Google

Google Buys FitBit for $2.1 Billion

FitBit

Episode 1640

With everyone pretty much owning a smartphone now, Rich says the next great mobile frontier is accessories for mobile devices. Google knows this and they have bought fitness tracker FitBit for $2.1 Billion. More than they paid for YouTube. Rich also says that Google needs this because its Google WearOS Devices haven't really taken off as they should. And while Google says that they will never share your personal health data, he believes that Google will erode that promise over time. Information is what Google is into.

 

Google Announces Pixel 4 Mobile Phone

Google Pixel 4

Episode 1636

Google announced the Pixel 4 this week. Leo says that of all the features, the camera is the one that everyone is looking at. Leo also said that Apple was waiting for what Google announced before releasing the upcoming iOS 13.2 update to improve image quality. Leo also says that computational photography has reached a point where your mobile phone's camera is as good as a real camera, so there's no real need to own a separate one now. The phone will also use machine learning to teach the camera what different parts of the image look like, so it'll adjust the image accordingly.

Why Do Some Sites Block My VPN?

BBC

Episode 1632

Dan from Orange County, CA

Dan signed up for a VPN recently, and he can't use it with his banking, Netflix or other apps. Leo says that the bank is probably blocking it. VPNs can break IP-based authentication. BBC iPlayer, for instance, blocks VPNs, because you're not paying for the TV license fee. Netflix does it because it doesn't want another region to be watching content that isn't available for licensing reasons. Banking activity is encrypted, so you don't really need a VPN for it. Google has also been pushing for HTTPS encryption with every site, so if every site is encrypted, there's no real need for VPNs.

Will Restoring My Phone Fix My Problems?

moto g4 plus

Episode 1628

Terry from Los Angeles, CA

Terry is having an issue on his moto g4 plus phone that won't let him remove an app, and now his camera is crashing.  He's leaving in a week for Japan. Leo says that it's time to get a new phone because his phone is older. He recommends going with Google Fi because it's a great international travel phone. But if he wants to keep the phone, then Leo recommends backing up the phone on Google, and then reset it. Then, when restored, Google will restore all apps. Or, he can go into the Google store and see what he has downloaded and restore them manually. 

Why Can't I Send Email?

Gmail

Episode 1600

Valerie from Agoura Hills, CA

Valerie is having issues with her email, she can receive but she can't send. Leo says that's due to a validation issue since her email provider doesn't support standard protocols. Google will block email IP addresses due to spam. Leo recommends using Gmail or other well-known email providers. So get a new email provider! 

What should be my next Android phone?

Samsung Galaxy S10

Episode 1599

Richard from Sonoma, CA

Richard recently came across his old Google G1, the first Android mobile device. Now he's at the Google Pixl2 XL and he wants a phone with an SD card for storage. Leo says that SD card slots are on a lot of phones, but they are notoriously difficult. The operating system doens't trust them to install apps. But Samsung seems to have gotten a handle on it. Leo recommends the Samsung Galaxy S10. But understand that Samsung does modify the Android OS a bit to make everything work the way they want. Some things are great, some aren't. Which is why Leo roots his and uses a custom launcher.