Mobile Phones

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

Why am I getting an echo with my iPhone on Bluetooth?

iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

Episode 1502

Terri from Irvine, CA

Every time Terri uses Bluetooth with her iPhone in the car to make a phone call, the other side gets an echo. Leo says that it's possible that the phone is using its microphone, and the car is using Bluetooth. That can cause an echo. There could be a setting in iOS to use the car microphone when using Bluetooth. Leo also suggests un-pairing the phone, and then re-pairing it. That almost always fixes problems like this.

Should I erase my phone and start over?

Samsung Galaxy S5

Episode 1502

Joel from Lompoc, CA

Joel has an older Samsung Galaxy S5 and it's just fine. But he isn't sure if he should wipe it and start over. Is that necessary like it is with a PC every once in awhile? Leo says that it's good housekeeping for a computer. It puts it back to the day it first came and gets rid of all the "cruft" he doesn't need. With a phone, it's a bigger challenge because of music, pictures, text messages, etc. Music and Pictures can be backed up to the cloud, or a PC, pretty easily. Text messages, though, is another challenge.

What's a good way to travel overseas with my phone?

Skyroam Solis

Episode 1500

Sarah from Los Angeles, CA

Sarah is traveling overseas and wants an international cell phone plan. Leo says that it depends on where she is going and for how long. A smartphone is very valuable for traveling overseas. Sarah will be in the Middle East, Israel, Syria, as well as some countries in Europe. She should check out prepaidwithData.wikia.com. She can unlock her phone and get a local SIM that will work in each country. The downside is, she'll have a different phone number.

Can I control a phone from my computer?

Episode 1500

Adam from Ontario, CA

Adam wants to know if he can control a mobile device from his computer. Leo says that Remote PC does not work in the opposite direction, unless the phone is physically connected. You could control another laptop from a laptop, or Desktop. But not a phone. So in the case of your phone being stolen, you have to get your carrier or phone manufacturer involved to brick it or wipe is remotely.

We Now Know How the FBI Cracked the iPhone

Apple iPhone X

Episode 1499

Researchers have figured out that if you connect your iPhone to a computer, you can keep doing a brute force password attack to unlock it and that it should take about a day to open it. Leo says that this is with a four digit passcode, and a six digit passcode is a lot harder to crack.

The Supreme Court has also ruled that law enforcement cannot get cell phone location data without a warrant. The decision said that day to day movement data on a mobile device provides an intimate look at someone's activities, even to the point of violating privacy without a warrant.

Why does iCloud delete my pictures when I remove them from my phone?

iCloud Photos

Episode 1498

John from Orange County, CA

John is frustrated that he can't delete the pictures on his phone without deleting them from iCloud. Leo says that if he selects "optimize phone storage" in settings, it will delete it on the phone without deleting it on iCloud. But he'll have to select "Keep Originals" on his Mac so it doesn't delete there.

What smartphone should I buy for my kid?

Motorola Moto G6

Episode 1496

Nathan from Grand Rapids, MI

Nathan wants to get his son an Android phone. What should he buy? Leo says that the Motorola Moto G6 is a very good phone, and it's very affordable. He can get the G6 Play for about $200. It's good for kids. Leo also recommends considering a refurbished phone from Gazelle, and he should make sure he gets a good case for it.

(Disclaimer: Gazelle is a sponsor)