Mobile Phones

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

Can I Hardwire My Android Phone to a Router?

Belkin USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

Episode 1638

David from Frederick, MD

David lives in a poor cellular area and wants to connect his phone to his home internet. But he wants to do it wired. Leo says that WiFi is pretty fast these days and that's the way to do it. He could conceivably get a USB/Ethernet dongle and plug it directly into a router. Then it depends on the phone. Samsung has a DEX adapter. Amazon sells an iOS to an Ethernet adapter with a lightning connector. It would have to be Ethernet to USB-C and the device would have to have a driver to understand it. Most phones don't expect users to do that, so there are no drivers to support it.

Why is my phone not ringing?

iPhone 11

Episode 1637

Harold from West Covina, CA

Harold is on TMobile and he's noticing that many robocalls are going straight to voicemail. Leo says that could be a false positive from TMobile's spam calling feature that routes the call to voicemail without you knowing that the call even happened. Leo says that try disabling that feature on your phone and see what happens. You'll likely get a ton more robocalls though. But when Harold reboots his phone, it goes away. The chatroom suggests disabling WiFi calling. Sometimes that can cause it. But Leo suspects its a call screening feature of your carrier.

Are there hearing aids that can work with my mobile device?

iHear Icon CIC

Episode 1637

Fred from Columbia MD

Fred called in to say that there's a new wireless microphone for the hard of hearing, which can connect to your mobile device via Bluetooth and Quatro hearing aids so that those with trouble hearing can participate in group conversations. Leo says that's a great feature. Leo loves that modern hearing aids can interact with your mobile phones in order to listen better.  Check them out here - https://www.resound.com/en-us/hearing-aids/bluetooth-hearing-aids.

The Giz Wiz and the Night Light

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1636

This week's gadget s the VR3 Phone Line Charger + Night Light.This device plugs into your telephone jack. But it will only work with a working copper phone line, not with fiber. Once you plug it in, you use the jack on the side of the device to plug your phone in. That way this device is always getting power to charge the internal 1800 mAh battery. When charged a light sensor turns the built-in night light goes on and off automatically. On the front of the device is a USB-A port is to charge your device.

Is there an alternative calendar for the iPhone?

BusyCal App on iPhone

Episode 1636

Alice from Vancouver, WA

Alice recently updated her iPhone to iOS 13 and she can't use her calendar with it. When it launched, it was kind of a mess and Leo says that Apple is updating iOS 13 almost weekly since it came out. Vs. 13.2 is about to come out, which not only will solve those problems but will have an update to the camera as well. Leo recommends Fantastical. It's much better. BusyCal is another.

Can I get data off a dead phone?

iPhone 11 Pro

Episode 1636

Josslyn from Elizabeth, New Jersey

Josslyn's phone recently died. She wants to know if she can take out the memory drive and use it with something else. Leo says no. The memory storage chip is built onto the logic board. Pity.  This is why it's vital to back up your phone regularly: so you don't lose anything. Can Josslyn recover the data on the phone? Leo says as long as it can turn on, you have a chance. But if it doesn't turn on, then you're likely out of luck. 

Does an unlimited wireless plan really mean unlimited?

Unlimited Plans Example

Episode 1636

Robbie from Nashville, TN

Robbie is frustrated with his unlimited cellular plan because he's being throttled relentlessly. So bad to the point that he can't really do anything. But when he signs onto wifi, it's just fine.  So they signed up for a 10GB plan, it was much faster. Leo says that unlimited doesn't mean "as fast." And on Verizon, some of the plans will throttle from bite zero, some after 5GB. There are five plans in total. So you have to read the fine print. It sounds like Robbie had the Unlimited "start" plan. 

Google Announces Pixel 4 Mobile Phone

Google Pixel 4

Episode 1636

Google announced the Pixel 4 this week. Leo says that of all the features, the camera is the one that everyone is looking at. Leo also said that Apple was waiting for what Google announced before releasing the upcoming iOS 13.2 update to improve image quality. Leo also says that computational photography has reached a point where your mobile phone's camera is as good as a real camera, so there's no real need to own a separate one now. The phone will also use machine learning to teach the camera what different parts of the image look like, so it'll adjust the image accordingly.

Which Cell Service is Good in Buffalo?

Buffalo

Episode 1634

Julie from Downey, California

Julie's mom in Buffalo has very poor cellular service. They've tried just about everything. Should she try Verizon? Leo says that it's best to see what the local coverage is. T-Mobile, for instance, is very good in cities, but not in rural areas. Ask her neighbors. Verizon may be better, but they're more expensive. Spectrum, though, uses Verizon's network. In fact, check with MVNOs. They buy cell service in bulk and resell it.

Can I Return My iPhone for a Better Model?

iPhone XS Max

Episode 1634

Mark from Brooklin, Ontario

Mark just upgraded to the iPhone XS. But now he's having buyer's remorse because it feels smaller than he's used to. Should he return it? Leo says to bring it back and get the iPhone XS Max. It'll also have a longer battery life. In fact, go with the iPhone 11 Pro Max, it's got an even bigger battery. Users can usually return a phone after a few days, so go for it.