Mobile Phones

iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry, or feature phones.

Do I really need to wipe my iPhone to make it work better?

Episode 1239

Seven from Yorba Linda, CA
Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

Seven has been having issues with his iPhone and the Apple store says there's a bad app causing the problem, and he should wipe it. When he restores from iCloud, however, that app will come back. Leo says that the Apple Genius isn't being much of one this time. Apple vets all the apps, so it's unlikely the app is the culprit.

If Seven wants to make sure his messages get backed up, eCamm has a third party program called PhoneView that will do that.

Is the iPhone waterproof?

Episode 1239

Dan from Goldsboro, NC
Apple iPhone 6s

Dan dropped his iPhone 6s this week, and found it lying in a puddle at a parking lot in the rain. The great news was it still works! Leo says that Apple has placed additional silicon seals around it to make the iPhone water resistant. Not waterproof, though. There is still a little piece of paper inside it which turns red when wet.

Will European cell phones work in the US?

Carol from Manhattan Beach, CA

Episode 1238

Carol wants a bronze gold Samsung Galaxy Note IV but they're only sold in Europe. Will it work in the US? Leo says it will with T-Mobile. She should check out and make sure it's carrier unlocked. She'll also want to be sure that all US frequencies are supported. It may not support LTE. But Leo gets his phones from Expansys. They'll tell you if it supports all the frequencies in the US.

How can I play ringtones on my computer?

Kenny from Texas

Episode 1238

Kenny makes his own ringtones and wants to know how to quickly review each one. Leo says that iTunes will play them. He can also add them to his phone and run through them that way. He can use the search function on his PC to play them with any audio software like WinAmp. He can also search for them all and just play them one after another. VLC and Quicktime will both be able to play the files. Anything that can play back an M4R file will work.

What's a good way to bring my cell phone on a trip to Europe?

Luca from Vancouver, BC

Episode 1238

Luca wants to know which cell carrier would be good for a trip through Eastern Europe. Leo says that the EU will require free roaming across borders in all the EU states by 2017, but until then, it's a mixed bag. Dueche Telecom probably supports it.

Here's a good resource: It will tell him all the carriers that support service in the countries he's traveling to. He should buy a SIM for the country he's visiting.

Should I sign up for Google Fi?

Episode 1237

Karen from Canyon City, CO
Google Nexus 6P

Karen wants to get Google Fi. Leo says that Google Fi is a great because you pay as you go on the data, and you get pure Android phones. There have been reports on cracks and bending on the new Google Nexus 6 phones, but Leo says it's largely "clickbait." It's happened, but only in extreme situations. Google will replace it if it happens spontaneously. But it's not happening as often as the websites are saying it has. Leo says to just get a case.

What's the best phone carrier for traveling all over the country?

William from Michigan

Episode 1236

Leo says this is difficult because it's all very geographical. If William said Kansas City, he'd say Sprint because they're really good there. If he said New York, his advice would be Verizon. Both of those companies originated in those places. William was thinking of going with Cricket Wireless, but Leo said he'd go with one of the big national carriers.

How can I reset my Android phone?

Phillip from Anaheim, CA

Episode 1236

Phillip has a Motorola Moto G through Cricket and he's been playing with his phone and put it into a Java runtime mode called ART. Leo says that's a fiddler. He'll have to go through a lot of hoops to go into developer mode and change that. Now he's getting a lot of error messages. Leo says he's done that on several Android devices and it sounds like it needs to be manually reset.

What's the best carrier in St. Louis?

Elliot from Boston, MA

Episode 1236

Elliot's aunt is visiting and wants to know who would be the best carrier to get her smartphone from in St. Louis? Leo says that his experience in the Midwest is that Sprint is really good. That's because Sprint was spun off the Southern Pacific railroad. But they can't go wrong with AT&T and Verizon. The best way to find out is to go to, enter the zip code, and they'll see who's got the best coverage in the area.

Should I buy phone insurance?

Ed from San Diego, CA

Episode 1236

Ed says he likes mobile phones, but they're slippery and he's worried about breaking them. He doesn't know what phone insurance program to buy. Leo says that the devil is in the details. There's usually a deductible and a limited number of times he'd be able to use it. Leo advises adding the deductible to the cost of the insurance and see if it's worth investing from that perspective.