Google Announces Several New Products

Episode 1428

Google Home Mini

This week Google announced a ton of new products, including a new Google Home and a donut sized version of Google Home (called the Mini) that Leo says may be better than Amazon Echo. Though Leo says that Amazon has a huge lead, in the long run, Google may have the advantage. Meanwhile, Amazon did get a shot in the arm this week with the announcement that Sonos will partner with Amazon to bring connectivity of Sonos to the Amazon Echo. But that may be short-lived since Sonos plans to work with Google and Apple as well.

Try an Alternative Launcher on Android

One of the benefits to having an Android phone is that you can customize and change almost everything about it. You can even change the way your apps and widgets are presented to you by changing what's called the "launcher." The launcher is a lot like Explorer on Windows or the Finder on the Mac. It's the program that allows you to see files and applications so you can run them. The iOS launcher is called SpringBoard, and Apple doesn't let you use any other launcher. On Android, however, you can download third party launchers that change the way your home screen operates.

What's the best way to transfer my data to a new Android phone?

Episode 1427

Chip from Corona Del Mar, CA
Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Chip has over 400 apps on his Android phone, along with hundreds of contacts. He wants to know the best method for transferring all of that data to a new phone. Leo says that first of all, both Samsung and Google will backup his data. His previous phone was an HTC, and his new phone is a Samsung Galaxy Note. Leo says even if the two phones aren't from the same company, Android will still prompt him to transfer some of the data through NFC by touching the phones together. Google syncs his settings, and on Samsung phones it's under "Cloud and Accounts" in Settings.

How do I transfer my data to a new phone?

Episode 1425

Ron from Laguna, CA
SMS Backup and Restore

Ron wants to transfer all his data and contacts from one phone to another. He wants to transfer everything from a Samsung Galaxy S4 to a Motorola Moto X. This includes contacts, photos, and voicemails. Rich says that voicemails are handled by the carrier, so they should be carried over automatically. Calendars, contacts, and photos can all be synced through the cloud with Google, and chances are a lot of that data is synced up already.

Do I have a virus on my Android phone?

Diane from Oxnard, CA

Episode 1417

Diane got a message that said "downloading virus" when she went to a website on her Android phone. Leo says that's a bogus popup designed to scare her into downloading something. There's no legitimate message on her phone warning her that it will download a virus. She has a blank screen now, though. Leo says that is probably coincidental. It sounds like her phone's screen has gone out, or she could have a bad charging cable or clogged charging port preventing it to charge. There is a forced recovery mode for Android to bring it back up.

Samsung Announces Galaxy Note 8

Episode 1417

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Seeking to get out into the market before Apple launches the 10th anniversary iPhone, Samsung has announced the Galaxy Note 8. Leo says it looks pretty good, but he doesn't like the positioning of the fingerprint reader because it's near the camera lens, meaning you'll likely be constantly dirtying up the lens of your camera. There's also a button for "Bixby," a new mobile assistant. Leo says it's another button to keep track of, and it's unnecessary.

How do I get updates to an unlocked mobile phone?

Episode 1416

Roger from Coosbay, OR
Samsung Galaxy S7

Roger has an old Samsung Galaxy S7, which is now unlocked and carrier free. How will he get updates now? Leo says that he should still get updates from it, but in many cases they come through WiFi and not over the air. So if he's attached to WiFi with it, he should get the update directly from Samsung. That's how Apple does it, but he'll need to talk to his existing carrier to find out.