Posts tagged with: Weekend Debate
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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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    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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    The news has dropped, the review is out, so let’s take a long hard look at this smartphone that HTC is calling its flagship and find out if HTC hit a home run, or a lazy fly to the shortstop. On the one hand, the HTC One M9 does bring some new specifications in the same gorgeous package as its predecessors. Without a doubt, the Snapdragon 810 processor is a step up over the One M8’s Snapdragon 801. Add to that Android Lollipop, an extra gig of RAM and a bigger battery and this is a decent spec bump over its predecessor. Smarter smartphones HTC is also trying to get smarter about its ...

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    Last weekend on the debate, we examined the price of the Apple Watch. The cheapest Apple watch came in at 33% greater than the most expensive competition, the Pebble Time Steel. Whether or not the price is too high isn’t the question this week. What we’re going to examine this week is whether or not the Apple Watch price will help or hinder the platform in general. After that, I promise we won't talk about money. Here’s the part where I say that pricing for all of these devices varies by region, so we’re going to concentrate of US pricing for the sake of consistency. Consider for a ...

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    It wasn’t really a surprise. I mean, Tim Cook announced pricing on the Apple Watch months ago. Maybe we were all just hoping for a “Gotcha!” after he said it. Maybe we’d hoped he’d just seen the light. But sure enough, during the Apple Watch event, we got reminded of the price of the Apple Watch. It came in at just a hair over half the price of an iPhone. But the thing is, that’s where the price starts. $349 is for the very base model. The Apple Watch comes in a variety of styles that goes all the way up to seventeen-holy-crap-thousand-yes-I-said-thousand dollars. For ...

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    MWC has come and gone and we saw a number of really great products coming out of Barcelona. A couple of those products really broke the mold when it comes to “traditional products.” Those products were, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and the HTC Vive. Neither of these products are necessarily “new”, per se. Both are iterations of recent innovations. The Note Edge came out last fall. The S6 Edge builds on that theme. It is similar at least so there’s not a whole lot of new ground being broken here. But, it is still relatively new territory. Similarly the HTC Vive isn’t all that new ...

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    I love weird phones. This isn’t really a secret. I’ve had a parade of weird phones march across my desk for the past eight months. Now, the Galaxy S6 Edge is official. Another weird phone has come to the masses! The phones themselves were shaped weird, worked in a weird way, or were just weird to use (by societal standards). I’ve become something of a weird aficionado. I love weird phones. But here’s the thing. The very fact that they’re weird begs the question – why make weird phones? From a strictly bottom line standpoint, weird phones are money suckers. They take a ton of ...

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    MWC is the largest mobile electronics show of the season. From around the globe vendors, OEMs, and carriers unite in Barcelona for a week filled with toys and gadgets that make sites like these downright giddy with excitement. It’s like Christmas and Opening Day rolled into one. There’s hope and anticipation hanging in the air. And right in the middle of it, two Android powerhouses square off and deliver an epic one-two punch to the mobile industry. Samsung stands unrivaled in market share around the world, but has found that stranglehold slipping of late. HTC is the plucky upstart – ...

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    Microsoft introduced its brand new developer preview of Windows 10 to the eager masses last week. Well, it delivered it to some of the eager masses last week. To the rest of the eager masses, there was a giant shoulder shrug emanating out of Redmond. So it made us wonder – what is with Microsoft and its failure to smoothly launch Windows software? Some have argued that Microsoft’s Windows 10 Preview launch is not going all that well, so far. Stephen Schenck wondered this aloud on his latest “Dial ‘F’ for Fail” segment of the latest Pocketnow Weekly. He laid out some excellent ...

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    Once a few years ago, my wife and I were sitting on the couch, and a commercial came on. In it were a few scenarios where a user would activate Siri and do…whatever. When the commercial was over, my wife turned to me and said, “That makes me want to get an iPhone.” More recently, Google has been running a series of “OK, Google” commercials in which people are asking Google to do various things, or look things up. On the Windows Phone side of things, Joe Belfiore has an unabashed love affair going on with Cortana. So it made me wonder, are digital assistants really the way to sell ...

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    App developers have an important question to ask themselves. That question is simply – for whom do I develop? The answer is not necessarily all that simple. The evidence seems to suggest that you need to develop for iOS first, Android second, and Windows Phone if you have the resources. But is it that cut and dried? I’m not so sure. Let’s take a look at some strategies here and see where we all end up. iOS flavors iOS is not necessarily the easy answer. Why? Well, because you have two very distinct screen sizes to work with – iPhone and iPad. Lately, you even have two sizes of ...

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    This past week, we got to see a bit of what Microsoft was planning for Windows Phone. Microsoft even checked off a few items on our wish list, which we appreciated. One other little nugget that Microsoft dropped on us was that new flagship hardware was coming.  There were few real details about from whom, or when. It was just an “oh by the way” on the way out the door. Perhaps we will see Microsoft focus on flagships for a while. This is great news! One of the reasons tech people (myself included) have been walking away from the platform is because of that very lack of high-end ...

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    A lot needs to go into smartphone design. It frankly takes a lot of design and brainpower to pack all the stuff into a super slim case and still make it beautiful. So when some features like selfie flashes start to become a thing, phone OEMs start needing to make some calls. Of course, selfie flashes are the meat of this article because of Lenovo’s recent CES offering – the Vibe Extension selfie flash. This battery-operated accessory is small, fits in your pocket, and plugs into the headphone jack on your phone. It’s a great solution to a problem many phones have – no flash on the ...

