iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, or feature phones.
Allen is a HAM radio operator and came across a website called HamSphere. Leo says it's a software-based app for the smartphone or a Windows device so he could listen to HAM Radio using the Internet. Leo says it's a simulation, but it would allow him to talk to HAMs all over the world. It's called software-defined radio and he can even have a special call sign. It's worth a try.
Allen should check out HamNation here on TWiT. Maybe Bob Heil will talk about it.
Kevin has an iPhone SE and it's not updating anymore, so he needs to buy a new smartphone. Leo says that there's a life cycle for mobile devices, and even though it works just fine, technology will pass it up, and it will seem slower than it used to be. Apple will support a phone for three years before it starts dropping them off the update cycle. The iPhone's battery also has limited charging cycles of about 500 full cycles, or 2-3 years. And as the phone gets older, Apple starts slowing the phone down to keep it from overtaxing the processor and overheating it.
Samsung will be announcing the Galaxy S9 smartphone later this month at Mobile World Congress. We expect the phone to be more expensive this time around, at $850, and it will look a lot like the Galaxy S8. It will have dual cameras, but for the most part, it likely won't be anything major that would prompt an upgrade unless you're already in the market for a new phone anyway.
Rob has an old Android phone and he doesn't like his carrier. Can he unlock it and go with another carrier? Leo says he should as long as his account is in good standing. Even if he's no longer a customer, they should still do it for him. He should just call and ask them politely. He should not pay to unlock a phone, though. If he has to, Rob should go to XDA-Developers.org and look in there for instructions.
Photo apps of the week:
Bonnie uses Eset's Smart Security, But she recently saw that an external intruder was blocked. She's worried that while her PC was safe, her other devices may have been compromised. Leo says that Bonnie's router probably blocked the bad traffic that comes lurking. There are bots that are looking for security holes, though. Getting attacked is normal, but the router will handle 90% of the attacks. The rest is covered by antivirus. Her cell phone IP address changes constantly, so it's mostly pretty safe.
Steve has an LG Stylo 2 and he's starting to lose his GPS lock. His Bluetooth also comes and goes. Leo says the Stylo has a weak antenna. That could mean a failing antenna or faulty GPS chip. This could be caused by heat too. That's the likely culprit because when the phone overheats, it's going to protect everything by shutting it off. Leo also thinks that the phone has just worn out and it's time to get a new one.
Manny has an LG G5 smartphone and the timer pops up telling him how long he's been on a call. It annoys him. Leo says it has to be an LG feature because that's not a normal Android function. There has to be a setting in the menu settings to disable that, so he should check there.
Scott just switched from Windows Phone to Android, the LG G30. Leo says that's a great phone, but Scott wants to know if it has a hands-free driving mode. Leo says it's not in Android itself, but they have an app that will run on the phone to do it. Leo says it's called Android Auto. It'll give him a completely hands-free experience and he can enable auto launch to take over the second he turns on the car.
Dolly is retired and wants to invest in the stock market while traveling, but some of her brokerages don't support using smartphones. Leo says that there may not be an app to run, but she may be able to access her accounts using the phone's browser. What Dolly may have to do is select the "choose desktop" option. Leo also says that using a tablet like an iPad would be a better option since she'd have a bigger screen. She can also look to see if they have an app since many of the big companies do. TD Ameritrade, for instance, has an app, as does Schwab and Fidelity.