Posts tagged with: Editorial
  • 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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  • by | April 11, 2014 6:46 PM

    For those of you who don't know, I'm a smart watch guy. When I saw Pebble on Kickstarter, I knew I had to have one. I backed the project right away. Since then I've been a beta tester for the 2.0 firmware and the new version of the app, I've had to RMA my original watch, and I'm still wearing my Pebble proudly on my wrist. We'd all heard rumblings that Apple and Google were looking into the possibility of releasing their own wearables, and we saw Samsung's Gear line was shown off in the meantime. Then we were all amazed when Google announced Android Wear. Android Wear Android Wear is ...

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  • by | April 11, 2014 12:25 PM

    It's been a busy Q1 in the smartphone industry. We've seen a ton of stellar smartphones announced, and many of those have launched or will launch in the coming weeks. HTC, Samsung, Sony, Nokia, and even underdogs like OnePlus have all brought some compelling smartphones forward to bring us into 2014, and us phone nerds are salivating all over our keyboards. We've reviewed the HTC One M8 and had hands-on time with most the other announced handsets. But which is the best of the best so far this year? I, personally, provided a pretty in-depth rundown of the HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S 5, and ...

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  • by | April 10, 2014 7:20 AM

    Remember back in February of 2013 when I dropped my Nexus 4 and shattered its screen? That was the first phone that I'd ever broken. Up until that time I'd always thought my friends and family must have been particularly clumsy or simply didn't take care of their devices. While that may be true of some of them (you know who you are!), it's certainly not descriptive of all of them! Inevitably, everyone will break a phone. It's going to happen. What happens next, however, is an entirely different story depending on who made the phone. Broken Phones Let me preface this next bit with my ...

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  • by | April 10, 2014 7:00 AM

    There was an interesting question that came up recently and I wanted to take a moment to examine the topic. I’m as big a fan of Nokia as the next guy. Heck, my last feature phones before graduating up to smart phones were Nokia. So I’m not a Nokia hater by any means. But the question did give me pause: Does Microsoft need Nokia? This is a multi-faceted question, as are most good questions. There’s the hardware side, the software side, and as they love to say in the dugout of a baseball game, “the intangibles.” Microsoft has not been shy about recruiting new and exciting OEM’s ...

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  • by | April 7, 2014 7:20 AM

    Back in the early "two point something" versions of Android, most smartphones came with microsd card slots. Sure, cards were a lot smaller back then -- around 8GB or so. This was enough for us to store some music on, and even to install apps onto. We really needed that space, too. Smartphones themselves didn't include all that much on-board storage -- the Nexus One only included 4GB, and much of that was occupied by the operating system and core apps. Since then, our phones have gotten faster and have at least doubled their internal storage.  Modern flagships contain 16GB, 32GB, or even ...

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