Posts tagged with: Editorial
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    I was never a fan of handwriting while I was in school.  Later I was introduced to fountain pens and all of that changed. My "daily carry" pen is an aluminum-bodied, steel-nibbed pen from Schrade that writes wonderfully and looks great. The downside is that all my handwritten notes are analog. I have to manually scan them - every single one - if I want them in a digital format. Since then I've been looking for a digital solution. My old Apple Newton fit the bill. Notes I'd write there on it were handwritten "ink", but digitized on the fly. Since then I haven't found anything that ...

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    So, an interesting thing happened last week – one that I would have earlier considered absolutely unthinkable. I forgot my phone. I was out with my father running some errands and I left my phone on the center console of his truck. He called my wife about 15 minutes after he left, and offered to turn around, bless his heart. But I thought to myself, “No. I’ll be there tomorrow. Let’s see what happens.” Uh oh Now, I could have gone into my office, grabbed a phone, and stopped off at a local AT&T store and been back up and running in under 20 minutes – probably in the same ...

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    Android Wear is picking up more OEMs, more styles, and more users every passing day. These svelte wearables take a fairly robust microcomputer and cram it into a wristwatch - an impressive feat when you think about it. Despite all the technological capabilities built-in to these devices, first and foremost they are timepieces. As such, watch faces need to be simple, elegant, and informative. Some are better than others. Here are a few of my digital favorites. Background I was happy with the very rectangular Pebble (Kickstarter Edition), until I saw Android Wear and spring for the LG G ...

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    The life of a reviewer, reporter, blogger (whatever you want to call us) is a hard one, riddled with tribulations and hardship. Ok, who am I kidding? It’s pretty awesome. We get to play with toys aplenty, from watches, to tablets, to phones, and sometimes even some other peripheral devices. HTC Vive anyone? Sometimes, we get to play with devices that cross platforms. Others of us are focused more on one platform above all others. We write, we video, we have some fun. I’m a Windows Phone fan, but these days I’m toting around a OnePlus One. But in the interest of expanding my horizons ...

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    The last two generations of Galaxy S Phones have brought with them somewhat of a black sheep in the family. While the Galaxy S4 and S5 were both nice phones from a design and build standpoint, their more active siblings have been, well, less nice. They have been bulky, chunky, and to be perfectly frank, a little ugly. Add to that, the Galaxy S5 was already waterproof which in my humble opinion, made the Galaxy S5 Active almost redundant. Waterproofing is the most attractive feature the Active line of phones brings, but that was already built in. Sure the phone was more “rugged” so it ...

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    Google I/O 2015 is less than a week away and the schedule of events has posted on what has to be the most "Material Design"-styled website that I've ever seen, complete with Android Lollipop-esque animations. For those who may not know, Google I/O is two days of "inspirational talks, hands-on learning, and a chance to hear more about Google's latest developer products". What's more, we usually get an early peek at what's coming next and the general direction of Android, ChromeOS, the Chrome browser, and how devices that leverage these technologies may interplay with each other going ...

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    There are only a few physical buttons on most smartphones these days; volume controls, the occasional camera shutter or home button, and the power button. They’re all obviously important, or else the manufacturers wouldn’t bother including them and taking up precious space on their phones, but almost undeniably, the most important of all is the power button. It wakes our phones from sleep mode. It locks them to save power and trigger security. It turns them completely on and off, and without the power button we wouldn’t be able to use our phones … but we can’t seem to agree on ...

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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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    Last September, I went to Motorola’s headquarters with Adam Doud for the company's 2014 Moto X unveiling. They took us through their manufacturing process for the phone, and we got a behind-the-scenes look at how they incorporate the Horween leather onto the Moto X. I briefly got to pick up the leather units, but at the end of the tour when we were given our press bags, I wound up with the soft-touch plastic back model. Sure, I saw the leather in person, but a few moments in the hand a lasting impression does not make. What do make lasting impressions are the scratches, dents, and scuffs ...

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    Ever since the world has been using touchscreen based smart devices, the world has also been caring about smart device displays. Being the primary mode of interacting with your smartphone or tablets, it’s one of the factors that goes into choosing what devices we would like to buy, or think of buying, or argue about. When we talk about smartphone displays these days however, we tend to focus on one thing in particular- the resolution. Indeed, display resolution on a smart device we have to use or put up with on a minute by minute basis of our daily lives is quite important, and we all ...

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    Historically, HTC has made some very high-quality products with specifications that compete at virtually every price-point. Back in 2013 we started musing about an HTC-built tablet that would resemble the insanely popular HTC One, complete with its then-novel front-firing speakers. We hoped that 2014 might be the year the HTC tablet made a comeback. Over the years there have been a spattering of HTC tablets, one of the more notable recent additions being Google's own Nexus 9 - the first tablet in almost four years from HTC - but even it isn't a killer Android tablet. Many thought an ...

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    For years, ASUS has been a "conference curiosity" for we Americans on the Pocketnow team. From the original PadFone tablet/phone hybrid to the bizarre FonePad to the monstrous ZenFone Zoom, the company has a penchant for building outlandish mobile devices – a habit that we quite appreciate in this ever-more-conservative world of smartphone design. But aside from occasional AT&T-bound variants like the PadFone X, precious few of these handsets ever make it to U.S. shores. ASUS made a big change on both fronts with today's announcement of the ZenFone 2's North American variant. ...

