobile app. No longer did I have to carry around a thin card in a protective case to display my $180 commuting rights to the conductor. I didn’t have to worry about those times that I accidentally left the card in my other coat pocket. Finally, I had my train pass with me all the time because I have my phone on ...

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    There is something that seems…silly…when you talk about a concept like a wearable battery pack. Why would someone need...no. Why would someone want to wear a battery pack? Now keep in mind, this is coming from someone who wears a belt pouch every day and who used to keep his smartphone in a holster, also on a belt. Doesn’t a battery pack seem like the next logical step? So when we first picked up the GO PUCK power pack, we were a bit dubious at first. It certainly was an interesting concept. But we needed to try it in the real world. So we did, and we’ll talk how it works, but for ...

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    Tablet sales have been declining for the past couple of years. The dominant theory as to why tablet sales are declining is that smartphones are cutting into the market. The iPhone 6 Plus and 6S Plus in particular are culprits of this theory since the iPad is still the best selling tablet in the world, but the Note series of phones, Nexus phablets, and other 6+-inch phones are equally to blame. The larger sized phones are making it harder for OEMs to sell tablets which aren't all that much bigger. Not much more The reasons for this aren’t hard to grasp. The jump from the 5.5-inch iPhone ...

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    BlackBerry is a confusing company these days, which makes it a natural subject for the Weekend Debate. BlackBerry has gone through a few iterations while reinventing itself. We have seen BB10, physical keyboards, and most recently, a jump to Android. It’s this last point that I want to take a look at as we look into 2016 and try to determine just what BlackBerry has up its sleeve for this. Specifically, is it time to kill off BB10 and go all in with Android? Naturally Right off the bat this seems like an easy answer. Of course it should. But when you look more closely, the waters get ...

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    Mobile devices are funny things. On the one hand, they’re basically computers, capable of large and complex computations in the blink of an eye. On the other hand, they’re very ephemeral in a way – not really designed to last beyond two years. This creates an interest phenomenon in the mobile space. After all, if a phone isn’t designed to last more than a couple of years, then how can it be considered reliable for local data storage? But on the other hand, computers are where we keep our stuff, so how do we come to grips with this dichotomy. PC packrat I am what I like to call a ...

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    Bluetooth earpieces get a bad rap these days. But the fact of the matter is that they are very neat and very useful things to have – under a certain set of circumstances. Of course, those circumstances require a few key points that a headset must hit in order for it to be a success. The VXi BlueParrot Reveal headset meets many of those key points. Setting the requirements In general, a Bluetooth earpiece needs to have a few things going for it. It must be comfortable to wear, it must have a place to go when you’re not wearing it, and the controls should be easily discernable by touch. ...

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    Rumors are swirling that Apple is going to make a gigantic mistake in the near future. A four-inch iPhone is purportedly in the works for a release this spring. Reportedly, this will serve as the low-end iPhone, and probably only cost $650 (yes, I’m making that up for a joke). The only part that the rumors have not yet addressed is the most important question that should be on the minds of everyone working in the space ship. Why? Every iPhone that came out before the iPhone 6 has had one thing in common. They were all tiny. To be fair, every phone that came out before the iPhone 4 had ...

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    Funny thing about 2015. A lot of really great flagships came out. One the other hand, some not-bad mid range phones came out as well. Leading the charge among these would probably be either the Moto G 2015, or the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3, depending on your taste. But the thing is, either one of those phones would be just fine as a daily driver for any of us. Oh sure, maybe they don’t have the glitz and glam of the iPhone 6S or the Note 5, or any of the other premium flagships, but they don’t really have to. What we have in our flagships today is almost excessive compared to our needs. ...

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    Up until recently, HTC was known for its phones and occasionally tablets. Phones were pretty much HTC’s bread and butter. But as many of us know, diversification is key when it comes to big business – don’t put all your eggs into one basket and all that. So last year, HTC decided it was time to diversify when it released the HTC One M9, the HTC Vive (now the Vive Pre), and the HTC Grip. Since then, it has added the HTC Healthbox. So HTC has diversified, and it has done some pretty smart things along the way. Entering the correct fray First of all, HTC has chosen the right areas to ...

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    Looking ahead to February, MWC, and beyond, one starts to think about the impending releases of the Samsung GS7 and the HTC M10. Both of these phones had predecessors that were basically one thing short of being perfect phones – if such a thing exists. This is really significant because both of these phones were arguably otherwise really, really great. But HTC’s flagship failed with the camera and the Samsung GS6 and GS6 edge both failed in the battery department. I used to think that the battery was a forgivable failing. But then I actually used the Galaxy S6 Edge for a time and wow ...

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    Last week, we took a look at the future of mobile tech. Specifically, we talked about Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and how they compared to each other. Now, it’s time to talk about two specific devices that are pioneering those frontiers – Microsoft’s HoloLens and the HTC’s Vive Pre. You may remember our HTC Vive Pre hands-on video from CES. Though I only made a brief appearance in that video, I was wearing a great hat, and I did also have a chance to demo the Vive Pre. I also was fortunate enough to test out the Microsoft HoloLens a few months back. So we decided to pit ...

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    CES is one of the largest consumer electronics expos in the world. This thing is huge. I don’t think it really translates how huge it is until you actually go and walk the show floor – for four days – and still don’t cover everything. There are a ton of electronics companies there but not all of them are necessarily in Pocketnow’s wheelhouse. There is a lot going on is the world of robotics, automotive, and appliances. Nothing sexier than that new refrigerator, right? This year, we had a lot of coverage coming out of CES – smart glasses, phone announcements, and quite a few ...

