HTC, You Win – I Can’t Stop Using BlinkFeed

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As painful as it is for me to admit this publicly, I feel it’s only right that I do. My name is Kellen, and I’m a BlinkFeed user.

When HTC announced the One back in February, I was one of the quickest to write off BlinkFeed as another marketing gimmick and option that no real tech user would ever touch. I called it “terrible” (twice). Sure, it was perfect for the average user who loves Facebook, but for people like me, it didn’t stand a chance. It was a Flipboard copy, remember? It was even promoted with this super creepy, stalker-friendly ad. Well, after going through my second unlocked One, and making it my daily driver, I’ve found myself using the damn service more than I had ever expected to. In fact, I’m loving every second of it. Ugh.  (more…)

Why the Unlocked U.S. Version of the HTC One is My New Phone [Opinion]

News flash! Even tech bloggers don’t get to keep devices that are sent to them for review purposes. No sir, we have to pick and choose our personal devices with care just like each and every one of you. Sure, we get to put our grubby little paws all over the newest tech before the general public, but that doesn’t mean those devices hang around for more than a couple of weeks. Once our reviews are done, we tend to ship them back to PR departments before going back to whatever phone we have chosen to be our daily driver. After some time spent with both the new HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4, I have made a decision on what that new daily driver should be. 

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The Potential in Smartwatches [Opinion]

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When I first saw the Pebble I was honestly amazed. As the amazement wore off and the waiting settled in, I daydreamed about receiving notifications and being able to control my music from my wrist. Then, I received my Pebble and reality took over.

Now that I’ve had the Pebble for a week I’ve resorted to turning off the Bluetooth and using the watch to tell time and play Snake. Was it worth $150 for that? Not really, but I do love being able to shake my wrist to activate the backlight. Even though I’m generally disappointed with the Pebble, having it has made me think more about what a smartwatch should do and whether or not it’s a product that has the potential to change the way we interact with the world around us in a meaningful way.  (more…)

Initial Thoughts on Facebook Home and the HTC First #2

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As you have already seen, today’s coverage mostly focused around the announcement of Facebook’s Home launcher for Android and their partnership with both AT&T and HTC to create the HTC First. This size of an investment in the mobile space is what Facebook has been needing, given that the mobile experience for their service on Android is somewhat lacking.

Kellen already ran through his initial reaction, but since I was actually at the event, thought I would go over my initial reaction to today’s announcements as well.  (more…)

Initial Thoughts and Notes on Facebook Home for Android

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All talk across the tech universe has been about Facebook today, and I’m sure you have had just about enough, so I’ll try to make this one of our last topics. As you know, Facebook unveiled Facebook Home along with a new phone that can run it, the HTC First. This is Facebook finally realizing that mobile is extremely important to the future of their company – well, either that or after feeling enough pressure from shareholders they had no choice but to start taking it seriously. And since Android is as “open” as it gets in the mobile space, they saw an opportunity to put Facebook first, if you will, and created a home replacement that should eventually work on almost any semi-current Android device.

As I watched the presentation and all of our coverage following, all sorts of things jumped out to me as either important or newsworthy and wanted to share. This is my early take on Facebook Home.  (more…)

T-Mobile’s UN-Carrier Approach Sounds Awesome, But Killing Contracts Shouldn’t be Their Message or Focus [Opinion]

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T-Mobile is trying to shake up the entire wireless industry this month by taking the “Un-carrier” approach to wireless service. Gone are the two-year contracts and 23-month phone upgrade cycles – in are the month-to-month plans with the option to upgrade to the newest phones whenever you please at the lowest prices. They are also shunning tiered data plans (sort of), spouting off colorful commentary to their competitors, and claiming to have cancelled their membership to the “out-of-touch wireless club,” a direct reference to the “Big 4″ U.S. carriers grouping that includes Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. It’s a lot of marketing speak and posturing, but is it even the right approach?  (more…)

HTC Calls Samsung Galaxy S4 the “Next Big Flop”

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Life is funny at times. One minute you are on top of the world – the next, you are sitting rock bottom, wondering how on Earth you will ever scrape by. In some cases, we see humans (or companies) put their last and best foot forward in an attempt to salvage whatever is left. It can be uplifting, inspirational even. It can also be incredibly embarrassing as desperation sets in, leading to decisions or choices that one would normally not make. Last night, HTC unfortunately fit the latter as Samsung took over New York City to announce the Galaxy S4(more…)