Posts tagged with: Editorial
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    All of us are born with certain "natural rights" - rights which are are not dependent on the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and are therefore universal and inalienable. Among those are the right to privacy, of which I'm an advocate. Since the world's governments aren't doing a very good job respecting privacy (let alone protecting it like they should be), the responsibility falls to us, individually. Thankfully, technology gives us the tools we need to build solutions that will help deter all but the most determined parties from invading our ...

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    Ask any platform, you know, if it could talk, and it would tell you that ecosystem is key to survival. Having the apps that people need in order to function is vital to the ability of a platform to sustain itself. After all, if a phone, tablet, or even a computer can’t do what people need it to do, people will go elsewhere. This is a bit of a no-brainer – not new information at all. Which led to the question – what vital apps are actually required for an ecosystem to be viable? What apps are needed in order for a customer to plant her flag and claim it as her own? We asked our ...

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    Warranties fall into that category of “things you don’t think about until you need it”. At the end of the day, it’s nice that if your phone stops working in a short period of time, you can contact the company who made the phone and get some kind of satisfaction – most of the time. But every now and then, those warranties turn out not so great. Maybe there is an issue with your phone that isn’t covered or maybe the factory is swinging and missing on basic warranty service. Either way, suddenly that assurance isn’t so reliable. Then, there’s the other side of the coin – ...

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    We talk about phones here a lot. No kidding. We really do. I know you’re shocked. But, we really do talk about phones a whole ton. And it’s often about the newest and latest gadget coming out that does everything superbly well. We also field a lot of questions here at Pocketnow and one of the most common questions we here is, “should I get this phone or that phone?” It got us to thinking, why are you buying a new smartphone at all? We used to think that people got new phones and upgraded their gear on a two-year cycle. This was consistent with the two-year contract cycle that many ...

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    Talking to my phone is probably one of my favorite things to do with it. Asking my phone's voice assistant to perform tasks such as giving me the weather, texting my wife, or looking up information is pretty cool, and so much more convenient than doing it “the old fashioned way.” What I mean is, launching an app from the app drawer, or typing I-L-L-B-E-H-O-M-E-I-N-2-0-M-I-N-U-T-E-S. People do crazy stuff on phones these days, and talking makes everything so much easier. So why don’t more people talk to their phones? I’ve asked that question and decided to delve. Childlike wonder ...

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    The entire mobile market is in a state of transition. Owning a smartphone is no longer the status symbol it once was. Smartphones are now largely commodities for folks. A phone might be a mission critical communication device, but consumers are starting to get burnt out on yearly upgrades. This puts Apple in a precarious position as a significant portion of Cupertino’s profit comes from iOS devices, 65% of the company’s sales coming directly from the iPhone. We’ve already delved into the earnings report in-depth, but the bullet points are as follows: iPhone sales down 16% iPad ...

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    Galaxies keep getting bigger while the Notes stay the same. Samsung basically has two flagships – the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note. But recently with the emergence of the Galaxy S7 Edge, worlds started to collide a little bit. But, to be fair, this is only after Samsung decided to muddy the waters a bit. Samsung took its successful Edge phone to the phablet stage with the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, and released it along side its main phablet offering – the Galaxy Note 5. Then, this past spring, the Galaxy S7 Edge came out and it wasn’t too far away from the Galaxy S6 Edge plus in size or ...

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    Yesterday, we talked about specifications and how, at least in the current three flagships that are on the market, specifications really don’t matter any more. Today, we’re going to talk about price, and what comes along with that price tag you pay for the top tier phones of today. We decided to look back over the last 366 days and see what phones had been released and what their prices were. Then we looked at what each had to offer for that price you paid. Our recent review of the iPhone SE left us in a bit of a tizzy – what is this phone, anyway? Is it a flagship? Is it a ...

