Posts tagged with: Editorial
  • by | April 21, 2014 7:18 AM

    Some things in life should be exclusive, like the people who are allowed to drive my car or eventually date my daughter. Other things, however, should be open to the general public. Parks, roads, drinking fountains, and the front seats of busses come to mind. Unfortunately, that's not the way things work over here in the States, at least not when we're talking about cellular phones. Carrier exclusives are still very much a thing -- although they should not be, not any more anyway. "Exclusives" are just like they sound, "restricted or limited to the person, group, or area concerned". When ...

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  • by | April 18, 2014 7:17 AM

    Printers from yesteryear used parallel ports. Modems used serials ports -- which were available in either 9- or 25-pin varieties. High-speed devices like scanners and external drives used to connect via any number of SCSI connections. A company I used to work for even made products that let you daisy-chain two together via parallel port, and even came out with a drive that you could plug into either a parallel port or a 25-pin SCSI port. Even common devices like keyboards and mice connected through a PS/2 or other style connector. Put another way, there were just far too many kinds of ...

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  • by | April 17, 2014 7:16 AM

    The Nexus 5 was unveiled on October 31st of last year, and offered for sale through Google's Play Store the same day. In those several months I've run the stock version of Android, though about half way through I rooted it and run several apps that require those elevated privileges. That's pretty significant. It's the first personal phone that I haven't run a Custom ROM on since my very early days with Windows CE. Even back then I ran "cooked" ROMs on my Pocket PCs. Since then, running a Custom ROM has gotten significantly easier. Rooting toolkits are available that take all the guesswork ...

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  • by | April 16, 2014 6:07 PM

    Per usual, all eyes are on the major Android manufacturers as the 2014 flagships come out. We've reviewed the One M8 twice. Despite my initial takeaway from the announcement, I ended up buying one as my personal device anyway. And Michael is in the process of reviewing the Galaxy S 5. Sony's flagship is just around the bend, and a handful of other major smartphones will launch in the second half of the year. But there are two other manufacturers enthusiasts are eyeing this spring, two up-and-comers determined to make waves and bring some of their own flare to a stagnating market: Oppo, out ...

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  • by | April 16, 2014 7:20 AM

    If you've never used wireless charging, you're missing out, and you just can't understand how convenient it is. Every time you need to charge your device, you've got to have a cord plugged into an electrical outlet (or a portable battery). You probably have a few of these "tentacles" positioned in strategic locations that are quickly accessible throughout your day. Although somewhat convenient, that gets a bit messy and unorganized. I currently have four devices in my household that can charge wirelessly via the Qi standard. I wish I had more. To combat the widespread use of wall-wart ...

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  • by | April 16, 2014 7:00 AM

    Windows Phone 8.1 dropped earlier this week. We saw it at Build, but now we’re actually using it. And it’s for really real. Sure it’s a “Developer’s Preview” and sure some of the features aren’t quite done cooking, but it’s a pretty impressive upgrade to what Windows Phone users have been using. Plus, it’s available for (I think it’s reasonable to say) most Windows Phone users out there, less than two weeks after it’s debut on stage. That’s availability of Apple proportions. The reason this is so exciting is because in so many ways, Microsoft leveled the operating ...

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  • by | April 15, 2014 7:26 PM

    We tend to get a little fussy over carrier bloat, or the pre-installed applications that may come on a number of carrier-specific Android or Windows Phone smartphones. Bloat can and often does come from carriers, partners like Amazon, and even the manufacturer. For instance, I bought the T-Mobile HTC One M8 just this morning. It comes with five T-Mobile-specific applications I'll rarely (if ever) use: Mobile HotSpot, My Account, T-Mobile Name ID, T-Mobile TV, and Visual Voicemail. While it's mostly minimal, these applications cannot be uninstalled – only reverted to the original versions ...

