Android

Can I run my phone apps on my computer?

Episode 1489

Linda from Quincy, IL
Android logo

Linda wants to know if she can run her Android apps on her Windows machine. Leo says that there is an emulator called BlueStacks which is supposed to give Windows users that functionality. But Leo's experience is that it isn't all that consistent. And Leo says this is something that people are starting to want, and why developers are being encouraged to create Progressive Web Apps that run in the cloud.

What should I buy for my first smartphone?

Episode 1474

Richard from Tampa, FL
Apple iPhone SE

Richard is looking to get his first smartphone. Leo says the most important question to ask when getting a first smartphone is what phones his friends and family use. He should find out what carriers they have and how happy they are with them. Apple's iPhone makes an ideal first phone because it's so easy to use, but his friends and family will be his first line of support when he's learning to use it. The iPhone is a bit pricey and there are some good budget Android options out there.

What phone should I buy my wife?

Sam from Las Cruces, NM

Episode 1470

Sam is trying to decide on a phone for his wife. He was thinking of getting a phone that runs Tango. Leo says that Tango is awful. Took expensive. Lousy battery life. And Google doesn't support it anymore. THey're going with AR Kit. But AR really isn't the reason to buy a mobile device. It's just a gimmick. But having said that, Samsung's S9 does it, and it's a great price with some great features. And it does have AR emoji, though Leo thinks they're a bit weird.

Can I still buy an mp3 player?

Episode 1470

Pete from Clinton Township, NJ
FiiO X1

Pete is looking for an MP3 player because he doesn't know how to copy music to his Android phone. Leo says not many mp3 players are made these days. He can copy files on an Android phone by simply dragging and dropping when his phone is in transfer mode. It's called MTP mode. The phone will show up as a drive on his desktop and then he can drag and drop into the music folder of the phone.

Is there a mobile phone with an actual keyboard?

Episode 1469

Gary from Sylmar, CA
BlackBerry KEYone

Gary has kept a really old Android phone because it had a slide down keyboard. He hates virtual keyboards. Is there any physical phone out there with an actual keyboard? Leo says that ironically, BlackBerry is making them with a clean version of Android installed. BlackBerry is the last phone company to make a phone with a physical keyboard, but they're really tiny. One option is to get a better phone and then use a Bluetooth external keyboard when he needs it.

What mobile phone should I get?

Episode 1468

Cheryl from Yorba Linda, CA
Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Cheryl is trying to decide whether to take a free Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or get a newer Moto G5. Leo says that sad thing about older mobile phones is not that they aren't perfectly good. They are. They are just being left behind when it comes to security and other features. Leo recommends getting a Motorola Moto G5 Plus. It'll be faster, but more importantly, more secure. The camera is also better.

How can I update my phone if there's not enough room?

Episode 1466

Kevin from Mizzoula, MT
Smartphone and coffee

Kevin's mobile phone needs to be updated, but he can't because there's not enough room. Leo says that Kevin's phone probably has too little storage. He may need to wipe the phone and restore it to factory default settings, and then try updating it. Kevin should backup his data first and then give that a try. If that doesn't work, there's simply not enough room for the latest update and he's out of luck. The extra benefit of wiping and reinstalling is that it will clear out any bad popups or kruft left behind by old apps.