Mobile Phones

iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, or feature phones.

Why am I Being Charged More on My Cellphone Bill?

T-Mobile

Episode 1642

Jeff from Knoxville, TN

Jeff has a straight talk through Walmart and is looking to move to T-Mobile, where he was promised two phones for $55. But now, he's been billed for $100 extra every month. So now they're saying they didn't mean $55 total, but $55 each. What can he do? Rich says it sounds like the company didn't give him the right deal and saddled him with extra fees. If it's less than 30 days, he could just return it and cancel your service. If it's beyond the return window, then he may be stuck for the duration of the deal.

SatPaq Turns Your Phone Into a Satellite Text Messenger

SATPAQ

Episode 1642

SATPAQ is a cool accessory for your cellphone that will give you the ability to send text messages via Satellite.  Check out Rich's story on it here - https://ktla.com/2019/11/08/satpaq-satellite-text-messaging-smartphone-accessory-review/. But it's not cheap, at $250 plus.30 cents per text, sold in $100 packages. As long as you can see the southern sky though, it can keep you connected. Uses Bluetooth and supports both Android and iOS.

Is Fingerprint Unlock Going Away?

Braille Institute's Best in Tech LA conference

Episode 1642

Julian from LA, CA

Julian is blind and relies on touch ID on his iPhone a lot. But he's worried that the fingerprint ID is being replaced and will no longer be available in mobile phones. Rich says he's heard rumors that Apple may be bringing it back in the next iPhone in 2020, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, check out IOS13's new VOICE CONTROL feature.

Also, check out the Braille Institute's Best in Tech LA conference, coming Sat, Nov 16 at the 

Why isn't my iPhone touch screen working?

iPhone 5

Episode 1641

Tom from Burlington, VT

Tom's iPhone 5S died, and he bought a new iPhone 8. But he's not having luck with the 3D touch option. It just doesn't respond. And at other times, it seems overly sensitive. What is going on? Rich says that since the phone is still under warranty, it'll be worth going to the Apple Store and have the digitizer tested. If you don't have one nearby, Best Buy is now an authorized iPhone service center. A reboot of the phone will also help.

How can I minimize my footprint online and be anonymous?

Google

Episode 1641

José from Modesto, CA

José would like to be anonymous online. How can he minimize his online footprint with Mac addresses? Rich says that most systems are encrypted now, and Google is pushing all websites to update to https. So your traffic gets more encrypted. If that's not enough for you, then randomizing your Mac address is a good way to do it. In iOS 13, for instance, Apple devices generate randomized Mac addresses while online. That's a good way to keep yourself protected. You may try using a VPN, or you can browse privately.

Can I increase storage on my mobile phone with a microSD card?

microSD Card & microSD Adapter

Episode 1641

Joseph from Grand Forks, North Dakota

Joseph wants to an SD card into his phone and make it part of "adoptable storage," making the phone think that the phone is larger than it is. Rich says that Samsung doesn't allow that on their phones anymore because it's difficult to do, and if the card gets corrupted or loosened, it could prevent your phone from working properly. So Rich says that even though Android supports it, Samsung may have locked that feature out. Is there a workaround? Rich says you may be able to do it by rooting the phone, but it's not all that easy.

Chris Marquardt ... A Wider Angle

Chris Marquardt

Episode 1641

Chris joins us to talk about using Wider Angles. The new iPhone has a .5x ultra wide-angle lens, and often we can include things in our pictures that we don't want. So Chris recommends doing a background check to see what is in the background. Also, do a "border patrol" and check what's at the edges of your image. See what's going on as it might be intruding in the frame. 

Another issue with ultra wide-angle is a slight distortion at the edges of the frame. Anything at the edge can get stretched. To avoid it, place your subject more towards the middle. 

Should I buy a 5G mobile phone?

5G

Episode 1641

Ryan from Eureka, CA

Ryan has T-Mobile and they offer 600 MHz 5G and 600 Mhz 4G. Should he wait for the One Plus 7T next year? Rich says that 5G isn't really a thing right now. It's not going to be robust and widespread enough for another year. So there's no real rush to get a 5G phone, and they're first-generation anyway which will likely have bugs or fewer features, than if you wait a year. Also, since Ryan lives in a rural area, he's not going to really be able to take advantage of 5G right away anyway.