Google

Why can't I use Google apps on my phone?

Tony from Las Vegas, NV

Episode 1223

Tony's mobile phone is having trouble with Google apps. Leo says if all of his Google apps have been affected, that means it's the backend services that are broken, which is a side effect of having an open source scheme. Leo says that Google has redesigned their apps to "look" like apps, but they are mostly web driven. So he'll have to make sure all of his software updates are done, from the carrier and Google Play store.

What laptop should I buy?

Benny from Pasadena, CA

Episode 1222

Benny is still trying to figure out what computer to get, and he's leaning towards a Dell. Leo says he has the Dell XPS13 and he really likes it. Powerful machines, like desktop replacements, aren't usually very light. But the XPS 13 is an ultrabook and it's very light. He can also get a touch screen option, but that adds more money.

Should I replace the battery in my Nexus 5?

Episode 1219

Tom from Toronto, CAN
Nexus 5

Tom has a Samsung Nexus 5, and the battery life is starting to go South. Leo says that there's a certain number of charges a Lithium Ion battery has, and after about 500 cycles, it's time to move on. The good news is that Google is about to announce a new Nexus. Leo recommends waiting for the announcement, or checking out Leo's review of the Motorola Moto X Pure.

Chromebooks Becoming Popular Choice for Students

Episode 1214

Chromebook

Leo says that this year is becoming the year of the Chromebook thanks to it's low price, ease of use, and the fact that everything has moved to the cloud. The Powerwash feature enables it to start over if something goes wrong.

Leo says that while he was initially skeptical about them, he's come around to the point where he recommends them to many basic users. The Chromebook was made for students in mind. Sales are higher now than they were last year, showing that the Chromebook is really catching on as we become more linked to the cloud.

Google Announces New High Performance Router

Episode 1213

Google announced a new router called OnHub, but it's not cheap at $200. It has 13 antennas in it to guard against congestion. It looks at each of 11 bands periodically and switches to the best, uncongested band for best performance. It also has "Quality of Service" so users can prioritize web traffic. And you can control it via your Android or iOS device. It runs on 8.2.15.4 and Leo has a hunch it's for home automation.

Find out more at on.google.com/hub.

Where can I go to build a new website?

Ted from Mizzoula, MT

Episode 1212

Ted wants to create a new website for his business after parting company with his partner. Is GoDaddy a good option? Leo says it's not his first choice because they use a site builder app that tends to be a bit out of date and makes no provision for mobile devices. Leo suggests SquareSpace. They have more modern site templates and can offer eCommerce. They also support mobile devices, and are very affordable. Google also has some nice site building tools.

How can I get Picasa to work in Windows 10?

Ronald from Laguna Nigel, CA

Episode 1212

Ronald is having problems migrating his photos from Picasa to Google Photos. Leo says that PicasaWeb will eventually become Google Photos. The chatroom suggests going back to Picasa version 3.8, and then let Picasa update itself. But Leo says that getting software from a third party is a dicey affair. So if Ronald can get it directly from Google, then he's in good shape. Google doesn't say that Picasa is compatible with Windows 10, and it may not be. Leo suspects that the compatibility issue could be with Windows Edge, their new browser.

Top Security Tips Prioritized by Regular Users Vs. the Experts

Episode 1205

A recent study done by Google on its security blog comparing the security practices of regular users versus the security experts. Regular users said antivirus topped their list of security priorities, followed by using strong passwords, changing passwords frequently, only visiting websites they know, and not sharing personal information.

Security experts' say installing software updates is the number 1 priority, followed by using unique passwords, use two-factor authentication where its available, use strong passwords, and use a password manager.

How can I block unsolicited calls?

Heath from Clayton, Georgia

Episode 1205

Heath gets a lot of calls he doesn't want throughout the day. How can he block calls from people that aren't in his contact list, or send them directly to voicemail? Until recently, the FCC didn't allow carriers to do that, but carriers now have the ability to block calls. So the carrier could do this. But to block them himself, it isn't possible with an app because Apple doesn't allow alternate dialer apps. There are options for this on Android, however.