Posts tagged with: Editorial
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    As efforts like After The Buzz, the Pocketnow U-Review, and Empty Nest demonstrate, we’re constantly searching for fresh ways to review mobile technology. The newest product of those efforts is Pocketnow’s “Review Rebuttal” series, in which a member of our team is assigned to test a smartphone or tablet that’s already gone through our standard review process. While the resulting video or editorial doesn’t affect the “official” Pocketnow review score, we hope it provides added context by showcasing an editor’s personal opinion, rather than a team-wide consensus. We call it ...

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    The cloud-based note-taking app Evernote has been a staple of my mobile life since 2008. I've used it on six different mobile platforms and hundreds of devices ranging from desktop computers to smartphones to wearables. Evernote has been an indispensable component of my work and personal lives, a crucial sidekick for scheduling everything from editorials to theatre rehearsals. And for the first time in seven years, I'm seriously considering a switch. My problem with Evernote isn't its awkward UI, its feature bloat, or its bizarre transition to a backpack-selling "lifestyle brand." ...

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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 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. Looking back, it's crazy to see how far the industry has come over the years – from phones that (barely) handled email to pocket-sized computers that an increasingly awesome for ...

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    The topic of cases is always somewhat of a polarizing one among smartphone users. Whether or not they're necessary, or if they even help protect your phone (spoiler: they do). The vast majority of people are happy to put a case on their phone, because they'd rather have the piece of mind that their expensive purchase is protected in some way, than have to deal with a shattered screen or scuffed up chassis later. Other people, myself included, tend to shy away from cases, usually citing a reluctance to cover the finely crafted design of their smartphone (or using the silly argument "I ...

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    The Moto X is one of the most universally liked smartphones in the tech space. It's affordable, the software is close to stock with some compelling added features, and it's the most customizable phone money can buy (at least, until Project Ara hits the market). You can choose your own backing and accent colors, add a message to the boot screen, engrave your name or favorite phrase onto the back, and even train it to answer to your own voice or launch phrase. All of this makes the Moto X feel tailor-made just for you, but it makes you wonder ... would the Moto X still receive all of its ...

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    When looking at smartphones and tablets, we often obsess over cores and gigs and screen sizes. While all those are important to weigh when evaluating a device, the component we see the most - that we interact with the most - is the screen. When talking about computers in days gone by, the fight was between LCD (liquid crystal display) and CRT (cathode ray tube) - with CRT eventually becoming all but a footnote in the annals of history. Today, the battle is between LCD and LED (light emitting diode) - more specifically between IPS and AMOLED. IPS LCD IPS (in-plane switching) was ...

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    The Pebble Time is a really nice smartwatch. It’s so nice in fact that I haven’t stopped wearing it since I got it. I have a Moto360 at home waiting patiently, but right now the Pebble Time is doing a very good job doing what I need it to do. But more than that, I’m enjoying a very personalized Pebble Time experience. This isn’t to say that I can’t have that kind of experience on Android Wear – that’s not what this article is about. What we are talking about here is how to get the most out of your Pebble Time and really make the experience yours. Faces of fun The watch face ...

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    Nearly everybody uses cloud services these days, to some varying degree. It's almost unavoidable at this point; the moment you set up an Android phone, it prompts you to create a Gmail account in order to download apps, then proceeds to automatically back up your contacts and other information to the cloud. The same goes for Apple's iCloud service, and Microsoft's OneDrive as well. At any given moment, your phone could even be uploading your photos to the cloud, if you have such a feature enabled on your phone. Even if you try your best to avoid it, it's likely that you have some ...

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    Updated 3:55pm ET to include statement from AT&T. A couple years ago, my younger, whipper-snappier self put a question to the masses: why were we still using traditional SMS text messaging? Given alternatives like Google Voice, iMessage, WhatsApp and the like, SMS seemed positively archaic with its 160-character limit and lack of rich messaging functions. Worse yet, wireless carriers were charging a lot for the privilege of using this outdated system, demanding upwards of $20 per month for unlimited access to a resource that cost them essentially nothing to provide. Flash forward to ...

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    No, I'm not talking about their sound. I mean, sure, developers can definitely help relating voice assistants' with the average user by fine-tuning their voices to sound like people and not cyborgs. I think, though, that they should retain some robotic quality so that users clearly know what they're interacting with as opposed to who. How Google Now, Siri, Cortana, or any other voice service interacts with you is more important. Important to you, the person who wants data from the internet. It's most important to the companies behind the services which gain income off of you via data ...

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    Audio quality is becoming more and more important in smartphones these days. Whether it's out loud or through headphones, a lot of consumers want to hear their music in a high quality format. They want to watch their movies with 5.1 surround sound. Some Android OEMs have recently begun putting emphasis on quality audio. HTC famously has its BoomSound speakers, which popularized the widespread use of front-firing speakers in modern smartphones. Other companies like ZTE with its Axon phone have placed focus on high-fidelity audio via built-in DACs (that's digital-to-analog converters). ...

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    If you're Fitbit, Jawbone or Nike, then you know how to make a dedicated fitness tracker. If you know about Global Positioning Systems like Garmin and TomTom, you probably also have a good crack at crafting one. So, would HTC with its partner Under Armour — both well respected technology and fitness names respectively — be able to make a wearable to stand out from the crowd? Probably. All it takes is precision sensor technology, life-resistant hardware and software that's easy to use and can tell a meaningful story. But at this point for the partnership and in the state of personal ...

