Posts tagged with: Editorial
  • by |

    The dreaded “F” word. In tech circles, we throw around “Fragmentation” as a slight against any ecosystem where the number of choices begins to degrade the user experience. A prime example cited is the current state of Android. Google has released the newest version of the Android operating system, but how many people are actually able to upgrade their phones to run it? In this instance, one of Android’s greatest strengths (diversity of hardware options) has the potential to degrade a consumer’s individual experience (ability to run newest software). Apple has largely been ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    Now that Google’s messaging platform is complete – or some might argue overcomplete – with its new offerings of Allo and Duo, it’s time to ask ourselves a question. Actually, it’s time to ask a series of questions. Will I use it? If I use it, who will I use it with? Can I get my peeps to use it? Do people still say “peeps” anymore? These are all really important questions, and the Weekend Debate is all about questions, so let’s dive in shall we? Cross the streams One of the great things about Allo and Duo are that they’re both cross-platform unlike some other video ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    Earlier this month, we sent two editors overseas to Berlin, Germany for IFA. That coverage was appropriately sponsored by XCom Global. Appropriately, because our two editors were coming from the United States with their United States-based carriers which, if one wasn’t careful, would lead to really high cellphone bills and a hard-to-explain expense report. Fortunately, not only was XCom Global helping us out by sponsoring our trip, but those fine folks also helped keep us connected as well. Now, hold on, this isn’t an ad. Sure we’re thankful to XCom Global for hooking us up – ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    Now that Apple has launched a new iPhone that removes the long-standard 3.5mm TRS (tip ring shaft) headset jack, there's a lot of controversy as to whether this will be a good thing or a bad thing. Lenovo actually released two Moto Z Android phones last month with no 3.5mm headset jack either (and one with the headset jack this month). The annoyances and complaints are in full swing. (Also see "The impending horror of USB Type C audio adapters") If this all seems like Deja-Vu, you might have been using smartphones for more than 10 years. The exact same thing happened around 2005 when HTC ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    By now you've read the news, there won't be any new smartwatches powered by Android Wear coming from most of Google's wearables partners this year. According to sources, LG, Motorola, and Huawei are "sitting it out" this year. LG says it's waiting to "see what sticks". Some news sources are painting this as "doom and gloom", underscoring that Apple has "won" the wearable war, and pointing out that even Google's most loyal partners have "abandoned" the platform. Don't give in to the fear-mongering and propaganda. We will see a couple Android Wear smartwatches this year, notably the the ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    2016 is arguably the year of the midrange phone. This year’s crop of ~$400 phones is spectacular, full featured, and, dare we say it, flagship killers. These phones are so good, we’re comparing them in video. When was the last time we compared a midrange phone to anything? The Moto G two years ago? These midrange phones are getting really great. It’s almost unbelievable what $400 will get you today. Phones this cheap could signal a shift in how the consumer views the smartphone. At 300-400 dollars, you can almost afford to have a workday phone and a weekend fun phone. So, take this ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    There is a growing trend in mobile today that seems hell bent on getting rid of the 3.5 mm headphone jack. For those of you not familiar with…sound…the 3.5 mm jack is pretty much the industry standard for headphones. There are some variations here and there, notably in the sound production industry, but for years and decades, if you were listening to audio on a consumer device, it was passing through a 3.5mm headphone jack. Which makes Apple's missing headphone jack something that needs to be talked about, even though we already had this conversation earlier in the summer. We get it - ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    Microsoft killed the Lumia star. Ok, so it’s not as catchy as the song that tortured my college days working in a mall kiosk across from the GAP. But the fact remains that the once shining star that was Nokia’s Lumia lineup is likely about to fade from the night sky. At least, this is according to an anonymous (and let’s face it, aren’t they all?) source. You see, Microsoft isn’t just winding down production of the Lumia series of phones. It is ceasing sales of Lumias entirely. I mean how Microsoft will cope with the loss of this financial failure is beyond me. Who knows, the ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    Back in October of 2015, the new Microsoft Band 2 was first released. Our review was based on only about 1 week of usage and we felt that every complaint about the original Microsoft Band had been addressed. It really felt like a huge improvement. Last year in August, we also revisited our review of the original Microsoft Band with a 10 month later wrap up of how the band fared with a good amount of real health-tracking usage.  