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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    Rooting is one of those rites of passage that people look to as a milestone in geek cred. Thus, I wasn’t completely surprised when, a couple weeks ago, I mentioned that I’ve never rooted a phone and was met with almost universal negativity. Of course, I didn’t exactly phrase the tweet in a manner to elicit positive responses, so that’s partially my fault. But the fact remains that I still have never rooted an Android phone, so I wanted to dig into the subject a bit and see what I was missing out on. From what I’ve been able to gather, rooting a phone allows you to really dig in ...

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    Apple's big conference is coming next week. What will we see? iOS 7? iOS something else? Apple Watch news? New Macbooks? The sky is the limit really. There are a few things we know. It's happening next week. It will be long. A lot will be covered. I'm sure we'll get news about Health Kit, Apple Home. Maybe we'll get a taste of what Apple has cooking in the work of VR? Perhaps a Google Home/Amazon Echo rival? We've heard some rumors but we wanted to get the opinions of some experts about what we'd like to see coming from Mr. Cook and the Apple contingent. ...

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    Last week, we saw a Bloomberg report claiming that Google was making a list, checking it twice and finding out which OEMs were naughty and nice. In other words, Google was ranking Android OEMs based on how fast they pushed out updates to consumers. The list is internal – probably as a mental note for who Google should start poking if they lag behind. But the same report suggests that Google may start publishing this list to the public so we all can know who is hot and who is not when it comes to updates. Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it and with Google already ...

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    We may be approaching a turning point in mobile technology, which in many ways is actually coming full circle. The time was that you had "accessories" like a camera, a PDA, a phone, a laptop, a watch, and a host of other devices on you that all performed a specific function. The best part was, all of those devices generally performed that function exceptionally well and if one of them happened to break down, you didn’t have to replace all of them. Gradually, we have shifted to a world where all of those devices have coalesced into one super device – the smartphone, with functions that ...

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    Here’s a fun fact for you. Up until today, I didn’t know what a “Twitter canoe” is. I’ve been on Twitter since before 2009, so I may not be “old school” by some standards, and I didn’t even set my computer on fire in protest when Twitter wanted to break chronological order of tweets. So maybe I’m just not awesome enough to know what a Twitter canoe is. Apparently it’s an ongoing conversation on Twitter with more than three people. I’m not even making this up and it's actually scary how much sense it makes. But then again, my job isn’t really to know Twitter. Sure, ...

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    Now that Google I/O has come and gone again, it’s time to focus our attention about 9 miles to the south to Cupertino. At I/O, Google revealed quite a few nice things and also left some questions unanswered. But it’s the nice things we want to talk about today, and specifically the nice things that Google now has, and Apple does not. Because like the Joneses with the spiffy new riding mower, Google now has the shiny on the other side of the fence, and you have to wonder if Apple is cowering behind the curtains grasping its binoculars and cursing. All metaphors aside, Apple is the other ...

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    Yesterday, we asked Google a series of questions that weren't answered to our satisfaction at Google I/O's keynote. But we’re not completely negative Nellies here at Pocketnow. But while that list of questions is pretty long, the list of great things coming out of Google I/O thus far is pretty great in and of itself. So, to balance the negative with the positive, here are nice things from Google I/O that have impressed us here at Pocketnow. Split screen It has been asked for for years. Samsung has been doing it, first on the Note, then on the S-series of phones. So we all asked Google to ...

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    Google's keynote is over and we are left with a whole heap of newness to revel in. We have new features in Android N, Android VR/Daydream, Instant Apps, new messaging apps, Android Wear 2.0, boy oh boy! Good times are ahead folks. But as the announcements rolled out, I was left with a few nagging questions about some of what we saw. Why can’t you name your own damn product? After months of speculation and thought. After website polls and scouring of recipe books from sea to shining sea, Google finally reveals...nothing…about what that darn “N” stands for. Instead, it’s turning to ...