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    Last week at CES, we got some exciting news. Palm is coming back, and this time, it means war! Ok, that’s not the exact message that was being broadcast, but still Palm is coming back. Who, you might wonder, is the patron of our beloved lost OEM? TCL Communications, a Chinese OEM who also holds Alcatel Onetouch, that’s who. Palm, it seems will be the high-end hardware to compliment the mid to low-end phones brought to you by Alcatel Onetouch. So this is great news right? Palm is back! Well… Expectations First of all, if you’re expecting webOS, stop it – it’s not happening. TCL ...

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    There has been a lot of talk of late about phones that can have different operating systems on them. In most cases, these different operating systems are put on by the manufacturer and purchased as a Windows Phone, or an Android Phone, or in some, extremely rare cases, a Firefix Phone. But that has naturally brought up the idea of a user running multiple platforms on a single device. To clarify, this debate is not about whether an OEM should build a phone that could support multiple OS’s, much like some editorials have suggested of HTC. That just makes business sense. If you can have the ...

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    One phenomenon that I’ve taken a lot of interest in recently is the concept of the in-app purchase, specifically as it refers to gaming. I’m no stranger to the concept of the in-app purchase. Many games will allow you to play for a certain amount of time and then ask you to purchase the “full version” or purchase the next level, etc. But recently, these in app purchases have taken a twist, and I’m honestly not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. That’s where this week’s debate comes in. For the record, I’m not referring to permanent purchases. In-app purchases that ...

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    To give us something to think about over the upcoming holidays and extra days off, we’re going to look at a little more of a complicated issue. It’s complicated because this is not a binary issue – it’s not a 1/0, yes/no type of situation. It, like it’s subject matter, is more in depth than that, so let’s just give it a go. We’re talking about simultasking. First, it’s important to make the distinction between multi-tasking and simultasking. Multi tasking is doing a lot of tasks, one at a time, and switching between tasks quickly. Simultasking is actually doing two (or ...

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    When it comes to announcing products, updates, or really just about anything, there are two schools of thought. Some argue to strike while the iron is hot, while others say it’s best to build anticipation. There are good arguments for either side of this philosophy, so let’s take a look at what time is the best time for announcements. Get it over with On the one hand, Apple is famous for making announcements and pushing it out the door, often on the same day, or within 10 days at most. Software typically follows the former model while hardware follows the latter. iOS goes out the door ...

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    “This town ain’t big enough for the both of us.” So the saying goes, and I have to wonder if we have reached a level of saturation to the point of being redundant. What I’m referring to are phablets and tablets. Specifically, the extremely slight difference between them when it comes to screen size, power etc. Phones are getting bigger and bigger. Tablets are getting smaller. There are actually phones and tablets that are roughly the same size as each other. The Amazon Kindle now comes in a six inch variant much like the Lumia 1520, or the device I recently played with, the Alcatel ...

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    Not too long ago, Nokia found itself on a burning platform. At least, that’s what Stephen Elop said. To fight the fire, Nokia had to go all in, or double down if you will, on a platform that gave it the best chance of survival. Mr. Elop then put on his night cap, and slipped in between the sheets and started spooning Microsoft. Microsoft then became Nokia’s daddy, and the rest is history. Except some Nokia employees were not satisfied with that arrangement. MeeGo, Nokia’s own operating system had a special place in their hearts. The fact that Stephen Elop ceased all development on ...

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    The mobile industry is not exactly known for the longevity of its design elements. After all, new developments and innovations are popping up all the time, making things bigger, faster, smaller, thinner, or whatever happens to be desired by that particular element. Then there’s the home button on iPhones. This represents quite possibly the oldest, most persistent design element in mobile. It’s the grandfather of smartphone controls. While others have tried physical buttons, capacitive buttons, soft keys, you name it, the home button persists. I have to wonder if maybe it’s time to ...

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    Last week, Stephen Schenck’s “Dial F for Fail” segment was an argument against subscription payment systems. A lot of what I write in this article will rehash his comments during that segment, and on the back half will be my rebuttal to that stance. That’s not normally how this column works, but it is this week, so buckle in. #TeamSchenck Stephen made his argument while discussing YouTube’s new music streaming service, YouTube Music Key. This music streaming service allows you to remove ads from YouTube videos, download them for offline viewing, etc for about eight dollars per ...

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    Pebble is one of the founding fathers of the smartwatch world. Virtually any conversation about the industry has to include Pebble in one way or another. Pebble was first to the scene and best to the scene, and both by a wide margin over its nearest competitor. But today, Pebble’s OS and hardware are starting to look very…dated. It’s not Pebble’s fault. It’s just that the features upon which Pebble can hang its hat are becoming more and more scarce. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Indeed that’s where Pebble found itself just a couple of years ago. Android ...

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    Some rumors recently suggested that Apple was planning 12.(something) inch iPad Pro. This would put this iPad directly in line to compete against the Surface, which is a role reversal of sorts and that makes me smile a little bit. Other rumors suggest that the iPad Pro would actually replace the iPad mini in Apple’s lineup as “the second iPad”. Now this rumor was interesting for a few different reasons. But it got me to thinking – is that such a good idea? It’s true the iPad mini has never sold as well as the iPad. The first generation iPad mini didn’t have a retina screen, so ...

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    Normally, on the Weekend Debate, we look at two sides on an issue – is the Nexus 6 price too high or too low or what should the primary function of a smartwatch be? This week, we’re going to take a look at two potential solutions to the same problem. The traditional way just isn't working all that well. The Problem You’ve been there. A kid’s recital, a concert, or some other public display is on and suddenly everyone whips out their cell phones and clamors as close as possible (and probably in your way) to get the best shot. Which is fine except they’re in your way and they’re ...

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