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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    This is the third installment in out series of editorials looking at mobile payments. First, we took a look at Android Pay, followed by Samsung Pay. In the latest of our series focusing on mobile payments, we have finally come to arguably the reason why I’m writing this series of articles in the first place – Apple Pay. Apple Pay is not the newest competitor to come to our series – Samsung Pay owns that honor. But Apple Pay is a new kid on the block compared to the Android Pay/Google Wallet consortium that we looked at first. Yes that is an oversimplification of the Android Pay ...

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    The mobile world moves quickly – probably faster than just about any other industry in the world. New devices are announced on what feels like a weekly basis; perpetual software updates are hitting for hundreds of mobile devices; one-off press events are always happening; and while phones seem to have a longer life span than they did back in, say 2010, they still become antiques in what feels like no time. Looking back, it's crazy to see how far the industry has come over the years – from phones that (barely) handled email to pocket-sized computers that are increasingly awesome for ...

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      In addition to the BLU Energy 2, the 5,000 mAh battery toting beast we reviewed earlier this week, we also had a chance to use a BLU Energy X. The BLU Energy X is a $109 smartphone offering with its own 4,000 mAh battery. Take the BLU Energy 2 – already a low-budget smartphone, pare it down a little more and what’s left is the BLU Energy X. This is not a powerhouse. Not by any means. But it’s not without its merits. The Good Let’s start off by talking about the battery. This phone has a 4,000 mAh battery that keeps on trucking. In 24 hours of use on battery, the phone sat ...

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    For as long as we’ve been involved in the mobile technology industry (check your calendars - it has been a really long time), there has been one constant. Processors, screens, RAM, have all been steadily improving and gaining ground until we’ve reached a level of literally carrying around a computer in our pockets. But the one thing that has remained consistent from the first time we powered on our Pocket PCs has been the necessity for power; as in actual power to make our devices work. That power source hasn’t really changed all that much in a very long time. But as our technology ...

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    Microsoft has a lofty goal in mind, and it is very close to actually accomplishing it. Microsoft wants to bring to its customers the same computer-using experience, regardless of what sized screen you happen to be viewing it on. Its efforts have brought forth Continuum to the Windows 10 Mobile experience, and it’s a pretty sweet ride. Continuum, for those who are not aware, is the idea of using your phone as the CPU of a computer, which is connected to a monitor, mouse and keyboard. All the functions are actually taking place on the phone, but you’re getting a desktop experience while ...

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    The hunt for a quality tablet that won’t break your budget is an elusive one. There are some really low prices out there, and the Android tablet landscape is littered with tablets that should not exist, because they are incredibly bad. So, what is a budget conscious tech nerd to do? The answer used to be, “Get a Nexus” and indeed once upon a time, the Nexus 7 tablet was extremely budget friendly and worked pretty well. But since the Nexus 9’s $400 price tag came out, we’ve been searching for other options. Amazon? Samsung? The good people over at Lenovo think they might have the ...

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    The mobile world moves quickly – probably faster than just about any other industry in the world. New devices are announced on what feels like a weekly basis; perpetual software updates are hitting for hundreds of mobile devices; one-off press events are always happening; and while phones seem to have a longer life span than they did back in, say 2010, they still become antiques in what feels like no time. Looking back, it's crazy to see how far the industry has come over the years – from phones that (barely) handled email to pocket-sized computers that are increasingly awesome for ...

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    Over the past month or so, we have seen Apple and Google in a weird position. It’s a position in which we’re not used to seeing them. They’ve been trying to catch up to Microsoft. That’s right, the two leading smartphone manufacturers have been trying to catch up to their scampy little brother. They haven’t been trying to catch up in the phone department – not by a long shot. But it seems that Google and Apple have come to realize that Microsoft’s Surface is a big deal, and should be taken very seriously. To counter the Surface, Apple released the iPad Pro, and Google ...

