Mobile Phones

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

National Test of IPAWS Emergency System Happens Thursday

FEMA logo

Episode 1524

On Thursday, FEMA will conduct a test of IPAWS: Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. It will send a message to all the phones in the US to test the infrastructure of the warning system. The test will happen around 2:18 PM ET and will last a half hour.

Rich says it's a big deal that the federal government will take command of every cell phone tower in the country in order to reach everyone at once with a test emergency text message. Rich also says that while there is an opt out provision for some emergency alerts, this isn't one of them. You cannot disable it.

Why won't my iPhone charge?

Apple iPhone

Episode 1524

Maryanne from Santa Barbara, CA

Maryanne's iPhone 6 won't recharge and now it's dead. What can she do? Rich says that her iPhone battery could be depleted or faulty. The battery in the iPhone has a limited number of charges, and once it surpasses that, the battery will die. And being an iPhone 6, it could be that the battery needs replacing. But before doing that, she should try using a gentle burst of canned air into the lightning port. If it starts to charge, then she'll know there was just a little dirt or fluff blocking the connection. If it doesn't work, then it's time for a trip to the Apple Store.

Why isn't my iPhone charging with my power brick?

Apple iPhone 8

Episode 1524

Scott from Harlington, TX

Scott got an Anker backup battery and sometimes he gets a warning that the accessory may not be supported, and it stops charging the phone. It even does it with the Apple charging block. Rich says that Apple has a program called Apple MFI (made for iPhone). If his accessory is MFI, then the culprit could be a failing cable. It could also be that his phone's connector could have some lint in it preventing his cable from connecting completely. Rich suggests taking a toothpick and sweeping it out. A gentle burst of canned air is a good idea too, but he should be sure to be gentle.

What does my streaming video look better from my smartphone than my desktop?

Logitech C930

Episode 1522

Dave from Paris, CA

Dave is a YouTuber, and when he streams live, it works better using LTE and his smartphone than his webcam and desktop using Wi-Fi. Leo says that in theory, they should be the same. Leo says that his Logitech C930 webcam could be misconfigured. Or, he could consider better lighting. Better lighting is always an improvement and helps the camera to pick exposure, color saturation, etc. At the end of the day, though, his LG smartphone probably just has a better camera.

Is surfing the internet on LTE secure?

4G LTE

Episode 1522

David from El Monte, CA

David wants to know if he's secure surfing the internet on his mobile device. Leo says that nothing is unhackable, but LTE is encrypted and very secure. A phone can be hacked, even at the radio level, though. It's also possible for someone to spoof his SIM card. But it's too much work for the average hacker. It would have to be a state level attack in order to accomplish it. Wi-Fi is less secure, and if he's relying on WPA2 or any other Wi-Fi connection, it's possible to hack it. But that's not easy, either. Odds are, there's really not all that much to worry about.