Alan wants to get a new smartphone, but can't afford to buy them at full price. He doesn't like being tied to a contract, either. Leo says that Apple now has a pay as you go system, where you can make payments over two years interest-free, then turn it back in for a new model. Leo thinks it's the best way to go without subsidizing.
Paul is having an issue with dropped calls and limited cell reception. He's told he needs a receiver to boost the signal. Leo says that receiver is called a FemToCell that plugs into his internet access and routes his calls through the net. He should call his carrier and tell them he can't use their service in his house and ask them to provide a FemtoCell. In most cases they'll provide it for free. He may need to threaten to cancel his service to get it.
Rob wants to know if he should use a VPN when he pairs his smartphone to his laptop. Leo says no. Modern digital cell phones are encrypted and no one has yet hacked their way into that signal. It wasn't like the analog days when you could listen in to cell phone calls with the right software. That can't happen with digitally encrypted mobile phones.
Shell's trying to rescue her address book and images after her mobile phone went belly up. It's a flip phone. If it died, there's really not much she can do since it's not a smartphone. She could try an independent third party cellular phone store. They have machines that could be able to suck the data off a dead unit.
Tim is looking to get a cell phone that is GSM compatible for travel, and he wants to get the most compatible phone he can. Where can he find a good breakdown of that? Leo says that GSMArena.com is great because it provides the specs for all the phones and what radio frequencies they support. There's also WillMyPhonework.net.
Andre is taking his wife on a trip overseas and he wants to use his phone to post to Instagram and other social networks. Leo says that data oversees is a huge and expensive topic because people are wired everywhere, even when they travel. But he won't want to roam in another country because data roaming in obscenely expensive. The first thing he'll want to do it disable data roaming. He'd be surprised how many people come home to a data bill in the thousands and they hardly even used data.
Jerry has a cell phone and he's traveling out of the country. He's out of his contract. Can he get it unlocked? Leo says yes, he can just go to Verizon and ask them politely. They are supposed to do it, and AT&T does this for its customers too. Verizon is under a consent decree not to lock their phones, so they should unlock it. Then he can put a local SIM card in when he gets to his destination.
Dianne's 81 year old mother's cell phone was deactivated and she needs a new phone. Dianne wants to know if she could use the AT&T SIM in her old phone with an "Obama Phone" from Verizon on the Lifeline Assistance program. Leo doesn't think that would work. If not much time had passed, there's a chance that she could have her old number ported over to Verizon. But Dianne says it's been about a month since the old phone was cancelled, so that would be unlikely.
Cassie wants to know if putting her cell phone next to her credit card would demagnetize the credit card. Leo says that there probably isn't enough magnetic power in the cell phone to demagnetize a card. They're moving away from that technology anyway, so this won't even be a concern for too much longer.
Todd has heard about a new app that will allow others to listen in on phone conversations. He heard about it on Coast to Coast AM. Leo says that's utter nonsense. It's not possible and it's a totally bogus story in order to drive listeners.