Mobile Phones

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

How can I avoid international data roaming?

Episode 1405

Paul from Houston, TX
Cell tower

Paul and his wife are traveling to Croatia Saturday and he's worried about data roaming charges. Leo says that international data is rapidly changing thanks to T-Mobile's free Edge data plan that started last year. As such, AT&T has changed from offering an expensive data package to a "day pass."

Google Fi is a solid option, because they would pay as they go at $10 a month. If they have a Google phone, then they'll be in good shape.

Why am I having issues with Bluetooth on Android Nougat?

Episode 1404

Shirley from Laguna Nigel, CA
Motorola H720

Shirley has a Samsung Galaxy S7 with a Motorola Bluetooth earpiece. With the recent March update, the connection switches to speaker phone automatically for no reason. Neither Samsung or Motorola know what it is. Leo says that he's tempted to blame Bluetooth because it's kind a dark art. It could also be a setting in Nougat that causes it as well. There is an issue tracker page for bug reporters in Android for wireless settings at issuetracker.google.com.

What happened to my phone contacts?

Episode 1404

Rick from Victorville, CA
Google Contacts Logo

Rick has an Outlook account on his HTC smartphone, but when he updated the phone, it stopped syncing and erased all the contacts on his phone and his Outlook account! Leo says it sounds like the sync went the other way and wiped out his contacts. This is why Leo always recommends not only backing up your contacts before doing this, but also relying on Google's Contacts in the cloud.

How can I get my maps app to show my preferred routes?

Episode 1404

Jim from Huntington Beach, CA
Waze for iOS

Jim is annoyed with Waze because it always redirects him away from his preferred route just to save a few seconds. He only wants a new route if the time savings is substantial. Leo says that it would be great if he could set a preferred route, but most just allow users to choose fastest routes or shortest routes. He can select "don't allow dirt roads or difficult intersections." Leo says he usually just ignores an odd route and Waze will simply recalculate.

Where should I buy a refurbished iPhone?

Episode 1403

James from San Francisco, CA
Apple iPhone 7

James wants to know if Gazelle offers reliable refurbished Apple devices and if it's worth it to buy from them. Leo says that he's used Gazelle, and they offer a 30 day money back guarantee. So it's worth buying from them as an alternative to the factory refurbished items from Apple itself. He should remember that he's still buying a used device, but it's certainly better than buying from eBay. If he buys from them, he should stress it for those 30 days. He should charge it, run it down to zero, and charge it again. He should do that several times to test the battery life.

What's the best app for organizing photos on my phone?

Episode 1402

Craig from Carlsbad, CA
Google Photos

Craig wants to know what photos app to use for his camera? Leo says that he likes Google Photos because it will do an automatic sync backup of all his photos every day. The problem is that his phone has its own photo app as well and so he'll end up with more than one copy of a photo, and it's hard to organize them that way. And it won't pick up where he left off. Apple's Photos app does. But Android phones don't have that capability and neither does Google Photos.

How can I stop my phone number getting spoofed by spammers?

Episode 1402

Shannon from Wayne, NE
Phone key pad

Shannon is having issues with his neighbors getting a lot of robocalls from his number. Leo says that's called Neighbor Spamming and it's illegal. They can easily spoof his phone number in the caller ID to do it. But since it's done from overseas, there's no real way to stop it legally. The only saving grace is that it will move on to another number eventually.

Looking Back to the Initial iPhone Release

Episode 1401

Apple iPhone

This past week marked the ten year anniversary of the release of the original iPhone. Leo remembers waiting in line for that iPhone. By today's standards it's tiny, but it was so much better than anything else that was out at the time. When Steve Jobs first talked about it in his keynote address, he introduced it as three new products — a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a phone, and an internet communicator. He kept repeating those three things until everyone understood it was one product, the iPhone.