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 |

    LG's G Flex did what no other OEM seemed bold enough to do: make a curved smartphone - and make it flexible! If that weren't enough, the company managed to include (perhaps out of necessity) a "self-healing" feature. Minor (and even "more than minor") scratches on the back would simply fade and disappear over time. Outside of a Terminator movie, it doesn't get much cooler than tech like that! It's been almost a year since the first-generation G Flex was announced, and we've heard some rumors that a new G Flex is slated for the same time this year (or not until early next year, depending on ...

    Share
  • by |

    Apple only recently announced its first real wearable, the Apple Watch. Patterned after Google's Android Wear and Samsung's Gear line, Apple Watch tries to fill the void in that part of Cupertino's product offering. Though not yet available, Apple has spelled out what its smartwatch looks like, and has even given us a fairly thorough walkthrough of what we can expect when the Apple Watch finally lands. Interestingly, Apple Watch misses out on a few key points that, at first glance, its competition already does better. Since there is time before the Apple Watch comes to market (if you'll ...

    Share
  • by |

    My LG G Watch arrived on July seventh and got slapped on my wrist just moments later. Since then I've worn it, my Pebble, and the Moto 360. I'm convinced that my days with Pebble (at least in its current incarnation) are behind me. Android Wear is significantly more advanced, easier to use, more intuitive, and all around better looking - especially when referring to the Moto 360. Even still, and after more than one OTA update, Android Wear still needs work. Watch Faces First and foremost, the watch faces that come with the G Watch aren't that great. Sure, they get the job done, but they're ...

    Share
  • by |

    Apple has announced the iPhone 6 - in two different sizes, no less. But what did users really get? The next version of the iPhone, that's for sure, but how does it compare with what Android users already have - and what they don't. Screens First off, let's talk about sizes. The iPhone 6 comes in both 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions. The former is a little better than 720p resolution, the latter is 1080p. If those numbers sound familiar, they should! The Nexus 4, released in 2012, had a 4.7-inch screen with a little better than 720p resolution (better, in fact, than the iPhone 6). The Nexus ...

    Share
  • by |

    Today was the big day: Apple announced its smartwatch, unimaginatively named "Apple Watch"- not iWatch or  iTime, simply "Apple Watch". Perhaps that's the best summary of Apple Watch: unimaginative. While the rest of the world is losing its mind over Apple's new timepiece, let's take a minute, step back from the hype, and see how Apple's new competitor stacks up against the already saturated smartwatch playing field. Features & Functionality When it comes to features and functionality, there are a few differences between what Apple offers and what everyone else does. Apple's product ...

    Share
  • by |

    Motorola's smartwatch, the Moto 360, is now listed on the Google Play Store and with various online resellers - though availability and stock is very limited due to the device's insane popularity. Thanks to Motorola, we were lucky enough to get our hands on the watch early and spent a weekend with it. You won't want to miss what we found out! If you're waiting to see if it's for you, here are three things about the Moto 360 that no one else is talking about. Battery expectations You can't judge a device's battery life by only a couple days of use. Stop for a moment and let that sink in. ...

    Share
  • by |

    Tracking down the best smartphone is like hitting a moving target. Manufacturers are continually trying to unseat their competition with the latest and greatest piece of hardware from their company. Now that announcements from Samsung and Motorola are behind us and IFA is winding down, it's time to look at the playing field and find out which smartphone is on top. Trying to narrow this down to just one may be a bit unrealistic since opinions vary by user. To try and get a better idea, we asked the Pocketnow team what they feel is the best smartphone for fall 2014. Here's what they had to ...

    Share
  • by |

    Samsung's latest feat of technological wizardry is the funky curved screen on the Galaxy Note Edge. While that may appeal to some, it really takes seeing it in action before the utility of the curved part of the screen can really be appreciated. We went hands-on with the Note Edge to help you see just how cool that new feature is... but we're right-handed. Most of the time, tech sites don't focus too much on the right- versus left-handed utility of devices. Other than power and volume buttons, smartphones and tablets are typically dominant-hand-agnostic. Once the device is on, the ...

    Share
  • by |

    Samsung just unveiled the all new Galaxy Note 4 - the phablet that all other phablets aspire to beat. At least that's apparently what Samsung thinks, and wants the industry to believe. At its event, Samsung seemed to treat the Note 4 with much more care - and even reverence - than than it gave the Galaxy S brand. Currently Samsung holds its own with the Galaxy S, and it needs to expand. That's the key in this industry: expand, or die. If you're not making new products in new product lines, which helps to pull in new customers, you're not going to be around long. Samsung has been in ...

    Share
  • by |

    When it comes to desktop and laptop computing, 64-bit is pretty much a given, though many apps are still stuck in 32-bit limbo, running quietly alongside their 64-bit siblings. What's really nice is that you don't even notice the difference whether they're 32-bit or 64-bit, the apps just work. Now, 64-bit Androids are here - sort of. I was first in line back when 64-bit was coming to desktop computers. Jumping to 64-bit meant a new motherboard, new hardware, and most importantly, a new CPU. To take full advantage of all this new hardware, a 64-bit operating system complete with 64-bit ...

