Mike wants to know how to jailbreak his Android phone. Leo says that jailbreaking is for the iPhone and it's not recommended because it exploits known security flaws, which is dangerous. The Android phone equivalent is "rooting" which enables administrator access. This allows one to put other firmware on there. But the Samsung Galaxy mobile phones are very difficult to root because Samsung doesn't want users to. But if users go to XDA Developers and input the exact model of their phone, they can find out how to do it.
Gary has an older Motorola Moto X and he has to root the phone to install Android 9. Is it secure? Leo says yes, all it really means is that you're an administrator. And Google is fine with it. But remember, once you root, you can be your own worst enemy and cause problems. But if you're smart enough to root it, then you're fine. To know how, go to XDADevelopers.org.
BJ wants to know if he needs to reinstall the OS on his tablet in order to change the carrier for it. Leo says no, and since BJ's tablet is with Verizon, he can just replace the SIM card with another. If it doesn't work, he can go to Verizon and ask them to unlock it. They have to unlock it by FCC mandate. He shouldn't need to unlock it, though.
Rob has an old Android phone and he doesn't like his carrier. Can he unlock it and go with another carrier? Leo says he should as long as his account is in good standing. Even if he's no longer a customer, they should still do it for him. He should just call and ask them politely. He should not pay to unlock a phone, though. If he has to, Rob should go to XDA-Developers.org and look in there for instructions.
Steve was given a Barnes and Noble Nook reader. Can he watch movies on it? Leo says that the Nook had very limited space and used a proprietary format, but he may be able to hack it to give it more options, including watching the movies he wants. He should head over to XDA-Developers to see how to "root" the Nook. His real problem, though, is copy protection. The Nook only supports movies with Cinema Now DRM. But that's part of the fun of hacking old technology like a Nook.
Al has an LG V20 Android phone and wants to know if he should get another one for a secondary device. Leo says that LG is about to come out with the LG V30. Al wants one that has a removable battery. Leo says that there isn't a popular phone that does removable batteries anymore. The drive for thinner mobile devices has pushed to get rid that feature.
Cody got a commercial version of the Chromebit for Christmas and he can't install Android apps to it. Leo says not every ChromeOS device can do it and it's likely that the Chromebit he has can't do it because it doesn't have touch. It may also be that he hasn't gotten the update yet and once he does, he'll have access to the Play Store.
Mike has a Google Nexus 6 that isn't updating. He's tried to get Nougat on it, but it won't update. Leo says that the Nexus 6 may not be getting updates anymore, especially through Verizon. Leo says he may have to root the phone to get it updated. Google didn't offer a major update to the Nexus 6, and the security update for March was pulled because it broke Android Pay. They do plan to update to version 7 soon.
Brett has an older Dell Venue tablet and wants to update it, but they don't support it anymore. Leo says that his only choice is to root it and put a custom ROM on it. Leo says the first place he'll want to go to put a custom ROM on Android is the XDA Developers Forum. He can get step-by-step instructions for his exact model. There is a Dell Venue section, but he should be sure he uses the exact model or he could brick it.
Paul has a Samsung Galaxy S4 phone that won't update or download apps. He's been told it's too old. Leo says it may be, which is too bad because it runs just fine. Paul could root it and install a custom version of the recent Android OS on it. He should go to XDA Developers and search for the exact model of his phone. It's not an easy hack, and he should follow the directions to the letter. Or he could upgrade. He'll likely get a good deal on a Galaxy S7 or a Note 7.