Mobile Phones

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

Why doesn't my new Phone work with Straight Talk?

Straight Talk Carrier

Episode 1587

Douglas from Twodot, Montana

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.

What's a good first smartphone?

Smartphones

Episode 1587

Irwin from The Bronx, NY

Irwin has been using a flip phone for most of his life, but now he is starting to text and texting is a royal hassle on a flip phone. Leo says yes it is! What is the simplest option for him? He doesn't need the latest and greatest. A few apps. Maybe the occasional photo. Leo says that the iPhone is a great first smartphone. Android phones tend to be cheaper, but you want to get a phone that is constantly updated, so you want to be sure your carrier will update regularly. For Android, the Motorola Moto G6 or G7 is a great affordable option. $200-400.

Can the iPhone Show Me where I am?

Google & Apple Maps

Episode 1587

Mark from Reno, NV

Mark needs to prove where he was to someone. Leo says that you can see where you've been by going to google.com/dashboard. Click on maps, then more, then timeline. If it's enabled in the application settings, you will see a history of where your phone has checked in within the network. It should go as far back as 18 months at least. If that isn't good enough, you could contact your carrier as they will have that information available. But that information is only available to law enforcement as they can get access to that information without a warrant. So using Google is your best bet.

Apple Cracks Down on Apps that Fight Phone Addiction

 Our Pact

Episode 1587

Relying on a policy that no app can duplicate a function that Apple offers, Apple has removed 11 of 17 screentime and parental control apps.  Some app makers have been shut down. OurPact, with 3 million downloads, was pulled, eliminating 80% of the developer's income. Kids Locks and Custodio have filed a complaint with the EU as a result. But Apple claims it's a privacy issue as the apps take too much personal information. Or are they just protecting their bread and butter? Leo says it depends on how you feel about it.

Why is my phone getting bright and then dim?

Samsung Note 8

Episode 1586

Jason from Indianapolis, IN

Jason updated his Samsung Note 8 recently and now his display is reacting strangely as it gets super bright, then super dim, and then bright again. Leo suspects the proximity sensor may be out of wack, or Jason is holding the phone wrong and covering it up. Try turning off auto brightness as this will prevent it from constantly adjusting the brightness on your phone. But it could be a failing proximity sensor as well, which if that is the case, see if Samsung is able to fix it.

Can my phone get a virus from a Robocall?

RoboCalls

Episode 1586

Warren from Lakewood, CA

Warren answered a phone call that ended up being a robocall. Can answering robocalls deliver viruses to his phone? Leo says no. You can get your phone hacked by clicking on a link or reading a text message, but answering a phone call won't do it. It's likely just coincidental. Leo says that this is an ongoing problem now and people just can't use their phones anymore

Samsung's Folding Phone Screen Failures

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Episode 1585

This week, several reviewers who got the Samsung Galaxy Fold folding phone experienced catastrophic screen failures after just a day or two of use. Leo feels bad for Samsung since many reviewers who were sceptical of the design had begun to praise it. But then four different reviewers experienced screen failures: One from a piece of debris that caught in the hinge broke the screen, two others who inadvertently removed the protective film of the screen itself, and several others just plain died. It's like battery-gate all over again. 

Should I Buy a Used or Refurbished Phone?

Moto G6

Episode 1584

Ernest from Los Angeles, CA

Ernest needs a new phone but can't afford $1,000 to buy a brand new one. Should he buy a refurbished or used one? Leo says he can, but only from the manufacturer or a trusted reseller like Gazelle. But there are plenty of affordable Android phones out there, like the Motorola Moto G6 that are only a few hundred dollars. One Plus is another and the benefit is that they come unlocked. It's about $500 but for the price, the Moto G6 is an excellent choice.

What Happened to my Local TV Channels?

Hauppauge

Episode 1584

Mark from Tustin, California

Mark's channels have disappeared from his Hauppauge tuner. What happened? Leo says that the FCC has made stations shift frequencies, and have advised that users rescan for missing channels. Check out TVAnswers.org for when and how to rescan. There's more information here - https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/video/4040289-cbs2-rescan-day/. But it may also be a Hauppauge issue.