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    The mobile world moves quickly – probably faster than just about any other industry in the world. New devices are announced on what feels like a weekly basis; perpetual software updates are hitting for hundreds of mobile devices; one-off press events are always happening; and while phones seem to have a longer life span than they did back in, say 2010, they still become antiques in what feels like no time. Looking back, it's crazy to see how far the industry has come over the years – from phones that (barely) handled email to pocket-sized computers that are increasingly awesome for ...

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    Last week, we took a look at Android Pay.  Android Pay allows you to make mobile payments at NFC terminals around the country. It’s a wonderful service, but it’s not the only game in town. There are two other major players competing for this space in very specific ways, and today we’re going to look at a very intriguing one – Samsung Pay. Samsung Pay is Samsung’s mobile payment system. It is available on a small subset of Samsung devices that include fingerprint sensors. But not just any fingerprint sensor, such as the Note 4. It has to be Samsung’s current TouchID-like ...

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    Wow. Do you know how long it has been since I’ve said that after a mobile launch event? It has been a while. Just wow. Too often at mobile events, there is so much rhetoric about "powerful this" and "performance that", followed by photos of attractive people doing wonderful things all over the world and it all just balls up into the same formulaic press event that you’re probably better off skipping. Just watch the highlights on YouTube, you'll be fine. Not Microsoft’s event though. Yes, there was rhetoric. Yes there were buzz words. There were even skydiving videos, and yes, the ...

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    Google introduced its two new Nexus phones by Hauwei and LG. These phones have all the fun that you’d expect – Android Marshmallow, beefy specs, fingerprint sensor, and all the trimmings. One thing Google introduced which has largely gone undiscussed thus far is the camera on the back of the Nexus 5X and 6P. Specifically what I’m referring to is Google’s introduction of ultrapixels. Ultra-ish-pixels I know, I know. “Ultrapixels” are HTC’s version of larger pixels. There are differences between the two as well – most notably number and size. But essentially, the concept is ...

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    Screen envy. We all have it. Or do we? See, that’s the thing, I’m just not so sure. One thing I am sure about is that our phone screens have gotten progressively bigger and bigger over the last few years. The funny thing is, we as a society have taken that ball and run with it, like we just don’t care. But I always thought we did care? Some time ago, when phones were in the sub-5” range, we used to have a term called “phablet” which described an almost absurdly big phone. The definition varied from person to person. I always considered a phone with a screen 5.5” or bigger to ...

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    The mobile world moves quickly – probably faster than just about any other industry in the world. New devices are announced on what feels like a weekly basis; perpetual software updates are hitting for hundreds of mobile devices; one-off press events are always happening; and while phones seem to have a longer life span than they did back in, say 2010, they still become antiques in what feels like no time. Looking back, it's crazy to see how far the industry has come over the years – from phones that (barely) handled email to pocket-sized computers that are increasingly awesome for ...

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    Buying stuff with your phone. Just think about that for a moment. Buying products with your phone. It’s such an awesome and potentially scary concept it’s worth a look at the mechanics of it and how it relates to every day life. We’ve already talked about how it makes electronic transactions safer.  But it’s also a little bit fun. Oko, you got me. It’s so much fun, now that I’ve done it, I won’t live without it. Getting it rolling Start off by adding your cards to Android Pay. This is not much different from adding cards to Google Wallet. The process is very simple. ...

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    This past week, Pebble introduced us to the Pebble Time Round. The watch is basically exactly what it sounds like – it’s a Pebble Time, with a round face. Sounds great in theory. I recently switched from my Pebble Time back to my Moto 360. I wanted to see first hand what improvements recent updates to Android Wear. There have been a lot, and they have been very good. But I started to wonder if “round” was going to help sell more Pebble smartwatches, despite what Android Wear brings to the table. The tables have turned I’m worried about Pebble, to be honest. Now that I’m on ...

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    If you read my open letter to my former bank a couple of days ago, you may have noticed something distressing that didn’t really distress me all that much. It should have distressed me, but nothing bad has come of it yet, so I remain undistressed. I mentioned that my banking information has been compromised and a new card had been issued to me, leading to the Android Pay debacle. I also mentioned that this has happened to be roughly three times in the last four years. The reason this is such a problem for me is that just about everything I do that pertains to money is done ...

