Mobile Phones

Why can't I connect to Pokemon Go?

Episode 1543

Cheryl from Riverside, CA

Cheryl plays Pokemon Go. But she dropped her phone and now she's having a lot of connection issues in the game. Leo says that isn't the phone, that's just Pokemon Go. He experiences that problem all the time. He thinks it's a software issue, and overly congested servers. Leo says that his wife recently just gave up on the game as a result. But he recommends trying other internet connected apps and see how those work. She should also run SpeedTest.net. If it connects, then she'll know it isn't her phone.

What phone service should I have for a trip to Australia?

Cell tower

Episode 1541

JT from Irvine, CA

JT is heading to Australia for a week. What mobile service should he use? Leo says that Google Fi and T-Mobile both work all over the world. The services isn't as fast, but it's free Edge service, which is nice. He can then use local Wi-Fi at the hotel, coffee shops, etc. whenever he can. The Global plan on T-Mobile is $20 a month, but it's only slightly faster, and the speeds vary wildly. He could also buy a "day pass" of 4G access.

Which iPhone should I buy?

Apple iPhone XS

Episode 1539

Warren from Granada Hills, CA

Warren wants a new iPhone with a large screen. But he doesn't know what to get. He wants one that will last awhile. Leo says that to future proof, he's going to want to get the iPhone XS Max. It'll have the longest runway as for use. He could get the iPhone XR, as it's got the same internals as the iPhone XS, but it's a smaller liquid retina screen, not OLED. He's also giving up the dual camera on the back, but the iPhone XR camera still has a basic version of portrait mode, which is pretty good. The iPhone XR is also available in several colors!

How can I turn my smartphone into a hotspot?

Episode 1536

Mark from Los Angeles, CA

Mark wants to use his Android phone as a hotspot. Leo says that it's under the Internet settings under "Hotspot and Tethering." His phone carrier must support it, usually for an extra charge. But he's having issues using any security with a password. Leo says that's not good. It shouldn't be disabled. Leo wonders if that phone doesn't support WPA2. None is not a good choice. If there's WEP, that wouldn't be great, but it's better than nothing. But he'll ideally want WPA2 with PSK (pre shared key).

How can I make my phone hotspot mode secure?

Wi-Fi

Episode 1536

Mark from Los Angeles, CA

Mark wants to use his Android phone as a hotspot. Leo says that it's under the Internet settings under "Hotspot and Tethering." And his phone carrier must support it, usually for an extra charge. But he's having issues using any security with a password. Leo says that's not good. It shouldn't be disabled. Leo wonders if that phone doesn't support WPA2. None is not a good choice. If there's WEP, that wouldn't be great, but it's better than nothing. He'll ideally want WPA2 with PSK (pre shared key).

Why is my iPhone automatically putting calls on hold when new calls come in?

Apple iPhone XS

Episode 1536

Ann from Irvine, CA

When Ann is on the phone and gets another phone call, her iPhone is automatically putting her existing call on hold and picking up the next call. Leo says that shouldn't be happening. She should be given the choice of putting her call on hold, sending it to voicemail, or hanging up and taking the call. It's usually when she's using it on speaker phone. Leo says that it could be that Siri is being triggered, but it's unlikely. It could be a hardware glitch, but that's going to be difficult to replicate.

Why is the sound quality of Apple AirPods so bad?

Apple AirPods

Episode 1535

Chris from Miami, FL

Chris has the new iPhone XS and the wireless Apple AirPods, but he keeps getting distortion when he takes calls. Not when listening to music or watching video, though. Leo says that Bluetooth headphones have two different modes. There's a mode for use as a headset for calls and A2DP. A2DP is stereo and was designed for listening to music. Headset mode uses the minimum bandwidth possible. So that could affect it. Also, a phone call that is routed through the internet can be full bandwidth and it may be that the AirPods just can't handle it.