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.

Contact Joe Levi

  • by |

    "You know what I hate? Handing my tablet over to one of my kids to keep them entertained 'for a few minutes' only to discover that their 'entertainment' was changing my wallpaper, rearranging my icons, and messing up my tablet!" That's what I said back in 2012 when we started learning about Android 4.2 A New Flavor of Jelly Bean. Since then, two out of the three tablets in my house has multiple logins. My wife shares her original Nexus 7 with our seven year old son, and I have a "guest" account set up on my 2013 Nexus 7. The practicality of multi-user support on a tablet is almost without ...

    Share
  • by |

    Last week the Internet exploded with people complaining about the security permissions required by the latest update to the Facebook Messenger app for Android. Now that some of the initial knee-jerk reaction has passed, is there anything you need to be worried about? And if so, how worried should you be? Let's dig into some background before we dive into that. Facebook is huge. It's been just more than a decade since being founded, employs more than 7,000 people, and has over 1.28 billion active users. Add to the fact that we recently learned that Facebook has been "experimenting with the ...

    Share
  • by |

    This week as I've been going hands-on with the ultra-secure Blackphone, there's one thing that's really stuck out in my mind: passwords, and if there is such thing as a "perfect password". We use passwords for a lot more than most think. Every day I wake up and check my email. Doing so requires that I enter a password. I head over to Pocketnow and login with another password to publish my daily article. I then share that article with various social media networks, each with a different password. When I check my phone I have to input a PIN (which is another kind of password). When I head ...

    Share
  • by |

    We've got Android Wear. We've got Samsung's proprietary Gear line-up. We've got Pebble. Even Sony has some skin in the game. You probably won't find anyone who would argue with you that those are all "smartwatches". But they're all so different from one another! That got us scratching our heads: what is a smartwatch? According to Wikipedia: "A smartwatch (or smart watch) is a computerized wristwatch with functionality that is enhanced beyond timekeeping, and is often comparable to a personal digital assistant (PDA) device. While early models can perform basic tasks, such as calculations, ...

    Share
  • by |

    Some have referred to Blackphone as a smartphone for people who are "paranoid", I don't see it that way. Blackphone offers something that, as a society, we give away too freely: our privacy. Many will say "if you don't have anything to hide, you don't have anything to worry about", yet these people still close the door on the stall when using the restroom, and have curtains over their windows to keep people from snooping. That's what Blackphone does, only for your personal communications. How it does that is a little complicated, so let's walk through what kinds of security Blackphone ...

    Share
  • by |

    We all want fast devices, but RAM, CPU, and GPU are all just lines on a spec sheet. That's where benchmarking comes in, but they can be gamed, and even cheated. Today we're going hands on with GameBench, a new app that aims to change that and give us information that's useful and accurate. With so many components inside our devices, and complex interrelations between them, it's all but impossible for us to gauge "how fast" something is just by looking at its specifications. Additional cores have an impact. How fast those cores are clocked play into the equation as well. Why type of ...

    Share
  • by |

    For many of us who have gotten a taste of wireless charging, there's no possible way we can picture ourselves going back to old-fashioned wired charging. Sure, I still plug my phone in while I'm in the car, but that's simply because I haven't found a wireless charger that satisfies my needs (not yet, anyway). Wireless charging is tremendously convenient. In the wireless charging world, we don't see charging as a distinct act. It's not something we physically do. Instead, charging simply "happens" when we set our phones or tablets on our desk or nightstand. It's automatic. It's casual. ...

    Share
  • by |

    Back in "the day", telephones were made up of a round speaker connected to a round microphone via a handle. To call someone, you picked up the "handset" from the "receiver" and "dialed" the number. The reason we still use that term today is because the apparatus for inputting our contact's phone number was a round dial. You'd stick your finger in the hole that represented the number you wanted, rotate the dial until it stopped, pull out your finger, and wait while it returned back to the starting position. This wasn't such a chore when only four digits were required to call someone. Then ...

    Share
  • by |

    My mother-in-law isn't exactly what you'd call "technologically savvy", but that doesn't stop her from upgrading to the latest and greatest Android-powered smartphones every chance she gets. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem, but I'll give you three guesses who gets to support those devices. It wouldn't be such an issue except at her age -- how can I put this lightly -- she's a bit "set in her ways". Don't get me wrong, she can whip out her phone and call anyone in her extremely wide social network faster than you can say "mint chocolate chip ice cream". She's got friends and relatives ...

    Share
  • by |

    Have you even noticed how fast and smooth a brand new desktop or laptop computer runs when you first take it out of the box? Other than the obligatory bloat, nothing is pre-loaded. Very few processes run in the background. Both the RAM and CPU are ready for whatever you throw at them. Such is the case with a brand new smartphone or tablet -- with a catch. When you get your first phone or tablet, you haven't setup your accounts. You haven't downloaded and installed any apps. You don't have any services pushing data to your device, or apps pulling data from web services at regular ...

    Share
  • by |

    Here at Pocketnow, we see a lot of phones. Some are terrible, some are "okay", and others are amazing pieces of technology that excel in every way -- except a couple. It seems that even now, do device is perfect. But what is "perfect", anyway? What do we want in our dream phone? That's what we asked the Pocketnow Team, but instead of limiting ourselves to which of today's phones we'd really love to have in our pockets, we asked what tech we want in a phone right now. Is it a curved screen? An even better AMOLED display? Knock to unlock on even more devices? Frickin' lasers? Here's what ...

    Share
  • by |

    Job got you down? Has your love life lost its spark? Are you sick and tired of real reality? Lucky for you, all of that can change thanks to the modern miracle of virtual reality! Okay, that sounds a little cheesy, right? Okay fine, it's a lot cheesy. Virtual reality, however, is much less so and has the potential to revolutionize, well, everything! We've been trying to put virtual reality to use in more and more applications over the years, and now it's poised to go beyond expensive simulators and make its bold entrance into our living rooms, and even our pockets! In the past, virtual ...

    Share
  • by |

    With each passing generation of smartphone and tablet, we're promised an even stronger screen, more resistant to scratches, and made out of increasingly exotic materials. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself if these screens are so scratch-resistant, why do manufacturers continue to ship them to us with a protective film covering the screen? Think about it. Manufacturers assemble these devices in very clean environments, then place their products into clean boxes that hold them securely in place and protect them while they're shipped across the globe. Why would they need a protective ...

    Share
  • by |

    Remember back in the days of Android Gingerbread when ambitious OEMs started pumping out Android-powered tablets in an attempt to compete with Apple's iPad? Google pulled out all the stops to get Android Honeycomb released, and even partnered with Motorola to create the XOOM to show us all how a tablet "should be made". Honeycomb didn't last that long, but prior to Honeycomb, Google's message to OEMs was very clear: don't make a tablet powered by Android just yet. In retrospect, it's obvious why Google wanted its partners to wait: Android wasn't ready for tablets back then. It took some ...

    Share
  • by |

    Whether you're using Android, iOS, or Windows phone, there's one thing that unites us all: phone chargers. This week, Natalie and Kristin want to know why some chargers charge phones faster than others. Kristin bought a brand new phone charger that charges her phone about twice as fast as Natalie's in-wall charger. What gives? To answer that, first we have to talk a little bit about electricity. We'll dig into that, get into some Ohm's Law, and talk about rectifiers and inverters on this episode of the Pocketnow Power User. AC/DC The power inside our walls is AC (alternating current). The ...

    Share
Mobile Version