Mike shops at Amazon, and has noticed a change in permissions that would allow Amazon to send him text messages. Leo says the cool thing about the Android system is that they would show him what permissions are enabled and which ones an app takes advantage of. So at least he'd know going in what they want.
There's a new Android phone with an interesting marketing strategy. It's called the "flagship killer" -- it's a top of the line smartphone, with the latest Qualcomm processor, a gorgeous, very high res 5" screen, and a great camera -- but you can't buy it. You can't go to a store, Amazon, can't order online, and there's limited availability. When it first came out, you could enter a contest by sending them a video of you destroying your current smartphone, and they'd send you a OnePlus One phone.
Leo finally got his Amazon Fire phone, after only receiving the phone's box last weekend from AT&T. If you had ordered it the day it came out, you could have gotten it on Thursday, which is a day earlier than originally scheduled. If you've used the Amazon Fire tablet, then you'll already be familiar with the phone's interface. It's very Amazon specific. It has a few interesting things, like a dedicated camera button.
If you're looking for a way to track your Android phone or tablet in the event that it's lost or stolen, Google has a free service that will come to the rescue. It's called Android Device Manager, and it will work with all Android devices associated with your Google account. You can find your device on a map, lock it with a new password, or erase it securely, from anywhere in the world.
Tim has a Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet and it won't hold a charge. He tried to use the charger with his phone and it won't take a charge either. Leo says that means the charger connector isn't seating properly. Leo suspects the cable itself is damaged. Leo recommends looking for a microUSB charger and he should get one with a minimum of 10 watts. That will guarantee that his device will charge faster. A new cable could do it as well, if it's detachable.
David needs an app that will track his Android phone in case he loses or misplaces it. There's an app on the Google Play store called "Android Device Manager" that will do this. It also comes with a kill switch to wipe out his device should it get stolen. He can ring the phone to locate it, or remotely wipe it.
Had has a new HTC One and lately, Ed says it's had a mind of its own. Lately it's been changing cities in the weather app without him being able to reset it. Leo says it could be that the current location setting has changed or the location services has been disabled. Ed says the icon for voice recorder has moved as well. Leo says that they can be moved around, so he should just drag it back.
Jeff's old Android phone is dying really quickly. Leo says it's likely because it's nearing the end of it's rechargeable life. Phone batteries have a limited number of charge cycles, at about 500. After which, it will die pretty quickly and won't take a charge anymore. That's why it's best to leave the phone plugged in all the time unless he's out. It will preserve that limited amount of charge cycles, and it's perfectly safe to do so. If it's not holding a charge, it's worn out and the battery needs to be replaced.
While Leo remains skeptical on the idea of the smart watch, he has begun to like the LG G Watch more. He finds it convenient to send and receive text messages and get notifications passed from his phone. He can talk to it, query it, and tap the screen. It's not as much of a health tracking watch, as other fitness bands and smart watches have been, but it does measure steps taken. Leo says the jury is still out on this, and probably not worth buying yet. He suggests waiting to see if Apple does something magical to make watches good.
Michael is trying to decide between a Samsung phone and the iPhone, and wants to know what phone will let him talk on the phone and use the internet at the same time. Leo says that's a network feature and not so much a phone feature. Currently, it's only available on AT&T and T-Mobile. But Verizon and Sprint are moving towards LTE and then he'd be able to. The chat room says that this is possible on some Android phones, if the network has turned on the capability.