Mobile Phones

How can I turn my smartphone into a hotspot?

Episode 1536

Mark from Los Angeles, CA

Mark wants to use his Android phone as a hotspot. Leo says that it's under the Internet settings under "Hotspot and Tethering." His phone carrier must support it, usually for an extra charge. But he's having issues using any security with a password. Leo says that's not good. It shouldn't be disabled. Leo wonders if that phone doesn't support WPA2. None is not a good choice. If there's WEP, that wouldn't be great, but it's better than nothing. But he'll ideally want WPA2 with PSK (pre shared key).

How can I make my phone hotspot mode secure?

Wi-Fi

Episode 1536

Mark from Los Angeles, CA

Mark wants to use his Android phone as a hotspot. Leo says that it's under the Internet settings under "Hotspot and Tethering." And his phone carrier must support it, usually for an extra charge. But he's having issues using any security with a password. Leo says that's not good. It shouldn't be disabled. Leo wonders if that phone doesn't support WPA2. None is not a good choice. If there's WEP, that wouldn't be great, but it's better than nothing. He'll ideally want WPA2 with PSK (pre shared key).

Why is my iPhone automatically putting calls on hold when new calls come in?

Apple iPhone XS

Episode 1536

Ann from Irvine, CA

When Ann is on the phone and gets another phone call, her iPhone is automatically putting her existing call on hold and picking up the next call. Leo says that shouldn't be happening. She should be given the choice of putting her call on hold, sending it to voicemail, or hanging up and taking the call. It's usually when she's using it on speaker phone. Leo says that it could be that Siri is being triggered, but it's unlikely. It could be a hardware glitch, but that's going to be difficult to replicate.

Why is the sound quality of Apple AirPods so bad?

Apple AirPods

Episode 1535

Chris from Miami, FL

Chris has the new iPhone XS and the wireless Apple AirPods, but he keeps getting distortion when he takes calls. Not when listening to music or watching video, though. Leo says that Bluetooth headphones have two different modes. There's a mode for use as a headset for calls and A2DP. A2DP is stereo and was designed for listening to music. Headset mode uses the minimum bandwidth possible. So that could affect it. Also, a phone call that is routed through the internet can be full bandwidth and it may be that the AirPods just can't handle it.

Leo Tries Out the iPhone XR

Episode 1535

Leo got the iPhone XR and he says it could be Apple's most popular iPhone, in spite of the LCD screen, rather than the OLED screen. For $750 for the 64GB, which Leo says is plenty for anyone, you get all the functionality of the iPhone Xs, but with a choice of colors. What are you giving up? The OLED LED screen, and the dual camera on the back. But even that isn't bad because Apple has managed to create a version of Portrait mode that isn't that bad. Leo says that anyone coming from an older iPhone should be very happy with it.

How can I block robocalls?

PreFixer

Episode 1532

Gary from Buffalo, NY

Gary 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 cell phones. 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.

Why won't Yahoo Mail take my password?

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. If that works, then he'll know it's not a problem on his end. It could also be a corrupted cookie in his browser. He should try using another browser, or clear the cookies in his browser and try again.

Mike also wants to disable the password challenge on his phone. Leo says that is dangerous to do, but he can turn it off in the phone's security settings.

Should I make the switch to the Google Pixel 3?

Google Pixel 3 XL

Episode 1531

Andrew from Miami, FL

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 he'll get used to it pretty quickly.