Android

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.

Mobile World Congress Opens with Samsung's Galaxy S9

Episode 1466

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus

Samsung announced the Galaxy S9 at Mobile World Congress this morning. Leo originally thought that Apple's $1,000 price tag on the iPhone X would influence mobile phone prices moving forward, but Samsung chose to only raise the price a bit, by comparison, starting at $720 for the 64GB version. You can trade in your older models to get a better price. You can also get $100 off if you buy from Best Buy. Leo says, however, that you don't get any benefit by paying more for larger storage considering the Android phones have a microSD slot for additional storage.

Why am I getting different keyboards when launching apps on my Google Pixel phone?

Episode 1465

Mark from Grand Rapids, MI
Android keyboards

Mark wants to know why he gets a different keyboard whenever he launches an app on his Google Pixel smartphone. Leo says this is a feature that developers can take advantage of so that the keyboard can be more contextual. For instance, when a number needs to be entered, the keyboard that comes up can be just a number pad. But there is a bug that causes keyboards to change randomly, so maybe that's the problem. More likely, it's something the app developer has done. Mark can try installing Swiftkey and see if that helps.

Do I need to replace my iPhone SE?

Episode 1461

Kevin from Spokane, WA
Apple iPhone 5S

Kevin has an iPhone SE and it's not updating anymore, so he needs to buy a new smartphone. Leo says that there's a life cycle for mobile devices, and even though it works just fine, technology will pass it up, and it will seem slower than it used to be. Apple will support a phone for three years before it starts dropping them off the update cycle. The iPhone's battery also has limited charging cycles of about 500 full cycles, or 2-3 years. And as the phone gets older, Apple starts slowing the phone down to keep it from overtaxing the processor and overheating it.

Samsung Galaxy S9 to Be Announced Later This Month

Episode 1459

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung will be announcing the Galaxy S9 smartphone later this month at Mobile World Congress. We expect the phone to be more expensive this time around, at $850, and it will look a lot like the Galaxy S8. It will have dual cameras, but for the most part, it likely won't be anything major that would prompt an upgrade unless you're already in the market for a new phone anyway.

Is the GPS on my Android phone broken?

Episode 1459

Steve from Missouri
LG Stylo 2

Steve has an LG Stylo 2 and he's starting to lose his GPS lock. His Bluetooth also comes and goes. Leo says the Stylo has a weak antenna. That could mean a failing antenna or faulty GPS chip. This could be caused by heat too. That's the likely culprit because when the phone overheats, it's going to protect everything by shutting it off. Leo also thinks that the phone has just worn out and it's time to get a new one.