iPhone

Could a bad USB cable cause my Mac to shut down?

Cynthia from Malibu, CA

Episode 1200

Cynthia plugged her iPhone into her laptop and when she did, it shut down her Mac. She was told that it could do that with a third party USB cable. Leo says it's not likely a compatibility issue, but it could be a short in the cable. What about a message that says "battery needs service?" Leo says that's more likely the issue as batteries do stop charging after about 500 recharge cycles. So Leo believes the shut down was coincidental. Getting a new battery should solve that problem.

How can I save my iPhone photos online?

Episode 1198

Drew from Ventura Beach, CA
Apple iPhone 6

Drew has taken over 1,000 photos on his iPhone and he wants to put them online. Leo says that Google Photos is a brilliant solution for that. It just came out and he'll get unlimited free storage from 16 MP or less, plus video. He can also create folders and slideshows. Leo's going to do this for his trip. Drew can then share the collections via link, Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus. iCloud can also do it through iCloud Drive. But he has to enable it.

How can I backup my text messages to my Mac?

Episode 1196

Dina from Manhattan Beach, CA
eCamm PhoneView

Dina wants to download her iPhone text messages with time and date. Leo says that the nice thing about the Apple environment is that they all work together. So the program that she uses for text messages, also works on the Mac if she sets it up that way. Then all the messages will appear there.

Another option is eCamm's Phoneview for $30. Dina can try before she buys and it will let her save all of her messages and data. They come in a PDF format when she saves them.

How can I change my iPhone's keyboard to alphabetic type?

Episode 1196

Guy from Ventura, CA
KidsKeyboard

Guy wants to change his keyboard to an ABCDEF type keyboard. Leo says that's not a good idea because QWERTY is the standard everywhere. But Leo can see why it would be beneficial from an accessibility point of view.

There is a site called AppleVis which talks about an ABCDEF keyboard for iOS devices and Apple just opened up iOS8 for third party keyboards. So it's only a matter of time before someone writes one.

Should I wait to buy an iPhone 6 Plus?

Episode 1193

Mark from Riverside, CA
Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Mike just got a new Apple Watch but he's wondering if he should wait on buying the iPhone 6 Plus. Leo says the next iPhone will come out in September, and will likely have a faster processor and memory. There may also be an improved camera. There's also speculation that there will be some haptic Force Touch features on the screen. There's a lot of speculation, but in the end we don't really know. Leo says there's no real need to wait unless he really wants to. Another option is to get an iPhone 5 and then pick up the iPhone 6 Plus when it's available.

Is my iPhone 5s repairable?

Episode 1191

Mark from Tustin, CA
Apple iPhone 5s

Mark got an iPhone 5s from a friend that had a "dog bite" in it. It will work connect via 4G, but not via 2.4GHz Wi-Fi (5 Ghz is fine). Is it worth fixing? He's tried DFU'ing it. Should he try iFixIt? Leo says he can look on iFixIt and get a teardown of the phone to see if the parts that don't work will be replaceable. Some aren't. Leo says it may be the antenna that is damaged. If he can replace the antenna or the Wi-Fi radio, then he should be OK. If it's soldered onto the circuit board, then he's out of luck.

What phone should I buy my mom?

Episode 1189

Alex from Sacramento, CA
Apple iPhone 6

Alex is trying to decide that smartphone to get his mother. He'd like to be able to video chat with her. Leo says that while he likes Android, the iPhone is really good because of FaceTime. What about battery life? Leo says he gets through the entire day with ease. But it really comes down to how good the signal is. If the phone is constantly looking for a signal, that can kill the phone in a half a day. But if he's in a good area, then the phone doesn't have to work as hard and that translates to hours more battery life.

How can I move my old cell phone to a new carrier?

Episode 1188

Kris from Merced, CA
Apple iPhone 6

Kris would like to move her iPhone 4 from AT&T to Verizon. Leo says she can't. The phones are the same model, but the iPhone 4 on AT&T has a GSM radio, and the Verizon model uses CDMA. She could get it unlocked and use it on T-Mobile, though. But to go from AT&T to Verizon, she'll need an iPhone 5 or above. In fact, if she can go to Verizon and say she wants to leave AT&T. Verizon actually sells an unlocked iPhone due to a consent decree with the federal government. And then she could use it on any carrier.