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    Yesterday, I got off on a little rant about Continuum and specifically the fact that it’ll be missing on older hardware. This is due to hardware limitations in the devices themselves and that in and of itself is understandable. But then I started thinking about Continuum and just how useful it really was. It's all in the brains Using your phone as the brains of a “computer” is something I’ve wanted for some time now. Back in the webOS days, HP teased that kind of functionality. Then it died Later on, the Ubuntu Edge promised the same functionality. Then it died. Now, Windows 10 ...

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    Two years ago, we were very impressed with the Nokia Lumia 1020's manual photographic controls as you may have seen in our "How to take incredible photos with the Lumia 1020" article. Now we've got the new LG G4 boasting improved photography capabilities as well as RAW imaging support on the Android side of things and it's pretty exciting. Can it replace a professional digital camera? We'll find out, but keep in mind that all cameras have limitations and what really allows you to take great photos is understanding those limitations and learning how to generate imagery that communicates ...

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    Oh, Microsoft. You do find yourself in a bit of a pickle don’t you? Put in terms that gamers will understand, you're running out of 1ups. I think I may have just dated myself actually. What am I talking about? I’m talking about chances. I’m talking about belief. I’m talking about consumer confidence. I’m talking about reasons to buy. In my last editorial, on the state of Windows, I talked about how Microsoft was firmly entrenched in the computing industry, but phones are its major weak point. So, in order to get your weekend off to a grumpy start, let’s take a look at that. ...

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    System backups of any kind are great. Knowing that your information is safely stored in the cloud takes a lot of work out of transferring your information from one phone to another, and it takes a bit of the edge off of losing your phone. Apple’s iCloud backups have long been one of the best mobile backup solutions, with Android typically tailing a bit behind — but how far off is Android’s backup system from matching iCloud’s ease of use and efficiency? Well, as it turns out … not very. With iCloud on an iOS device like an iPhone or iPad, every last detail of your phone is backed ...

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    Marmalade? Mango? Mint Julep? Marshmallow? Meringue? Marzipan? Milk Chocolate? Moon Pie? M&M? Milky Way? Mars Bars? Milkshake? Though we may not know what the name of "Android M" will be once it starts showing up on smartphones, tablets, and wearables, we're already putting our list of wants together. What's on our Android M wishlist? I polled the Pocketnow team to see what's on their minds, keep on reading to find out what we'd like to see! Volume Control To start with let's hop in the wayback machine and look at one of my favorite features from the early CyanogenMod Custom ROMs: ...

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    If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: smartphone cameras are important. People are tossing their point-and-shoots aside in favor of their phones, and for a lot of consumers it’s one of the biggest deciding factors in choosing a phone. But in a lot of cases, the cameras in our smartphones are paired with software that doesn’t take full advantage of the sensors. Auto shooting modes are great for quick snaps and selfies, but just as is the case with DSLRs, if you want to get serious about your photos you’re going to want to switch to manual mode. First off, what is ...

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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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    Smartphone manufacturers put a lot of time and money into advertising their products’ features so that we, the consumers, will choose their products over the rest of the competition. Features like scratch-resistant displays and high-performing cameras. That’s why it’s particularly confusing that, in the case of those two features in particular, we’ve recently seen some reports of OEMs shipping different versions of the same phone — no, I’m not talking about the confusing days of the Galaxy S II, Galaxy S II Skyrocket, and Sprint Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch. Last week, we ...

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    App permissions are the big, ugly monster that no one wants to think about. We all want to play our games, update our social networks, play embarrassing farting sounds and blame our friends, and so much more. To make all that happen, we head over to our preferred app stores, search through an endless sea of apps, then download whatever app looks like it's the "best". During the installation process we're warned about all the permissions the app says it needs to be able to work correctly. We may have cared what those permissions were when we installed our first few apps, but after we ...

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    Every time a new phone comes out, no matter what crazy new features it brings to the table, there are two key factors that ultimately seem to determine its worth to consumers: camera performance and battery life. The Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 is a terrific low-cost smartphone that could’ve even beat out some flagships … if not for its disappointing camera. On the other hand, Samsung has been selling the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge hand over fist for its an outstanding camera … but you won’t be snapping for long with that battery. The Moto X has an incredibly useful software suite … but ...

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    One of the most frustrating problems about today’s smartwatches is that once their batteries run out, they’re pretty much useless. The biggest challenge that most of these companies face, is being able to give you a smartwatch that lasts for days, or even months. Charging these can also be a challenge, as not all mechanisms are either practical, or durable. All this said, what if a company approached things differently and focused on giving you a smartwatch that you wouldn’t have to recharge? Hong Kong-based Cogito is one of the few companies with a solution to that problem, but you ...

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    It's really easy to dismiss a non-flagship smartphone as unusable. Why? Simply because of the fact that it's mid-range or low-end. Historically, these words have been used to describe smartphones which barely function, unable to muster anything more than the littlest of usability. That's probably what went through the heads of most as Motorola announced the second-gen Moto E, adding in 4G LTE and bringing the smartphone to $150. In the world we live in, in which flagship smartphones regularly retail for prices north of $600 in the United States, that's a pretty low number. It must ...

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    Smartwatches are here. Smartwatches are now. Smartwatches are everywhere. Actually, they’re not everywhere, really. Not yet. But some day, they might be. We have to wonder how pervasive these devices are going to be and if there is one thing that might prevent them from being truly ubiquitous – compatibility. Smartwatches are new ground here, and different smartwatches are taking different approaches to the smart phones that power them. Mine! On one side of the spectrum, you have smartwatches by Samsung. These Tizen-powered devices only work with a certain kind of smartphone. Not only ...

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