Posts by Joe Levi

Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy". By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video. Read more about Joe Levi here.

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  • by | March 26, 2014 1:26 AM

    If you're looking to buy a phone and the one at the top of your list has been around for a while (the Nexus 5, for example) you could easily take it for a spin. For devices that have just been released (or are still awaiting release from certain carriers), or if you'll be ordering your phone online, going "hands on" before pulling out your wallet may be a luxury that you cannot afford, or may be impossible depending the part of the world you call home. In those situations, sites likes Pocketnow try and take the guess work out of your decision process by providing in-depth reviews and ...

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  • by | March 25, 2014 7:06 AM

    Those who know me have heard my smartwatch story before. How I went from Casio calculator watches to Microsoft SPOT watches that got data updates over the FM airwaves, made my way through various Bluetooth connected timepieces, until I ultimately landed on the Pebble that's on my wrist right now. Even still, smart watches are still in their infancy -- no, perhaps they've made it beyond that. Let's say they're in their awkward adolescent phase. We're still trying to find out exactly what a smart watch is supposed to "do". Most of us agree that they need to be a watch first. If they can't ...

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  • by | March 24, 2014 7:20 AM

    When talking about smartphones, Apple and Blackberry are somewhat alone in that they make their own  hardware. Phones powered by Microsoft's OS and Android are built by OEMs like HTC, Nokia, Samsung, LG, Motorola, and others. Back in the day, major companies like Dell, HP, Compaq and others would outsource the production of their devices to OEMs. Over time, these OEMs began to gain popularity and eventually brought hardware carrying their own brand to the market. Ironically, Compaq, Dell, HP, and others have all but gotten out of the smartphone/PDA game, having been replaced by the OEMs ...

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  • by | March 21, 2014 7:28 AM

    Tethering is one of those things that many of us got really excited about way back in the early days of cell phones. Here we had a little phone that we could connect to our laptop which would let us access the Internet or closed network (the office, university, etc.) without having to plug into a land-line to do so. Speeds weren't all that great, but being able to work from anywhere often trumped that. Today we have our choice of various high-speed technologies offered by any one of a handful of cellular carriers. We also have numerous ways to connect our laptops to our phones -- and we ...

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  • by | March 20, 2014 7:25 AM

    Over the last little while we've heard that various devices (typically tablets) may be released that have the ability to dual-boot into your choice of operating systems. Some may know what dual-booting is, and others may not. The majority are probably scratching their heads and asking, what is dual-booting, and what are the pros and cons. What is dual-booting? Let's start with something basics. What is "booting" when it comes to smartphones, tablets, and even computers? The basic explanation is "turning on" or "starting up".  In more detail, "booting" is loading a set of instructions ...

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  • by | March 19, 2014 7:25 AM

    Last week Google updated several of its Android apps. While there's nothing unusual about that, what was out of the ordinary was an interesting little "bone" icon where YouTube's "Play" icon normally resides. Additionally, a new menu and settings were available under the heading of "Dogfood". As Pocketnow's Stephen Schenck pointed out, "When employees of a company run not-yet-released versions of their own software in order to try and spot bugs, we call that 'dogfooding'", or "eating your own dog food". Alpo According to one of my college professors, back in the 1970's actor Lorne Greene ...

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  • by | March 18, 2014 7:18 AM

    The original Nexus 7 was quite a piece of work when it was originally released back in 2012. Pocketnow's own Brandon Miniman even rated the device an 8.7 out of 10 in his review. Not bad for a tablet that cost less than US$200. What starts to happen almost immediately after we get our fancy new devices? They start to slow down. At least that's what it feels like, right?  Usually this perception is caused by installing a whole bunch of apps that take up more space in the system's RAM, apps getting bigger and slower, and updates to the operating system taking up more space. All of these are ...

