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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    As efforts like After The Buzz, the Pocketnow U-Review, and Empty Nest demonstrate, we’re constantly searching for fresh ways to review mobile technology. The newest product of those efforts is Pocketnow’s “Review Rebuttal” series, in which a member of our team is assigned to test a smartphone or tablet that’s already gone through our standard review process. While the resulting video or editorial doesn’t affect the “official” Pocketnow review score, we hope it provides added context by showcasing an editor’s personal opinion, rather than a team-wide consensus. We call it ...

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    Here’s the thing. I don’t get Google Glass. I never have. At first, it seemed like a Bluetooth headset, only more pretentious. It was a vague concept that you can use to “connect without disconnecting,” or while “staying in the moment” or some other kind of marketing drivel. Then it was priced at $1,500, and I only stopped laughing about that last week, which is when they coincidentally pulled Google Glass off the shelves, presumably with a dust buster close at hand. Earlier, we were introduced to Microsoft Holographic. At first, when they used the word “holograms” I perked ...

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    The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is one of the more daring Samsung offerings in some time. Is it as daring as super gluing a camera to a smart phone? In some ways, it is not. But, one of the scary things about the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is that this phone is so unique, Samsung might just be on to something. In many ways, that makes this phone even more daring than the camera/phone hybrid. Because this design might have some much to offer, it might just stick around. I’ve had a couple of weeks with the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge and I’ve come across a couple of fun things to do with it that ...

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    Wednesday is a big day for Windows Phone fans, or at least it probably will be. Microsoft’s presentation should cover the latest iterations of Windows 10 and we hear there might be a fair amount of phone talk in there. Back in October, Mr. Lein, Mr. Fisher and I hashed out ten things we wanted to see from Windows 10. Well, since none of those have come to fruition just yet, we wanted to revisit that list and see what’s important now that we all have new calendars. There’s a ton of them, so we’ll be brief with each point. Keep the “phone” Some rumors have suggested that ...

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    A lot needs to go into smartphone design. It frankly takes a lot of design and brainpower to pack all the stuff into a super slim case and still make it beautiful. So when some features like selfie flashes start to become a thing, phone OEMs start needing to make some calls. Of course, selfie flashes are the meat of this article because of Lenovo’s recent CES offering – the Vibe Extension selfie flash. This battery-operated accessory is small, fits in your pocket, and plugs into the headphone jack on your phone. It’s a great solution to a problem many phones have – no flash on the ...

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    webOS is a funny creature. There are a lot of analogies that could describe its perseverance, but the two I usually default to are the scrappy little kid that keeps throwing himself against a bully despite numerous beat-downs, or the cockroach that just won’t go away even in nuclear winter. Neither of those two are particularly flattering comparisons, so instead we just call it the Chicago Cubs of the mobile world. Every year is “Wait ‘til next year.” And yet, we still keep writing about this mostly defunct operating system. Last week, two pieces of news came up in the feeds. The ...

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    Over the past few months, I’ve been the lucky recipient of some weird phones. I don’t mean “weird” as in oddly shaped, or anything like that, but the phones I’ve used have been outliers in the industry. They have been mostly five and one half to seven-inch phablets. One common problem that all these phones have shared is, “how do you use the thing one handed?” There have been some software attempts, and even a hardware attempt to answer this question, but it’s elusive. One of the better examples that I’ve seen is the Blu Studio 7.0. Blu, you may remember is a distributor ...

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    Last week at CES, we got some exciting news. Palm is coming back, and this time, it means war! Ok, that’s not the exact message that was being broadcast, but still Palm is coming back. Who, you might wonder, is the patron of our beloved lost OEM? TCL Communications, a Chinese OEM who also holds Alcatel Onetouch, that’s who. Palm, it seems will be the high-end hardware to compliment the mid to low-end phones brought to you by Alcatel Onetouch. So this is great news right? Palm is back! Well… Expectations First of all, if you’re expecting webOS, stop it – it’s not happening. TCL ...