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    The mobile world moves quickly – probably faster than just about any other industry in the world. New devices are announced on what feels like a weekly basis; perpetual software updates are hitting for hundreds of mobile devices; one-off press events are always happening; and while phones seem to have a longer life span than they did back in, say 2010, they still become antiques in what feels like no time. Looking back, it's crazy to see how far the industry has come over the years – from phones that (barely) handled email to pocket-sized computers that are increasingly awesome for ...

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    Dear TCF Bank, First, let me start off with a little bit of history. I have been a customer of yours for over 20 years. I got my first checking account pretty much when I got my first job, which was when I was 16 years old. No, I’m not going to tell you exactly how long ago that was, but thank you for asking. I have gotten the free gifts that you've given me. I have referred friends and loved ones to you. I now have four bank accounts with you – two personal checking accounts, a small business account, and a joint savings account for my family. This doesn’t include the accounts the ...

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    So, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The recent Apple event brought a lot to the table – the iPad Pro, the Apple Pencil, and the iPhone 6S among other things. There’s a lot to talk about in those items alone, but I wanted to take a step back and ask a bigger question – is Apple better off under Tim Cook’s than Steve Jobs. First off, no one is going to argue that Steve Jobs was a driving force in Apple and in the mobile industry at large. Apple’s iPhones have been a standard to which other OEMS have been competing against for some time. This has been happening under ...

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    Smartphones are getting better and better all the time, but there’s one quality that I’d never had before, that I have now, that I didn’t want before, but now I really want. Following all that? Ok good. What I’m talking about here is waterproofing. Waterproofing on smartphones is something that is becoming gradually more and more common in smartphones, and it’s a very good thing in a very real sense. Theoretically My waterproofing opinions were always of the hypothetical variety. They were not grounded in real world experience. I’m a geocacher, so I’m no stranger to mud, ...

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    The mobile world moves quickly – probably faster than just about any other industry in the world. New devices are announced on what feels like a weekly basis; perpetual software updates are hitting for hundreds of mobile devices; one-off press events are always happening; and while phones seem to have a longer life span than they did back in, say 2010, they still become antiques in what feels like no time. Looking back, it's crazy to see how far the industry has come over the years – from phones that (barely) handled email to pocket-sized computers that are increasingly awesome for ...

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    Qualcomm currently sits atop the throne of smart-device processors. The Snapdragon line of processors has powered smartphones great and small for years. Snapdragons 400, 600, 800, 805, and everything in between all have been a desired chipset. And then came the Snapdragon 810, and things blew up – almost literally. Too hot, hot damn The Snapdragon 810 processor came with a bit of a caveat – it gets really hot. In some cases super hot. In our experience, it was hot, but not super duper crazy hot. Your mileage will vary. But the bottom line is the concensus among consumers and reviewers ...

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    Mobile phone enthusiasts like ourselves are often the butt of jokes by so-called “Normal people”. “Hey that thing is permanently attached to your head”, or, “why not just get an implant and save us all some time?” So, let’s talk about this. Hypothetically of course. Smartphone implants aren’t here yet (mostly), so we’re very much going to be delving into hypothetical waters here. But still, let’s talk. A couple of weeks ago, Michael Fisher had a great interview with the father of the cell phone, Dr. Martin Cooper. As part of the conversation, the topic of implants came ...

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    Last week, I wrote about Microsoft and how it’s running out of chances to really, finally make it in the mobile market. Let’s face it, Microsoft has been playing this game a long time and it has yet to make significant headway into the industry. That’s not necessarily Microsoft’s fault, but it’s the reality of the situation. And that being the case, Microsoft is going to need to step up in another big way. Namely in the Windows 10 Mobile hardware department. Windows 10 Mobile could be poised to do some damage to Apple and Android, but only if the integration is as tight as ...

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