Android

Reducing Those Overwhelming Ads on Youtube

Youtube has been overwhelmed with plenty of advertisements during videos these days. They've increased it so badly, they're likely trying to annoy users into subscribing to Youtube Premium, a $12/mo subscription service that also comes with Youtube Music. It's up to you whether you want to bite their lure, but you can also block ads at the DNS level via NextDNS. If you have an Android phone, Firefox Focus works as an ad blocker and can possibly filter out Youtube commercials. Give it a try!

Can I Install Another Operating System on My Android Phone?

Samsung S20

Episode 1763

Vincent from New Orleans, LA

Vincent has a bunch of Samsung S20 phones for his business and would like to move away from Android. Is there an operating system that he can install over it? Leo says that Samsung has taken Android and modified it greatly. There are other flavors of Android you can put on it by rooting the device, but they are still Android. But you can "De-Google" it. Leo recommends going to XDA-Developers. Search for the model number of your phone and see what ROMs are available and how to put them on your phone.

How can I avoid using products by Big Tech?

PinePhone

Episode 1763

Brian from Nashua, NH

Brian has an iPad that's ten years old, and he would like to replace it with a non-Google, non-Amazon, or non-Apple model. Leo says good luck. One journalist tried to do that and wrote a story about it. She concluded that she couldn't do anything online. It's an interesting conundrum. If you're unhappy with Big Tech and don't want to patronize them, can you actually go online and boycott those major services? Well, no, you can't. And most websites are run on Amazon Web Services. So you're kind of stuck. 

What's a Good Smartphone With a Great Camera?

iPhone 12 Pro Max

Episode 1763

Glenda from Orange County, CA

Glenda needs a new smartphone with an excellent camera. Leo says that all of the "flagship phones" from Apple, Samsung, and Google all have excellent cameras. The iPhone 12 Pro, S21, and Pixel 5 are the latest top models and have amazing cameras. They all use computational photography to create bokeh, have great dynamic range and bold colors.

But even last year's mobile phones would be cheaper and have the same great cameras. The Google Pixel 4a has the same camera as the Pixel 5, and it's $349. A good option. A very natural image. 

What phone updates Android faster?

Motorola Moto G7

Episode 1756

Barry from Portland, OR

Barry is getting a new Motorola Moto G series mobile phone. Leo says it's the best mid-range priced mobile phone on the market today. Barry is concerned though, that updates are coming slower and slower these days. Leo says that unless Google makes the phone, that's going to happen since both the phone manufacturer and your carrier have to test the update before releasing them for their phones. Google can send updates directly. So if you're concerned about how fast updates happen, a Google-made phone like the Pixel 4a would be better. Check out the Android 1, too. 

How Can I Prevent My Android Phone From Being Hacked?

Android 11

Episode 1756

Kim from Mission Viejo, CA

Kim is worried that her Android phone may get hacked. How can she prevent it? Leo says that Android is more open source and is more vulnerable to attack than an iPhone. But really, the best way to guard against it is to keep your phone up to date with Google's security updates. Can she get hacked by clicking on a link? Leo says it's possible, but the most common way is to download a bad app from the App store. Only download apps that are well known from well-known companies. Avoid any apps from Russia.

Allow the Relevant Permissions for Your iOS Apps Requesting Access

If an application needs to share Photos and Video to an iOS device, it needs to store the files in the Photos album of your device in order to work. On an Apple device, the permissions will be granular. If you want to send a picture through an app like Facebook Messenger, you will get a pop-up asking for your permission to access your device's photos. That is normal, so don't freak out. If an app is asking for permissions to certain areas of your iOS device (like Contacts, Location, etc.) that don't seem to relate to the app's function, be wary.

Should I return my Samsung S20 Mobile Phone?

Samsung S20

Episode 1751

Larry from Menneffee, CA

Larry bought a Samsung S20 "Fan Edition" Android Phone. He's having all sorts of issues with crashing, screen issues, and other problems. Leo says that it's likely software issues that are causing the problems. Samsung is known for some of the best screens in the business, so it's unlikely, but not impossible, that it's a hardware issue. But Leo advises to contact Samsung Mobile and demand a new one.