Android

Leo Tests the Microsoft Surface Duo

Duo

Episode 1727

Leo got the Microsoft Surface Duo Android device this week, the first Android phone that Microsoft has ever produced. The oversized "phablet," has dual screens and opens up like a paperback book. Both screens can work in concert or independently, and Leo says with the Kindle App, it's the best digital reading experience he's ever had. It has also given him all-day battery life, so it's quite usable.

But the Duo has its buggy issues. It can crash and freeze up, forcing one to reboot. Microsoft has pushed out an update, but it hasn't really helped. It also has a terrible camera. 

Is it easy to transfer my settings to my new Android phone?

Pixel 4a

Episode 1726

Paul from Louisville, KY

Paul discovered recently that his Motorola Moto G hasn't been updated since 2019. Leo says that is because Motorola only promises three years of updates. Even if the phone is working fine, without being updated, it becomes a security issue. Carl bought a new Google Pixel 4a and wants to know how easy it is to transfer everything? Leo says it's very easy, it'll be in the settings. But there are a few things you'll want to ensure. For example, turn on your Google Photos backup. Also make sure your music is backed up online.

Why doesn't Android transfer Action Blocks to my new phone?

Android's Action Blocks

Episode 1722

Gary from Cheektowaga, New York

Gary created a series of Google Action Blocks on his phone. But when he transferred them to his new phone, the blocks got blanked and don't work anymore. What gives? Leo says that they run with the Google Assistant and it could be that the Assistant is a blank slate on the new phone. Look in the Google Action Blocks app and see if they're there. Leo adds it sounds like a flaw in this new feature. They should also be backed up by Google if your backup feature is enabled.

Why doesn't my phone's GPS work?

Maps on Samsung

Episode 1720

Phil from Moorpark, CA

Phil did an update from his Samsung mobile phone recently and now he has to reboot his phone to make his GPS work in the maps app. Should he avoid the next update? Leo says that the August update is coming and it's important to keep your phone up to date, But in reality, it probably isn't the updates. Leo recommends uninstalling Google Maps and then reinstall it. Before that, try clearing the cache in the app settings. That'll get rid of any corrupted GPS data that could be causing the issue. Leo suspects that's the issue. If that doesn't work, reinstall Google Maps.

Microsoft Surprises with New Tablet-like Announcement

Duo

Episode 1719

Microsoft surprised everyone this week with the announcement of a two-screen mobile device, that Leo describes the Surface DUO as a kind of folding notebook you'd get at a bookstore. Like a pocket-sized portfolio or Moleskine. It has two 6" screens that when unfolded creates an 8" diagonal tablet running Android. The screens can work in concert or independently for multi-tasking.  Leo stresses that Microsoft insists the DUO is NOT a phone, but an internet-enabled device that can also make phone calls.

Is there an app that can define achronyms and abbreviations?

iOS Look Up

Episode 1714

Dan from San Diego, CA

Dan would like an app that will translate acronyms and abbreviations into real words. Leo says there isn't one he knows of, but it's a great idea. The Kindle has something similar though. By pressing and holding, it will open up a dictionary to define it. The Mac also has that feature CMD-Shift-D. But phones are harder because they isolate, or sandbox, each app for security reasons -especially iOS devices. You could look for a browser extension that could do it.

Why Can't I Use Google Duo on My Cell Phone?

Duo

Episode 1709

Nus from Palm Beach, FL

Nus is having issues with Google and his Duo app. Leo says that click on the three dots in the right-hand corner and it will show what account users are signed in with. It's possible that Nus signed out or removed his account accidentally. Nus says it doesn't remember it and tells him "something went wrong." Leo says that usually means it can't write to it. He recommends uninstalling Duo and reinstalling. Leo also recommends going into the phone app settings and look under the DUO app for clearing storage and cache. That will wipe it clean and start over. 

How do I fix screen burn-in on my Android Phone?

Pixel 4

Episode 1704

Tim from Weeki Wachee, Florida

Tim is having issues with screen burn-in of the status bar on his Android phone and it's OLED screen. How can he avoid it? Leo says it may be possible to avoid it with a custom launcher and rooting your phone. Leo uses Active Launcher. Nova Launcher is another good one. Both have themes, including a clear status bar. The chatroom suggests this article on how to fix screen burn-in.

How can I sync my Outlook contacts from my old HTC phone?

HTC U11

Episode 1698

Joe from Looking Glass, OR

Joe bought an HTC U11 a few years ago, which could sync with Outlook. But they stopped supporting it and Android killed the sync feature. So how can he sync the phone's outlook contacts before he upgrades to a new phone? Leo says there's a good free third party tool that will sync with the Windows Contacts manager called Syncios Mobile Manager for Android. It'll sync with Windows 10 People app, which can then sync with your Outlook. ​