Posts tagged with: Editorial
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    Over the years since smartphones became a "thing", specifications have been on a continual march upward. Processors have gotten faster (from megahertz in the hundreds to gigahertz in the plural), they've also added cores (with quad- and even octa-cores being commonplace). RAM has increased from a few dozen MB to a few GB. Storage has increased. Data speeds are through the roof! One area that hasn't seen much improvement over the years is battery capacity. Though battery capacities may still be lagging, OEMs are doing the next best thing: decreasing our charge times. I'm Joe Levi with ...

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    When Google showed off its vision for Material Design at Google I/O last year, it was a refreshing UI overhaul, the biggest change to the core aesthetics of Android since 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. With its vision, Google promised a refreshing new way of looking at the user experience. Dynamic and vibrant, with its bold use of colors and seamless transition animations, Android would finally be “beautiful and delightful”. Now, a few months down the road, Android Lollipop has been released, and with it came Material Design. It was new, it was refreshing, with its pretty animations and its ...

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    HTC can never seem to catch a break when it comes to the cameras in their smartphones. They’ve tried large pixels, they’ve tried many pixels, they’ve tried the strange dual sensor setup from the One M8… If nothing else, you have to give them participation points. But no matter what HTC does, the end result is always the same: subpar performance that falls short of the competition. A lot of people, myself included, have learned to accept that fact, and continue to buy HTC phones anyway for their outstanding build quality, BoomSound speakers, and so on. But if you look around at the ...

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    The iPad is easily the most popular tablet series on the market. I have an iPad mini with Retina display, and there’s a good chance you probably have an iPad too. It’s not hard to imagine why; just like the iPhone, the iPad is elegant, beautifully designed, and dead simple to use. The app ecosystem is best in class, and there’s a ton of third party accessories, from cases to keyboards to docks and so much more. A lot of this is thanks to Apple’s huge status in the industry. Of course there are accessories, of course there are apps. Who wouldn’t want to get in on the best-selling ...

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    After spending some time in Singapore with the Oppo N3 a few months ago, I won't deny that I was really interested in taking the device for a spin. Smartphone designs have become dull lately, with predictable camera setups and the usual controls. For that reason alone, it's hard for our inner geek to not be excited about something as unique as the motorized camera on Oppo's N3, where you no longer have to compromise a selfie to a less-powerful camera, or a panorama to a pair of shaky hands. After spending nearly a month the the Oppo N3 and its camera, here are some thoughts about its ...

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    I’m not a fan of cases. This is a pretty well documented fact. Putting a case on a phone is a waste of millions of R&D dollars. Sure you’re protecting your investment, but a phone is not an investment – at least not the kind of investment that you can expect a return from. All things being equal, a phone shouldn’t have to be all that protected. It’s meant to be in your pocket or in your hand. Butter fingers aside, those should be relatively damage free environments. Watches on the other hand are a different matter. Those devices are meant to be strapped onto the outside of ...

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    Up until recently I was very much of the opinion that HTC made beautiful phones and Samsung - to put it mildly - didn't. With the release of the Galaxy S6, that opinion is shifting. Sure, HTC still makes beautiful hardware (both aesthetically and functionally), but when we're talking about Android, Samsung is the uncontested leader, leaving all other OEMs to fight for light in its ever-expanding shadow. How can HTC escape? Copycat First we've got to admit that Samsung is a copycat. Apple is the leader in mobile design. Yes, I know, I'm "Joe the Android Guy", but even I can see that much is ...

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    The 2015 international auto show is going on this month in New York City and we took a look at a good number of the in-car computer set ups. Many were not fully functional and some of the booth staff members didn't want to give us full demonstrations, but we got a pretty good idea of how many of them worked. First of all, the graphic interface designs, functions, and controls are vastly different on all of them. Even different cars by the same manufacturers have different in-car computers. It's an awful mess... almost like what smartphones were like in the last decade. Remember how many ...

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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. Looking back, it's crazy to see how far the industry has come in less than a decade – from phones that (barely) handled email to pocket-sized computers that a increasingly ...

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    Flagships are a way for OEMs to show off their latest and greatest technologies and prove,once and for all, they are king of the hill - for a little while anyway. Today HTC has the One M9 and Samsung has the Galaxy S6. Both are powerhouses in their own right, but the LG G4 could eclipse each of them. Looking at the specifications, the three top-tier phones all seem to be pretty closely matched. HTC and Samsung opt for 4 x 4 processor configurations with the LG G4 employing a six-core solution. RAM is the same across the board. LG and Samsung have screens with the same resolution, but LG ...

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    Back in September, Tim Cook had something special to show off. The Apple Watch, featuring Apple Pay, a whole new app launcher, and the special “Imma watch you die” heartbeat sensor. It was small, it lasted a whole day, and it was coming…soon. Then, in October, “Wow! There it is again!” It’s small, it comes in a crap load of options and styles, and you can still watch your loved ones die. And it’s coming…soon. After that, there was a whole lotta nothing, presumably because they were ramping up the ol’ factories to get these babies going. Finally, in March we saw a whole ...

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    In life, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Similarly, despite the app stores being full of them, there's no such thing as a "free app", either. To explain what I mean, let's define some terms and some roles. "Free", in this sense, means "without cost or payment". Basically, if you don't have to open your wallet and fork over any hard-earned cash, it's "free" to you. However, that doesn't mean that it's "free", meaning unimpeded.  The first role is probably the one that you, dear reader, most closely align with yourself: a user. The second role likely applies to a smaller subset of ...

