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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    The latest update to Windows Phone 8 was just announced today, but more importantly, a method for enthusiasts and developers who want to void the warranty on their phone for the privilege to install the update right away (instead of having to wait for their carriers to approve the update) has also become available.  We heard about this program a while back, but now it's finally come to fruition.  Having to wait for carriers to approve and allow the distribution of Windows Phone operating system updates has always been extremely frustrating for users.  Of course, the carriers want the ...

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    It seems like in the world of technology writers, many don't really know much or anything about Windows Phone.  A good example is CNET's executive editor Molly Wood who's review of the Nokia Lumia 1020 is full of completely inaccurate information (WPCentral's Daniel Rubino points this out pretty nicely.)  You'll see similar critiques around the web and many focus on things like "Not enough apps" or "there's no Instagram".  Repeating those makes you sound like you're just copy/pasting critiques from somewhere else.  The Instagram issue isn't even true.  Yes, the official Instagram app ...

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    What's going on in the world of mobile technology at Comic-Con 2013 in New York City? We wanted to find out. First off, Thursday night Fincon threw a party celebrating the launch of their new free-to-play mobile role playing game called "Hello Hero".  This will soon be available on iOS, Android, and Facebook with cross-platform multiplayer capabilities, hundreds of hero characters, multiple game play modes, great 3D graphics and even community boss battles. On the show floor, we found plenty of fun mobile tablet stuff as well. At the Wacom booth I really wanted to try out the new ...

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    Two of Dell's newly announced tablets happen to be very similar; the Venue 8 and the Venue 8 Pro. These are both 8 inch tablets optimized for portrait orientation usage, but the biggest difference is that the Venue 8 is running Android 4.2 while the Venue 8 Pro is running the full Windows 8.1. Both have 1280 x 800 displays and 2GB of RAM, but the Android version has an Intel Clover Trail Plus Atom SoC while the Venue 8 Pro has an Intel Bay Trail Atom processor. Another big difference is the price. The Android tablet is about $180 while the Windows 8.1 tablet is about $300. The Venue 8 Pro ...

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    Another one of the new tablets that Dell announced is the Dell Venue 11 Pro.  This one has a nice 11 inch screen which would be better for desktop applications compared to the smaller Venue 8 Pro. The tablet includes options for Atom or Core i3/i5 Haswell chips, a 10.8-inch 1080p display, and 2GB of RAM (with up to 8GB available). Storage starts at 32GB (going up to 256GB), and this tablet measures 10mm thick and weighs 1.57 pounds. The base Venue 11 Pro will go for just about $500. Separate accessories include a Touch Cover-like keyboard, as well a docking station, and a hard hinged ...

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    Today, Dell announced a variety of new tablets and laptop PCs to be available for the Holiday season and one of the most interesting ones is this Venue 8 Pro.  It's a small 8" tablet running the full Windows 8.1 operating system.  Windows 8.1 launches later this month and brings some enhancements designed specifically for this type of smaller form-factor tablet. The Venue 8 Pro has an eight-inch 1280 x 800 display, 32GB or 64GB storage options (with microSD expansion), runs a Bay Trail Atom, measures 9mm thick, and weighs 0.87 pounds. It should offer cellular connectivity, and prices ...

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    One time I rented a car to go away for a long weekend and I was happy to see that it had Microsoft's Sync MyFord Touch in-car computer built in.  I thought, "Cool! This should work great with my Windows Phone since it's made by Microsoft!"  Wrong!  It turns out, Microsoft's in-car computer works best with the iPhone according to this compatibility chart (PDF).  You'll notice that only Windows Phone 7 devices are on that list.  Another list shows some Windows Phone 8 devices, but the number of features supported is paltry.  I was using a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8.  It paired with ...

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    Back in the 80's and 90's, if you were a creative professional using technology, you probably had a Mac. Macintosh computers were indispensable for the cool creative types.  In fact, the Macworld conferences weren't so much about the Macintosh computers as they were about creative software and tools that so many artists were using at the time. Most of the conference sessions were about things like learning about creative techniques in Photoshop, QuarkXpress, or Avid video editing. Fast forward to 2013 and Apple is all about selling phones and music players and cheap little apps these ...

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    Back when Windows Phone 7.5 Mango was released we thought Microsoft had kicked Windows Phone into high gear with all the hundreds of great new features we had seen over the hastily developed Windows Phone 7 operating system.  Then Microsoft rebuilt Windows Phone with the NT kernel as Windows Phone 8 Apollo.  Sure, that brought some huge potential with the standardization of building upon the full Windows operating system… up to 64 processor cores and huge amounts of RAM are now possible… but that put a bit of a set-back on building out breakthrough features and innovations.  How can ...

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    Friday, Apple released their new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.  Of course lots of people lined up to buy one, but Apple's newest mobile operating system, iOS 7, happens to include a pretty major security bug.  With only a few button presses, you can bypass the security password lock and biometric security.  It takes about 11 seconds.  That's like having a safe with a combination lock, but anyone can open it by knocking the side of it in the right spot.  Forbes has a video that shows how easy it is.  The 11 seconds between 0:55-1:06 is all that's required.  LookOutMobile has another video ...

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    Every time I’ve tried Evernote it has been a disappointment.  OneNote is far more flexible and feature-rich.  Of course, both Evernote and OneNote have multiple different app versions that vary in features and quality across each operating system and platform. Because of that variance, OneNote on Windows Phone 8 may be better than Evernote on Windows Phone 8, or Evernote on Apple's iOS may be better than OneNote on Apple iOS.  For the sake of simplicity, we'll mainly look at what would be the most powerful OneNote and Evernote clients; the Windows Desktop versions of both apps.  Both ...

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    Microsoft released Xbox Music apps for Apple's iOS and Google's Android today in order to expand the cross platform capabilities of their music subscription service once known as Zune Pass.  The service has been available on Windows, Windows 8, Xbox 360, Windows Phone and the old Zune players since forever, but now you can finally use it on iOS and Android devices as well.  How does the experience compare though?  Is it just as good or not quite? Xbox Music for iOS and Android The new Xbox Music apps for iOS and Android are practically identical to each other... and absolutely nothing ...

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    Back in the Zune days, one of the coolest features was the ability to download playlists and "mixtapes" from the Zune music store.  That feature kind of got lost with the switch to Windows Phone and the rebranding of Xbox Music.  You could sometimes find some good store-generated playlists if you did a search, but they were never very discoverable in the Windows Phone Store.  Luckily that has changed today as now you should see a "Top Playlists" section in the Windows Phone 8 Store's Music section.  You can find playlists within each genre now.  It's easy to start playing each ...

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    The BBC was able to interview Microsoft's corporate vice-president for Skype, Mark Gillett recently and revealed a few interesting things on the road-map for the future of Skype.  One thing that I found odd was when Gillett was quoted as saying "I can imagine a day when you have a 3D-cellphone screen that doesn't need 3D-glasses to use it, It's less clear to me that we're close to having 3D cameras on cellphones."  I think we can all imagine that day and it was back in the summer of 2011 when the Thrill 4G, HTC EVO 3D on Sprint, and LG Optimus 3D were all available.  All of those phones ...

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    When you see a smartphone available on the Home Shopping Network for $99, you might think that it would be something horrible that would fall apart after a month or it would be so slow and crashy that it would be unusable… unless it's a Nokia Windows Phone. We went ahead and ordered the budget friendly Nokia Lumia 521 to see how it works.  It's also available from T-Mobile, Walmart and other retailers, but the Home Shopping Network bundles a few extra accessories for a really great price.  Not ony is this Nokia Lumia 521 a really great deal, but there are a few things that actually put ...

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