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 5, 2014 7:18 AM

    LTE is the best thing since sliced bread. I doubt you'll find anyone to argue that point. Latency on an LTE network is generally low, while speeds on an LTE network are typically fast. Pretty much the only problem with LTE is its "newness", which translates into the service not being available as widely as many of us would like. When I abandoned Windows Mobile for Android, I picked up the T-Mobile G1 -- the very first commercially available Android-powered smartphone. I was about a year late joining the Android party. Why? T-Mobile wouldn't sell it to me! I know, that sounds crazy, but ...

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  • by | March 4, 2014 7:10 AM

    "Water proof" and "water resistant" mean the same thing, right? Apparently that's what Archos CEO Loic Poirier thought -- he was wrong. Poirier was happily showing off his new phone -- a Quechua -- which is advertised to French hikers and mountain bikers. He tossed it on the floor. No problem! Then, with cameras rolling, he found a glass jar, dropped the phone in, and started to fill it up with water. The phone is rated at IP54 and advertised as being designed to "withstand the most demanding outdoor conditions". When Poirier tried to turn the phone on, while still submerged, he got no ...

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  • by | March 3, 2014 7:14 AM

    Why would you want a "black phone", one that's not susceptible to the privacy holes found in all of today's smartphones? That's a question that Jaime Rivera touched on at this year's MWC. The answer is fairly simple, given today's circumstances and situations. But let's jump back a few years before we get to that. Looking back even three or four years, if someone had told you that various companies and law enforcement agencies could track where you were down to a few dozen feet, and were actually doing so (and without a warrant, no less), you'd probably have thought that person was a bit ...

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  • by | February 28, 2014 7:13 AM

    Although the "wearables" category is somewhat new to Pocketnow, devices that are meant to be worn, rather than carried, have been around for quite some time. In the very early days they were called pocket watches. Eventually they evolved into timekeepers that we wore around our wrists. Original versions just kept track of time, but other features were added in: day of the week, day of the month, and even moon phases eventually came to wrist watches. Some got barometers, stopwatches, countdown times, calculators, even simple calendars. When Microsoft released its SPOT technology, and began ...

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  • by | February 27, 2014 7:26 AM

    Wearables, especially smartwatches, are the next "big thing" in mobile technology. Exactly what they should do is still being discovered through iterative trial and error. Currently we have the Pebble 1.0 and Pebble 2.0 (referring to the firmware on the watch itself, and not to be confused with Pebble and Pebble Steel) and the Galaxy Gear. There are a few other more minor players, but already we're seeing the proverbial floodgates open -- and it's not necessarily a good thing. Don't get me wrong, choice is good. Competition is great. Learning from one's own mistakes is valuable, and ...

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  • by | February 26, 2014 7:25 AM

    HTC makes great devices, you'll get no argument on that from me. Where opinions begin to vary is whether or not the HTC Desire series really lives up to their name: are they really all that desirable? If you'd have asked me that just a week ago, I wouldn't have hesitated: no, they're not desirable. That said, I do respect the role that the HTC Desire family has played over the years. They've all been fairly decent devices for the average smartphone user. What's more, they've generally been pretty affordable. Even still, they're nothing that I would have recommended for any of my friends or ...

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  • by | February 25, 2014 7:20 AM

    Jaime and Tony are in Barcelona at this year's MWC and, as you might expect, they're seeing some very interesting things. Three of the most interesting devices that I've seen come from Nokia -- and they're all running Android. Sort of. As their names imply, the Nokia X, X+, XL are all Nokia phones. They're made by Nokia. They're sold by Nokia. They even have the word "Nokia" stamped across the back. No one will argue with you that they're really and truly "Nokia" phones. What makes them interesting is the operating system they're running: Android -- but not really. Confused yet? Good! If ...

