Posts by Stephen Schenck

Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!

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    Android Wear devices are only just getting into the hands of users. If you got your order in the minute the watches hit Google Play, your shipment may be on its way to your doorstep right now, and devs who attended Google I/O have already brought their smartwatches home. With the Android Wear floodgates now open, the wearables are quickly starting to fall into the same sort of routine we're used to from Android phones, and as if to prove that point, a pair of software updates has already become available. Both the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live are receiving small updates bringing ...

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    Last month we had our latest check-in with HTC's financial figures, and they had us a little concerned. Revenues were down from April, calling into question the One M8's ability to really drive sales over time. Still, HTC seemed optimistic, and it wasn't backing down from its second quarter estimates. Today the company's June numbers arrive, completing that Q2 picture, and they're looking pretty solid, after all. Revenue's up compared to May, and while that's still down slightly from April, we're seeing a much more leveling-off effect than occurred last year. In 2013, HTC had a great May, ...

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    When it comes to Windows Phone, the big we're waiting on at the moment isn't hardware, but software: the just-about-to-drop OTA updates bringing Windows Phone 8.1 to all these existing WP8 models out there. But soon enough, those updates will be upon us, and we'll inevitably set our sights to what's next over the horizon. Some new hardware, perhaps? A leak last month attempted to lay out Microsoft's plans for Nokia devices as we head into the second half of the year, not to mention what might be coming up in 2015, and today we get an early look at what just might be one of those upcoming ...

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    Going back a few months by this point, rumors have been closing in on the idea of a Microsoft smartwatch. Well, perhaps “wearable” would be a better term for it, as more recent claims of a dense array of sensors, both environmental and biological, as well as an elongated design more in common with fitness trackers might have gotten you thinking that this could be more FuelBand and less Android Wear. Today a new report arrives that reinforces this idea of a fitness-based wearable, as well as touches upon possible pricing. If all this was sounding a lot like the Gear Fit, there's ...

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    The OnePlus One may be out, but with new, unexpected delays arriving at seemingly every juncture, it sure is taking the upstart a while to actually get the phone into eager customer hands. But eventually, it will manage, and the company will find itself looking to what's next for it. Another high-end, low-priced smartphone? Maybe a wearable? A new leak out this afternoon paints the picture of the OnePlus putting together a tablet, as we come across the name “OnePlus Tab.” That name appears on what seems to be an internal testing version of the OnePlus website, and unlike the nav bar on ...

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    NVIDIA's slow crawl back from a 2013 that saw OEMs everywhere turn their backs on the company's chips continues as we get into summer, and expectations turn to some new Shield hardware. Following early rumors, last month gave us our best look yet at what might be a second-gen Shield console (though the jury's still out on that), with the arrival of some FCC paperwork. Now we're wondering if NVIDIA might not extend the Shield brand to a tablet, as evidence of such a beast shows its face at the Global Certification Forum. The idea of NVIDIA releasing another tablet isn't new; benchmarks form ...

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    As smartphone users have started thinking twice about getting locked into lengthy contracts, we've seen a rise in the availability of installment plans to help space out payments for a full-priced smartphone into more manageable monthly sums. Even some OEMs themselves offer their own installment plans, if you'd just rather leave the carrier out of the picture altogether. When we're talking about a $600 outright payment, splitting things up like this can make a lot of sense, but does the same hold true for lower-ticket items? We may be about to find out, as a leak suggests that T-Mobile is ...

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    In-app payments are a lucrative form of income for developers, not to mention the companies behind the app stores and payment processing platforms that profit from every sale. But more than once we've seen in-app purchases put under scrutiny for the ease at which they can be made – and specifically, problems parents have when children, given unsupervised access to smartphones and tablets, run up unexpected bills. While a fair share of that blame arguably lies on the parents themselves, in the US the FTC has been going after companies it sees as not taking proper steps to prevent such ...

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    For several months now, rumors have been growing persistent with claims that HTC is renewing its interest in tablets and that a new Android model is on its way. Last month we shared the latest talk about an HTC Nexus tablet, taking the codename Volantis, and its very unusual hardware. Unlike most every Android tablet out there, Volantis was said to employ a display taking a 4:3 aspect ratio, as Apple uses with its iPad models. But now we've got a new set of Volantis leaks to check out today, and in addition to refuting that 4:3 rumor, they make a few new wild claims of their own. According ...

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    When it comes to Android tablets, Samsung's been doing its darnedest this year to saturate the market with as many different model as possible. That's brought us the TabPRO lineup, the Tab 4 series, and most recently a pair of Tab S slates. Is enough enough, or is Samsung only getting started, with a similar onslaught prepared for the second half of 2014? Today we learn of what might be a whole new Galaxy tablet model, though there's the chance it might be a variant of an existing release. Here's what we've got: Samsung Sweden has a couple placeholders up on its site for the SM-T360 and ...

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    One month back we were talking about Microsoft and its efforts to bring Office to non-MS platforms. Specifically, rumors suggested that Microsoft was making work on a tablet version of Office for Android a big priority, even over a touch-based version of Office for its own Windows tablets. This week, we get an update on progress towards this goal, with word that a private beta test for this Android tablet Office build is about to get started. Microsoft has a public signup page for users interested in participating in pre-release beta testing of new Office software, and while the there's no ...

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    Samsung's Galaxy S5 LTE-A edition – or the GS5 “Prime,” if you like – went official last month, and while it remains a South Korean exclusive, the allure of its 2K display and Snapdragon 805 SoC were just too much for us to pass up, compelling us to get our hands on one of these guys. While all this has been happening for Samsung, over on the LG side of fence we've been hearing about a similar upgrade coming to the G3. Sure, it already has that quad HD screen, but moving from its Snapdragon 801 to another 805 sure sounded like a move in the right direction. As we wait to see what ...

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    Rumors surfaced back near the start of June that suggested Google was looking to improve its streaming music offerings a tad, and had its eyes on adding streaming provider Songza to its stable. Songza had built a reputation for delivering curated playlists ranging from broad genre themes, to narrowly focused mood-based lists, and sources claimed that Google was interested in using this know-how to improve its own Play Music offerings. Earlier this afternoon, Google finally made things official, announcing its acquisition of Songza. For the moment, don't expect any big changes: Songza will ...

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    The close of June marks an end to the latest season of smartphone shindigs: WWDC and Google I/O are behind us, and we've still got a couple months to go until IFA. What's a smartphone fan to do in the interim? Pocketnow's got plenty of news, reviews, and features coming out over the next few weeks to keep even the most fickle smartphone user interested, but this year we thought we'd spice things up even more with a special month-long event. A couple weeks back we brought you our latest smartphone giveaway, as Huawei helped us award a lucky Pocketnow reader a new Ascend Mate2 4G LTE. That ...

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    Just about two years back, Google acquired the Quickoffice productivity suite, which it ultimately made available for free to its Business Apps customers. Late last summer, that same free availability spread to iOS and Android users everywhere. But then word came down last week that Google was shuttering the project (at least, in the form we knew it), and would be instead integrating Quickoffice features into Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Now, as if right on cue, there's a pretty substantial Docs update headed out that delivers those promised editing tools. The app's UI gets a tweak, ...

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