Posts by Adam Z. Lein

Adam has had interests in combining technology with art since his first use of a Koala pad on an Apple computer. He currently has a day job as a graphic designer, photographer, systems administrator and web developer at a small design firm in Westchester, NY. His love of technology extends to software development companies who have often implemented his ideas for usability and feature enhancements. Mobile computing has become a necessity for Adam since his first Uniden UniPro PC100 in 1998. He has been reviewing and writing about smartphones for Pocketnow.com since they first appeared on the market in 2002. Read more about Adam Lein!

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    Sometimes I ask my assistant to remind me about something, and when she's sitting in the same room as me and it's time to be reminded about something important, she claps her hands twice to get my attention. If I don't look at her right away, she won't tell me what the message is, and then she'll wait a few more seconds and then close her eyes and go to sleep. If this was a real person, that scenario would sound pretty ridiculous, but that's exactly how our smartphones behave these days. I'm sorry, I don't understand what 2 hand claps means. We're in the same room though. I can hear you. ...

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    Today we had a brief 15 minute first look at the new Nexus 9 tablet from HTC running Google's new Android Lollipop operating system. We were not allowed to photograph it next to any other tablets or devices, so all you're going to get is some photos of the tablet by itself and a few first impressions. Also, the device is running a preview version of the new Android operating system, so of course things are going to change on that end, but we can get a pretty good idea of what the hardware is going to be like. The new tablet was announced last week and its pricing is going to start at ...

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    Microsoft recently released a technology preview of their new Windows operating system that's meant to unify desktop PCs, tablets, phones, and even large screen televisions. In this video we're going to take a look at some of the changes as well as the advantages and disadvantages in the Windows 10 Technology Preview. Be sure to remember that this is an early version of the operating system update so many things are sure to change as development continues. There's nothing special about installing the Windows 10 Tech Preview. You simply run the setup program, and it does it all. You should ...

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    Since the new iPhone 6 came out, everybody's talking about all the new features and especially the new 8 megapixel camera. Many are giving it some great praise, but as Micheal said in the "Here’s what the iPhone 6 camera can do" piece, it's a good camera, but it ain’t no Nokia. In this piece we're going to take a close look at how the picture quality of the iPhone 6 plus really compares to a few of the other smartphones out there, as well as a midrange DSLR just for fun. Before you go reading through all of my commentary in this camera phone shootout, I'd like to invite you to look ...

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    Well, okay, maybe it's not better at everything, and maybe it's not better for everybody but this one-year-old phone is still better at a few key things that I've been spoiled by. Yes, I've tried the new Galaxy Note 4 flagship Samsung device, and I've tried the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the HTC One M8, the HTC One M8 for Windows, etc., etc. After I saw those, I decided to buy a Nokia Lumia 1020; a phone that was originally released back in July of 2013 well over a year ago. I've never bought a new phone that was originally released such a long time ago, but considering that there is no ...

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    One of the reasons that Apple has always been reluctant to release a large-screened phone was because you couldn't reach all parts of the screen with one hand while holding the device. That's a very important aspect of mobile phone usability. When we're mobile, we're often carrying something in one hand while walking with our legs and we may need to use a phone with one hand to make a call, send an email, look at a map, etc. That's the whole reason that Steve Jobs was so adamant that the original iPhone's screen size was the perfect size. Then screen sizes started getting bigger on the ...

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    First of all, let me clear up that headline right away. Samsung's "new craziness" is meant as a compliment, not an insult. We need some craziness in the mobile technology world. Have you ever looked for a new phone on any of the carrier websites? They all look the same except with different pictures on the screens!  Anyway, Samsung itself recognized the original Note smartphone as a bit crazy. Most reviewers derided it as being way too big and too difficult to use, but customers didn't care what the reviewers thought and they bought it in droves anyway.  Today, Samsung is taking some ...

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    As some of you may know, my usual daily driver is the Nokia Lumia 925 on T-Mobile since it's got wireless charging, T-Mobile's LTE, WiFi calling, and a decent OIS camera, but since I've been running the Windows Phone 8.1.1 developer preview and since T-Mobile still hasn't released the Cyan firmware update, my Lumia 925 has been freezing randomly, over heating, and stuttering during music playback over Bluetooth. So when MixRadio sent a new Lumia 530 over with a couple of Coloud Bang portable speakers, I decided to switch my SIM card into it for the weekend. Ergonomics are great When I ...

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    It's easy to tell if an app sucks when there are issues with its basic functionality. If it crashes all the time, or causes the phone to freeze, or just doesn't respond to certain functions, that's a pretty obvious problem and we all know how to inform the developers of those issues in the app store reviews. However, there are lots of really poor design decisions that are common-place in today's smartphone apps. For some reason, people don't care as much about these obvious flaws that should be common sense, but have somehow become acceptable. Perhaps Paul Rand put it best: "The public is ...

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    HTC recently announced a new version of its flagship HTC One M8 smartphone and the only difference is that it's running Windows Phone 8.1.1. This instantly made many of us remember the old days when HTC was king of smartphones in part because it allowed the hacking community to have free reign over their phones. The comments on our first impressions of the device lit up with wishes and hopes for dual-boot capabilities. Back in 2002, HTC released a touch screen smartphone codenamed the "Wallaby" and it was originally released by O2 as the O2 XDA. That's how the XDA-Developers site came ...

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    Facebook has been in the news a lot lately for its decision to spin-off its chat and messaging features as their own app. The Facebook Messenger app has actually been around for a long time, but just recently Facebook has decided to force it on its users and remove the private messaging capability from the primary Facebook app. Previously, we figured it was just a waste of time, especially on Windows Phone where Facebook chat was both integrated with the Messaging hub and it could be pinned as its own live tile from the Windows Phone Facebook app. Back in 2011, I actually hailed Facebook ...

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    Back in the Windows Mobile 6.x days, there was an app and service called MyPhone that Microsoft made so that you could back up content to the Windows Mobile MyPhone cloud website. It saved all of your text messages to the cloud and you could log into the MyPhone website and see them all there. This was great if you wanted to archive, record, or print some communications to show to the lawyers for example. Even before that, there was a 3rd party program for the Windows desktop called Jeyo Mobile Companion which would connect to your Windows Mobile device via the USB cable and load all the ...

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    The new CEO of Microsoft's new mantra for the direction of the software giant is "mobile-first and cloud-first". At Pocketnow, we're interested in the mobile-first stuff. To me, that would mean Microsoft intends to put a lot more effort into making their Windows Phone and Windows tablet operating systems and devices much better than anything else out there.  I'd expect to see better hardware, a wider variety of hardware, better battery life, better games, more frequent new games, a better music experience, an awesome version of Microsoft's Office productivity suite, and tighter ...

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    Last night in New York City, Samsung launched their new Samsung Galaxy Tab S series of Android tablets and after the presentation, we got to try them out for the first time.  You can read more about all the specs and special bundles in our announcement post. The big thing about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S is the new Super Amoled screen. We've known about the advantages of AMOLED screens for a long time on smart phones, but this is the first time we've seen them on tablets. Samsung's Super AMOLED screens look amazing on smartphones and they still look amazing on their tablets. Colors are ...

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    Nokia has had a lot of success making really high quality mobile phones at very inexpensive price points. This was true 20 years ago, and these days Nokia (now in the form of Microsoft's handset division) is trying to translate that success to the smartphone market. Of course smartphones are far more complicated than the mobile phones of the 90s and they're more expensive to make, but as Nokia proved with the Lumia 520, it's still possible to make something that works very well without costing $600. The Nokia Lumia 630 is another one of those inexpensive smartphones that cuts out a lot of ...

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