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    Every year, OEMs put out newer and better phones. Of course they do. What’s the point of a new generation if it’s not better than the last, right? But some OEMs, notably Apple, have taken to using more vague descriptors of their smartphone components. They say things like “all day battery life” or Apple’s famous “retina display”. The problem with descriptions like this is they are either highly subjective, or they don’t really mean anything from a specification standpoint. But here’s the thing. We are fast entering a world where most flagships are going to have basically ...

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    There has been an explosion in VR and AR headsets over the past few years. There was a time we talked about Oculus and not a whole lot else. Then at CES, I saw an entire section of the show floor dedicated to VR. Everyone and their mother was coming out with new VR, or developing for VR. Later, Samsung had a press conference that was dependent on VR. LG has a VR headset. The HTC Vive is out and shipping. VR is everywhere, from $30 Google Cardboard to $3000 Hololens headsets. Despite all of this one player – one notable player- has been absolutely silent in this category – Apple. It’s ...

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    A couple of years ago, Google and Apple both unveiled their latest mobile operating systems. No, I don’t mean mobile as in phones, I mean mobile as in cars. Since then, there has been a steady increase in adoption by auto manufacturers who are bringing this tech to the road. Last year, only a few car manufacturers were able to bring Android Auto and/or Apple CarPlay to their vehicles. This year, the list is much longer, and so it will go until not having a connected vehicle will be the exception rather than the rule. Connected vehicles are coming, do not doubt. This is both a blessing ...

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    One of the least talked about things on a smartphone is its audio output. Don't get me wrong, people do talk about it. But compared to camera, battery life, and other considerations, audio output is one of those "nice-to-haves" rather than a necessity. Sure, we love our front-firing speakers, but at the same time, we'll happily accept a rear or bottom firing speaker if the rest of the hardware is up to snuff. We might ding it in the review with a sentence or two, but that's about the extent of it. OEMs have started to push superior audio in some of their smartphones. Deals with companies ...

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    How should we measure engagement? What makes a story popular? Social networks as businesses have a problem. To maximize revenue, you need to keep users engaged with that platform to serve those users advertising. As each social network collects data and trends on individual users, those platforms have a remarkable amount of data on what each participant enjoys. From a financial position, there’s little incentive to serve that individual content which might challenge their preferences. The common wisdom is to feed the user what they enjoy, and that user should stay on the site or in the ...

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    Apple just got done introducing its latest iPhone, the iPhone SE and since we can’t let the rumor mill go silent for even a minute, let’s talk about the iPhone 7, shall we? More specifically, a lot of rumors have been pointing at the possibility of the iPhone 7 having an edge-to-edge bezel-less display. Of course, the actual definition of “bezel-less” is a little on the fuzzy side. Some have said that the bezel-less iPhone will have a curved glass display that will fall off on the edges, not dissimilar to the Galaxy S7 Edge. The primary difference is that the iPhone would not have ...

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    One of the biggest problems in mobile technology today is the battery life of our phones. A much as our technology has increased, idyllic battery life remains an elusive unicorn. Most phones set the bar at 16 hours, which is one day, minus sleep time during which you can charge. But really, isn’t that just an awful goal? If that were the minimum standard for battery, ok, I’ll grant you that. But setting the bar for “good” battery life at a single day should never be the rule. Of course there are phones that boast much more than that. I’ve recently been testing the Blu Energy X ...

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    Now that Build 2016 has come and gone, it’s time for us to think about where Microsoft is in terms of the stuff we care about – mobile. Specifically, Windows 10 Mobile and the smartphones on which it runs. Granted, Build is a developer’s conference; it’s not a consumer show. There was a lot of code talk that made my eyes glaze right over, but Build isn’t for me. It’s for developers, and that’s exactly the most important point to keep in mind. Because, aside from holding some hardware in their hands, the speakers at Build 2016's keynote didn’t really acknowledge Windows 10 ...

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    There’s an old saying that goes, “it’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.” And if that was going to be the crux of my argument, this article would already be over. But the fact remains that you and I have a pretty expensive hobby in smartphones and especially flagships. So, if it’s only worth what someone will pay, then we’re clearly all willing to pay quite a bit. But then these tear-downs come out and we find out just how much it actually costs to build these phones from a physical component perspective. Often the cost is 1/3 of the retail price of these units, ...

