Tango

Should I get the ASUS ZenPhone AR or the Samsung S9?

Samsung Galaxy S9

Episode 1471

Sam from Las Cruces, NM

Sam was looking at the ASUS ZenPhone AR because of Tango and Daydream from Google, but Leo says it's terrible, and he should not get it. Tango is Google's imaging capability that they have since stopped supporting. It's kind of like Apple's face recognition technology, but it pointed outward instead of inward and it had 3D mapping. It turned out that no one wanted to make a phone with the Tango hardware because it was too expensive, added too much complexity, and required too much battery.

How can I make phone calls without a cellular plan?

Verizon JetPack

Episode 1441

Bernie from Washington State

Bernie wants to know about his data. He's worried that he's going over his data caps. Leo says that cell phone companies are moving towards Voice over LTE, which will use data to do phone calls because the quality is better. Can he get a data only device and do that? Leo says he can use apps like Tango and Skype to do that, but he's still paying for data. No cell company offers a mobile phone with just data only.

What's a good VOIP solution?

Episode 1294

Lane from Huntington Beach, CA

Lane is looking for a good voice over IP (VOiP) phone option. Leo says that Ooma and 8x8 are good because they are rather invisible and he can use regular phones to make calls. To use his mobile phone with it, he'll need a SIP app (session initiation protocol), but they require a SIP provider. There's a company called Obihai which provides the SIP access. Ooma has built up enough of a network so that it's more affordable and a good choice.

What are the best VOiP options?

Skype

Episode 1051

Mary from Los Angeles, CA

Mary wants to know about alternatives to Jajah, a VOIP service that she's been using and is going out of business.

Leo says Skype is one solution and she can use Skype with a phone number on a mobile phone with the app. It's very inexpensive. She can buy a Skype Out account, and that lets her make calls to regular phones. Leo did that with his daughter when she was studying overseas. Mary is worried about governments listening in when she calls overseas. Leo says that unless she's Jason Bourne, nobody really cares.