So today, we're going to do another wrap-up about how the Microsoft Band 2 has held up to 10 months of all sorts of health tracking. We've seen quite a few ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    It’s Apple’s world, and we’re all just living in it. You see, Apple’s a funny little company. It’s a trait that dates back to its origins, specifically with Steve Jobs. Jobs liked things to be just his, er I mean Apple’s way, and absolutely nothing else was acceptable. As it turns out the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and to this day, Apple’s tradition of exclusivity is as strong as ever. We saw a few examples of this at its announcement. It's Mario! Starting off, Apple made arguably the biggest announcement of the day right out of the chute. Sure, we saw an update ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    As much fun as it is to make fun of Samsung’s Note 7 fire issue, this is one area that could have impact to the entire smartphone industry. Samsung has a big fracking problem on its hands, and it needs to be very careful of its next steps. For those not familiar with the situation, let me catch you up. Over the course of the last few weeks, Samsung’s latest flagship, the Note 7, went on sale. Some users reported the phone would burst into flames while charging. Since then, Samsung has issued a global recall of the device, citing faulty battery issues, and has plans to replace every ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    One of the fiercest competitors in the midrange space has to be Blu. This plucky little OEM out of Miami is chalk full of surf, sun, fun, and decent phones. The latest to hit the sandy shores is the Blu Pure XR. We have been testing this phone in the Chicago area on AT&T’s network for ten days, and here is what we found out. Hardware The theme of the Blu Pure XR’s hardware is “Sensitivity”, and not in the “long walks on the beach” kind of way. We’ll get to that aspect in a moment, but first, of course you want the juicy stuff. What’s under the hood? Starting off we have ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    OnePlus may have been right after all, as Obi Wan would say, “…from a certain point of view.” When OnePlus started playing this game we call “making smartphones” it billed its first device a “flagship killer”. Now, I’m not saying that the OnePlus One killed the flagship – far from it. But the OnePlus One was one of several devices that started riding the rising “good midranger” wave. OEMs like OnePlus, Alcatel, Motorola, Blu, and any number of other OEMs have all started putting out devices that are pretty good and won’t hurt the wallet. Heck, ZTE just put out the ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    We are reaching a point in technology where hardware is plateauing. Moreover, devices are getting better and better and staying viable for longer because of it. Last year’s phone is almost as good as this year’s phone. So, we find ourselves not very motivated to upgrade. This has been shown in smartphone buying trends and retention trends for some time now. If we are holding on to our phones for longer, and the hardware isn’t or can’t get much better, OEMs are going to start freaking out in a big way. Apples and oranges Take Apple for instance. Arguably, one of the biggest ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    Now that nobody's interested in smartwatches anymore, we've moved on to cloud-based chatbots that reply to your instant messages right away as the latest progression in human-computer-interaction design. The idea is that you simply type what you want to do in a message to a specific chatbot and they'll reply to help. Microsoft, Facebook, and Google have announced a number of these chatbots that you can add as friends in each company's respective instant messaging program. They're not new People are acting like this is something new and exciting, but it isn't. Chatbots like this have been ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    Remember when tablets were heralded as the ultimate post-PC era mobile device? The rise of the iPad about six years ago brought with it a wave of anticipation for when we could ditch archaic desktop and laptop computers. Six years on and now we have analysts all over the world saying that the tablet is dead. Sales are on the decline, smartphones tend to have more screen real estate and are the preferred device for most multimedia needs, and laptop-tablet hybrids have now become the apple of everyone’s eye, no pun intended. While many people have written their eulogies for the tablet, and ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    One of my hobbies is browsing through KickStarter and Indiegogo to see what the brilliant minds of tomorrow are coming up with today. Or maybe that’s the other way around. Anyway. every now and then something grabs my attention for some reason. Of course, that’s the point. But this item, the Superbook is one of those items that someone is making that I’ve been wanting