Mobile Phones

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

How Can I Make Ring Tones for My iPhone?

Garageband

Episode 1783

Angela from Nova Scotia, Canada

Angela has a Mac running Big Sur and an iPhone. She used to be able to get Ring Tones using an app called Ring Toner. But it doesn't work anymore with Big Sur. Leo says you can make your own ring tones with Garage Band. There's no need to use a third-party app to do it.  Garage Band is also available for the iPhone so that you can do it directly from your phone.

Why Is My Phone's GPS to Inaccurate?

Pixel 5

Episode 1783

Bob from Warren, PA

Bob is having issues with Google Assistant and the GPS in the Google Pixel 5. The accuracy is terrible. You can ask GA where you are, and it'll tell you your home address. Leo says it sounds like the phone isn't getting a GPS lock, and as such, the phone's GPS isn't able to get a track. GPS needs three satellites to triangulate your location. It could be the GPS radio isn't that good, or it's lagging. There is a switch for accuracy in the location services menu of the phone. You can make sure the slider is reflecting high accuracy as well.

New Study Indicates Smartphone Privacy Concerns

iPhone SE

Episode 1783

A new study indicates that both Apple and Google phones share data with companies every four minutes, causing potential privacy concerns. According to the Irish study, Google phones dial home more often than iOS devices. However, Leo takes it with a grain of salt, as the study doesn't break down what the data really is. Location? Activity? And what else is new about smartphones? That's how they work. So Leo says that the headline is more "scare quotes," and the payoff really isn't.

Can I Use a Vpn to Mask My Activity and Movements?

VPN

Episode 1780

Wallace from Fredrick, MD

Wallace wants to know if he needs a VPN or can authorities still track his activity and movements. Leo says that using a VPN will mask your activity unless your VPN keeps track of that activity. With a warrant, they would have to provide that data. As for movements, your cellphone has a GPS, and with a simple request (called a PIN Registry), the authorities can access your location at any given time for a fee. But that is changing as courts recognize that it is a violation of privacy and should require a warrant.

Is Free Internet Really Free?

Muama Ryoko Hotspot

Episode 1780

Santa Jeff from Knoxville, TN

Santa Jeff wants to know about Muama Ryoko and its so-called free internet. Leo says that it's a terrible name, but it essentially harnesses cellular data to get internet everywhere. Leo guesses they have a deal with T-Mobile since they are everywhere. But it could be another carrier, and the website isn't really open as to what they use. Also, it isn't really free. After a small amount of free data, like 500MB, you will probably have to buy more data. Leo suggests not paying more than $10 per GB.

What New Mobile Phone Should I Buy?

Motorola Power G9

Episode 1780

Ed from Valencia, CA

Ed has a Motorola Moto G6 and wants to know why it's not as bright as the iPhone. Leo says that the iPhone uses an OLED screen, making it brighter versus an LCD screen like the Moto G6. Also the speakers aren't as loud.  Leo says that the recently Moto G9 has several updates. It's a very clean Android experience. It also has a headphone jack, which is becoming very scarce in mobile phone design. So check out the G9 Power. It's got the biggest battery in class, but it only has one speaker, so it isn't stereo. For that, you want to get the G8 Power. 

Where Can I Get Free Unlimited Photo Storage?

Photos

Episode 1778

Dale from Santa Monica, CA

Dale uses Google Photos and he's concerned that the change to limited photo backup will affect Apple's sync feature that makes photos available on iPad from the iPhone. Is there an alternative? Leo says that Google's price scheme for additional storage will be very affordable. But if he still wants unlimited free storage, he could try Amazon Prime Photos - it's free to all Prime members. Shutterfly also offers unlimited free storage for originals.

Why can't I install iOS apps from third party stores?

iOS 14

Episode 1775

Frank from San Francisco, CA

Frank has an iPhone, and he doesn't like the restrictions that come with it, which prevents him from getting apps from somewhere other than Apple's app store. Leo says you can jailbreak it and then do it, but then you lose all the protection. Android, by contrast, lets you choose to bypass the Google Play store in the settings and sideload apps downloaded directly from the developer.