Mobile Phones

Why do apps open up when I start up Bluetooth?

Smartphone and computer

Episode 1557

Tom from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

When Tom turns Bluetooth on after having been turned off for awhile, tons of apps start opening up on his phone. What's happening? Leo says that backgrounded apps automatically terminate after a short period. Leo recommends letting the phone manage his apps for him. He doesn't need a third party app to kill them — he should just let the phone do it.

What should I know before buying a used phone?

Smartphone and laptop

Episode 1557

Mark from Tampa, FL

Mark bought a phone on eBay and wants to know if it will work with his carrier. Leo says that it may, but it depends on the radio frequencies it supports and whether or not the phone has been locked to the carrier or not. You can get the carrier unlock it, and they should do it as long as it is in good standing. He'll also need to make sure the phone isn't carrier locked.

How can I unlock a used iPhone?

Episode 1556

Jake from Jacksonville, FL

Jake bought a new phone on eBay, but he can't activate it because it says he owes money to AT&T — but he's never used it with AT&T. Leo says it's probably the carrier that has flagged the IMEI of that phone and locked it out. Leo advises contacting eBay and getting his money back. He should give the seller a bad review as well. Of course, he could pay the bill. But who wants to do that? This is why you don't buy phones on eBay.

How can I get data off an old phone?

S7

Episode 1554

Noah from Van Nuys, CA

Noah's girlfriend lost her smartphone, but they found it and the screen is shot. The phone still works, but they'd like to get the contacts off. Leo says they can connect it to a computer and use the Android File Transfer app on a Mac, or use it as a hard drive on a PC. The PC will read the phone as a hard drive and then they can hunt around and find all the data. She should look in the Android Data folder, check "SD0", copy all of it to the hard drive, and then root around.

Is iPhone more secure than Android?

Apple iPhone XS

Episode 1550

Ed from Clairemore, OK

Ed thinks the iPhone is more secure than Android because malware always affects Android, not Apple. Leo says that Apple keeps the iPhone more sandboxed and doesn't allow users to install anything but apps approved by Apple. Google, by contrast, allows alternative Android stores, but they do require all apps in the Google Play to be approved. Apple is only marginally more secure. Bottom line, Apple will protect his information, and Google will sell it.

Is Android secure?

Android

Episode 1550

Gary from Buffalo, NY

Gary is about to get an Android phone and is concerned about security. Leo says that mobile phones have enhanced security with apps sandboxed from one another, and as such, are extremely secure. Android also has a mobile kill switch for apps, so if a bad app is installed, Google can kill it. So he doesn't really need an antivirus app for his smartphone. He should just make sure to only install apps from reputable sources.