Posts tagged with: Editorial
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    A good question came up on Twitter not long ago. It was one that I couldn't rightly answer. What is everyone on the Pocketnow team using as a daily driver these days? So many new phones have come out, allegiances have changed back and forth. Is Michael using a review device or is that personal? No one ever knows any more. So I brought in the team for a little bit of a confab. We put our phones out on the table and talked about them a little bit. We discussed the whats and the whys and even a couple of hows. That's where things got weird. But anyway, some had just one phone; some of us, ...

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    The great debate about the build quality and materials of smartphones may never end. Some smartphone users prefer all metal smartphone construction as seen in the HTC One M8, while others tend to lean towards the more lightweight, resilient plastics found in Samsung or Nokia smartphones. And, believe it or not, some people still prefer a bunch of smartphone components sandwiched between two slabs of hardened glass. The reasons for different materials such as metal, glass, and plastic aren't purely preference, even if that's what it boils down to in the end for most. Manufacturers ...

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    Traveling can be a harrowing experience. Traveling with a child, even more so. Traveling with a child while testing a new device can be a disaster waiting to happen. That's the situation I found myself in this past weekend. Full disclosure – I wasn't traveling very far nor for very long, and I was with my son who my wife and I call “the easy one” and I'm not completely ignorant to the ways of the Surface, so I liked my odds, but still. Since I was traveling a few hundred miles to nearby Indianapolis for a quick two-day excursion, I decided to go all-in with the Surface Pro 3 which ...

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    I was minutes from publishing a speculation article about the rumored Google smartwatch when Google announced its brand new wearables platform, Android Wear. Then Motorola and LG followed suit, announcing the Moto 360 and G Watch, respectively. Minutes from publishing, I had to rewrite the entire article. I changed the angle from a purely speculative piece about all the rumors we'd heard and whether they were credible or not to a piece about how Google and Motorola made me regret my $250 purchase of Pebble Steel. Sure, it was a reactionary, knee-jerk piece, but it was true. The one thing ...

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    Last week, I reviewed Pressy, the button that hijacks the 3.5mm jack on your smartphone and turns it into a button which you can then use to launch apps, send SMS, place calls, and a few other simple tasks. Frankly, I really like the little bugger. It's not exactly the most practical accessory, it's overpriced, and, yes, it takes up the headphone jack, meaning it could potentially become annoying for someone who listens to music often on their smartphone via wired headphones. I don't. I have two sets of Bluetooth headphones and I typically stream music from my iPad or computer. Still, out ...

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    It seems that every time we hear about "augmented reality" (AR) it's from someone who has a new product they're trying to peddle, which usually takes the form of some hideous looking piece of headwear. Recently, however, consumers are turning to smartwatches rather than eyewear. This is evidenced by the number of available apps for Android Wear compared to Google Glass, especially considering the latter has been available for so much longer. That's what one company is banking on: an augmented reality smartwatch. According to most definitions, "augmented reality" is a technology that ...

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    So here’s a fun debate for you. A “chicken and the egg” quandary if you will. Samsung. They make a crap-ton of phones and tablets. It’s kind of what Samsung does. It is the very definition of throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks. It’s sometimes a little scary. If you look at the list of devices Samsung has released over the past three years, it is staggering. Here are a few numbers for you. Since February of 2011, Samsung has release eighty-two Galaxy phones. Let me repeat those two words and advise you of their implications: Galaxy – this list only includes ...

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    The summer of smartwatches is upon us, and new Android Wear users everywhere are just starting to settle into life with their mobile accessories. The Moto 360 is standing by in the wings, ready to jump onto the retail scene in just another month or two, and entries by Apple and Microsoft are anticipated for a little later on. No matter which platform you call home, or what style smartwatch you prefer, you're going to have some good options to choose from. And as more and more of these wearables arrive, we're seeing how the decisions being made by manufacturers are shaping out expectations ...

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    On the Pocketnow Power User so far this season we've talked mainly about hardware. What is the hardware abstraction layer, and why should you care? The Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) bridges the gap between hardware and software. Be warned, this topic is very, very geeky! To begin with, the HAL isn't a concept that's unique only to smartphones and tablets. It's been around for a quite a while, but it's implemented differently depending on the environment that you're talking about. Hardware abstraction on an MS-DOS system is very different from that on a Mac, and from a technical ...

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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. Looking back, it's crazy to see how far the industry has come in less than a decade – from phones that (barely) handled email to pocket-sized computers that a increasingly ...

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    If you're anything like me, it's probably difficult for you to get excited about yet another smartphone release out of China. The fact of the matter is, most Chinese phones never see the light of day here in the United States. The Chinese market operates differently than any other mobile market – releasing phones at its own pace and, ultimately, marching to the beat of its own drum. Most of us (especially here in the States) actually know very little about the Chinese smartphone market. Giant smartphone manufacturers in China have only a small presence stateside. Most of their phones are ...

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    We were introduced to Project Volta at Google I/O this year. There it was described as a set of new tools and APIs which developers could use to help their apps "run efficiently and conserve power". To save power, we must first understand what's using that power. To that end, Battery Historian was developed. It's a new tool in Android L that lets you "visualize power events over time" to help you understand how apps are using your battery. As developers come to a better understanding of how their apps use power, they can utilize a new job scheduler API to help that app know when tasks and ...

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    Last winter was an exciting time for Windows Phone fans. Microsoft was all up in MWC’s bidness and name dropping like a drunk bathroom attendant. We heard about all of these OEMs that had sworn a blood oath – okay, it might have been ink – to bring forth Windows Phone upon it markets in broad fashion making Windows Phone the envy of all other platforms. That might be reading between the lines a bit, but that was basically the gist of it. So here we are, almost five months later and we here at the Pocketnow feeding trough started thinking – “Where the heck are all those OEMs we ...

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    The affordable, high-end smartphone is no longer a pipe dream. In fact, it hasn't been for a while. Some may not consider the Moto X a high-end phone, especially not by today's standards, but it's certainly a capable smartphone that performs exceptionally and doesn't break the bank – at least not anymore. The Moto X didn't exactly start out budget-friendly. It began as a full-priced, high-end smartphone, and its pricing quickly worked its way down as Motorola ran various promotions. Now, albeit nearly one-year-old, the base Moto X can be had for just $350 without a contract, and it's a ...

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    "OK Google" is a pretty neat tool. It lets you search for virtually anything -- as long as you're on your homescreen. A recent update to Google Search unlocked that limitation and allowed users to enable OK Google everywhere, even on the lock screen! The update requires Android 4.3+ (or 4.4+, depending on who you ask), it also needs the latest version of the Google Search app and the latest update to Play Services. Head out to the Play Store and make sure you've got all the latest updates installed before you continue. Next, from your homescreen, simply say "OK Google" to bring up the ...

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