iPhone

Should I update my iPhone?

Episode 1395

Barry from San Diego, CA
iPhone

Barry wants to know if he has to update his iPhone's OS. He's worried the update could brick his phone. Leo says that's always possible with updates, but the benefit of having the latest OS outweighs the slight risk that it could hurt the phone. He should always update because there are security patches and critical updates that are a must. Sometimes there's a bad update, but it's really rare, especially in the iPhone. There's new features in iOS 10 that make the phone run smoother as well.

How can I use my iPhone with my Windows PC?

Episode 1393

Andy from Florida
WhatsApp

Andy has an iPhone SE and he noticed that he can text phones from his PC using the email address provided by the carrier. Another option is to use a texting app that has a desktop app as well. Options include WhatsApp and Telegram, but he'd only be able to use it with people who use those apps. Facebook Messenger is an idea though. It works in the browser as well as mobile device.

Can I replace the battery in an iPhone?

Episode 1393

Ed from Upland, CA
Apple iPhone 4s

Ed gave a friend his old iPhone and it's stopped working. He suspects it may be the battery. Can he get a replacement? Leo says yes! Apple can replace the battery, and it's about $99. Third party shops could also do it. It requires a good toolset and it will void any warranty the phone has left, though.

Image By Kzar (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Why do I have trouble connecting to Wi-Fi on my phone?

Episode 1392

Barney from New York City, NY
Wi-Fi

Barney travels a lot. When he gets to a hotel, he has trouble connecting to the local Wi-Fi network. It doesn't always work. Leo says that mobile devices use a system called "captive portal," where it goes to a middle man (usually the hardware company) and then connects in order to agree to the terms and conditions. It can take up to a few minutes for that to happen too, depending on the traffic. Most are impatient and give up. It really comes down to sitting and waiting. Barney can also try going to the Safari app and typing in "captive.apple.com," which may trigger it.

Why can't my iPhone connect to the internet via Wi-Fi?

Episode 1384

Gina from Venice Beach, CA
Wi-Fi

Gina's iPhone 6 is having problems connecting to the internet via Wi-Fi. Leo says to make sure she can't get on anyone else's Wi-Fi. If that's not the case, then there is clearly something wrong with the phone or its Wi-Fi settings. It's possible that the settings are preventing it from connecting, but it's also likely the hardware has failed. The only real people who can solve a hardware issue are Geniuses at the Apple Store. Gina should set up an appointment and have the Genius take a look at it.

Why is the volume so low on my iPhone?

Episode 1384

Pat from Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Apple iPhone 7

Pat did an iOS 10 update with the iPhone 6S and he's found out the volume has been dramatically cut in half. Leo says that it's a widespread issue and sometimes it takes awhile to pinpoint the issue and push out a fix. It may be intentional, Apple deciding the volume is too loud for earbuds. It's more likely an issue in the software. There's a noise cancellation setting in accessibility. He can go to General > Accessibility then disable Phone Noise Cancellation. Many are commenting that fixes the issue. Others say it doesn't. It's worth a try, though.

Can I get my data off my broken iPhone?

Episode 1377

Lisa from Bellflower, CA
Broken iPhone

Lisa's phone is dead and she wants to know if she can get the data off of it and transfer it to her new phone. Leo says if the phone is bricked, then unfortunately that data is unreachable. But her phone is probably backed up to the cloud by default, or her computer. So she should look into her iCloud account or on her computer to see if that data is there. Chances are, a lot of that data will automatically sync to the new phone once she logs into her iCloud account. This is why cloud backup is so important.