Richard has the Samsung Galaxy SIII and wants to root it, but he's having trouble finding a root method for it because it's on a Sprint MVNO. Leo says that it's possible the boot loader has been locked because of the MVNO and nobody has hacked it yet. If he can, CyanogenMod is a great option because it's pure Google. The Galaxy SIII is very well supported in terms of rooting.
Art has an older Motorola 4G phone running Android, and he wants to use it just for Wi-Fi access. Leo says that'll work great and with voice over IP apps like Skype and Tango, Art can also use it as a phone when it's connected to Wi-Fi. Art is wondering about using Google Voice with it. Leo says that Google Voice wants to confirm a cellphone number so that won't work right. Skype is good because for $100 a year, he can have his own phone number.
Monty got an HTC Thunderbolt and wants to know what the most recent Android is to breathe new life into it. Leo says that the oldest phones are the best candidates for new firmware and mods.
Android phones backup a lot of stuff automatically through Google. GPlus will also do automatic backups as he takes pictures. He can also use Dropbox with their app.
Leo says Android is fully capable of being a wi-fi hotspot without rooting the phone, but it's up to the carrier whether or not to allow it. If he can't find the hotspot function, then the carrier probably isn't allowing it. He could install software that would do the hotspot by rooting it, but he might be in violation of his contract and MetroPCS could use that as an opportunity to discontinue his service or charge him extra.
The chatroom says there is a program called FoxFi which actually doesn't even require rooting the phone.
Leo advises spending time at XDA Developers Forums and looking up his device. AndroidForums.com is also a good source. The reason for doing this is to update the phone when wireless providers are reluctant to allow it. He has to use the right instructions, and to the letter too, otherwise he may brick the phone.
It may be Verizon or Motorola that took out some accessible features during the last update. He may want to root that phone and put something on it from XDA-Developers Forums that will support accessibility better for him.
He should root the device and put a CyanogenMod ROM on it. It would be faster and smarter. He can go to XDA-Developers Forums to find out how. Leo says the PanDigital tablets are very cheap and he doesn't think they're very well engineered.
Leo says it's possible he might get pwned (hacker speak for "owned" or "hacked"). First of all, Android is an operating system based on Linux created by the Open Handset Alliance. Google has contributed considerably to it, but doesn't own it. One of the things about open software is that the user is allowed to modify or mess with it. The carriers and some handset manufacturers may not like it and may try to thwart it, but it is possible and even encouraged to "root" the device.