Google Pixel

Can I download higher quality photos and videos by connecting over USB?

Google Pixel 3

Episode 1538

Garett from Chico, CA

Leo says yes, all Android phones can do this. He just needs to get a USB cable, either USB Type A or Type C depending on what his computer has. A Windows PC should be able to mount the phone as a drive, but he may need to get software for it if he's on Mac. He can look for "Android File Transfer Manager" which is a free program that allows the Mac to see the Android device.

Why am I getting different keyboards when launching apps on my Google Pixel phone?

Android keyboards

Episode 1465

Mark from Grand Rapids, MI

Mark wants to know why he gets a different keyboard whenever he launches an app on his Google Pixel smartphone. Leo says this is a feature that developers can take advantage of so that the keyboard can be more contextual. For instance, when a number needs to be entered, the keyboard that comes up can be just a number pad. But there is a bug that causes keyboards to change randomly, so maybe that's the problem. More likely, it's something the app developer has done. Mark can try installing Swiftkey and see if that helps.

How can I get my Chromebook fixed?

Chromebook Pixel

Episode 1406

Ethan from Los Angeles, CA

Ethan has a Google Pixel laptop and he's having an issue with water on the keyboard. He's tried airing out the laptop. He's also popped off some keys to try and dry it out. Leo says the sad part is that Google has stopped making parts for the Pixel, and has by and large stopped supporting it. A local shop could possibly fix it. But the problem is, he doesn't have parts. So he'll have to find old Pixels on eBay to swap it out. At the end of the day, it may be just cheaper to buy a new one.

Why can't my Pixel make phone calls?

Google Pixel

Episode 1399

Naomi from Denver, CO

Naomi bought a Google Pixel as her first smartphone. It takes great pictures, but she couldn't make a phone call unless she cleared the cache and rebooted. It was very frustrating. Leo says that there's clearly something wrong with Naomi's phone since it shouldn't do that. She can't get any help except through the online chat feature. She also got the wrong replacement phone. Leo says she'll have to go to where she bought it and have them replace it with the right model. Only the place she bought it can fix it.

Why is my phone overheating?

Moto Z

Episode 1392

Stacey from San Pedro, CA

Stacey says that when she's driving, her Samsung S5 phone starts to overheat, and her battery life has started to get really bad as well. Leo says that using the phone all the time, even while it's plugged in, will cause it to work harder. Phones are higher performing these days, while battery life has been steadily dropping. On top of that, her S5 was one of the worst phones Samsung has ever made.

Can I use my Google Fi phone on Verizon?

Google Pixel

Episode 1377

Robert from Laguna Hills, CA

Robert signed up for Google Fi and bought a new Google Pixel phone, but Google is having issues activating his account. Leo says that's disappointing, especially when they don't know what the problem is. Leo says it's a good system and Robert shouldn't give up on it yet.

Can he use it on Verizon until it does? Leo says yes. He should just ask them for a SIM and he'll be able to use it. It shouldn't add any software overlays, but it may download some apps. He'll be able to uninstall them, though.

Should I buy the Google Pixel or the Huawei Honor 8?

Huawei Honor 8

Episode 1375

Lee from Minnesota

Lee is looking at buying either the new Google Pixel or the Honor 8. Leo likes the Honor 8, but his ultimate choice is the Google Pixel. Though the Huawei Honor 8 is half the price and has nice hardware, camera and a big screen, the manufacturer hasn't committed to push Google security updates directly to the phone with immediate effect. They promise to update "in a timely manner," but what does that really mean? Google does, obviously.

What mobile phone should I buy?

Google Pixel and Pixel XL

Episode 1373

Steve from Trabuco Canyon, CA

It's time for Steve to upgrade his phone and he wants to know what to get. He hears that Nokia is releasing a new phone called the Six. Leo says that the new Nokia smartphones are quite nice, with a mid range price. What about the Windows Phone platform? Microsoft has pretty much given up on it and nobody is really supporting it anymore. Steve is wondering if he can put Android on his old Lumia? Leo says probably not. He should try going to XDA-Developers.com to see if it's possible.