Mobile Phones

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

Can I use my smartphone for HAM radio?

Episode 1461

Allen from Marina Del Rey, CA
Amateur Radio

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.

Do I need to replace my iPhone SE?

Episode 1461

Kevin from Spokane, WA
Apple iPhone 5S

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 Galaxy S9 to Be Announced Later This Month

Episode 1459

Samsung Galaxy S8

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.

How can I get my phone unlocked?

Episode 1460

Rob from Los Angeles, CA
Person using smartphone

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.

Is my cell phone safe from an internet attack on my router?

Episode 1460

Bonnie from Riverside, CA
Hacker

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.

Is the GPS on my Android phone broken?

Episode 1459

Steve from Missouri
LG Stylo 2

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.

How can I turn my Android phone hands free?

Episode 1458

Scott from San Jose, CA
Android Auto

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.

How can I use my smartphone for investing?

Episode 1458

Dolly from San Jacinto, CA
Stock market graph

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.