Randy from Las Vegas called in to say that he uses Straight Talk from Walmart because he can specifiy which cellular network to ride on. He also discusses the relevant film Nomadland with Leo, which won Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
Richard wants to know if the technology in his very ancient cell phones expires or not. Leo recommends calling directly since the functionality is specific to the carrier.
Richard is also curious about Rich Demuro's iOS book, and Leo suggests the modern edition since Richard should be running the latest iOS anyway.
Doug bought a Tracfone LG Rebel 3 mobile phones. But the problem is, he can't get a phone number for it because Verizon doesn't support 4G anymore, only LTE. Whats the difference? Leo says that LTE is a bit faster, but it's odd that Verizon doesn't support it anymore. But they may have just killed 4G. Leo says to pull the SIM and try another carrier to see if it's not carrier locked. If it isn't, then go to Straight Talk.
Doug has a mobile device through Straight Talk. But his internet access is terrible with his iPhone 5. He was told by Straight Talk that the iPhone 5 is being phased out and he'll have to get a new phone. Leo says that Apple has stopped supporting the iPhone 5 and it's likely Straight Talk is doing the same thing. So you should be able to take the SIM out and put it in the new one. If it doesn't work, then you can just get a new SIM card from Straight Talk.
Tim wants to know why he's not getting his phone updated. Leo says that since Tim is a subscriber of Straight Talk, it's likely that they aren't sending out all the official updates. Leo advises talking to Straight Talk about when he can expect the next update for his phone.
The only other option is to root it and install it himself, but that's not for everyone. He can find out how to do it at XDA Developer Forums. He'll have to follow the directions to the letter or he'll end up bricking his phone.
Brian is looking beyond the "big three" of cellphone carriers and wants to know which one of the smaller mobile carriers are best. Leo says that most of the smaller carriers, known as "mobile virtual network operators" (MVNOs), buy their network service at a discount rate from the big three, often times Sprint, and then resell it. And it's often a better value than the big three. Straight Talk Wireless from Walmart, for instance, is one such MVNO. Which one is best will depend on which of the big three's are best in Brian's area.
Joe is getting his first smartphone and he's looking at Walmart's StraightTalk which offers unlimited talk, text, and data. Leo says that unlimited doesn't necessarily mean true unlimited. After a few GBs, they'll throttle it down to an almost unusable speed. And StraightTalk is an MVNO through AT&T or Sprint. So he'll have to check what network he would be using, and what the coverage is like in his area.
Carol bought an AT&T phone but can't unlock it without a phone number to use it on Straight Talk. Leo says it's not likely that she'll be able to get AT&T to unlock it. Leo said that Carol bought it at the subsidized price, so she'll have to go with AT&T for two years. Unless it's a used iPhone, in which case Leo says that Carol can get it unlocked. If she's an AT&T customer in good standing, she can. But since Carol isn't, then she'll have to go to with AT&T Straight Talk in order to use it.
Pat is saying she's tired of contracts and the high monthly rates, so she switched to Straight Talk by Walmart. Leo says that MNVOs like Straight Talk are basically a 'rented line' from carriers like Verizon. They do funny things like throttling, charging for overages, etc.