Mobile Phones

Is there a mobile phone with an actual keyboard?

BlackBerry KEYone

Episode 1469

Gary from Sylmar, CA

Gary has kept a really old Android phone because it had a slide down keyboard. He hates virtual keyboards. Is there any physical phone out there with an actual keyboard? Leo says that ironically, BlackBerry is making them with a clean version of Android installed. BlackBerry is the last phone company to make a phone with a physical keyboard, but they're really tiny. One option is to get a better phone and then use a Bluetooth external keyboard when he needs it.

What mobile phone should I get?

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Episode 1468

Cheryl from Yorba Linda, CA

Cheryl is trying to decide whether to take a free Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or get a newer Moto G5. Leo says that sad thing about older mobile phones is not that they aren't perfectly good. They are. They are just being left behind when it comes to security and other features. Leo recommends getting a Motorola Moto G5 Plus. It'll be faster, but more importantly, more secure. The camera is also better.

How can I update my phone if there's not enough room?

Smartphone and coffee

Episode 1466

Kevin from Mizzoula, MT

Kevin's mobile phone needs to be updated, but he can't because there's not enough room. Leo says that Kevin's phone probably has too little storage. He may need to wipe the phone and restore it to factory default settings, and then try updating it. Kevin should backup his data first and then give that a try. If that doesn't work, there's simply not enough room for the latest update and he's out of luck. The extra benefit of wiping and reinstalling is that it will clear out any bad popups or kruft left behind by old apps.

Why can't I unlock my iPhone?

iPhone 6S

Episode 1466

Nick from Marina Del Rey, CA

Nick has an iPhone 6S that he uses as a backup phone. He wants to unlock it for a trip to Europe, but neither T-Mobile nor Apple can unlock it. What can he do? Leo says that T-Mobile should be able to unlock it. It's their carrier lock. Leo recommends tweeting John Legere of T-Mobile (@JohnLegere). He pays attention to his Twitter feed and Leo bets he'll get back to him with someone to talk to.

Leo says he could also go to an independent cell phone store. They have great talent to unlock phones and could solve it.

Mobile World Congress Opens with Samsung's Galaxy S9

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus

Episode 1466

Samsung announced the Galaxy S9 at Mobile World Congress this morning. Leo originally thought that Apple's $1,000 price tag on the iPhone X would influence mobile phone prices moving forward, but Samsung chose to only raise the price a bit, by comparison, starting at $720 for the 64GB version. You can trade in your older models to get a better price. You can also get $100 off if you buy from Best Buy. Leo says, however, that you don't get any benefit by paying more for larger storage considering the Android phones have a microSD slot for additional storage.

Why am I getting different keyboards when launching apps on my Google Pixel phone?

Android keyboards

Episode 1465

Mark from Grand Rapids, MI

Mark wants to know why he gets a different keyboard whenever he launches an app on his Google Pixel smartphone. Leo says this is a feature that developers can take advantage of so that the keyboard can be more contextual. For instance, when a number needs to be entered, the keyboard that comes up can be just a number pad. But there is a bug that causes keyboards to change randomly, so maybe that's the problem. More likely, it's something the app developer has done. Mark can try installing Swiftkey and see if that helps.

Why is my credit card information popping up on the iPhone?

Episode 1464

Jan from Washington

Jan has an iPhone 6 and she's worried that someone is hacking into her digital wallet and getting her credit card. Leo says it's probably not the case. More likely, she inadvertently activated Apple Pay, which she can do if she presses the home button twice. Pressing the home button again makes it go away. It's designed that way to make it easy to pay with Apple Pay quickly when the screen is locked.

Can she use more than one thumbprint on Touch ID? Leo says no. She can use fingers on both hands. But if it doesn't open, it may need to be retrained.