Mobile Phones

How can I block Robocalls?

Episode 1532

Gary from Buffalo, New York

Caller has Google Fi and would like to block calls by area code. Leo says that robocalls are the bane of smartphones and studies show that by next year, up to 80% of all calls will be robocalls to cellphones. Blocking an area code is extreme, but Leo says that Google is working on a technology that will route robo calls, or require them to identify themselves. Google Voice already does that. There's also an app called PreFixer which will block a number by prefix. Another interesting app is Signal Spy, which lets you choose the network you want with Google Fi.

Why won't Yahoo mail take my password?

Episode 1531

Mike from Santa Monica, CA

Mike is having issues logging into Yahoo at home. It says he's using the wrong password at home, but it takes it at work. Leo says one way to test it is to type out the password in notepad and then copy and paste it in. See if that works. If it does, then you know it's not a problem on your end. It could also be a corrupted cookie in your browser. So try to use another browser, or clear the cookies in your browser and then try again.

Should I make the switch to the Google Pixel 3?

Episode 1531

Andrew from California

Andrew is thinking of switching from the iPhone to the Google Pixel 3. How's the camera? Leo says that he's seen images of the Pixel 3 and the camera is blowing him away. Google has really refined computational photography to the point where the images look very much like those shot with a DSLR. It feels great in the hand, too. People don't like the notch though. But Leo says you get used to it pretty quickly. But Andrew is concerned because he has Apple TV and he knows the AirPlay won't work. Leo says it won't since Goole doesn't support airplay.

Google announces Pixel 3 XL, Slate and other products

Episode 1531

Google announced the Google Pixel 3 XL this week, and Leo says it feels great in the hand. It has also added wireless charging, which Leo says is the holy grail of mobile phones, and the three major manufactures now support it. Google also announced the Pixel Slate, a new tablet with Chrome OS. It can also run Android and Linux apps. There was also the Google Home Hub tablet. Surprisingly tiny, it has a screen and is designed to be your home's hub.

Is there an app that will tell me what key a song is in?

Piano keys

Episode 1530

Henry from Prescott, AZ

Henry wants to know what's a good iPhone app to identify the key of a song being played. Leo says that is a great idea. Google has song recognition capability. There's an app called Shazam, but that can't identify the key of a song. The chatroom says the app is called Keyfinder. It's manual though, not automated.

KeyDetect is another app.

Should I replace my iPhone battery?

Apple iPhone SE

Episode 1530

Max from West LA, CA

Larry wants to know if he should spend the $29 to replace his iPhone SE battery considering the battery is over 80% capacity. Leo says that the charging capacity will continue to drop as he continues to recharge the battery since there's only a limited number of recharges he can have. But having said that, with over 80% capacity, he's probably alright. Realistically, replacing the battery will probably only add six months to that phone's life. But the battery replacement on the iPhone SE is $79, not $29.

How can I recover my phone's password?

Alcatel Android phone

Episode 1530

Robert from San Antonio, CA

Robert has a low budget Alcatel smartphone, but he forgot the password to access it. How can he recover it? Leo says on those older Android phones, the easiest thing is to erase it and start over. Most Android phones have a way to get into recovery mode. But if he can't, then he'll have to do a hard reset by pressing the power button and the volume up button at the same time, and hold it there. That should put it in recovery mode. It's a text based menu that he can navigate with the volume buttons until he reaches "reset." Then he can press the home button and that should reset the phone.

Why can't my devices see hotspot mode in my Galaxy Note 8?

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Episode 1528

Eric from Kerrville, TX

Eric uses the Hotspot mode on his Note 8, but not every device can see the Wi-Fi connection. Leo says that there are two frequencies, 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The phone does both. So he should check on that. He should also check on the encryption he's using. His devices should at least see it, though. It sounds like SSID hiding may be turned on in the phone's hotspot settings. If it is, then he should uncheck it. He may want to take it into his carrier store.

What's replacing the iPhone SE?

Apple iPhone SE

Episode 1527

Bernie from West Los Angeles, CA

Bernie's current mobile phone is the iPhone SE 128GB, and it has 89% battery life. Leo says that's pretty good and he probably can get another few years with it. Should he buy more than one and keep them in the drawer until the current one dies? Leo says not really. Apple will replace the battery for $99 if he really wants it. The iPhone SE has been discontinued, but the iPhone XR is similar but upgraded, and currently, the iPhone 7 is taking the SE's place.