Mobile Phones

iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry, or feature phones.

Do I need to tether my phone and pay for more data?

Dan from Whittier, CA

Episode 1190

Dan just got a new iPhone and he and his son has shared data. How does that affect when he uses his phone as a personal hotspot? Leo says that when he uses a personal hotspot, it brings no more to the party, he's just paying more for the priviledge of hotspotting. Dan can use a free service like FreedomPop, but it's for a very limited amount of data. Then he'd start paying. Wi-Fi hotspots, though, will cost him nothing. So if he's at a Starbucks, he can connect to that and it won't count against his data at all.

How can I sync my contacts to the cloud properly?

Diana from Laguna Beach, CA

Episode 1190

Diana bought a new Apple iPhone 5. The Apple store employee merged her contacts, but every contact in her phone was from iCloud and not her personal contacts. Leo says that's probably true. He assumed that Diana's phone was backed up, and it wasn't. Going forward, Diana should continue to backup to iCloud so if she loses her phone, she'll still have her contacts. She should just clean it up first. Then back up her contacts to the Cloud and have it continue to backup regularly.

How much of a data plan do I need?

Jack from La Junta, CO

Episode 1189

Jack is getting his first smartphone with a data plan. Which plan should he get? Leo says that rule of thumb is, unless he's watching a lot of video, he's probably only going to go through 3-4 GB a month. Is 40GB too much of a plan? Leo says he doesn't know of such a plan and it could be that he's confusing throughput with data caps. He should check the website for their available plans.

What phone should I buy my mom?

Episode 1189

Alex from Sacramento, CA
Apple iPhone 6

Alex is trying to decide that smartphone to get his mother. He'd like to be able to video chat with her. Leo says that while he likes Android, the iPhone is really good because of FaceTime. What about battery life? Leo says he gets through the entire day with ease. But it really comes down to how good the signal is. If the phone is constantly looking for a signal, that can kill the phone in a half a day. But if he's in a good area, then the phone doesn't have to work as hard and that translates to hours more battery life.

How can I move my old cell phone to a new carrier?

Episode 1188

Kris from Merced, CA
Apple iPhone 6

Kris would like to move her iPhone 4 from AT&T to Verizon. Leo says she can't. The phones are the same model, but the iPhone 4 on AT&T has a GSM radio, and the Verizon model uses CDMA. She could get it unlocked and use it on T-Mobile, though. But to go from AT&T to Verizon, she'll need an iPhone 5 or above. In fact, if she can go to Verizon and say she wants to leave AT&T. Verizon actually sells an unlocked iPhone due to a consent decree with the federal government. And then she could use it on any carrier.

How can I save text messages on an old cell phone?

Episode 1187

Steve from Dana Point, CA
BlackBerry Classic

Steve needs to upgrade from his old BlackBerry and he wants to know how he can export and save his text messages. Leo says it's possible to save text messages via SIM, but the SIM is very small. He could back up the text messages with the BlackBerry software, as well as third party solutions, but whether they will be legally viable after that is another story. Which is why Leo would recommend keeping the phone and sim as is and get a new SIM for the new phone.