Joselyn has a Netgear Streaming box and it's no longer supported. Can he turn it into an AndroidTV box? Leo says that it would be a great idea if he could do it. Leo says if anyone would know how to do it, it would be XDA Developers Forums. It's called "rooting," and you go there and input the box's model number into the forum search and see if anyone has done it. He'll have to modify or unlock the bootloader and then find a ROM firmware that can do it.
Jerry has an old HTC M8 cellphone he'd like to root. But he's worried that he'll brick it. Can he buy one already rooted? Leo says no. But if you go to XDA-Developer Forums, and input the exact model of your phone, you can get a step by step directions.
John got an Amazon Fire Tablet and he'd love to wipe it clean to get rid of having to go into Amazon for everything. Leo says one thing he can do is put the Google Play store on it. Once done, everything else on Android is available. Leo says he stopped using the FireTV because it was all about Amazon as well. He could maybe "root" the tablet in order to make it Android only.
Mike wants to know how to jailbreak his Android phone. Leo says that jailbreaking is for the iPhone and it's not recommended because it exploits known security flaws, which is dangerous. The Android phone equivalent is "rooting" which enables administrator access. This allows one to put other firmware on there. But the Samsung Galaxy mobile phones are very difficult to root because Samsung doesn't want users to. But if users go to XDA Developers and input the exact model of their phone, they can find out how to do it.
Gary has an older Motorola Moto X and he has to root the phone to install Android 9. Is it secure? Leo says yes, all it really means is that you're an administrator. And Google is fine with it. But remember, once you root, you can be your own worst enemy and cause problems. But if you're smart enough to root it, then you're fine. To know how, go to XDADevelopers.org.
BJ wants to know if he needs to reinstall the OS on his tablet in order to change the carrier for it. Leo says no, and since BJ's tablet is with Verizon, he can just replace the SIM card with another. If it doesn't work, he can go to Verizon and ask them to unlock it. They have to unlock it by FCC mandate. He shouldn't need to unlock it, though.
Rob has an old Android phone and he doesn't like his carrier. Can he unlock it and go with another carrier? Leo says he should as long as his account is in good standing. Even if he's no longer a customer, they should still do it for him. He should just call and ask them politely. He should not pay to unlock a phone, though. If he has to, Rob should go to XDA-Developers.org and look in there for instructions.
Steve was given a Barnes and Noble Nook reader. Can he watch movies on it? Leo says that the Nook had very limited space and used a proprietary format, but he may be able to hack it to give it more options, including watching the movies he wants. He should head over to XDA-Developers to see how to "root" the Nook. His real problem, though, is copy protection. The Nook only supports movies with Cinema Now DRM. But that's part of the fun of hacking old technology like a Nook.
Al has an LG V20 Android phone and wants to know if he should get another one for a secondary device. Leo says that LG is about to come out with the LG V30. Al wants one that has a removable battery. Leo says that there isn't a popular phone that does removable batteries anymore. The drive for thinner mobile devices has pushed to get rid that feature.
Cody got a commercial version of the Chromebit for Christmas and he can't install Android apps to it. Leo says not every ChromeOS device can do it and it's likely that the Chromebit he has can't do it because it doesn't have touch. It may also be that he hasn't gotten the update yet and once he does, he'll have access to the Play Store.