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  • by | February 24, 2014 7:23 AM

    When OEMs started moving away from removable batteries, many of us were disappointed, frustrated, even angry. Before then we had been able to extend the runtime of our devices by simply slipping an extended battery into the back of our phones and covering it with a new back-plate. Even if we didn't want to go with an extended battery that packed more mAh into a bigger space, we could always carry a spare battery or two with us to make it through extra-long hauls. Non-removable batteries made that impossible to do, which has given rise to the popularity of portable battery packs. Here at ...

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  • by | February 21, 2014 7:24 AM

    "Mini" smartphones are an odd creation. One definition would have one believe that a "mini" version of a flagship phone is the same as the flagship, only smaller. In reality, a "mini" version generally doesn't share anything with the flagship, other than its name.  Such is the case the the LG G2 Mini. On first glance, this sounds like a typical case of bait-and-switch, but it's not. "Mini" versions typically have a smaller screen -- or at least screens running a lower resolution -- than their flagship counterparts. Because of the reduced amount of pixels to push, the RAM can be reduced, ...

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  • by | February 20, 2014 7:13 AM

    Rumors are flying about the Nokia X/Normandy, which appears like it's going to be a lower-end Android-based handset, likely to be announced at this year's MWC. All that sounds great -- but it's an insanely stupid idea! A US$110 Nokia X would just be the company shooting itself in the foot! Nokia is, and always has been, a great manufacturer. It makes phones that really hold no equal. Nokia has an entrenched user-base across Europe, and makes some of the best looking smartphones that you can find. The company can make a smartphone that's well-worth a $500 price tag. But the Nokia X is ...

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  • by | February 19, 2014 7:28 AM

    Since the relatively early days of Android, Google has let us use our voice to do somewhat common tasks like sending text messages or emails. I could say "Send a text message to Bendito Papendorf: hey, I love the new book!". But who is Bendito Papendorf, and why can't I say "Send a text message to Mom"? Before we dig into this new feature, be advised that it's relatively new and might be rolling out in stages. If you haven't gotten it yet, be patient. Next, there's been a work around to this in the past. If you create an entry in your contacts with the name of "Mom", you've probably been ...

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  • by | February 18, 2014 7:18 AM

    Ever since the advent of the modern personal computer, the promise of a "paperless" office has been omnipresent. To-date, that promise hasn't been fully realized. Even with tablets, which are excellent reading devices, there are still times when we need to get the information from our screens and put it on to paper. Until recently, that hasn't been very easy. Let's go hands-on with printing support, one of the lesser known features that comes built-in to Android 4.4 KitKat. Android Printer Support What we're showing you here should work on any device running Android 4.4 and up. In this ...

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  • by | February 17, 2014 7:09 AM

    The Nexus program is a somewhat shrouded in mystery. We suspect that Google it running it to a platform upon which it can demonstrate the "pure" version of Android, and to serve as a reference platform from which the other OEMs can look to. It also proves that fairly high-end and high-quality hardware can be made and sold for a very reasonable price -- in the States at least. Thus far, Google has selected one OEM to partner with at a time to make a Google-branded smartphone or a Google-branded tablet -- tablets being the late arrivals to the lineup. So far, Google has partnered with HTC to ...

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  • by | February 14, 2014 7:31 AM

    Wearable technology is nothing new. Today we have Google Glass, Pebble and several other smart watches, medical devices like insulin pumps, Bluetooth headsets, and more. Taking a step back, we've had watches that tell us the time, the date, and the day of the week. Some even had built-in calculators, calendars, altimeters, and barometers. Historically, we've generally placed our technology in our pockets (smartphones and pocket watches, for example), or we've worn them on our wrists. It's only recently that tech has started to make its way to our faces. It stands to reason that the wrist ...

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  • by | February 13, 2014 7:22 AM

    Anyone who has been around cell phones since the "early days" can tell you about an interesting phenomenon. Early cellular phones were huge. Some were installed in your car, others were neatly packaged into a suitcase that you could carry around with you. After that, the race was on to make them smaller and lighter weight. Eventually, whoever had the smallest cellphone was the "winner" (of what, we're not quite sure, but at least they had bragging rights). Then smartphones came along and the trend reversed. Previously small phones started to get bigger and bigger with every passing ...

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