Mobile Phones

Why aren't I getting my Android updates?

Episode 1405

Steve from Denver, CO
Motorola Droid 3

Steve doesn't know if he's getting the latest version of Android or not. Leo says there's so many approvals that are required with Android updates. Google puts them out, but that doesn't mean his ISP or his his phone's manufacturer has released them to his phone. Few have made the pledge to promptly put updates out. What's important, though, is that he gets all the security updates. If he's not getting those, then he's vulnerable and nobody other than Google really cares. That's why Leo prefers to use Google's phones. They get updated automatically.

Why am I having issues with Bluetooth on Android Nougat?

Episode 1404

Shirley from Laguna Nigel, CA
Motorola H720

Shirley has a Samsung Galaxy S7 with a Motorola Bluetooth earpiece. With the recent March update, the connection switches to speaker phone automatically for no reason. Neither Samsung or Motorola know what it is. Leo says that he's tempted to blame Bluetooth because it's kind a dark art. It could also be a setting in Nougat that causes it as well. There is an issue tracker page for bug reporters in Android for wireless settings at issuetracker.google.com.

What's the best app for organizing photos on my phone?

Episode 1402

Craig from Carlsbad, CA
Google Photos

Craig wants to know what photos app to use for his camera? Leo says that he likes Google Photos because it will do an automatic sync backup of all his photos every day. The problem is that his phone has its own photo app as well and so he'll end up with more than one copy of a photo, and it's hard to organize them that way. And it won't pick up where he left off. Apple's Photos app does. But Android phones don't have that capability and neither does Google Photos.

Why can't my Pixel make phone calls?

Episode 1399

Naomi from Denver, CO
Google Pixel

Naomi bought a Google Pixel as her first smartphone. It takes great pictures, but she couldn't make a phone call unless she cleared the cache and rebooted. It was very frustrating. Leo says that there's clearly something wrong with Naomi's phone since it shouldn't do that. She can't get any help except through the online chat feature. She also got the wrong replacement phone. Leo says she'll have to go to where she bought it and have them replace it with the right model. Only the place she bought it can fix it.

Why can't I connect my phone to Wi-Fi?

Episode 1399

Jasper from Denmark
OnePlus 3

Jasper is having a hard time connecting his OnePlus phone to Wi-Fi, and the apps time out. Leo says that if it only happens at home, it may not be his phone. He should go connect to a different Wi-Fi hotspot and see if it's happening. If it connects OK, then it may be that his router is having trouble with his phone. Sometimes that happens and it requires a reboot of the router. Leo also says how he holds his phone can also affect how it receives a signal on the OnePlus. That may or may not be contributing to it.

What's the best plan for traveling internationally with my mobile phone?

Episode 1398

Joe from Sherman Oaks, CA
Plane

Joe is traveling to Asia and he wants to know if it's better to get an international data roaming plan or get a local SIM wherever he goes. He uses Verizon. Leo says that Verizon is the most international unfriendly mobile carrier. Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile have their own reasonable plans (especially T-Mobile that offers a free slow internet). Verizon has a $10 a day plan, though, which isn't bad, but it adds up. It's going to be the easiest way since he would have to have a different SIM for every country he visits, and his phone number will change with each new SIM card.

How can I get the photos off my flip phone?

Episode 1398

Susan from Tehachapi, CA
Flip Phone

Susan has a flip phone and she doesn't know how to get the photos off of it and onto her computer. Leo says that flip phones weren't really designed to be as "smart" as like an iPhone, and company stores aren't really invested enough to help her.

Leo recommends going to a third party cell phone store. They'll have the tools to help her. There is a third party software called BitPim, but it's not very easy to use. She would need a special cable as well.