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    Those of you who are familiar with my work know that I’m a huge proponent of wireless charging, or inductive charging. In the world of mobile it is one of those things that just feels like using the future. It’s so cool, and so convenient, it really perks me up just thinking about it. Just plop your phone down on a pad, or a table and you’re juicing up. The convenience of it is incredible. It’s even easier than reversible connectors like lightning or USB-C connectors because it doesn't require a second hand. When you have kids, a second hand is not something to be taken for ...

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    USB Type-C is one of those much-anticipated concepts that has finally made it to the masses - including (finally) me! I just picked up a Nexus 6P and I find myself needed to make a little bit of an adjustment in my charging habits. One of the most attractive features of the USB Type-C connector is the it is reversible. No more cable acrobatics just to find the right way to give your phone some juice. This is a priceless innovation that has been highly sought after for some time. Those who have used recent Apple devices have gotten a taste of this concept with the lighting connector, which ...

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    Smartphones are made up of a whole bunch of pieces put together like the best Tetris game ever. Sometimes an OEM will cut a corner or two to drive down costs, or make a design element more feasible. Often, that results in a phone that is less-than-perfect in one or more area. But which area? That's the great question. Since we're all - reader and editor alike - firmly embedded in mobile, we're probably a good crowd to ask. The answer is quite subjective, but who better to poll than us? So I asked our editors and then I'll as you, what are the features that every good smartphone needs? ...

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    There is more to tech than just mobile. There is a ton of technology out there that has nothing to do with mobile, or is only tangentially related that interests us. We write and create content for Pocketnow, but it's not like we don't have interests outside of mobile. There are some really cool gadgets out there and darn it, we like 'em. So for the space of an editorial, we're gonna let our editors cut loose and talk about some of the stuff they dig that you won't necessarily read about there. Then, we invite you to chat in the comments about the non-mobile tech that you are into. ...

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    Modular phones are becoming a thing. Or so LG hopes. One of the most popular modular phones of later has been Project Ara, Google's modular device that will have a Lego-like structure of swapping out components that are sold out of lunch wagons. I’m not even making this up. This is an interesting concept since it adds two things to your phone which cannot normally be added - longevity and ease of repair. LG's modular design adds a new dimension to the equation - expandability. But the question is, are those things that the modern smartphone needs? Or is the concept of the modular phone ...

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    Ask any platform, you know, if it could talk, and it would tell you that ecosystem is key to survival. Having the apps that people need in order to function is vital to the ability of a platform to sustain itself. After all, if a phone, tablet, or even a computer can’t do what people need it to do, people will go elsewhere. This is a bit of a no-brainer – not new information at all. Which led to the question – what vital apps are actually required for an ecosystem to be viable? What apps are needed in order for a customer to plant her flag and claim it as her own? We asked our ...

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    Warranties fall into that category of “things you don’t think about until you need it”. At the end of the day, it’s nice that if your phone stops working in a short period of time, you can contact the company who made the phone and get some kind of satisfaction – most of the time. But every now and then, those warranties turn out not so great. Maybe there is an issue with your phone that isn’t covered or maybe the factory is swinging and missing on basic warranty service. Either way, suddenly that assurance isn’t so reliable. Then, there’s the other side of the coin – ...

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    We talk about phones here a lot. No kidding. We really do. I know you’re shocked. But, we really do talk about phones a whole ton. And it’s often about the newest and latest gadget coming out that does everything superbly well. We also field a lot of questions here at Pocketnow and one of the most common questions we here is, “should I get this phone or that phone?” It got us to thinking, why are you buying a new smartphone at all? We used to think that people got new phones and upgraded their gear on a two-year cycle. This was consistent with the two-year contract cycle that many ...

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    Talking to my phone is probably one of my favorite things to do with it. Asking my phone's voice assistant to perform tasks such as giving me the weather, texting my wife, or looking up information is pretty cool, and so much more convenient than doing it “the old fashioned way.” What I mean is, launching an app from the app drawer, or typing I-L-L-B-E-H-O-M-E-I-N-2-0-M-I-N-U-T-E-S. People do crazy stuff on phones these days, and talking makes everything so much easier. So why don’t more people talk to their phones? I’ve asked that question and decided to delve. Childlike wonder ...