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  • by | March 17, 2014 7:16 AM

    Back when I started working for Pocketnow, I brought my own HTC-made T-Mobile G1 with me. Shortly thereafter I was sent the Nexus One (also made by HTC) and used that as my daily driver until I replaced it with another HTC device. Over the years I've had long-term experience with every single Nexus out there, which is fitting for the type of user that I am: I'm a power user and a developer. Even for tech journalists, devices in the Nexus family were (and arguably still are) the best by which to reference all the different OEM "flavors" of Android. The Nexus program worked well. Devices ...

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  • by | March 14, 2014 7:26 AM

    Finally, after years of you and I telling them so, mainstream carriers are starting to offer "unlimited" plans. Why the "air quotes"? Because even though we're told they're "unlimited", these plans still have "limits". We had unlimited mobile to mobile minutes (but not to land lines or to people on other carriers), then unlimited talk time (but only on the weekends and after 7pm). Eventually we got unlimited texting (which we really should have had all along, but that's another article entirely). The odd-ball has always been data. Some plans offered a few hundred megabytes of data, others ...

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  • by | March 13, 2014 7:09 AM

    Curved screens are nothing new to Google's Nexus family of smartphones -- or are they? The second iteration of Google's flagship phone was made by Samsung. It was called the Nexus S. It's successor was the Galaxy Nexus. Both had curved screens. But that's not entirely true, is it? Both the Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus had curved glass, but that glass covered flat screens, thereby providing only the illusion of a curved screen. Perhaps that's just semantics, and it's all in the past anyway. When you jump forward to today we have a very different situation: both the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 5 ...

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  • by | March 12, 2014 7:10 AM

    I like watches -- perhaps "quality timepiece" is a more accurate term. From the Gobots watch that I wore through most of my elementary school days, to the Casio calculator watch that adorned my wrist through junior high, my watches always had something "techie" about them. I wore two iterations of watches sporting Microsoft SPOT technology, a Sony smartwatch, and another Bluetooth connected watch before finally backing Pebble on Kickstarter. I make no apologies when I say that Pebble is the best smartwatch of all of these, and is arguably the best of all the smartwatches available today. ...

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  • by | March 11, 2014 7:10 AM

    As you might recall, Nokia showed off its first "Android" phones at MWC this year. Why the "air quotes", you ask? Because the Nokia X family aren't real Androids, at least not in the traditional sense. If you disagree with that statement, you're not alone. Over 150 comments were left on that article either telling us we're spot on, or that we're totally wrong. The TL/dr summation: the Nokia X family all run Android, but since they've got their own Windows Phone-esque launcher, none run Google's apps, and they come with their own Nokia app store (rather than Google's Play Store), calling ...

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  • by | March 10, 2014 7:13 AM

    We've heard quite a bit about the new "Blackphone" which promises to keep your contacts and conversations secure -- as long as you're talking to someone else who is using the same security setup.  It's a great concept, but it has yet to hit a point of critical mass where not only is the phone is generally accepted, but the services are actively sought after by a large segment of the general public. That point, I suspect, isn't too far into the future. Black phones will become more popular, and possibly even a "killer app" before to long. Killer Apps When talking about black phones which ...

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  • by | March 7, 2014 7:13 AM

    How do you like that "unlimited" data plan of yours? Whether it's on your phone or to your home, "unlimited" has some pretty major pitfalls. Oh sure, for folks like you and I it's pretty great! All the data that we want for one "low" price. That's really good if you have LTE or HSPA+ and a good signal! In many cases your phone's data plan is faster than your home's Internet connection -- or close enough that you don't care. Back in the day, that wasn't much of a problem. Other than downloading music, pretty much all we did was surf the web and get email. Today, however, we have podcasts, ...

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  • by | March 6, 2014 7:13 AM

    Smartwatches are great. I was in a meeting with several other people last night. Sporadically a smartphone would sound off, interrupting all of us. Each time two or three would pull their phone out of their pocket or purse, check their notifications, and all but one would put it back away. Since I was wearing a Pebble smartwatch, it was easy to tell when the alert was for me: my wrist would vibrate and the alert was displayed on the watch face. It felt good knowing that I was so much more technologically advanced than all the others. But that got me thinking... Smartwatches are super ...

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