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    There has been a lot of talk of late about phones that can have different operating systems on them. In most cases, these different operating systems are put on by the manufacturer and purchased as a Windows Phone, or an Android Phone, or in some, extremely rare cases, a Firefix Phone. But that has naturally brought up the idea of a user running multiple platforms on a single device. To clarify, this debate is not about whether an OEM should build a phone that could support multiple OS’s, much like some editorials have suggested of HTC. That just makes business sense. If you can have the ...

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    There are two things in mobile technology that have not gotten much better in the past few years. Specifications are flying through the roof with the average phone (and car) today having as much power as the best supercomputer from just 15 years ago. But despite all those advancements, battery and storage have remained pretty darn consistent. Battery is no surprise. There’s only so much chemical goo you can pack into a shrinking frame. Yes, there are some advancements on the far horizon when it comes to batteries, but these days it’s a pretty straightforward concept. Storage space on ...

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    HTC surprised a few people last year with a brand spanking new flagship phone for Windows Phone, the HTC One M8 for Windows. It was one of the most beautiful and powerful Windows Phones yet, but it still carried that 4 ultrapixel camera which my bias will not allow me to love. I’m sure it’s great and all, but I just can’t get behind it. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. We're here to talk about an entry-level HTC Windows Phone, or two, or three. To Windows Phone, this was a great move. A new flagship! It helped bolster a strong, but aging lineup of Windows Phones. For ...

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    One phenomenon that I’ve taken a lot of interest in recently is the concept of the in-app purchase, specifically as it refers to gaming. I’m no stranger to the concept of the in-app purchase. Many games will allow you to play for a certain amount of time and then ask you to purchase the “full version” or purchase the next level, etc. But recently, these in app purchases have taken a twist, and I’m honestly not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. That’s where this week’s debate comes in. For the record, I’m not referring to permanent purchases. In-app purchases that ...

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    It has been one heck of a year. One mostly dominated by Android, to be honest. It's not all green bots though, so take heart oh ye fans of other platforms. You're represented as well. We even wandered outside the realm of normal mobile tech a time or two. But this year was largely candy on a stick. Let's dive in, shall we? Text Our year started off with just such a wandering outside our normal mobile tech coverage. Joe Levi (who will be a familiar face by the end of this article) walks us through the pluses and minuses of 5 GHz wifi. Wondering why you sometimes have issues connecting to ...

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    To give us something to think about over the upcoming holidays and extra days off, we’re going to look at a little more of a complicated issue. It’s complicated because this is not a binary issue – it’s not a 1/0, yes/no type of situation. It, like it’s subject matter, is more in depth than that, so let’s just give it a go. We’re talking about simultasking. First, it’s important to make the distinction between multi-tasking and simultasking. Multi tasking is doing a lot of tasks, one at a time, and switching between tasks quickly. Simultasking is actually doing two (or ...

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    So, I’ve been walking around on Android for a while now. The reasons for this are many and varied, but I thought maybe it might be time to talk about my introduction to Android. I got my hands on a Samsung GSIII a couple of years back. It was my first introduction to Android on a phone. I had installed CM9 on a TouchPad or two, but this was the first time using it as a phone. So I grew up with Touchwiz. It was the only family I knew. Over the next few months I bounced back and forth between Android and Windows Phone. My Android choice was always the Samsung, so I was still strictly ...

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    When it comes to announcing products, updates, or really just about anything, there are two schools of thought. Some argue to strike while the iron is hot, while others say it’s best to build anticipation. There are good arguments for either side of this philosophy, so let’s take a look at what time is the best time for announcements. Get it over with On the one hand, Apple is famous for making announcements and pushing it out the door, often on the same day, or within 10 days at most. Software typically follows the former model while hardware follows the latter. iOS goes out the door ...

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    So here we are, a couple of years into the era of smartwatches. Apple, Google and Microsoft all have offerings on the table. We've already taken a look at where the smartwatch is excelling and where it's not.  Smartwatch progress has made these devices attractive, affordable, and very handy, but some things are still holding them back from being a mainstream device. One of the biggest blockers to widespread adoption is indecision. Well, let's take that off the table, shall we? If you’re skeptical of smartwatches, don’t be. If you flat out hate them and refuse to even try, well ...

