Mobile Phones

iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry, or feature phones.

Why is my phone's GPS inaccurate after updating?

Episode 1347

Mark from Riverside, CA
Motorola Moto G

Mark drives for Uber, but now his Moto G Android phone is having GPS issues after updating. Leo says it could be that his GPS is damaged or he got a bad update. He should try restoring the phone first. But since the Moto G is a few years old, it may be time to get a new one. They're pretty cheap.

Can he go back to the previous Android OS? Leo says he may be able to, but Marshmallow was an important update.

Samsung to Send Kill Switch to Remaining Galaxy Note 7s

Episode 1347

Galaxy Note 7

With about 100,000 Note 7s still out in the wild, Samsung is about to send out an update that will make the mobile phone inoperable unless it's plugged in. It is hoped that these outlyers will then be returned by owners. Verizon has already said it won't push that update over the air during the holiday season. Meanwhile, Samsung has upped the ante to a full refund, plus an additional $100 for the trouble.

How can I back up the images from my smartphone?

Tracy from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1346

Tracy's phone crashed on her and she lost her data. She now has Google Photos, but she's noticed it's not backing up every photo. Leo says to check the backup and sync settings in the app. If she has "only backup on Wi-Fi" enabled, it will only backup when it's connected to Wi-Fi. Also, she should make sure that she's backing up from all her possible device folders. If she has unlimited data, she can enable backup while on cellular. She may also be turning off cellular to save bandwidth on some apps like Google Photos.

How can I get my data from Verizon?

Louis from Michigan

Episode 1346

Louis is having an issue with his cellphone after he dropped it, so he decided to go with a prepaid version. All of his data is in the Verizon cloud and they won't let him retrieve it. Leo says that's because he's no longer a customer. Samsung has a backup system, as does Google. So he should be able to go through them. It's terrible that Verizon won't give him back his personal data. It's likely though that Verizon has dumped his data by now.

Why can't I use my cell phone's GPS signal?

Episode 1346

Scott from Orange, CA
Apple iPhone 6

Scott has an iPhone 6 and he uses it to get around while hauling equipment, but lately it hasn't been working well -- ever since the last update. Leo thinks that Scott's iPhone has a damaged GPS receiver. He hasn't heard reports of GPS problems after updating, so he has a hunch it's a physical hardware issue. Scott should bring it into the Apple Store.

Image By Должин Жаргалсайхан (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

What happened to my voicemail messages?

Tim from Simi Valley, CA

Episode 1345

Tim's wife has an iPhone 6s Plus and her voicemail messages have disappeared! AT&T's visual voicemail expires after awhile and they will delete them after 60 days. AT&T probably has a copy somewhere, but Tim says they are no help at all. For future reference, there are programs that can get voicemails off the phone. They should check out eCamm's PhoneView for the Mac. It's free to try, and $30 to buy. It'll move all of her messages, SMS, and more. It may also be able to recover deleted messages from the iPhone.

How can I use my phone to track my things?

Scott from Hisperia, CA

Episode 1344

Scott uses a Windows phone and he can't use a device tracker. So he's looking to get an Android phone to use for it. Would that work without a cell network? Leo says that since it uses bluetooth, it wouldn't need one. Any bluetooth device that runs iOS or Android software will work, but it's limited to about 100 feet. Check out Gear Eye - http://www.doddlenews.com/blogs/kickstarter-geareye-makes-easier-indies-...

(Disclaimer: The Tracker is a sponsor)

Should I buy a Lenovo laptop?

Episode 1344

Dave from Escondido, CA
Google Pixel

Dave has been Christmas shopping online and he found a great deal on a laptop with 16GB of RAM and dual drives with an SSD and a spinning drive. Leo says it's similar to the Mac Fusion drive, where it has the performance of an SSD and the storage space of a spinning drive. Dave is worried that Lenovo has put malware on it, though. Leo says that it was the Superfish adware, and Lenovo got caught doing that -- twice. They have since learned their lesson. Leo likes the Ideapad and at $749, it's a great deal.