Mobile Phones

How can I get my phone unlocked?

Episode 1460

Rob from Los Angeles, CA
Person using smartphone

Rob has an old Android phone and he doesn't like his carrier. Can he unlock it and go with another carrier? Leo says he should as long as his account is in good standing. Even if he's no longer a customer, they should still do it for him. He should just call and ask them politely. He should not pay to unlock a phone, though. If he has to, Rob should go to XDA-Developers.org and look in there for instructions.

Is my cell phone safe from an internet attack on my router?

Episode 1460

Bonnie from Riverside, CA
Hacker

Bonnie uses Eset's Smart Security, But she recently saw that an external intruder was blocked. She's worried that while her PC was safe, her other devices may have been compromised. Leo says that Bonnie's router probably blocked the bad traffic that comes lurking. There are bots that are looking for security holes, though. Getting attacked is normal, but the router will handle 90% of the attacks. The rest is covered by antivirus. Her cell phone IP address changes constantly, so it's mostly pretty safe.

Is the GPS on my Android phone broken?

Episode 1459

Steve from Missouri
LG Stylo 2

Steve has an LG Stylo 2 and he's starting to lose his GPS lock. His Bluetooth also comes and goes. Leo says the Stylo has a weak antenna. That could mean a failing antenna or faulty GPS chip. This could be caused by heat too. That's the likely culprit because when the phone overheats, it's going to protect everything by shutting it off. Leo also thinks that the phone has just worn out and it's time to get a new one.

How can I use my smartphone for investing?

Episode 1458

Dolly from San Jacinto, CA
Stock market graph

Dolly is retired and wants to invest in the stock market while traveling, but some of her brokerages don't support using smartphones. Leo says that there may not be an app to run, but she may be able to access her accounts using the phone's browser. What Dolly may have to do is select the "choose desktop" option. Leo also says that using a tablet like an iPad would be a better option since she'd have a bigger screen. She can also look to see if they have an app since many of the big companies do. TD Ameritrade, for instance, has an app, as does Schwab and Fidelity.

Should I buy an Apple Watch 3 and iPhone X?

Episode 1456

Chris from Miami FL
Apple iPhone X

Chris wants to get an Apple Watch Series 3 and the iPhone X. He's heard rumors, however, that Apple is slowing down production, and he's wondering if he should avoid those products. Leo says to consider the source. For instance, Ming-Chi Quo is primarily an analyst and his job is more to decide if it's worth buying Apple stock over buying the iPhone. So far, there's been no confirmation of sales having softened due to supply. If anything, it's been quite the opposite, especially with the Apple Watch. Analysts and rumor guys are wrong more often than they are right.

How can I use my mobile phone as a hearing aid?

Episode 1455

Bud from Montana, CA
Starkey iPhone compatible hearing aid

Bud wants to know if there's a hearing amplifier out there for his mobile phone. Leo says his cost $6,000, so that's not practical. Some earphones have apps that would pipe the sound directly into his ears from the phone. Then he could just use Bluetooth headphones, but it wouldn't be the ultimate solution. This is all about to change as companies are designing their products to work with Bluetooth wireless earbuds.

Why doesn't Touch ID work on my repaired iPhone?

Episode 1455

Nam from Lake Forest, CA
Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Nam gave his daughter a used iPhone 6, but after fixing the charging port, the fingerprint reader doesn't work. Leo says that Apple has disabled it because it was fixed by a third party. It's really for their own protection. If he takes the phone into Apple and tells them what happened, they should be able to restore the function, but understand that they may not.

How can my wife unlock her Android phone if she's forgotten the pattern?

Adrian from Irvine, CA

Episode 1455

Adrian's wife did a sliding pattern to lock her mobile phone and now she can't remember it. How can she unlock it? Leo says that in theory, Android doesn't want to give users a way around it, otherwise it would be useless for security. However, it's possible that if she has a Samsung account, she could have it backed up. There's also a way to do it by connecting it to a PC running Android Device Manager. Through that, she could unlock the phone.

Should I force the Oreo update for my Note 8 mobile phone?

Episode 1454

Nathan from Tuscon, AZ
Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Nathan got a new Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and wants to know if he should update it. Leo says that Samsung is starting to push out the Oreo update to the Galaxy S8, but not the Note 8 just yet. Leo also doesn't recommend forcing an update — he should wait until it's available. He should focus more on the security updates. Patience. Oreo will come soon.