Mobile Phones

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

How do I stay connected while on a cruise?

Episode 1503

Ellie from Honolulu, HI
Cruise Ship

Ellie is cruising the Hawaiian Islands. What should she do for internet access? Should she buy the cruise ship internet? Leo says don't ever do that! It's satellite internet and it's only a few MB up and down, and everyone on the ship has to share it. She'd have to get up in the middle of the night to get decent speed. It's also obscenely overpriced. Since Ellie is cruising around the Islands, she may be able to rely on local cellular service if she's near shore. She'll have data, but won't be charged a roaming fee. AT&T says that she will, though. Leo says that's nonsense.

Why am I getting an echo with my iPhone on Bluetooth?

Episode 1502

Terri from Irvine, CA
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

Every time Terri uses Bluetooth with her iPhone in the car to make a phone call, the other side gets an echo. Leo says that it's possible that the phone is using its microphone, and the car is using Bluetooth. That can cause an echo. There could be a setting in iOS to use the car microphone when using Bluetooth. Leo also suggests un-pairing the phone, and then re-pairing it. That almost always fixes problems like this.

Should I erase my phone and start over?

Episode 1502

Joel from Lompoc, CA
Samsung Galaxy S5

Joel has an older Samsung Galaxy S5 and it's just fine. But he isn't sure if he should wipe it and start over. Is that necessary like it is with a PC every once in awhile? Leo says that it's good housekeeping for a computer. It puts it back to the day it first came and gets rid of all the "cruft" he doesn't need. With a phone, it's a bigger challenge because of music, pictures, text messages, etc. Music and Pictures can be backed up to the cloud, or a PC, pretty easily. Text messages, though, is another challenge.

What's a good way to travel overseas with my phone?

Episode 1500

Sarah from Los Angeles, CA
Skyroam Solis

Sarah is traveling overseas and wants an international cell phone plan. Leo says that it depends on where she is going and for how long. A smartphone is very valuable for traveling overseas. Sarah will be in the Middle East, Israel, Syria, as well as some countries in Europe. She should check out prepaidwithData.wikia.com. She can unlock her phone and get a local SIM that will work in each country. The downside is, she'll have a different phone number.

Can I control a phone from my computer?

Adam from Ontario, CA

Episode 1500

Adam wants to know if he can control a mobile device from his computer. Leo says that Remote PC does not work in the opposite direction, unless the phone is physically connected. You could control another laptop from a laptop, or Desktop. But not a phone. So in the case of your phone being stolen, you have to get your carrier or phone manufacturer involved to brick it or wipe is remotely.

We Now Know How the FBI Cracked the iPhone

Episode 1499

Apple iPhone X

Researchers have figured out that if you connect your iPhone to a computer, you can keep doing a brute force password attack to unlock it and that it should take about a day to open it. Leo says that this is with a four digit passcode, and a six digit passcode is a lot harder to crack.

The Supreme Court has also ruled that law enforcement cannot get cell phone location data without a warrant. The decision said that day to day movement data on a mobile device provides an intimate look at someone's activities, even to the point of violating privacy without a warrant.

Why does iCloud delete my pictures when I remove them from my phone?

Episode 1498

John from Orange County, CA
iCloud Photos

John is frustrated that he can't delete the pictures on his phone without deleting them from iCloud. Leo says that if he selects "optimize phone storage" in settings, it will delete it on the phone without deleting it on iCloud. But he'll have to select "Keep Originals" on his Mac so it doesn't delete there.