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    HTC makes great flagship phones, the most recent of which is the One M9... or is it? Not long after the One M9 was released, we learned of the One M9 Plus. One the surface, there aren't a lot of differences. The "Plus" has a round camera compared to the "One's" rounded square, but the Plus has a fingerprint scanning "button" (that isn't really a button at all). Inside, however, is a different story. Screen As you might have inferred from the name, the One M9+ has a larger screen. Measured diagonally it's 5.2-inches, compared to the One M9's 5.0-inch display. In other devices, increasing ...

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    Back in February we took a look at the first preview release of Windows 10 for phones and deemed it to be quite a mess.  Mostly we had to forgive Microsoft for the awful design, inconsistencies, usability problems, and lack of features because it was an early preview release and they're still working on it.  Well, if you thought that was bad, wait until you see the latest version that was just released on April 10th!  (You can read about the known issues in Microsoft's blog.) Again, it's a preview release so we have to give some forgiveness for the unfinished state still, but things are ...

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    Apple has a funny history of being incredibly strict when it comes to design and options. Two years ago the iPhone 5c came in its fun candy shell, featured five different colors. This was a great leap forward in the evolution of Apple design. Before the iPhone 5c, the iPhone pretty much came in black or white, or occasionally (and horribly) gold. So if you were looking to accessorize after Labor Day, you better hope you have the black one. But now, the iPhone 5c seems to have opened the floodgates as it were because now with the Apple Watch, the sky is the limit when it comes to choices. ...

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    I never thought that I would actually say that. Innovation in the realm of USB cables doesn't really seem possible. Sure, around the turn of the century there were some retractable Micro USB cables that had nice spring-loaded cylinders that would automatically wrap up the wire for easy storing. That was pretty nice.  But look at what Plantronics did for their just-released Explorer 500 Bluetooth headset!  Sure the Bluetooth headset is pretty nice. It's got HD voice, multilingual English, French or Spanish notifications, smartphone speech interface access, and noise/wind cancellation ...

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    Today is the big day! Apple Watch is finally available - sort of. Apple's website is open for pre-orders, but the soonest you can hope to see your shiny, new smartwatch will be four to six weeks from now. Most options will ship in June, but we're already seeing some dates in July pop up. In the meantime, Motorola's Moto 360 is now available on Amazon for as little as US$179 with Prime shipping. Sure, that doesn't mean a thing for every Apple user in the world - Android Wear isn't compatible with iOS (or the other way around, depending on your perspective). However, that could be ...

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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. Looking back, it's crazy to see how far the industry has come in less than a decade – from phones that (barely) handled email to pocket-sized computers that a increasingly ...

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    A lot goes into choosing the right smartphone. In fact, a helluvalot goes into it. There are a ton of things to consider. Specs, look and feel, fluidity, operating system all come into play when we set our brains to churning about what phone to buy. But we at Pocketnow wanted to know, what’s the most important aspect of a smartphone. The number one item on your list that makes you say, “I ain’t buying this thing if it doesn’t have X”? The guts Cores and GPUs and gigahertzes, and all that jazz. What gets you going is having the best of the best of the best, even if your phone ...

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    Back in my college days I was a die-hard Microsoft OneNote user. I had a folder for each course I was taking and every lecture got its own notepad, complete with tabs, pictures, and handwritten as well as typewritten notes. The advantage of OneNote, in addition to a single location for everything with the freedom of free-form text, is its universal indexability. Put another way, virtually everything in a OneNote collection is indexed and searchable - including handwriting and text inside images. OneNote was introduced when smartphones were in their infancy and we rarely considered snapping ...

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    Lately I've seen a few articles from other tech writers championing some of the latest new mobile email programs for their innovative takes on improving the email experience on the small screen. Mobile apps are generally less capable than their desktop counterparts and email programs have always been far more feature rich and capable on the desktop computers. Even the most basic web-browser-based email services are often far more useful on desktop web browsers than within mobile phone apps. I've been using Microsoft Outlook as my preferred email program since the late 1990's. Outlook 98 ...

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    You've read the headlines and heard the rhetoric: 97% of mobile malware is on Android, Android malware threat rears its head again, Android malware spies on you even after phone is shut down, and more. Based on those headlines, you'd think that Android is a cesspool of filth and simply having a phone powered by the OS opens you to a host of problems - problems that might be solved by switching to another platform from another company. Unfortunately, the headlines are fantastical, and the "problem" with Android malware doesn't really exist - and never has. "But Joe, Google says it just cut ...

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    Much like the Pocketnow Weekly, of which Michael Fisher likes to brag that they have “never missed a week” so too can the Weekend Debate claim this similar, although far shorter claim. So it’s Easter Sunday (for some) and here the Weekend Debate carries on! This weekend, the Weekend Debate is taking on a slightly different tone. Normally, I write in and provide both sides of an issue and let you debate in the comments which is the correct side. Not so much this weekend. Because to my eyes, something really bad has happened to a great concept, and I just cannot fathom why. So I’m ...

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    It all started in Palo Alto, California back in 2003 - a little company named Android, Inc. was founded by Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears, and Chris White. The purpose of the venture was to create "smarter mobile devices that are more aware of its owner's location and preferences", and was originally aimed at digital cameras. That market proved not to be large enough, so the focus shifted to smartphones that could compete against Microsoft's and Symbian's offerings. Google acquired Android, Inc. in 2005 and speculation began to swirl that the search engine and email giant was ...

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    When Android-powered smart watches first arrived we had a mostly square product from LG and a mostly round watch from Motorola. Both had pros and cons, but ultimately it was the Moto 360 that earned its spot on my wrist. Now, the second generation of the wearable is rumored to be just around the corner. What do we want to see in the next generation? Here's our wishlist for new new Moto 360. ___________________________________________________________________________ Adam Doud Senior Editor "Reconnect Faster" The Moto 360 seems to have trouble making and keeping a connection to the phone if ...

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