Mobile Phones

Why doesn't my phone work after deleting files from it?

Episode 1347

Laurel from Burbank, CA
HTC One M9

Laurel's HTC phone is full, so she started deleting stuff, and now it won't work. Leo says Laurel probably deleted a critical system file, but she can restore the phone back to the factory settings. That would require wiping the phone completely. Before she does that though, she can connect it to a computer via USB and Windows will read it as a hard drive or a camera. Then she can copy the photos off. She can also install an Android File Transfer program if she has a Mac and do the same thing. Then, she can do a factory recovery.

Johnny Jet on Travel

Episode 1347

Johnny Jet

Johnny Jet has family in for the holidays and today's conversation is about mobile phones on the plane. The Department of Transportation is finally going to start allowing people to use their mobile phones on the plane. Leo says technological issues have never been why he's against that, but because people will keep talking loudly on the flight and it'll be even more annoying to fly. Johnny Jet says that VOIP is becoming very popular since in-air Wi-Fi has become very fast and reliable. Johnny says that it'll be left to the airlines to decide if it happens, and it won't be for a few years.

What's an Android alternative to the iPhone 6S with good battery life?

Episode 1347

Gary from Laguna Nigel, CA
Samsung Galaxy S7 Active

Gary's iPhone 6S has an issue with his battery suddenly dying, which seems like it should be part of the recall, but Apple says it isn't, and won't fix it. Leo says that's terrible! They should support it. The best he can hope for is getting a replacement for $200. So Gary wants to go Android, but he needs good battery life. Leo says that the Motorola Z Phone or the Sony Xperia have the best battery life for Android phones.

Why is my phone's GPS inaccurate after updating?

Episode 1347

Mark from Riverside, CA
Motorola Moto G

Mark drives for Uber, but now his Moto G Android phone is having GPS issues after updating. Leo says it could be that his GPS is damaged or he got a bad update. He should try restoring the phone first. But since the Moto G is a few years old, it may be time to get a new one. They're pretty cheap.

Can he go back to the previous Android OS? Leo says he may be able to, but Marshmallow was an important update.

Samsung to Send Kill Switch to Remaining Galaxy Note 7s

Episode 1347

Galaxy Note 7

With about 100,000 Note 7s still out in the wild, Samsung is about to send out an update that will make the mobile phone inoperable unless it's plugged in. It is hoped that these outlyers will then be returned by owners. Verizon has already said it won't push that update over the air during the holiday season. Meanwhile, Samsung has upped the ante to a full refund, plus an additional $100 for the trouble.

How can I back up the images from my smartphone?

Tracy from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1346

Tracy's phone crashed on her and she lost her data. She now has Google Photos, but she's noticed it's not backing up every photo. Leo says to check the backup and sync settings in the app. If she has "only backup on Wi-Fi" enabled, it will only backup when it's connected to Wi-Fi. Also, she should make sure that she's backing up from all her possible device folders. If she has unlimited data, she can enable backup while on cellular. She may also be turning off cellular to save bandwidth on some apps like Google Photos.

How can I get my data from Verizon?

Louis from Michigan

Episode 1346

Louis is having an issue with his cellphone after he dropped it, so he decided to go with a prepaid version. All of his data is in the Verizon cloud and they won't let him retrieve it. Leo says that's because he's no longer a customer. Samsung has a backup system, as does Google. So he should be able to go through them. It's terrible that Verizon won't give him back his personal data. It's likely though that Verizon has dumped his data by now.

Why can't I use my cell phone's GPS signal?

Episode 1346

Scott from Orange, CA
Apple iPhone 6

Scott has an iPhone 6 and he uses it to get around while hauling equipment, but lately it hasn't been working well -- ever since the last update. Leo thinks that Scott's iPhone has a damaged GPS receiver. He hasn't heard reports of GPS problems after updating, so he has a hunch it's a physical hardware issue. Scott should bring it into the Apple Store.

Image By Должин Жаргалсайхан (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons