Apps

Why's My Android Slow Running PetCube?

PetCube

Episode 1821

David from Atlanta, GA

David has an Android phone and he's using the PetCube app to watch his pets remotely. But he's having issues getting the signal via wifi. It's really slow. Leo says that he doesn't normally have WiFi peer-to-peer notifications. It has to go up to PetCube's server first, and then to the phone. Look in the notifications setup to see if the push notifications are being allowed to wake up the phone. Leo suspects that the PetCube server is probably running really slow.

Google Installs App without Asking on some User Phones

Massachusetts

Episode 1806

Up in Massachusetts, users of Android phones discovered this week that Google had installed the Massachusetts State app without their knowledge or permission. The app is designed to provide citizens with the latest Covid-19 information, as well as a QR code if you have been vaccinated. Leo says it's not a good thing to force an app, and how easy would it be to forge a QR code anyway? People have always sought to "game" the system, and it's even more so in the age of the Internet.

What Software Can I Use to Publish a Book?

Affinity Publisher

Episode 1793

Eva from Cortland, NY

Eva is doing a publishing project, but her computer is 12 years old. So she's looking for user-friendly design software. Leo says that Serif is a solid company that used to make desktop publishing software and now have a low-cost app called Affinity Publisher.  It's $25. Leo uses Affinity Photo, and he likes it. So Publisher may be a good one to look into, and they have a 90 day try before you buy.

Why Am I Not Getting Notifications From My Alarm Motion Security App?

Zigbee Monitor Sensor

Episode 1787

Brian from Mission Viejo, CA

Brian has had an issue with an alarm system for two years that drives him nuts. They are supposed to get push notifications in the app, but often they don't. Or one person gets them, and one doesn't. Leo says that iOS can be very aggressive at shutting down background apps. Notifications can also be dialed up and down with sensitivity to not get a notification every 10 seconds when the wind blows. So it could be dialed down too far. If you haven't visited the app in a while, it may just be shut off. Or the company's servers may be down. There's a lot of points of failure there. 

How Can I Get Tornado Warnings on My Phone?

Tornado Spy

Episode 1787

Stacey from Michigan

Stacey got tired of missing tornado warnings. She had a tornado rip through her front yard! So she got an emergency radio that she can tune into the NOAA weather channel. She also uses an app called Tornado Spy, which uses crowdsourcing to advise of tornado activity in your area.  

Stacey also started a podcast on Origami. It's called The Origami Show. And she wants a recommendation on a good mic. Leo says that Stacey's best bet is the Audio Technica AT2020 USB+. It's $150.