Mobile Phones

How can I lock down my daughter's iPhone?

Episode 1482

Scott from Maine
OurPact block internet and apps

Scott got his daughter an iPhone 7 and he wants to know the best way to lock it down to protect her online activity. Leo says that there are parental controls built into the iPhone, but there are apps that really take it to a new level. He can block apps and features as well. He can even white list numbers that would allow calls while disallowing others. He should also look at what restrictions the carrier offers. There are kid friendly browsers. iBlacklist will filter calls and SMS.

How can I use my phone if I'm losing my hearing?

Episode 1482

Jan from Bakersfield, CA
Earbuds

Jan is starting to lose her hearing, and wants to know what she can do to still hear people when she's talking on the phone. Leo says he has smart hearing aids that connect to his phone via Bluetooth and he can hear his phone great. If she can't afford those, then she can get headphones or earbuds that will use the phone's headphone jack. Jan has been using Google Fi, so in getting a new phone, she'll need to either get a Motorola Moto phone or a Google Pixel. Those are the only two phones that will work on Google Fi.

Why can't I get Samsung to replace my expanding battery?

Episode 1481

Ryan from Anaheim, CA
Samsung Galaxy S7

Ryan has been having trouble with his Samsung Galaxy phone. He keeps sending it in because of an expanding lithium ion battery and they keep returning it unfixed. Leo says that Samsung knows painfully well the dangers of expanding batteries. Since Ryan wasn't the original owner, Samsung exploited that loop hole because that indicated there was no warranty to extend. But he told Samsung he spoke to Leo and they offered a replacement, which is a good thing.

Do I need Samsung software to transfer my data from my phone?

Episode 1479

Tom from Riverside CA
samsung.com

Tom's Samsung Galaxy S4 is having issues connecting to his computer without KIES. Leo says he won't really need it, since he can go into the settings and select MTP or PTP mode. The former is for mass media and the latter is Photo transfer protocol. Also, he should check the autorun settings. The chatroom also suggests replacing his USB cable.

Would keeping my phone in Airplane Mode expose me to less radiation?

Episode 1478

Veronica from Aptos, CA
Person with cell phone

Veronica wants to know if keeping her phone in Airplane Mode will expose her to less radiation. Leo says yes, it would. Can she also use Wi-Fi calling? Leo says it's better, but there's no evidence that it will or won't be harmful. The radiation would come from the cell phone radio, not the Wi-Fi. Using headphones instead of putting her phone up to her ear is also better.

Should I use Wi-Fi calling with my mobile phone?

Episode 1476

Neil from Phoenix, AZ
iPhone Wi-Fi Calling

Neil traded up his iPhone 8 Plus to the iPhone X, and he wants to know if Wi-Fi calling is a good idea. Should he turn it on? Leo says that the cell carriers would like him to use it if they support it. It doesn't use their towers, eliminating congestion, and they can still charge him for usage. Would it be of any benefit to Neil? Leo says not really. Quality will vary and if he has a poor connection, that could be an issue.

Phone Radiation Can Cause Cancer in Rats, New Evidence Shows

Episode 1475

Cell phone in the dark

We now have evidence that cell phone radiation can cause cancer in male rats. It is not cause for concern yet, as we are waiting for recommendations from the FDA and others. As always with these kinds of studies, the rats were exposed to a lot of radiation over two years. The original federal studies from the US National Toxicology Program, which uses labels to suggest how strong the evidence is, labeled the evidence "equivocal." That's the second lowest on the scale that the NTP uses, meaning there wasn't enough evidence to really make a connection.

How can I bring a cell phone overseas?

Episode 1475

Patty from Temecula, CA
Woman using smartphone

Patty's daughter is going to spend a year in Great Britain. How can she bring along her cell phone? Leo says she could run into serious data roaming charges, so he recommends just getting a local SIM and number. She could check out prepaidwithdata.wikia.com. She may have to get her phone unlocked to do it, but it will work. Some companies like Sprint have a "world plan" but if she adopts it, she may lose the current plan she has.