Charlotte needs to find laptops for each of her twin granddaughters to use in high school. She uses Macs, but they can't afford that. She's doing a ton of research, but she's having trouble figuring out what to do. Leo recommends a Google Chromebook for school work. They're very inexpensive, and they don't get viruses. And if one gets lost or damaged, it won't be the end of the world.
Google announced its own wireless service on Wednesday called "Google Fi." It's very restricted, and only works by invitation and its exclusive to Google's Nexus 6 phone. It uses both Sprint and T-Mobile cellular service along with Wi-Fi, and it switches between those to whatever has the best coverage. It costs $20 a month for unlimited talk and text, including international text. It does not include data though, but it only costs $10 a month per gigabyte. If you don't use all of the data you're paying for, you'll get reimbursed. No contract and its very straightforward.
Larry has a Samsung Galaxy Gear watch, one of the first devices. He uses it with the Galaxy Note 4. It's such a huge device so the watch saves him from having to use the Note all the time. Leo says he agrees and used it to take pictures while flying along with a zip line. The watch is great. However, the Note 4 went through an update and then the "OK Google" function didn't work. He went into the voice settings and they're gone! It works within the app, but it won't work globally.
If you've had your email account hacked, then it may be time to take further security measures to keep it from happening in the future. Here are some simple steps you can take right now to better secure your account:
Leo says that Google Docs is great and it's secure, and he won't have to have a managed exchange server. But he can also subscribe to Microsoft Office 365 and avoid that as well. Google for work is just fine, and Gmail is a better email solution.
Martin has a book on Amazon Kindle and wants to know how he can generate more traffic to it. Is there software that does that? Leo says that Google would let him buy search terms, or "adwords." He also should have an affiliate link for his book on his website. But he should beware as a self publisher of being lured in by SEO firms. Leo doesn't like SEO firms because they make snake oil claims about putting you number one in the search results. He should ask himself if he's never used what they are offering, would anyone else?
Johnny is still in Austin for South by Southwest, and his first app this week is called Meerkat, the live social video app that launched at SouthBy which Johnny thinks is awesome. It allows you to live stream whatever you're doing and plug it on twitter. Leo says that there have been others that have done this, like Qik, but Meerkat is really easy because people follow you via Twitter and they can comment while you're talking. It's a great way to publicize events. You can even create your own mobile TV network by Meerkating.
Multiple news reports are saying that Google has plans to enter the wireless business. The idea is that you'll be able to buy a phone with Google as the service provider. The interesting part, however, is that Google is negotiating with Sprint and T-Mobile. The phone you buy will work with both carriers, and it will connect to whichever network has the best signal. It will also utilize Wi-Fi whenever possible.
This is only a rumor as of now, but it's an interesting idea. The cell phone industry is ripe for disruption.
Ray is concerned with security on his tablet, and is wondering if he should have antivirus for it. Leo says that mobile devices are designed in an era where malware is a serious threat, so these newer operating systems are inherently safer because they tend to be sandboxed. If he still wants some added protection, LookOut is a very good antivirus app. That being said, Leo doesn't use an antivirus program.
Daniel is wondering if a Google Chromecast would be a good way to get more content without buying more Dish channels. He also was wondering if he could get local channels. Leo says he wouldn't get local channels with a Chromecast. The Supreme Court's decision against Aereo, a service that would stream local channels for a small fee, it will be unlikely for awhile to get local channels online.