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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    With those invitations Motorola just started distributing for a September 4 event, the ones that pretty unambiguously feature an image of a watch among their highlighted products, it's safe to say that we're just about to learn of the start of retail sales for the Moto 360. But even if that announcement comes at the event, when might the smartwatch actually go up for sale? After all, a couple of the other products we're hoping to see announced – the Moto X+1 and G2 – have been rumored to land on September 25, and September 10, respectively. Would the 360 fall closer to the former or ...

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    Odds are looking very good that we're just about to see HTC introduce a new version of its Android-running One M8, only this time reconfigured as a Windows Phone 8.1 handset. An HTC event scheduled for next week is likely to formally introduce us to the smartphone, and if what we've heard about its hardware is correct, it really will be the One M8 we know and love, just with a software swap. If we've got two versions of the same phone, each running a different platform, does that mean it will only be a matter of time before custom ROM enthusiasts find a way to convert a handset back and ...

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    Back in March, when HTC first launched the One M8, we got some surprising news about HTC-exclusive software: the company's Zoe app wasn't just going to be released as a stand-alone app in the Play Store for HTC users, letting them more easily snag updates, but would also be available for installation on non-HTC hardware. That sounded like it had the potential to be big news, letting HTC reach more users than ever before and give them a taste of what the company's software could deliver. Earlier this week we heard that Zoe was just about to make its big expansion, and today we see HTC flip ...

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    Motorola's got some new hardware coming up: on that much, we all should be able to agree. There's the retail release of the Moto 360, sure, and beyond that we're hoping to see the debut of the Moto X+1 and also maybe a new Moto G. But when is this all actually going to happen? The 360's supposed to land before the end of summer, and rumors have mentioned dates like September 25 for the start of carrier Moto X+1 sales, or the new Moto G coming out on September 10. What about an actual launch announcement? Invites are going out now for a September 4 Motorola press event that sure looks like ...

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    Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 is in an interesting place right now when it comes to rumors. While we're likely just three weeks away from its launch, the full picture on the phablet has yet to come together. We've got a good general idea of what to expect (being the fourth in a well-established series has a way of doing that), but questions about details abound: what could Samsung be planning for the choice of SoC? Will there really be a wrap-around screen version, a Note Edge? And while we've recently had the opportunity to check out some images, they've been less than fully convincing. Are we ...

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    Are you a big smartwatch fan? Convinced that wearables are the way mobile tech is headed? We very much like the cut of your jib, but being an early adopter isn't always for everyone; just how much interest does the public really have in wearables, and is there anything the manufacturers could be doing to get them more interested? A new report from Jan Dawson, Chief Analyst at Jackdaw Research, paints a pretty bleak view of the market, citing low consumer interest and a poor selection of devices, and suggests that something big needs to change if smartwatches are really going to take off. ...

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    Designing Android apps made easy – Learn & Master The Fundamentals Of Android Programming Our internet world is a mobile one.  More and more people are using their mobile devices as a replacement for their bulky computers.   If your web presence isn’t optimized for use on mobile devices, then your prospective audience will go elsewhere. Now you can stop losing your mobile audience and Learn & Master The Fundamentals Of Android Programming for just $19, a cool 80% off, at the Pocketnow Deal Store. Did you know that Android has the largest user install base in the world? ...

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    Throttling: the word's enough to send a chill down the spine of any smartphone user. You've been enjoying your high-speed LTE connection, taking full advantage of your phone's big, beautiful screen and streaming some HD video, when all of a sudden that fire-hose of a connection slows to a trickle. This morning an internal T-Mobile memo leaked describing new efforts from the carrier to throttle high-bandwidth users. Should you be concerned? Long answer short: probably not. There are a few reasons for why that is, starting with who's affected. Namely: unlimited data users only. If you're on ...

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    The idea of a smartwatch can seem so alluring: access to messages, searches, calendars, and notifications, all without having to pull your phone out of your pocket. But actually using a wearable isn't without some very real compromises, and few of those are more palpable than limited battery life. Looking at the first wave of Android Wear devices, we were lucky to get a solid day of use out of either. Expectations are high for Motorola do to a lot better with the Moto 360, and the wireless charging the watch is set to employ could well make the recharging experience a very convenient one. ...

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    For the last couple weeks, we've been bouncing around this idea of a Motorola-made Nexus 6 (codenamed Shamu), and one that could be significantly larger than either the Nexus 4 or Nexus 5 (above), moving all the way up to a solidly phablet-sized 5.9-inch display. At least, that's what we've been hearing, though there hasn't been much in the way evidence – reliable or not – to back that claim up. Today, we finally see a clear description of this hardware, but if these new details are to be trusted, it doesn't look like Shamu will be a whale of a phone, at all. Remember those GFXBench ...

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    What's the next batch of Nexus hardware going to look like? If we're buying the latest rumors, we could be in store for an HTC tablet, as well as maybe a Motorola phone, though one more on the phablet-sized end of the spectrum. In the past, companies like HTC, Samsung, LG, and ASUS have contributed to the Nexus lineup, but now a new report sheds some light on a Nexus model that never sounds like it got past the idea stage, as HP tried to convince Google that we needed a Nexus model for business users. The story emerges as part of a larger report on efforts between HP and Google to use the ...

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    Following weeks of leaks and rumors, Samsung has finally gone ahead and formally announced the Galaxy Alpha, a handset that takes a (small) step away from all the plastic that usually goes into the company's designs and introduces a phone with a handsome ring of metal encircling its frame. Is the inside just as impressive as the outside? Let's take a look at what makes the Galaxy Alpha tick. We're a bit removed from flagship territory here, with the Galaxy Alpha sporting a 4.7-inch 720p and running a 1.8GHz octa-core SoC, presumably an Exynos component. We also see a decent-sized 12MP main ...

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    Info about Sony's next Xperia flagships have been just pouring out of the woodwork lately, as we've picked up new details on not just the Xperia Z3, but also the Xperia Z3 Compact. As we wait to see if Sony really intends to release this pair at its IFA 2014 event in just a few weeks, we're continuing to pick up new details on the models, all in the hope of confirming some of these rumors. Yesterday, the FCC published some new certification docs on what sure seems to be the Z3 Compact, and in doing so the agency appears to confirmed the phone's rumored screen size. The FCC's got listings ...

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    Say what you will about the problems inherent to using a non-industry-standard connector like Apple's elected to use with Lightning on its latest iOS devices: for all the unnecessary compatibility issues that creates, there's something incredibly graceful about Lightning's ability to be inserted with no concerns for which way is up. Since late last year we've been talking about similar functionality coming to a connector that really would be a cross-manufacturer, cross-platform standard, with word that USB 3.1 would introduce a reversible "Type-C" connector. Work's been underway to ...

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    Late last month, we checked back in with the ongoing saga of what to expect for the next Nexus phone, hearing rumors that Motorola might get the tap and could deliver the biggest Nexus handset to date, a 5.9-inch phablet codenamed Shamu. At least, there were references in Android bug reports mentioning that codename, but not a ton of evidence detailing the hardware itself. Today we may come a little closer to understanding just what this device consists of, with some purported Shamu benchmarks turning up. But fair warning here: when we say “a little closer,” we mean it, as there's no ...

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