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    There is little doubt that the future of mobile tech, or at least a good part of it, will reside on your face. "All up in your grill," as the millennials say. Actually, no millennials say that. Anyway, looking ahead  (no pun intended) more and more of our mobile tech will come in the form of virtual reality or augmented reality. Just this past week, at CES, I had the opportunity to take the HTC Vive Pre for a test drive, and I was really impressed. Earlier last year, the same opportunity came up for Microsoft HoloLens. So it seemed natural to compare the two. Not so fast And that’s the ...

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    Update 1/25: We have selected a winner for the giveaway, but have not heard back. We will choose another winner tomorrow if we do not hear by 10am EST. Update 1/26: We have chosen a new winner! See below! Traveling as a tech geek has gotten both easier and harder at the same time since we were but wee lads and lasses. Time was we would load up a bag with a few games, a good book or two, perhaps some DVDs for the trip. Now, we simply toss an iPad, Nexus 9, and Kindle Fire into a bag (though really only one of those is strictly necessary) and we can travel the world without ever getting ...

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    There have been a number of attempts at creating a smartwatch for women. At CES last week, Huawei unveiled what I believe is the closest watch yet. Huawei's new watches geared toward women are very much like its unisex offering, but with a band of fancy around the outside. Specially created watch faces to go along with it give the watch some, for lack of a better word, pizzazz. But it’s not without its faults. More of the same The Huawei Elegant and Jewel are both designed to spice up the wrist of a lady, or as Michael Fisher puts it “a dude who likes his gem stones”. These two ...

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    Ahh. The holidays are over (for most) and now is the time when we look back on our successes and failures over the past few days and reassess. Was drinking that second rum and coke before dinner a great idea? Probably not. Did you knock it out of the park with that Pandora bracelet charm in her stocking? You betcha. Should I have replaced her Nexus 5 with a 5x  or perhaps a OnePlus X?  Now we get into the meat of the matter. In short, are smartphone gifts a good idea or not? First of all, smartphone gifts are not to be taken lightly. Any smartphone you buy is going to be a pretty decent ...

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    Adam Doud Contributing Editor "Any" and "as often as humanly possible" Mobile payments are one of my latest mobile obsessions. I love buying stuff with my phone. It's cool and it feels like using the future. But it's one of those things that appeals to a pretty specific audience I'm finding out, so I asked my fellow editors here at Pocketnow what mobile payment systems they used and why they did or did not use them. Mobile payments are so much fun to use, and they are more secure than even magnetic stripe transactions. Tokenization makes them safe, and tapping makes them fun. What more ...

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    Microsoft Continuum is one of Microsoft’s answers to bringing Windows 10 to every screen size. It’s very simple. Plug your phone into a dock, and it fires up a monitor, mouse and keyboard, and you’re suddenly using a full sized computer. This is awesome. Actually, it’s better than awesome, it’s outstanding. Or at least, it will be. Some day. But not today. Tomorrow’s not looking good either. Don’t get me wrong, Continuum is a great concept. It’s one of those things that looks great on paper, not unlike the 2015 White Sox. But as that team taught us – paper is not a ...

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    On Thanksgiving, I decided to “invest” in a $35 tablet. Amazon’s Kindle Fire, normally a $50 tablet, dropped to just $35, and it was too cheap not to get. I even chronicled the experience in an editorial the following week. But then I started...you know…using the tablet, as one tends to do. It has largely been a Netflix/Instant Video machine with a game or two thrown in for the train. But here’s the thing. It’s not very good at it. This is exactly $35 worth of tablet. At $35, it barely justifies it's existence. What I mean is, the tablet is thoroughly unimpressive in every way ...

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    “Hey everyone. I lost/broke/replaced my phone and I lost all of my contacts. PM me with your number so I can store it.” If you're like me - or rather your friends are like mine - you see this message every few months on Facebook. To a phone reviewer, this would be an almost weekly occurrence if we weren’t prepared for the possibility (read: certainty) of replacing our phones. The holidays are fast approaching, so maybe that special someone in your life is about to grace you with a little bundle of joy – a Note 5 or an iPhone 6S. So, I decided I should take the opportunity to help ...

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    I’ve talked a lot lately about portability. When it comes to laptops, tablets, keyboards, I’m on the go a lot and I sometimes need to write away from my comfortable little desk at home. So I could carry around a laptop, but there are times when a tablet is more convenient. Beyond that, there are times that a phone is even more convenient. But typing a full editorial or review on a phone isn’t feasible, right? It’s madness! Well, unless that phone happens to be a Lumia 950 that has Continuum capability. One aspect of Continuum that is particularly nice is the extreme portability of ...

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    In case you didn’t hear the trumpets and fanfare, or you missed the citizenry lining the streets throwing rose petals in my path, you might not know that I’m toting a Lumia 950 these days. OMG! Android boy came back to Windows 10 mobile? Say it ain't so! Well, ok, it ain't really so. I mean, I do have a Lumia 950 I’m using, somewhat regularly. But the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is still my primary phone. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. I’m back to using Windows Phone, now known as Windows 10 Mobile, so I wanted to share with you three of the best Windows Phone ...

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    Samsung tripped up a few of us last summer when it decided to release the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6+ ahead of IFA. Traditionally, Samsung’s release cycle has been Barcelona/Berlin and why not? The entire mobile news world is already on site – it saves a bundle on catering. But last summer, Samsung released its large flagships a month earlier than usual, and some rumors indicate it may do the same with its plans for the Galaxy S7 release. Just recently, our own Joe Levi asked the question, would Samsung be better off releasing early?  Well, we in the weekend debate club can’t just ...

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