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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    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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    Today is Apple day. WWDC kicked-off just a few minutes ago, and we'll likely see three major things: a new version of OS X, iOS 8, and the further convergence of those two operating systems. Over the years, we've seen bits of iOS sneak into Mac OS, such as Notification Center; and some lighter versions of Mac apps have found their way to iOS, like iMovie, Garage Band, the iWork suite, and more. Although Apple still seems to refute the need for some sort of middle ground device. One of Apple's largest competitors, however, is diving into the hybrid computing market head first. Last week, ...

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    With the water-resistance of the Galaxy S5, many were wondering if a Galaxy S5 Active would happen this year. Of course, those doubts were silenced when a series of solid rumors and very convincing leaks made their way around the Web. As of this morning, the Galaxy S5 Active is official and available for purchase from AT&T here in the States. But why does it even exist? Does it need to? We were all a bit confused when rumors of the device surfaced following the Galaxy S5 announcement. Considering the inbuilt ruggedness of Samsung's flagship, the Active seemed somewhat … pointless. ...

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    The mobile world moves quickly – probably faster than just about any other industry in the world. New devices are announced on what feels like a weekly basis; perpetual software updates are hitting for the hundreds of mobile devices; one-off press events are always happening; and while phones seem to have a longer life span than they did back in, say, 2010, they still become antiques in what feels like no time. Back in September, I went on a nostalgia binge and did a throwback review for one of my favorite mobile devices of all time: the BlackBerry Curve 8330. Looking back, it's crazy to ...

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    We're never satisfied with what we have. Such is the way of the mobile world, so it should come as no surprise that the Galaxy S5 was only official for a few hours before talk of the Galaxy S5 Prime went through the roof. The premium edition of the Galaxy S5 had made headlines more than few times before the Galaxy S5 was officially announced. In fact, we were led to believe Samsung might introduce both handsets side by side, at the very same event. However, once it was clear the official Galaxy S5 would only feature marginal improvements over the Galaxy S4's specifications, the Prime ...

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    If nothing else, HTC has always been renowned for its keen sense of design. Its software may have taken a detour down a treacherous path, but the hardware has rarely ever let us down. The Nexus One, One X, One M7, One M8, One S, DROID DNA, DROID Incredible, and many of the in-between devices were all rather pretty and built exceptionally well. (We'll go ahead and forget the ThunderBolt, Rezound, and Inspire 4G existed, Deal? Deal.) In particular, though, HTC has been on a hot streak for the last year and a half. The One M7 was – and still is by many – considered to be one of the most ...

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    The last few years have not been the best for HTC. Its market share, revenues, and profits have all been sliding while its largest competitor, Samsung, has been raking in more sales, profits, and the like. Such has been the case for most smartphone manufacturers (who are not Apple and Samsung, of course), but HTC's journey, in particular, makes for an interesting story. Despite its several fumbles and missteps since 2011, it still has a massive, die-hard following around its smartphones. Whether it's due to the elegant hardware and design, ultra high standards in build quality, or simply ...

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    "Simple is the new smart." At least that's what LG's trying to sell this year alongside its new flagship, the G3. Like many rumors suggested, the G3 is the cream of the crop, at least on paper. Its innards are comprised of the finest specifications a buyer could hope for today. It comes with a 5.5-inch QHD (2,560 by 1,440 pixels) display, a 2GB RAM and 16GB storage combo or 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, a storage expansion slot for up to 128GB microSDXC cards, a monster 3,000mAh battery with EQi wireless charging, a 13-megapixel camera with OIS and laser autofocus, a Snapdragon 801 SoC, and a ...

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    After Apple took the stage to announce the iPhone 5s last year, the market was left in a bit of a panic. Its latest A7 chipset, made of a 1.3GHz dual-core Cyclone CPU and quad-core PowerVR G6430 GPU, had something no other smartphone chip came with at the time: 64-bit architecture. Thanks to this 64-bit computing, Apple's iPhone 5s is able to "crunch numbers more efficiently", thanks to extra registers, explains The Verge's Aaron Souppouris. This difference is especially helpful for things like encoding and decoding video, says Souppouris. The true usefulness of 64-bit in smartphones, ...

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    I'll be the first to admit I was a little hard on the One M8's camera abilities and HTC for its decision to stick with only 4.1-megapixels in its flagship smartphone's camera. I'm not here to beat a long-dead horse. I've explained multiple times that 4.1-megapixels is simply a gross camera resolution in a day and age where QHD displays are common on laptops and tablets and 4K televisions are a increasingly common thing. Even today, while I'm more impressed by the M8's camera than I ever thought I'd be, I'm still turned-off by its output resolution more than anything. The absolute best ...

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