Review: Windows Phone 8, a Look at the Competition

HTC Windows Phone 8X

For the past week I’ve been spending a lot of time with the HTC 8X on Verizon. The 8X is considered a signature Windows Phone, sporting a 4.3″ 720×1280 display, a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, NFC, dual band WiFi, LTE, Beats Audio, and an 8 MP 1080p shooter in back with a wide-angle 2.1 MP front camera. In short, Windows Phone has reached parity with Android and iOS in terms of specs.

When I last looked at Windows Phone I argued that while the operating system looks good and is certainly an improvement over Windows Mobile, the lack of apps, disappointing multi-tasking, and poor notification system kept Windows Phone from reaching feature parity with iOS and Android. Since then Android and iOS have propelled smartphone ownership to unprecedented levels while Windows Phone has remained a niche product in terms of market share. Read on to find out how Microsoft has changed Windows Phone for the better, what has stayed the same, and what Microsoft still needs to do to make Windows Phone succeed. (more…)

Instagram is Not at War with Twitter [Opinion]

Instagram’s move to no longer support Twitter cards was not an act of war. More importantly, according to Instagram’s CEO, it was not a move influenced by Instagram’s new owner, Facebook. You can choose to buy into the hype that Instagram is fighting against Twitter so that Facebook will win a numbers war it has already won, or you can consider what Instagram is accomplishing by doing this.

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Likes, Retweets, Double Taps and Smiley Faces: The Economy of Social Networks [Off Topic]

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Lately I have been trying to be more conscious of the reasons behind why I post something on a social network. As I near 19,000 tweets I am keenly aware that I share my thoughts more than most people. I am certainly not anywhere near having the most tweets, but as I have participated in social networks like MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, Path, Instagram, and others over the past few years I have adjusted how much I share and how I share it.

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The Nightmare of Maintaining Your Music Library [Opinion]

Like many in my generation, I started listening to music on CDs. I used to sit in a rocking chair with my “skip free” portable CD player (I can’t remember if it was a Walkman or not) listening to Now 4 or No Doubt. Around the age of 16 or 17 I was given my first iPod: a 30 GB 5th generation iPod Classic (although at that point it wasn’t called “Classic”). I can vividly remember sitting down at my computer and slowly importing dozens of CDs into iTunes and syncing my iPod. I remember when Tri-tone meant that my CD had been imported, not that I had a new message. I began buying music straight from iTunes instead of visiting the then large, now non-existent CD section at my local Best Buy.

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Three Reasons Why the Kindle Fires Should Be Considered Android Tablets [Opinion]

Ever since the original Kindle Fire was released last year there has been some controversy about whether or not to consider Amazon’s tablets to be Android tablets. While Amazon has always admitted that the products run a forked version of Android and Android apps, the Android community was quick to distance themselves from the product despite its record sales. While Amazon likes to talk about Fire apps and doesn’t talk about the version of Android running underneath the Fire interface in any of their official documentation, I believe the Kindle Fire should be considered an Android tablet.

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Understanding the Difference Between AOSP and the Open Handset Alliance [Opinion]

Over the past few years there has been grumbling among some that Google needs to stop calling Android open source. The argument is a simple one: Google can call Android open source as long as it doesn’t place any requirements on its OEMs to use Android. This article will unpack some of the misconceptions about what it means to say that Android is open source and deal with the two major instances where Google has been accused of violating its own principles concerning Android.  (more…)

The State of Android [Opinion]

Back in January of this year I reviewed the state of Android manufacturers up to that point. In January Samsung was the only major Android OEM that was making any money on Android phones. HTC had posted its first quarterly profit decline in two years while Motorola continued its financial decline amidst regulatory approval of Google’s then-proposed, now-approved purchase of the manufacturer. How is the ecosystem doing nine months into the year?

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