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    None of us "like" out-of-date things. Updates to apps and operating systems bring us new features, improved functionality, better user interfaces, and (most importantly) bug fixes. We all hate bugs, but bugs vary in severity from mildly frustrating to zero-day security holes that can be exploited to do all kinds of nasty stuff. Depending on their type and scope, patches and updates aren't things that arrive on our smartphones and tablets all that easily. Each bringing its own set of challenges and frustrations. Apps Applications get updated with whatever frequency their developers deem ...

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    Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 is one of the most controversial pieces of silicon in recent memory. The OnePlus Two is the imminent sequel to one of the best-reviewed smartphones of the past few years. And very soon the two will come together to produce one of the most anticipated products in mobile. Then it's going to get trashed in the press, because it "overheats." And then I'm going to roll my eyes so hard they get stuck. To be fair to the very smart folks who've written very smart articles on the subject, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 definitely isn't the best system-on-a-chip the company ...

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    Fast charging is everywhere. It's called out on the box of every phone it's implemented in. It's advertised online. It takes form in multiple variants. But does it really help drive sales? We've seen fast charging take many identities. Qualcomm's Quick Charge, Oppo's VOOC, Samsung's Adaptive Fast Charge... Our own Joe Levi already took a look at the different fast charging options a few months ago, and his tests indicated a clear benefit to having the feature. As the name implies, with "fast charging," your phone is able to take in more current at a time and, in turn, it charges ...

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    They say that insanity, by definition, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Dictionary.com defines stagnancy as a “lack of development, advancement, or progressive movement.” But do these words define HTC? I like to think not, but a lot of people would argue otherwise, and while I may not agree with it, it isn’t hard to see where they’re coming from. HTC is hurting right now, and a lot of that has to do with its product lineup. Over the past few years, HTC has seen reasonable success with its One smartphone series, but it always falls behind the ...

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    The original title of this post included the words "kill it with fire." I don't think we should be taking the flaming pitchforks to anything OnePlus is doing here, including what the OnePlus Two has in store for us. And it has a lot in store for us. But as we've discussed many times before on the Pocketnow Weekly (with major credit to a certain modder), the concept of passing out invites for prospective customers to get in line for your new product is smart and sound. From covering up inventory shortages to shrouding the mystery product with hype, there are some pretty good pros going on ...

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    It's tough to get excited about tablets nowadays. With the rise of ever-more-capable large format smartphones like the Galaxy Note 4 and Google Nexus 6, the "large" screens of tablets are no longer as alluring – and their higher price tags not quite as easy to justify. To really stand out, a modern tablet needs an element of novelty (like the innovative Sailfish OS on the Jolla Tablet), a rare hardware feature (like the water-resistance of Sony's Xperia line) or a compelling productivity enhancement (like the S Pen stylus on Samsung's larger Galaxy Note tablets). The Galaxy Tab S2, ...

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    Back when Google first introduced its Play Music All Access service, with unlimited "radio stations", I signed up, eager to try it out. After taxes the service cost me US$8.51/month - the same as my Netflix subscription. I quickly found that I didn't listen to music as much as I thought I did, and cancelled the service, pocketing the money to spend on other things. Friends and co-workers swore by various streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, Songr, Rdio, SoundCloud, and others, but I didn't like gobbling up my data to play my music (even though T-Mobile later made all that free). ...

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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 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. Looking back, it's crazy to see how far the industry has come over the years – from phones that (barely) handled email to pocket-sized computers that an increasingly awesome for ...

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    Across these United States we use an Emergency Services System that we refer to simply as "9-1-1". Those are the digits that you press on any phone when you need to save a life, stop a crime, or report a fire. For all other purposes, callers should contact non-emergency services - at least that's the message from the Utah Department of Public Safety. Unfortunately, that leaves a lot out. For example, the other day while driving to our property to check on the construction progress of our new house I noticed a semi in front of me cutting cars off and weaving in his lane. As I fell in behind ...

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    If reports are to be believed it seems like BlackBerry may soon opt for the Android OS to power its devices. While the BlackBerry OS is not a terrible one in and of itself, the lack of developer support and the ever widening app gap mean that they might have to embrace the more popular platform in order to stay alive and relevant in this cutthroat smartphone landscape. However, there’s a difference between  jumping on a bandwagon and doing it right. It would be awfully simple to go for a stock version of android with some added software, and a lot of Android enthusiasts would be happy ...

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    We have smart phones. We have smart cars. Some of us even have smart homes - but the smart homes of yesterday usually have to be professionally wired and programmed. Thanks to modern technology, the capabilities of smart homes are changing, and the interoperability of devices with each other, and controllability from our smartphones and tablets is finally within reach of the average person. Unfortunately, all these different components that go into a smart home are fairly disconnected from each other. We rely on services like IF (formerly IFTTT) and apps like Tasker to build recipes and ...

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    Anyone accusing modern smartphones of being dull probably needs his eyes examined. With phones like the extravagant Galaxy S6 edge, the curvaceous LG G4 and the precision-machined HTC One M9 on store shelves, we seem in the midst of a golden age of Android smartphone design. But here's the thing: all of those are mainstream smartphones. Big-name manufacturers on big-deal wireless carriers, covered to death by big-time publications. You see these phones on the street, on the bus, and dangling from your friends' pockets and purses. They're great, sure, but they're so damn commonplace. ...

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    The movie Terminator Genisys is in theaters now, and is warning us away from computers that think for themselves (remember, Genisys is Skynet!). No, Pocketnow didn't turn into a movie reviews website while you weren't looking, but the movie does draw some parallels with the topic, so we'll run with it. Just in case you didn't know (SPOILER ALERT!), in the Terminator stories, Skynet becomes self-aware and all but destroys humanity. The way it does this is through a computer technology called "machine learning", and Google has just deployed it to fight spam in your inbox. Machine learning ...

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