Mobile Phones

First iPhone Announced 12 Years Ago this Week

First iPhone

Episode 1605

June 29, 2007, twelve years ago, Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone. Apple hadn't invented the app store yet, so the original iPhone didn't really have but a few very basic apps. In fact, Steve Jobs thought everything would be done through websites, not apps. It was listed at $499 and people lined up three days before it launched to get one. But a smartphone wasn't really new, what did change the world was having a full-time connection to the internet in your pocket.

Can I Buy a Phone Without a Plan?

Motorola Moto G7.

Episode 1604

Gloria from North Hollywood, CA

Gloria wants to know how can she buy a phone without a plan. She heard of a new phone plan called "Visible" for $40 a month. Leo says that Verizon's Visible plan is very interesting and she can buy an unlocked phone anywhere, including Amazon. She just has to be sure she gets a phone that supports Verizon. Here's a page that shows which phones are compatible - https://www.visible.com/compatibility

 Leo likes the Motorola Moto G7. Price is between $200-300. 

Huawei is Back

Huawei is Back

Episode 1604

Leo doesn't really get what's going on, but it appears that Huawei is now allowed to be sold in the US. For the last few years, Huawei was declared as a "dangerous foreign entity," but now it appears that at the recent G20 summit, the President has officially lifted all restrictions. Which is puzzling, because recent news reports hint that Huawei has been up to no good. Huawei is much more vulnerable to hackers, perhaps even intentionally, according to a recent report. 

Which Cell Phone Should I Buy?

Motorola Moto G7.

Episode 1602

Vicky from Rialto, California

Vicky recently dropped her Samsung Galaxy S6 phone and cracked the screen. So now she needs to get a new phone. She's retired and is on a budget, so what should she get? Leo recommends the Motorola Moto G7. It's about $200, and Best Buy is offering $100 off right now. A great phone with a descent camera. And AT&T may give her a deal to keep business. But don't accept any lesser models.

Harry Potter Finally Launches from Niantic

Potter

Episode 1602

Niantic, the creators of the successful mobile game Pokemon Go, has finally put out a game based in the universe of Harry Potter, called Wizards Unite. You play a wizard, using your wand to battle other wizards and catch fantastic beasts. All in Augmented Reality. Leo says that it was originally launched in Australia, and people went wild about it. Now it's been launched in the US and around the world, so MORE people are going wild. 

Do smaller cell carriers use their own networks?

Spectrum

Episode 1601

Gary from Southern California

Gary got an offer to sign up with Spectrum for mobile service, but he just learned that they use AT&T. Do smaller carriers use the big carriers lines all the time? Leo says that the big four is AT&T, Verizon, TMobile, and Sprint. The smaller cell companies, called MVNOs, interconnect and ride piggyback on multiple lines. It's pretty complicated. But if you sign up with a smaller carrier, you're actually running your traffic on the largest carrier.

What do I need for my technology for a trip to Vietnam?

Travel Adapter

Episode 1601

Sarah from Los Angeles, California

Sarah is traveling to Vietnam and Cambodia later in the year and doens't know what to bring with her for her technology. Leo says that most electronics are now rated for 110w-240w, so they can handle any circuit all over the world. But that plugs will be different. There are travel adapters for sale that you can pick up to plug in your power plugs. They should be the same as China, but you may want to be sure it's not a french adapter since Vietnam was once a French colony. As for your data and international roaming, it depends on your carrier.

What's a good dual sim mobile phone?

Pixel 3

Episode 1601

Manny from Vero Beach, Florida

Manny's wife is going to need a new phone, as her Huawei Mate 9 will be denied service soon since the US Gov't believes Huawei is a security concern due to ties to the Chinese PRC Army, there won't be a new model for sale here in the US. So what are her options? Leo says that she should be able to continue using it for a few more months, but she should definitely consider a replacement soon. And she needs dual sims, which means there aren't a lot of choices, especially since she wants a great camera with it. That really lowers the options. 

How can I be sure I'm getting my Android updates?

Fido Solutions

Episode 1599

Nathan from New Brunswick, Canada

Nathan wants to switch from cellphone providers. He gets his Android updates from one, will he lose them? Leo says that FIDO is a ROGERS MVNO, and Android updates come in three stages. 1) google releases it 2) the cellphone maker certifies it 3) the carrier has to agree to push it out. All three have to happen to get the update. Leo's opinion is that since Roger's owns FIDO as an MVNO, it's likely you'll keep getting them. But it's worth following them on XDA Developers or Reddit to see when they come out.

What should be my next Android phone?

Samsung Galaxy S10

Episode 1599

Richard from Sonoma, CA

Richard recently came across his old Google G1, the first Android mobile device. Now he's at the Google Pixl2 XL and he wants a phone with an SD card for storage. Leo says that SD card slots are on a lot of phones, but they are notoriously difficult. The operating system doens't trust them to install apps. But Samsung seems to have gotten a handle on it. Leo recommends the Samsung Galaxy S10. But understand that Samsung does modify the Android OS a bit to make everything work the way they want. Some things are great, some aren't. Which is why Leo roots his and uses a custom launcher.