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  • by | April 15, 2014 3:49 PM

    When HTC finally drew back the curtains on the One M8, I was in awe. What a beautiful phone, right? Not everyone agrees. Michael says the design of the One M7 is prettier and more bold, even if the M8 is more refined and feels better in the hand. Still, few will argue that the One M8 is anything but a masterpiece. The phone is gorgeous, it feels phenomenal in the hand, and it's a marvel in smartphone design, a testament to HTC's attention to detail and design prowess. Inside and out, it's one of the most complete, balanced, and spectacular phones I've ever used. Period. But the camera is ...

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  • by | April 15, 2014 3:01 PM

    While most other platform developers, especially underdogs, might want to build upon their strengths while also strengthening their weaknesses, sometimes some good strengths get totally thrown out for no apparent reason.  We've written about Microsoft's tendency to remove features from their mobile operating system quite frequently. It seems to happen with every new significant upgrade and Windows Phone 8.1 is no exception. Remember when the Office hub lost the ability to edit files older than the 2007 format?  How about that ability to automatically sync music, videos, and pictures to ...

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  • by | April 15, 2014 1:03 AM

    Back in the day we used to refer to our electronic devices as PDAs -- Personal Digital Assistants. They weren't. In fact, they weren't much more than battery-operated day planners, the paper versions of which were in style around the turn of the century. Today these devices have given way to Internet-connected smartphones that are finally starting to include the ability to complete core tasks via voice-assisted input. Apple has Siri. Google has Google Now. Finally, Microsoft has Cortana. Some feel that this personalized and voice-responsive component finally brings the "assistant" to ...

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  • by | April 14, 2014 7:20 PM

    Just under one month ago, Google turned the smartwatch and wearables industry on its head. As I was writing an editorial about the then-rumored Google smartwatch, Google pulled a fast one on us and announced something much more than just one smartwatch; it announced an entire, dedicated platform for smartwatches: Android Wear. I immediately changed the tone of my editorial and wrote what was on my mind that very moment. I regretted ordering Pebble Steel just one week before. To this day, though the Pebble Steel shipped and arrived before I definitively decided to cancel the order, I regret ...

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  • by | April 14, 2014 5:58 PM

    You may not remember this, but more than a decade ago, Microsoft embarked on the first move that wiped the Palm Pilot’s presence from existence. It may sound funny or odd to you today, but believe it or not, what Microsoft did was launch the first PDA with a color display. Today this is a standard, but when you walked into a store in the year 2000, choosing between a Palm Pilot with a black-and-white display and a plastic casing, compared to a Compaq iPAQ made of aluminum and a color display was a no-brainer, even if the iPAQ was twice as expensive. So, did Microsoft innovate and ...

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  • by | April 14, 2014 2:08 PM

    Following the many visual, performance, and functional updates to Google's Android platform over the last year alone, as well as the major UI overhaul in Apple's iOS 7, Windows Phone was the last remaining major mobile OS in need of some new finishing touches. That's exactly what the platform will soon receive once the Windows Phone 8.1 update rolls out to the public. Currently anyone can download the developer preview to get a feel for what the next version of Windows Phone will feel and look like. Our own Adam Lein and Michael Fisher spent the last six days tinkering with the new OS. ...

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  • by | April 14, 2014 8:15 AM

    In some ways Microsoft's new speech UI, Cortana, has surpassed the speech interface of its competitors in iOS and Android.  Most people are going to be comparing Cortana to Siri and Google Now since those are the two other popular smartphone speech interfaces at the moment.  At Pocketnow, we know a little better and will be comparing Cortana to how she should work. Google and Apple are really quite new to the whole speech UI for smartphones thing.  Microsoft's old Windows Mobile smartphone operating system had a speech interface called Voice Command back in 2002.  Yeah, that was 12 ...

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  • by | April 14, 2014 7:09 AM

    Last week we showed you a very novel Qi wireless charger for you to keep your smartphone topped of while in your car, and we were quite impressed with it. Unlike most car chargers that attach to your dash or windshield, this one sits in your cup holder and cradles your phone while you drive down the road. Interesting and convenient! If you're more into carrying around a spare battery, like I do, you might be interested in the ZENS Qi Wireless Charger than other solutions that you have to plug in. Portable Batteries In the "good old days" of PDAs and smartphones we could carry around a ...

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