    Share
  • by |

    Storing sensitive data in the cloud has always been questionable. Over the weekend we learned just how "sensitive" that data can be. Just in case you were on vacation, unplugged from technology, and haven't heard the news, reportedly dozens of celebrities had their iCloud accounts hacked and nude photos stolen and posted publicly on the Internet. While some may celebrate this as a triumph, it's really a horrifying violation of privacy. How would you feel if the leaked images were of your spouse, your child, or your parent? Basically, what's being reported is that some "celebrities" used ...

    Share
  • by |

    Earlier this month I wrote about why I'd use the heck out of multi-user support on my Android phone. That spawned quite a debate among Pocketnow readers as well as those in my social circles. Before we dive too deeply into that, let's look at the history of multi-user support on Android. Back in the early days of Android 4.2 A New Flavor of Jelly Bean, we got our first taste of multi-user support - but it was limited to only tablets. Phones didn't get the same multi-user capabilities. As it turns out, it's built into the operating system and many custom ROMs took advantage of that fact and ...

    Share
  • by |

    Contrary to what many may think, smartwatches have been around for quite a long time. I'm not talking about the kind of wristwatch that includes barometers and moon phases and whatnot, rather, I'm referring to the kind that can connect to smartphone using Bluetooth (or a similar technology). These modern smartwatches (Pebble, Samsung Gear, and Android Wear) are taking much longer than I'd anticipated to really take off in the mainstream, and be adopted by the watch-wearing public. What we need a smartwatch killer app! When talking about computers and technology, according to Google's ...

    Share
  • by |

    I've always been the most technologically advanced guy in my family, and even in my group of friends. I've generally got the latest generation smartphone and tablet. I wear a Bluetooth headset for listening to music and making phone calls. I own several smartwatches (even before the LG G Watch and Pebble came on scene). My house, car, and office are peppered with NFC tags. Now we're starting to see what I consider to be a disturbing trend: body-modding for tech. Not long ago we saw a tattoo artist who embedded four high-power magnets into his wrist so he could keep his iPod Nano at the ...

    Share
  • by |

    When it comes to wearables and smartwatches, Android Wear is a step in the right direction. No, it's not perfect - not yet anyway. The feeling is fairly uniform here at Pocketnow that Android Wear feels more like a "technology preview" than a final, polished product. All that having been said, I'm wearing my LG G Watch on my wrist right now. It pretty much lives there. Products powered by Android Wear are currently available from LG and Samsung, and the Moto 360 should be coming soon. We've also heard of an Asus smartwatch and a round G Watch that we expect to see at IFA. All this is very ...

    Share
  • by |

    As Android users, most of us have the ability to sideload apps directly onto our smartphones and tablets - no app store needed! People who use other operating systems on their mobile devices aren't always so lucky. To load apps on their devices from sources other than those officially sanctioned by the company that makes their phone, many have to go through a jailbreaking or unlocking process. While not necessarily a "bad" thing, jailbreaking brings with it many other implications that reach significantly deeper than simply installing an app. Most Android-powered devices provide the ...

    Share
  • by |

    Even before HTC built the "first Android", the G1 for T-Mobile, the company was well known for making hardware that really stood out. Its phones were built really well and stood out from the competition. That trend has continued through to today: HTC makes really good looking hardware! But you and I know that hardware is only half of the equation. Now that HTC is starting to release some of its most desired software to the public, how will HTC stand out from its competition? Hardware My first hands-on experience with HTC was with the HP iPaq line of Pocket PCs. They weren't slabs like ...

    Share
  • by |

    As efforts like After The Buzz, the Pocketnow U-Review, and Empty Nest demonstrate, we’re constantly searching for fresh ways to review mobile technology. The newest product of those efforts is Pocketnow’s “Review Rebuttal” series, in which a member of our team is assigned to test a smartphone or tablet that’s already gone through our standard review process. While the resulting video or editorial doesn’t affect the “official” Pocketnow review score, we hope it provides added context by showcasing an editor’s personal opinion, rather than a team-wide consensus. We ...

    Share
  • by |

    We've spent the last week or so talking about smartphone security and how the privacy-centric Blackphone can help keep your communications as well as your data private. We've looked at all the technical stuff that's going on to keep you secure, as well as given it our full hands-on review treatment. But what if you don't have a Blackphone? If you're running (virtually) any Android-powered smartphone or tablet, you're in luck! Here are three Android security tips that will improve your security and privacy right now! 1. Encrypt Not long ago we heard of people buying old smartphones and ...

    Share
  • by |

    The Amazon Fire Phone is a pretty interesting device, but it comes with the Amazon Appstore instead of the Google Play Store. What if you want some other apps? Because the Fire Phone is based on Android, you're in luck! Just like other Android-powered devices, you can sideload applications right onto the device, but the process looks a little different than you may be used to. Here's how you can sideload apps on the Amazon Fire Phone. Enable Sideloading Head into the Settings by pulling down on the top of the screen and tapping the Settings cog. From there, find Applications & Parental ...

    Share
  • by |

    When we went hands-on, and gave Amazon's Fire Phone the full review treatment earlier this month, we didn't have many nice things to say about its battery life, rating it as "poor to fair". This rating carries with its own measure of irony since Amazon touts "uncompromised battery life" as one of the selling points of its phone. "You'll definitely want to take a charger with you if you're planning on anything close to heavy use. We haven't once reached 4 hours of screen-on time with the Fire Phone's embedded 2600 mAh battery, and charging it every night has been a non-negotiable ...

    Share
  • 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
Mobile Version