Mobile Phones

Why does my keyboard change when I open an app on my Android phone?

Mark from Grand Rapids, IL

Episode 1465

Mark wants to know why he gets a different keyboard when he launches an app on his Google Pixel smartphone. Leo says that's a feature in the app development that enables users to specify. But there is a bug that causes keyboards to change randomly, so maybe that's the problem. But more likely, it's something the app developer has done. One thing you can try is SWIFT KEY installing it into your phone. That could help.

Why is my credit card information popping up on the iPhone?

Jan from Washington

Episode 1464

Jan has an iPhone 6 and she's worried that someone is hacking into her digital wallet and getting her credit card. Leo says it's probably not the case. More likely, she inadvertently activated Apple Pay, which she can do if she presses the home button twice. Pressing the home button again makes it go away. It's designed that way to make it easy to pay with Apple Pay quickly when the screen is locked.

Can she use more than one thumbprint on Touch ID? Leo says no. She can use fingers on both hands. But if it doesn't open, it may need to be retrained.

Why can't I port my number to a new cell phone carrier?

Episode 1462

Michael from Arkansas
Person using smartphone

Michael has an old unlocked phone that he's trying to port to a new carrier, but it's not working. The company says it won't port an inactive number. Leo says the law requires porting numbers to his new service, but they could have found a loophole with an inactive phone. Leo also suggests doing a factory reset. That should clear out the carrier data. There's also something called APN settings which need to be cleared out so that the carrier can't reject it.

Do I need to replace my iPhone SE?

Episode 1461

Kevin from Spokane, WA
Apple iPhone 5S

Kevin has an iPhone SE and it's not updating anymore, so he needs to buy a new smartphone. Leo says that there's a life cycle for mobile devices, and even though it works just fine, technology will pass it up, and it will seem slower than it used to be. Apple will support a phone for three years before it starts dropping them off the update cycle. The iPhone's battery also has limited charging cycles of about 500 full cycles, or 2-3 years. And as the phone gets older, Apple starts slowing the phone down to keep it from overtaxing the processor and overheating it.

How can I get my phone unlocked?

Episode 1460

Rob from Los Angeles, CA
Person using smartphone

Rob has an old Android phone and he doesn't like his carrier. Can he unlock it and go with another carrier? Leo says he should as long as his account is in good standing. Even if he's no longer a customer, they should still do it for him. He should just call and ask them politely. He should not pay to unlock a phone, though. If he has to, Rob should go to XDA-Developers.org and look in there for instructions.

Is my cell phone safe from an internet attack on my router?

Episode 1460

Bonnie from Riverside, CA
Hacker

Bonnie uses Eset's Smart Security, But she recently saw that an external intruder was blocked. She's worried that while her PC was safe, her other devices may have been compromised. Leo says that Bonnie's router probably blocked the bad traffic that comes lurking. There are bots that are looking for security holes, though. Getting attacked is normal, but the router will handle 90% of the attacks. The rest is covered by antivirus. Her cell phone IP address changes constantly, so it's mostly pretty safe.

Is the GPS on my Android phone broken?

Episode 1459

Steve from Missouri
LG Stylo 2

Steve has an LG Stylo 2 and he's starting to lose his GPS lock. His Bluetooth also comes and goes. Leo says the Stylo has a weak antenna. That could mean a failing antenna or faulty GPS chip. This could be caused by heat too. That's the likely culprit because when the phone overheats, it's going to protect everything by shutting it off. Leo also thinks that the phone has just worn out and it's time to get a new one.

How can I use my smartphone for investing?

Episode 1458

Dolly from San Jacinto, CA
Stock market graph

Dolly is retired and wants to invest in the stock market while traveling, but some of her brokerages don't support using smartphones. Leo says that there may not be an app to run, but she may be able to access her accounts using the phone's browser. What Dolly may have to do is select the "choose desktop" option. Leo also says that using a tablet like an iPad would be a better option since she'd have a bigger screen. She can also look to see if they have an app since many of the big companies do. TD Ameritrade, for instance, has an app, as does Schwab and Fidelity.