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    I’ve done a lot of soul searching of the past few weeks. It’s been a hard journey, but I have come to some realizations of late. I’ve been on Android since the beginning of Seeptember, and I’m running out of excuses to not go back to Windows Phone. I have two left – the Review Rebuttal for the Galaxy Note Edge is the first, and we’ll talk about the second in a moment, but after that, I’m just not sure. Why am I still on Android? My go-to excuse has been the Moto 360. The darn thing doesn’t work on anything else. But that’s not the real reason. Part of me wanted to say, it ...

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    Here in the States, we have the big three in carriers – AT&T, Verizon, and (kinda) Sprint. T-Mobile is in a class by itself, a small carrier with big dreams that likes to make big news. Finally, there’s the next tier of carriers. I’m not really sure how to label these carriers. They’re not really “small” per se, but perhaps less well known? Less respected even? They are largely pre-paid carriers. This is nice because it means no contract, but it also means no subsidizing phones. Ok, rest of world, “No big deal”, I get it. But in the States, that’s kind of a deal ...

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    “This town ain’t big enough for the both of us.” So the saying goes, and I have to wonder if we have reached a level of saturation to the point of being redundant. What I’m referring to are phablets and tablets. Specifically, the extremely slight difference between them when it comes to screen size, power etc. Phones are getting bigger and bigger. Tablets are getting smaller. There are actually phones and tablets that are roughly the same size as each other. The Amazon Kindle now comes in a six inch variant much like the Lumia 1520, or the device I recently played with, the Alcatel ...

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    This week, on the Pocketnow Weekly, my colleagues and I talked a bit about data privacy and security. It’s funny, because this topic just so happened to be on my plate this week. So now, it’s time to put a little thought experiment out to the masses, to get a sense of where everyone is on this. What if? The headline says it all. What if your government – wherever you happen to live – offered a 100% subsidized data plan. The catch is, the government would transparently monitor every bit of data that passes across your mobile device. Emails, location, the whole kit and caboodle. For ...

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    An interesting thing happened this year, that flew under the radar a little bit. Microsoft once promised that Windows Phone 8.1 could just as easily be installed on or even dual-booted with Android on the same hardware with just a few tweaks here or there. This raised some eyebrows at the potential implications. But like a lot of potential implications in the Windows Phone world, this implication went largely ignore and wasn’t pursued. Then HTC made a splash – the HTC One M8 for Windows. Lolwut? For Windows? Sure enough, the exact same HTC One M8 hardware - second lens and all - was ...

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    Intro It’s a question that a lot of us need to answer, because of who we are. What phone should I buy? So often, the answer to this question really depends on the user’s history. Are you tied into an ecosystem? What smartphones have you had in the past? What are you used to? But every now and then, you get a blank slate. You get a field of freshly fallen snow. No footprints to disturb the unbroken landscape. So you get to help them decide where the snow angel is going to go. You have a virtual blank slate, with no preconceptions. So what do you tell those people? Well, we at Pocketnow ...

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    Not too long ago, Nokia found itself on a burning platform. At least, that’s what Stephen Elop said. To fight the fire, Nokia had to go all in, or double down if you will, on a platform that gave it the best chance of survival. Mr. Elop then put on his night cap, and slipped in between the sheets and started spooning Microsoft. Microsoft then became Nokia’s daddy, and the rest is history. Except some Nokia employees were not satisfied with that arrangement. MeeGo, Nokia’s own operating system had a special place in their hearts. The fact that Stephen Elop ceased all development on ...

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    Phones are some of the most personal electronics you can buy. The reasons for this are quite varied, but it doesn’t change the fact that your phone is as close to an electronic extension of yourself as anything. We feel this connection that is unlike anything we feel with a laptop, tablet, desktop, etc. It’s. Our. Phone. As much as we can “feel” about an electronic device, our phones will generally have it in spades. So what makes us think we can get a phone for someone else? Tis the seasons to start contemplating how much you love your family and friends. Our holiday gift guide is ...

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