How can I root my Sprint Samsung Galaxy SIII?

Episode 982

Richard from Bell Flowers, FL

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.

Can I use an old Android phone without cell service?

Episode 982

Art from Santa Maria, CA

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.

How can I get wi-fi hotspotting on my MetroPCS Android phone?

Episode 903

Morris from Santa Ana, CA

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.

How can I root my Android tablet and not get pwned?

Episode 882

Joe from Cheektowaga, NY

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.