iPhone

Can I use my mobile phone as a hotspot?

Episode 1427

Russell from Scranton, PA
Tiny Hardware Firewall

Russell has an iPhone SE and was using an app called Tether to use his cell phone as an internet hotspot. It doesn't work anymore, though. Leo says that it's been replaced by the hotspot feature in the phone, but his provider may not support it or may charge him a monthly fee to use it. Some carriers don't charge for it at all, like T-Mobile. But resellers, like Boost don't support it because the major carrier they work with doesn't. Will a VPN fix it? Leo says not for hotspotting, but a VPN will work for keeping his internet access encrypted and secure in public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Should I update my iPhone 5S to iOS 11?

Episode 1426

Barbara from Thousand Oaks, CA
iPhone Mosaic 2017

Barbara has an iPhone 5S that keeps bugging her to install iOS 11. Should she? Leo says if Apple thinks it can run it, then she can run it. Security improvements are a good benefit. Also, some apps may not run without it. But the reviews say it will slow it down. It will still be faster than an iPhone 5 running iOS 10, though. So she should go ahead. It'll be usable. She should check out this article at arstechnica.com.

iPhone 8 or Wait?

Episode 1426

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Leo says that he's like many Apple fans, trying to decide on whether to buy the iPhone X, the iPhone 8, or just wait. Leo says that he bought them because he wants to review them. Leo also says that most people are calling the iPhone X the "ex," not the 10. Leo says that you won't be able to get the iPhone X until probably next year due to parts shortages for the FaceID feature. So should you wait or buy the 8? There's no real rush to get the new iPhone. It's easy to skip a generation or two, and that way, when you get a new phone, you can experience an exponential bump in performance.

Chris Marquardt on Photography

Episode 1425

Chris Marquardt

Chris says that the iPhone X will give you technically better images because the camera has been improved. The Portrait Lightning is also a great new feature. Auto HDR has improved, with a wider color range. It also has a slow sync flash, which gives the background more light to make it look better. 4K/60 in video mode or 240 fps at 1080p. It has a lot of options. But just remember, even with all of these new photo features, it won't make a good photo composition for you. You still have to decide what looks best.

What app should I develop next?

Episode 1425

Joe from Gardena, CA
Apple iOS 11 App Store

Joe is an app developer and is looking to create an app for AR. Since Joe already has a parking app he's developed, Rich thinks he should elaborate on that and use the phone's camera to decipher parking signs. A user could simply point his or her camera at the sign, and the app could return a big check mark or red 'x' on if it's ok to park there at that time. The issue will be gathering the information for the backend. But if he can make submitting data easy and fun, and it works, then he'll have a winner.

Why does Siri sometimes not make phone calls?

Episode 1424

Ron from Chatsworth, CA
Siri & Search in iPhone Settings

Ron has an iPhone 7 and when he asks Siri to call someone, sometimes she gets it right, sometimes she doesn't because he has to unlock his phone first. Rich says that there are a couple of settings in the Siri tab that has to do with authorization and contacts. It has to do with privacy and security. He can enable "Allow Siri while locked" if the phone is locked. He can also go through the process of setting up his "Hey Siri" voice by disabling, and re-enabling Siri in Settings.

How can I export my contacts from my iPhone?

Episode 1424

David from Logansport, IN
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

David wants to know how he can print out the contact list from his iPhone. Rich says that the best way to do this would be to export his contacts as a CSV (comma separated values) file, and then he can open it into a spreadsheet like Excel. There may be an app that will do it for him, but if he uses Google contacts, he can export them from there.