Mobile Phones

Should I get a smartphone through StraightTalk Wireless?

Joe from Simi Valley, CA

Episode 1114

Joe is getting his first smartphone and he's looking at Walmart's StraightTalk which offers unlimited talk, text, and data. Leo says that unlimited doesn't necessarily mean true unlimited. After a few GBs, they'll throttle it down to an almost unusable speed. And StraightTalk is an MVNO through AT&T or Sprint. So he'll have to check what network he would be using, and what the coverage is like in his area.

What's the best phone for someone losing their sight?

Jack from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1113

Jack wants to get a phone for his friend who's losing his sight. He wants something that they can talk with. Leo says that the iPhone is easily the best in that regard as it's accessibility features are specifically deisgned for those who are blind or vision impaired. And the next version - iPhone 6 - will have a bigger screen which will make it easier for him to use.

Should I wait to buy the iPhone 6 until people return it for being too big?

Episode 1113

Dale from Santa Monica, CA
Apple HQ

Dale is thinking about waiting until the larger iPhone 6 comes out and then buying it refurbished after people return it for being too big. Leo says that's a great idea. His patience will always be rewarded and even with this, Apple will likely lower the price on the iPhone 5 or 5S after the 6 comes out. Leo says that with the size of the iPhone 6 being 5.5 inches (rumored), it may end up cannibalizing the iPad Mini.

Why does my Facebook app automatically play videos?

Episode 1112

Bill from Emerson, AR
Facebook

Bill is having issues with Facebook's latest version of the smartphone app because the videos autoplay and it's hitting his bandwidth caps. Leo says that Facebook is planning to do that so that they can sell advertising on user's feeds. While Leo believes that Facebook needs to monetize in order to pay the bills and stay in operation, it also has a social contract with it's members not to do such things that impact their own bottom line. It's a shame that they don't see that. The good news is, he can go into the settings for his app and turn off autoplay.

Thailand Patent Office Tweets Existence of Two New iPhones

Episode 1110

Twitter on iPhone

Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission inadvertently tweeted its approval of two new iPhone models for sale later this year. This is the year of the big redesign of the iPhone, which Leo refers to as the "tock" of the "tick-tock" development schedule from Apple. Apple has called a meeting with the Commission to discuss the matter. Leo says this doesn't necessarily mean we'll see two new iPhones, though, but he hopes so.

Why won't caller ID work on my phone?

Episode 1109

Roger from Rutherford, TN
Caller ID

Roger is getting bizarre caller ID issues with his wife's phone and sometimes he can't connect at all. Leo says it's likely an issue with the carrier. Caller ID comes from the carrier and Leo says it sounds like they're doing some odd things with it that the phone is having trouble understanding.

As for not being able to connect to the home phone, Leo says that also sounds like a strange provider issue. Roger's carrier is an "MVNO" or third party that buys service from Sprint and then resells it. Leo suggests calling the carrier and and the MVNO and get them to fix the issue.