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    Galaxies keep getting bigger while the Notes stay the same. Samsung basically has two flagships – the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note. But recently with the emergence of the Galaxy S7 Edge, worlds started to collide a little bit. But, to be fair, this is only after Samsung decided to muddy the waters a bit. Samsung took its successful Edge phone to the phablet stage with the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, and released it along side its main phablet offering – the Galaxy Note 5. Then, this past spring, the Galaxy S7 Edge came out and it wasn’t too far away from the Galaxy S6 Edge plus in size or ...

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    Yesterday, we talked about specifications and how, at least in the current three flagships that are on the market, specifications really don’t matter any more. Today, we’re going to talk about price, and what comes along with that price tag you pay for the top tier phones of today. We decided to look back over the last 366 days and see what phones had been released and what their prices were. Then we looked at what each had to offer for that price you paid. Our recent review of the iPhone SE left us in a bit of a tizzy – what is this phone, anyway? Is it a flagship? Is it a ...

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    Every year, OEMs put out newer and better phones. Of course they do. What’s the point of a new generation if it’s not better than the last, right? But some OEMs, notably Apple, have taken to using more vague descriptors of their smartphone components. They say things like “all day battery life” or Apple’s famous “retina display”. The problem with descriptions like this is they are either highly subjective, or they don’t really mean anything from a specification standpoint. But here’s the thing. We are fast entering a world where most flagships are going to have basically ...

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    There has been an explosion in VR and AR headsets over the past few years. There was a time we talked about Oculus and not a whole lot else. Then at CES, I saw an entire section of the show floor dedicated to VR. Everyone and their mother was coming out with new VR, or developing for VR. Later, Samsung had a press conference that was dependent on VR. LG has a VR headset. The HTC Vive is out and shipping. VR is everywhere, from $30 Google Cardboard to $3000 Hololens headsets. Despite all of this one player – one notable player- has been absolutely silent in this category – Apple. It’s ...

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    A couple of years ago, Google and Apple both unveiled their latest mobile operating systems. No, I don’t mean mobile as in phones, I mean mobile as in cars. Since then, there has been a steady increase in adoption by auto manufacturers who are bringing this tech to the road. Last year, only a few car manufacturers were able to bring Android Auto and/or Apple CarPlay to their vehicles. This year, the list is much longer, and so it will go until not having a connected vehicle will be the exception rather than the rule. Connected vehicles are coming, do not doubt. This is both a blessing ...

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    One of the least talked about things on a smartphone is its audio output. Don't get me wrong, people do talk about it. But compared to camera, battery life, and other considerations, audio output is one of those "nice-to-haves" rather than a necessity. Sure, we love our front-firing speakers, but at the same time, we'll happily accept a rear or bottom firing speaker if the rest of the hardware is up to snuff. We might ding it in the review with a sentence or two, but that's about the extent of it. OEMs have started to push superior audio in some of their smartphones. Deals with companies ...

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    Apple just got done introducing its latest iPhone, the iPhone SE and since we can’t let the rumor mill go silent for even a minute, let’s talk about the iPhone 7, shall we? More specifically, a lot of rumors have been pointing at the possibility of the iPhone 7 having an edge-to-edge bezel-less display. Of course, the actual definition of “bezel-less” is a little on the fuzzy side. Some have said that the bezel-less iPhone will have a curved glass display that will fall off on the edges, not dissimilar to the Galaxy S7 Edge. The primary difference is that the iPhone would not have ...

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    One of the biggest problems in mobile technology today is the battery life of our phones. A much as our technology has increased, idyllic battery life remains an elusive unicorn. Most phones set the bar at 16 hours, which is one day, minus sleep time during which you can charge. But really, isn’t that just an awful goal? If that were the minimum standard for battery, ok, I’ll grant you that. But setting the bar for “good” battery life at a single day should never be the rule. Of course there are phones that boast much more than that. I’ve recently been testing the Blu Energy X ...

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