Mobile Phones

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

How can I use my mobile phone as a hearing aid?

Episode 1455

Bud from Montana, CA
Starkey iPhone compatible hearing aid

Bud wants to know if there's a hearing amplifier out there for his mobile phone. Leo says his cost $6,000, so that's not practical. Some earphones have apps that would pipe the sound directly into his ears from the phone. Then he could just use Bluetooth headphones, but it wouldn't be the ultimate solution. This is all about to change as companies are designing their products to work with Bluetooth wireless earbuds.

Why doesn't Touch ID work on my repaired iPhone?

Episode 1455

Nam from Lake Forest, CA
Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Nam gave his daughter a used iPhone 6, but after fixing the charging port, the fingerprint reader doesn't work. Leo says that Apple has disabled it because it was fixed by a third party. It's really for their own protection. If he takes the phone into Apple and tells them what happened, they should be able to restore the function, but understand that they may not.

How can my wife unlock her Android phone if she's forgotten the pattern?

Adrian from Irvine, CA

Episode 1455

Adrian's wife did a sliding pattern to lock her mobile phone and now she can't remember it. How can she unlock it? Leo says that in theory, Android doesn't want to give users a way around it, otherwise it would be useless for security. However, it's possible that if she has a Samsung account, she could have it backed up. There's also a way to do it by connecting it to a PC running Android Device Manager. Through that, she could unlock the phone.

Should I buy an iMac Pro for my photography hobby?

Episode 1454

John from Savannah, GA
Apple iMac Pro

John is retired and photography is a serious hobby for him. Should he buy a new iMac Pro, and how much RAM should he get? Leo says that If John was a pro, then the iMac Pro would be a good idea. But the 2017 5K iMac is not only just as good, it can actually be faster using single core configurations. So why spend the extra money? He should go with the 2017 iMac and configure it to his budget. 32GB of RAM is plenty, but he should avoid the Fusion drive. They cause more problems than they are worth. He should get a spinning drive to plug into it for his data.

Should I force the Oreo update for my Note 8 mobile phone?

Episode 1454

Nathan from Tuscon, AZ
Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Nathan got a new Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and wants to know if he should update it. Leo says that Samsung is starting to push out the Oreo update to the Galaxy S8, but not the Note 8 just yet. Leo also doesn't recommend forcing an update — he should wait until it's available. He should focus more on the security updates. Patience. Oreo will come soon.

How can I get my Android phone to stop crashing?

Episode 1453

Michael from Desert Hot Springs, CA
LG Aristo Silver

Mike has an LG Aristo mobile phone and it crashes all the time. What can he do? Leo suspects that there's an app that has been corrupted or flawed that causes the phone to crash. Leo suggests backing up the data and then restore the phone to its factory condition. It'll be in Backup and Reset under settings. The phone will wipe the drive and then reinstall Android. Then he'll have to reinstall everything.

How can I track my family with my phone?

Deena from Manhattan Beach, CA

Episode 1450

Deena wants to track her family with her iPhone. Leo says that a smartphone has GPS, an always on internet connection, it's designed to be a surveillance device. Always remember to have permission of the person you're tracking. For the iPhone, there's Find My Friends. There's also Life360. But her husband's phone is on Android, so how does he keep track of their son? Google Maps will let you share your location. Open Google Maps, tap the blue dot and select share location. It will time out after awhile though. That's the best option because it's free and cross platform.

How can I keep my phone from always listening?

Episode 1452

Pat from San Gabriel, CA
Motorola Moto Z

Pat upgraded to a Motorola Moto Z with Android 7, but when he listens to music at home, it displays what he's currently listening to on the screen. How does it know? Leo says that the Android has an always listening feature that will pick up the ambient sound in the room and identify it. It's basically for the OK Google feature.

Pat had an issue with it playing a video unexpectedly as well. Leo says he can train it to just listen to only his voice, or he could even disable "OK Google" entirely. It'll be under Settings > Google.

Can I say no to Customs if they want to read my phone?

Episode 1451

John from Westchester, NY
US Customs and Border Protection

John is worried about traveling overseas and then having his mobile device or computer taken away and being forced to unlock it. Leo says it doesn't really happen all that often, though they do have the right to do it, and it hasn't been ruled on being unconstitutional just yet. He'll have to worry when they take his device into another room. Chances are, they've cloned the data or even installed something to monitor him. At that point, if he's security conscious, the only thing he can really do is replace the device to be sure he's secure.

How can I transfer data from my old iPhone to my new iPhone?

Episode 1451

Evelyn from Lake View Terrace, CA
Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

Evelyn just got a new iPhone and wants to transfer all her settings and data from her old iPhone 5. Leo says the first thing she'll want to do is backup the old one in iTunes. Make sure to select encryption, because it won't backup her passwords without it. Then she can plug in her iPhone 8 and iTunes will then ask if she wants to restore. She can just select that, and then it'll backup her passwords, download the latest apps, and any other data she wants. Here's a support page from Apple on how to do it.