Posts by Taylor Martin

Based out of Charlotte, NC, Taylor Martin started writing about technology in 2009 while working in wireless retail. He has used BlackBerry off and on for over seven years, Android for nearly four years, iOS for three years, and has experimented with both webOS and Windows Phone. Taylor has reviewed countless smartphones and tablets, and doesn't go anywhere without a couple gadgets in his pockets or "nerd bag." In his free time, Taylor enjoys playing disc golf with friends, rock climbing, and playing video games. He also enjoys the occasional hockey game, and would do unspeakable things for some salmon nigiri. For more on Taylor Martin, checkout his Pocketnow Insider edition. | Google+

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    Last week, we loaded all our iOS devices up with iOS 8 beta 1 and gave you a preview of the software you can expect on your iDevices this fall. We made it very clear the software was riddled with bugs and not everything was activated yet. A lot of what Apple announced at WWDC is missing from the first beta of iOS 8. It's understandable and expected. But how have we fared with the software? What do we love and what do we hate? Have we been able to stand an entire week with iOS 8? With a week of using beta 1 behind us, watch our iOS 8 impressions video below to see how we like (or dislike) ...

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    As a long-time proponent of BlackBerrys, I was particularly adverse to the idea of soft keyboards back in 2009. I had gotten so used to the renowned BlackBerry keyboard that I was skeptical I – or anyone else, for that matter – would ever be able to type as efficiently as one could on a pocket-sized physical keyboard, especially those on BlackBerry handsets. I'm not sure I'm getting my point across. I really liked BlackBerrys, its physical keyboards, and hated practically everything else. Obviously, things have changed. I tried the BlackBerry Q10 a few months back and could hardly make ...

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    After several delays, Samsung has finally followed through on its promises. Last July, we were eagerly awaiting the launch of the first Tizen smartphone, but word emerged that Samsung would be facing some delays. The rumor claimed Samsung would have to push back the launch about two months. Come November, we heard again that Tizen hardware would be delayed, that we wouldn't see any consumer-focused devices until 2014. Fast forward to January and we still hadn't see the first Tizen devices. Samsung's plan was to launch the first Tizen handsets in the first half of the year. Clearly, that ...

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    We first officially saw the Desire 610 at Mobile World Congress in Berlin, Spain back in February. A low-end update to the Desire lineup, HTC didn't aim to wow the masses, but rather offer a pretty, capable device for a fair price. Joe published our review of the Desire 816 – the 610's bigger, higher-end sibling – and felt moderately pleased with the phone. Point being, we have high expectations for the 610, and with a growing number of compelling low-end handsets, this particular handset has its work cut out for it. Devices like the Moto G, Moto E, and even the One mini 2 have ...

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    In terms of smartphone offerings, this year is shaping up to be one of the most impressive ever. Not only are manufacturers managing to pull together some of the most advanced specifications into a single device, they are also (finally) focusing on things like user experience, software optimization, and sheer performance. And to top it all off, some are giving design and hardware more attention than in past years. The end result is stellar smartphones, all of which run well, look gorgeous, and offer a horde of useful features. Don't get me wrong. While these phones are more well-rounded ...

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    I have always fancied ASUS as one of the more creative and ambitious Android manufacturers in the space. No, ASUS isn't exactly one of the top smartphone or tablet manufacturers; it's nowhere near as successful as many other brands in the mobile realm, especially here in the States. But that hasn't stopped it from trying to push boundaries, thinking outside the box, and daring to be different. Today, ASUS isn't exactly creating groundbreaking products. The Transformer tablets from early 2011 to mid-2012 were novel, Android-powered tablet-netbook hybrid devices that no one else – at least ...

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    Last week, Apple announced iOS 8 at its opening keynote for WWDC 2014. That comes as no real surprise as WWDC is where we typically meet the early incarnations of Apple's newest software versions. For the last several years, though, we've closed out of our WWDC keynote livesream and liveblog tabs with a subtle bitter taste in our mouths. Let's be honest, iOS 4, iOS 5, iOS 6 and iOS 7 were all pretty boring. Sure, iOS 7 was a whole lot better to look at than previous versions, but useful features in the update were few and far between. We got Control Center, a better Notification Center, ...