for some time. Or at least, I think I’ve been wanting it, but we’ll delve into that later. Just what is it? The Superbook is a laptop shell that turns your phone into a computer. Now, if you think this is a familiar ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    The Samsung Note 7 made its appearance this week and on board was a spiffy new security measure – the iris scanner. Biometrics are pushing the boundaries of security today, and adding biometric security to a flagship phone targeted toward business is a smart strong move. Which is why Samsung added a fingerprint sensor two years ago. So, Samsung is no stranger to biometric security, and has a pretty good biometric security feature already in place, so what’s with the iris scanner? Adding a second layer of security like this is expensive on a phone that is already just under $100 more ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    BlackBerry is a funny little company. Once a juggernaut in the mobile space, it has since fallen from grace. Overwhelming numbers by Android and iOS pushed BlackBerry down into the dreaded “other” category on most pie charts. Many companies would have silently slipped tail between legs and slinked off, but not BlackBerry, and that’s actually one of the thing I admire about the company. Overwhelming evidence suggests that BlackBerry has hit the canvas so many times, even LL Cool J is saying “Ain’t gonna Comeback”. But here comes Blackberry with another offering – the DTEK50 ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    Finding a bargain among carriers is a little difficult. The major players all have their promotions, of course, but then there are a host of MVNOs to consider. One such MVNO is making a bit of a splash in the industry – Krew Mobile. Krew Mobile is offering three phone lines for an introductory price of $19.95 per month. You’re probably thinking, “$19.95 each right? That’s a helluva deal!” but no. It’s $19.95 total for three lines - with a caveat here or there. Krew Mobile is designed for parents and kids in a sort of sharing system. You see, I never said it was three unlimited ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the possibility of giving up your smartphone for a collection of devices. This personal cloud of devices would include a smartwatch, a heads-up display, a battery pack/WiFi device, and whatever else. It would be a personal network of devices, all excelling at what they did individually to make up a collective whole. This is a fascinating concept when you think about it. One of the things I like the most about wearable tech is its omnipresent, but unobtrusive nature – there when you need it, out of the way when you don’t. But it does beg the ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    It’s one of those things we often take for granted, but it’s a legitimate question. All too often we are offered the latest smartphones in one, two, or three colors. But what are our favorite colors for a smart phone? That’s what we’re here to find out in a Pocketnow Poll. Our editors have sounded off below, and then we’ll ask your opinion, but first I wanted to take a moment to discuss color and my borderline-sordid history of color. I’ve had a virtual rainbow for smartphones in my time from a magenta (read: pink) Lumia 800, to a Cyan Lumia 900, to a Yellow Lumia 920. I had a ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    We live in interesting times in mobile these days. Almost everything your smartphone does is mimicked by something else, other than your smartphone. We’re talking about smartwatches, tablets – although those are a bit too easy – and even heads up displays. Everything that your smartphone tells you can be told to you by something else on you or that you’re carrying around with you. Which begs the question – what devices would we need to basically replace your smartphone? Come along with me on this little thought experiment and let’s see if we can come up with something, or ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    Way back in 2013, in my first article with Pocketnow, I talked about how Microsoft could climb to the lofty heights of 10% market share.  One of the ways I suggested was to advertise and I cited Microsoft’s already-widespread campaign of product placement. Indeed, since that time and going up to this season finale of Hawaii Five-0, Microsoft has been the phone of choice for Alex O'Loughlin, Grace Park, and their law-enforcing (and sometimes law-breaking) compatriots. So Microsoft must be doing well, huh? Well, I guess that is the difference between enjoying the Windows Phone experience, ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    Samsung is set to debut its generation-skipping Galaxy Note 7 sometime this summer. This typically reflects Samsung’s large-screen compatriot to the Galaxy S phone from earlier in the year. For the last couple of years, Samsung has issued an Edge variant to the Note series at this time as well. But pretty much the main thing distinguishing the Note from the S is the S-Pen. This isn’t exactly the definition of innovation here, amirite? Further, the Edge variant of the Note last year lost the S-Pen. Add to that the fact that this year’s Galaxy Edge was .2” inches smaller than last ...

    Share
    Read On
Mobile Version