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    Regardless of how much technology has advanced, nothing is as comfortable and familiar an input device as the pen and paper. It’s something we’ve been doing since we were kids and it feels so natural, it has never been adequately replaced. Microsoft, Apple, and a virtual cornucopia of other stylus manufacturers have tried to replicate this experience on mobile devices for years. Some have come close, but haven’t crossed that last hurdle. And yet, there remains a strong demand for the ability to write things down but still have them stored digitally for later review. This is the gap ...

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    Audio is a mission critical feature for many smartphone consumers. Listening to music, podcasts, movie and game audio, or simply taking phone calls, good audio hardware can make a huge difference in how you might enjoy those various audio activities. While we're looking to cover the audio hardware in our phones with more in depth testing, it's also important to look at what audio devices you're connecting to your phone. Picking a good pair of ear buds can be almost as important as selecting which phone will drive those ear buds. Headphones are an incredibly personal purchase. What one ...

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    Last week, an item came across our news desk which started the little hamster in my brain a-runnin’. Congresswoman Jackie Speier wants to close the “burner phone loophole” and require cheap, prepaid phones to be registered at the point of sale, which is sure to upset Hollywood scriptwriters throughout the entire city. Essentially, these low-cost, pre-paid cell phones would no longer be anonymous devices to be thrown casually into the trash after mocking local law enforcement. Rather they’d be a CSI: Cyber dream come true as they would all have a name, and presumably Social ...

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    We're getting closer to the official reveal of HTC's next flagship phone. Instead of trying to compete with LG and Samsung at MWC this year, HTC held back to give its newest phone a little space. Whether this strategy helps the company get a little more exposure, we're all anxiously waiting to see what the HTC 10 can deliver which might make it a proper competitor to LG G5s and Galaxy S7s. Here are the top five areas where HTC needs to blow people away to turn around its smartphone story. Audio Let's start with the one feature we're all fairly confident that HTC can deliver. For several ...

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    It wasn’t that long ago that we were making jokes about how small cellphones could get. From Zoolander’s tiny flip phone, to Amy Wong in an early season of Futurama, the mobile tech trends convinced us that future phones would be the size of one of our nostrils. Then smartphones happened As mobile devices began tackling more duties than phone calls and texts, the demands on displays grew. Email drove the design of Blackberrys. Multimedia became the hallmark of the iPhone. Then in 2011, Samsung popularized larger screen phones with the first Galaxy Note. While that fist Note was ...

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    Here at Pocketnow, we talk a lot about the annoying lack of one-handed usability in modern smartphone software design. The Palm Web OS did some really great things with one-handed usability, as did Blackberry, and even Windows Phone 7-8.  None of those operating systems are really around anymore and even Microsoft has lost touch with one-handed usability when they started on Windows 10 Mobile. Android is a mess when it comes to one-handed usability and Apple has just solved the problem by releasing a new iPhone with a smaller screen that your fingers can reach across. The problem is ...

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    If you’re a Windows 10 Mobile fan, you may have received a bit of a shock last week when Microsoft announced the first wave of devices that would be officially getting their Windows 10 Mobile update. Actually, that wasn’t the shocking part. The shocking part was that there wasn’t going to be a second wave. That’s right Microsoft fans, what you see is what you get. There were some notable exceptions left off this list, including the Lumia 1020, the Lumia 920, and the Lumia 930. Interestingly enough, the Lumia Icon, which is basically the Lumia 930 in a bright red Verizon candy shell ...

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    A lot of time, effort, money, and energy goes into phone design. These things are tortured and tested for months before being released to consumers. Yet for all that examination, why do we still face the tyranny of having buttons on BOTH sides of our phones? At this point we're likely already receiving angry comments from people, but aside from the satirical tone of that last sentence, there are a couple reasons why a person might enjoy moving controls to only one side of a device. We've all seen infomercials where people seem to have forgotten how their hands work, but there could be an ...

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