Posts tagged with: Editorial
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    Contrary to what others in the industry (and even others on the Pocketnow team) may say, the Nokia X was a great little phone. It felt durable, performed well, and once you got rid of that custom launcher and put the Play Store and the Google Now launcher on it, it was a neat little piece of hardware that I thoroughly enjoyed using as my daily driver -- albeit for too short a time. Sure, those aren't things that most people will do, but the fact that you could was what made it remarkable. Yes, we all hated the launcher. Yes, we all hated the singular "back" button, too. But the concept -- ...

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    The usefulness and practicality of iPads and other mobile tablets as true productivity tools has provided fuel for many debates. Can an iPad be more than a media consumption device? Can you get real work done with an iPad or Android tablet? Or will iPads and Android-powered tablets forever be relegated to entertainment devices best suited for the couch? Back in March and April, I tried to tackle these seemingly simple questions. Office for iPad had just landed after years of rumors. Frankly, Microsoft knocked it out of the park with its mobile, touch-friendly rendition of its globally used ...

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    When you consider where we were with mobile imaging just five or six years ago, modern smartphone cameras are incredibly impressive – some definitely more than others. In the last two years, several new technologies have been introduced. Optical image stabilization (OIS) has become something we all would love to see in every smartphone, at least until software stabilization is up to snuff. OIS allows the camera to keep the shutter open longer without being susceptible to the natural shakiness of your hand. This, theoretically, should improve low-light imagery on smartphones, though that ...

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    I've used Google Voice since the days when it was Grand Central. It's an amazing product and one that I don't know what I'd do without. For those of you who don't know, Google Voice is an interesting combination of telephone services. First, and foremost, Google Voice is to voicemail what Gmail is to email. When someone calls you, if you don't answer (or if you have a rule set up) they go to voicemail. After they leave a message it's transcribed (sometimes with ridiculous results). From there you can peek at what the message was (or what Google thinks it was), and call them back or send ...

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    July 22 is going to be a very, very big day in Microsoft. Or it'll be more of the same. Satya Nadella's original open letter on July 10 to his employees seemed to suggest a lot of changes being made, requiring almost two weeks to “meet with senior management” to iron out all the details of what exactly is going to happen. Here's the thing about corporations – they tend to not announce that they're meeting with senior management if everything is status quo. So Microsoft may be getting a face lift and what will be left after that face lift is complete has some of us wondering – ...

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    We all have the ability to send text messages to one another, but today the manner in which we do so varies greatly. What methods are available, and what are the benefits of going back to "the oldest in the book"? SMS in its current form was born back in 1985 with the GSM series of standards. Essentially, the SMS standard enabled GSM customers to send messages of up to 160 characters to each other via the wireless network. On this episode of the Pocketnow Power User we'll find out if SMS is still relevant. Why 160 characters? GSM was designed for voice communications, and routing those ...

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    When I first saw the Minuum campaign on Indiegogo, I was sold. I've said for years that the way we type on smartphones doesn't make sense. Gesture (or trace) typing is a logical step forward, as was predictive and context-aware input. But that doesn't answer why we're still using the same keyboard layout which works best for 10-finger typing. Why do our smartphones use the same keyboard layout that was designed over a century ago to prevent typewriters from jamming? Why do we need a keyboard that takes up nearly half of the display when you're typing? Those were the exact questions the ...

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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. Back in September, I went on a nostalgia binge and did a throwback review for one of my favorite mobile devices of all time: the BlackBerry Curve 8330. Looking back, it's crazy to ...

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    A good question came up on Twitter not long ago. It was one that I couldn't rightly answer. What is everyone on the Pocketnow team using as a daily driver these days? So many new phones have come out, allegiances have changed back and forth. Is Michael using a review device or is that personal? No one ever knows any more. So I brought in the team for a little bit of a confab. We put our phones out on the table and talked about them a little bit. We discussed the whats and the whys and even a couple of hows. That's where things got weird. But anyway, some had just one phone; some of us, ...

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    The great debate about the build quality and materials of smartphones may never end. Some smartphone users prefer all metal smartphone construction as seen in the HTC One M8, while others tend to lean towards the more lightweight, resilient plastics found in Samsung or Nokia smartphones. And, believe it or not, some people still prefer a bunch of smartphone components sandwiched between two slabs of hardened glass. The reasons for different materials such as metal, glass, and plastic aren't purely preference, even if that's what it boils down to in the end for most. Manufacturers ...

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    Traveling can be a harrowing experience. Traveling with a child, even more so. Traveling with a child while testing a new device can be a disaster waiting to happen. That's the situation I found myself in this past weekend. Full disclosure – I wasn't traveling very far nor for very long, and I was with my son who my wife and I call “the easy one” and I'm not completely ignorant to the ways of the Surface, so I liked my odds, but still. Since I was traveling a few hundred miles to nearby Indianapolis for a quick two-day excursion, I decided to go all-in with the Surface Pro 3 which ...

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    I was minutes from publishing a speculation article about the rumored Google smartwatch when Google announced its brand new wearables platform, Android Wear. Then Motorola and LG followed suit, announcing the Moto 360 and G Watch, respectively. Minutes from publishing, I had to rewrite the entire article. I changed the angle from a purely speculative piece about all the rumors we'd heard and whether they were credible or not to a piece about how Google and Motorola made me regret my $250 purchase of Pebble Steel. Sure, it was a reactionary, knee-jerk piece, but it was true. The one thing ...

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    Last week, I reviewed Pressy, the button that hijacks the 3.5mm jack on your smartphone and turns it into a button which you can then use to launch apps, send SMS, place calls, and a few other simple tasks. Frankly, I really like the little bugger. It's not exactly the most practical accessory, it's overpriced, and, yes, it takes up the headphone jack, meaning it could potentially become annoying for someone who listens to music often on their smartphone via wired headphones. I don't. I have two sets of Bluetooth headphones and I typically stream music from my iPad or computer. Still, out ...

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    It seems that every time we hear about "augmented reality" (AR) it's from someone who has a new product they're trying to peddle, which usually takes the form of some hideous looking piece of headwear. Recently, however, consumers are turning to smartwatches rather than eyewear. This is evidenced by the number of available apps for Android Wear compared to Google Glass, especially considering the latter has been available for so much longer. That's what one company is banking on: an augmented reality smartwatch. According to most definitions, "augmented reality" is a technology that ...

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    So here’s a fun debate for you. A “chicken and the egg” quandary if you will. Samsung. They make a crap-ton of phones and tablets. It’s kind of what Samsung does. It is the very definition of throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks. It’s sometimes a little scary. If you look at the list of devices Samsung has released over the past three years, it is staggering. Here are a few numbers for you. Since February of 2011, Samsung has release eighty-two Galaxy phones. Let me repeat those two words and advise you of their implications: Galaxy – this list only includes ...

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