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    In the tablet space, Samsung is a quickly growing giant. Almost single-handed, Samsung has cut Apple's tablet market share in half – from over 60 percent in 2012 to 30 percent in Q1 this year – while snapping up 23 percent of the global tablet share in Q1. We never had any doubt this would be the case, even with how half-baked the first two or three generations of its tablets were. Take the original Galaxy Tab, for example. It was a 7-inch knee-jerk reaction to the iPad. It ran Android, of course, but it was a stretched version of the phone-based OS. Google had not yet developed a home ...

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    More than most, I want to believe the tablet-computer hybrid is possible. In fact, I know it is. That's exactly why I moved absolutely as many tasks as possible over to my iPad mini from the MacBook Pro. With the exception of intensive video editing and some of the fine-tunings of publishing stories here on Pocketnow, I can easily perform most of my daily tasks with the iPad mini paired with the ZAGGkeys Cover Bluetooth keyboard. It's a nifty little accessory that essentially transforms the iPad mini into a miniature, underpowered netbook. Why bother, though, if it's underpowered and I ...

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    Roughly 18 months ago, smartwatches and other types of wearables were practically nonexistent. Sure, the Nike FuelBand started hitting shelves over two years ago, and a few fitness bands followed thereafter. But it was nothing to the degree it is today. FitBits are everywhere; I see random passersby wearing Pebbles; people ask me all the time if my "watch that buzzes" is "one of those Samsung things"; and it seems everyone is aware of the early onset #glassholes of this world. Wearables – especially smartwatches – are more in the public eye than ever, and some of the biggest companies ...

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    Following the WWDC keynote on Monday, some of us weren't exactly sure how to feel about the new iOS 8 update. Unlike last year, which was a huge visual overhaul, iOS 8 is more background and feature upgrades which make the update seem more incremental than it actually is. Behind the scenes, there's a lot of new stuff going on – a lot of stuff we never thought we'd see Apple ever announce. For one, it introduced third-party keyboards in iOS 8, placing a larger part of the user experience in the hands of third-party developers. Third-party sharing, something I've been harping on for years ...

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    Last year, Motorola took everyone by surprise. After months upon months of rumors, Motorola's 2013 flagship wasn't at all what it was cracked up to be. Rumors suggested it would be the phone everyone had been waiting for – all the best specs, the best display, killer everything. Turns out, the Moto X was not any of that. Its display was only 720p when practically every other flagship came with a 1080p display. It came with a custom processor configuration – not a Snapdragon 600 or 800 – which Motorola called the X8 mobile computing system. Nothing about it was overpowered or ...

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    On Monday, Apple started its annual WWDC conference with a bang. It unveiled the newest Mac OS update, Yosemite, and an update to its mobile OS, iOS 8. Like many had predicted, Apple has once again brought the two platforms closer together through what the company calls Continuity. In the future, those with more than one Apple device will be able to start messages on one device and finish on another, start browsing a Safari Web page on the iPad and pick up later on the iPhone. However, this is only beta 1 and not everything is working as intended. What all is new? What works and what ...

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    Each year around the same time, we look to Apple to bring some new features to its mobile platform. Each year, our anticipation for more useful, innovative features on iOS grows immensely. Maybe we're just demanding and ungrateful. Or maybe it's because, even for some strong Apple proponents, the software is beginning to feel a little stale. Last year's face-lift brought very few helpful changes to the platform; among the most notable were Control Center, folders with no app limitation on the Home screen, and AirDrop. But the brunt of the changes were dramatic visual changes – mostly in ...

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    Yesterday, Apple kick-started its annual developer conference, WWDC 2014, with a bang. To no surprise at all, it announced a newer version of OS X, Yosemite, alongside the anticipated update to its mobile platform, iOS 8. And like I so wittingly predicted, Apple has continued its slow marriage of the two contrasting operating systems. Many of the new features for both platforms allow users to start a task on one device and finish on the other, what Apple calls Continuity. For instance, you can start typing a message in iMessage on the iPad and finish typing it on the Mac. Or with iMessage ...

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