Mobile Phones

What's the best way to bring my mobile phone to Europe?

Skyroam Solis

Episode 1490

Lori from Santa Monica, CA

Lori is traveling to Europe soon with her family and they all have iPhones, but they have separate carriers and plans. What's the best solution for them as they travel? Leo says first thing is to find out what their international roaming plans are. They're better than they used to be, but it's still pretty expensive for what they would get. International data roaming can cost thousands if they're not careful. Leo recommends using Wi-Fi as much as possible, and they should pre-cache maps in Google Maps. They can get a local SIM in the country they're visiting.

Have I lost all my images on my old phone?

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Episode 1484

Chester from Bellflower, CA

Chester had to return a phone, and he wants to know how he can get the old photos off it? He's told he has to get them off the cloud, because the phones were returned. Rich says that if his phone didn't have a miniSD card that the images were saved on, they're probably gone. If he turned on cloud backup, however, he may find them there. Samsung has a service called Samsung Cloud. He should log in and see if he can find them there. This is why he should have more than one backup solution.

Is my smartphone spying on me?

Spying

Episode 1484

Ellen from Orange County, CA

Ellen is concerned that with a camera, microphone and GPS, that her phone could be spying on her. Rich says that one company, ZTE, was banned in the US because its phone was collecting user information and phoning home with it. But Rich says that was probably a software issue. Phones aren't really spying on people, per se. But when she signs up for free services like Facebook, they are aggregating a lot of user behavior that is used to push ads to her. It seems like spying, but it's more that it provides information for her based on her interests and online behavior.

Can I make Google calendar the default in my iPhone?

Google Calendar on iPhone

Episode 1484

Christine from Santa Barbara, CA

Christine hates the iPhone Calendar. She wants her Google Calendar to be the default. Rich says that iOS is sandboxed and there's no way to set a default app that would send her information where she wants. Rich recommends going into the iPhone's calendar settings and setting Google Calendar as her main calendar. Then all she will see is the Google Calendar. It's still using the iPhone calendar app, but it's all her Google Calendar information. That's about as good as she can get it.

As for invites, Rich hates invites. He prefers to delete them.

How can I lock down my daughter's iPhone?

OurPact block internet and apps

Episode 1482

Scott from Maine

Scott got his daughter an iPhone 7 and he wants to know the best way to lock it down to protect her online activity. Leo says that there are parental controls built into the iPhone, but there are apps that really take it to a new level. He can block apps and features as well. He can even white list numbers that would allow calls while disallowing others. He should also look at what restrictions the carrier offers. There are kid friendly browsers. iBlacklist will filter calls and SMS.

How can I use my phone if I'm losing my hearing?

Earbuds

Episode 1482

Jan from Bakersfield, CA

Jan is starting to lose her hearing, and wants to know what she can do to still hear people when she's talking on the phone. Leo says he has smart hearing aids that connect to his phone via Bluetooth and he can hear his phone great. If she can't afford those, then she can get headphones or earbuds that will use the phone's headphone jack. Jan has been using Google Fi, so in getting a new phone, she'll need to either get a Motorola Moto phone or a Google Pixel. Those are the only two phones that will work on Google Fi.

Why can't I get Samsung to replace my expanding battery?

Samsung Galaxy S7

Episode 1481

Ryan from Anaheim, CA

Ryan has been having trouble with his Samsung Galaxy phone. He keeps sending it in because of an expanding lithium ion battery and they keep returning it unfixed. Leo says that Samsung knows painfully well the dangers of expanding batteries. Since Ryan wasn't the original owner, Samsung exploited that loop hole because that indicated there was no warranty to extend. But he told Samsung he spoke to Leo and they offered a replacement, which is a good thing.