Mobile Phones

What's a good mobile phone for the vision impaired?

Mike from Lubbock, TX

Episode 1280

Mike needs a phone that is easier for him to use. he's blind and needs a phone that supports accessibility. Leo says that there are two ways he can go:

1) A smartphone that supports accessibility and allows him to run programs. The iPhone is very good at that.
2) There's also a flip phone, or feature phone. Cricket makes them with huge buttons that are very easy to use.

Do I have to install updates on my mobile phone?

Pat from San Pedro, CA

Episode 1280

Pat keeps getting a notification of a security update on her Android phone. Should she do it? Leo says absolutely. Mobile phone companies have started doing monthly security updates to keep phones more secure and functioning properly. Being that it's from her mobile company (Verizon), it's safe. Leo says it may be a good idea to wait a day or two to be sure it works right.

Is there an app that can make my mobile phone run better?

David from Alhambra, CA

Episode 1278

David came across an app called Clean Master that's supposed to protect and optimize your mobile device. Leo isn't so sure. He's not really impressed with download numbers, either. It's whether the app really works. And even if it does, it's unnecessary. David doesn't really need it. It's not doing anything important and some of the things it does is bad. It can certainly kill his battery life. It will also delete temporary files that will just cause his phone to download them again when he returns to that site. So it's not really doing anything.

Why do my apps time out in Android?

Shannon from Nebraska

Episode 1277

Shannon updated his mobile phone to Android Marshmallow and now his apps time out after a few minutes. Leo says that Marshmallow added a feature called Doze, which is supposed to help with battery life, and Shannon should go into the application manager settings and see if the permissions are set to allow backgrounding. It may be that they are being blocked to work in the background. For the apps that are stalliing, Leo suggests uninstalling them and then reinstalling them, paying close attention to the permissions it asks for.

Should I switch to Android?

Episode 1276

Barbara from Simi Valley, CA
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Barbara is thinking about switching from the iPhone to the new Samsung Galaxy S7. Leo says that while the S7 comes with 32GB, she can put up to 200GB of additional storage in a miniSD drive. But it's not like it expands her memory for apps. That's only for storage. Leo prefers the S7 by a long shot, but the iPhone is great for the average user. Barbara already knows how to use it, and has apps in the ecosystem. So why change? She should just get an iPhone with more storage.

Is my phone's hotspot secure?

Don from Greeley, CO

Episode 1275

Don does a lot of online banking, but he's wondering if using the hotspot feature on his phone is safe. Leo says yes, it's encrypted. But he should remember to lock his computer with a password. If someone can get to his computer, then they can get his password. But his hotspot is encrypted.

Leo also recommends using a Virtual Private Network when he's on a public Wi-Fi hotspot. It burrows a tunnel through the internet that is secure and encrypts all of his activity.

Why doesn't the FBI just ask the NSA about that iPhone?

Robert from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1274

Robert wants to know why the FBI just doesn't talk to the NSA about the data they want on the terrorist's phone. In reality, Apple's position is that the metadata from the carrier itself tells a lot of detail. But there may be a legal wall that would prohibit them from cooperating. The NSA just announced that they are helping, though. So that leads Leo to believe that there's another goal here. Their goal is to get the keys to the kingdom and force Apple to give them a backdoor to their phones.

Why does my phone battery die when I'm charging it?

Episode 1273

Dave from Torrance, CA
Samsung Galaxy S6

Dave is having trouble charging his Galaxy S6. He plugs it in when it's low and it will continue to drain until it dies before it starts to recharge. Leo says it could be this app Dave has called DU battery saver. Leo says that those apps often take up more power than they save. It could just be a defective battery. Dave may want to talk to them about replacing it.

How can I use my phone in Japan?

Raul from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1271

Raul bought an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note 5 to be ready for a trip in Japan. Leo says that's a good idea because if he had waited until he got to Japan, he would likely not be able to use it here in the States because of differences with the radio frequencies in each country. Raul should make sure he gets a local SIM so he can pay Japanese rates for data, rather than pay international data roaming, which could be in the thousands. In fact, he should turn off the option that allows him to roam with data.