Mobile Phones

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

Whats the best smartphone for someone who doesn't want one?

Episode 1075

Pam from Hollywood, CA

Pam has to get a new phone and she's really intimidated with the whole smart phone thing. She doesn't like apps. She doesn't like the privacy issues. But she has to. Leo says that smartphones are great for contact management, maps, pictures. It's all great. But that doesn't mean Pam needs to drinking the Facebook kool-aid. Just don't install hat app. So what's the best, easiest smartphone to get for her "first time?" Leo says he's not much of a fan of the Samsung Galaxy phones anymore.

Can I keep my phone plugged in and charging when not using?

Tif from Redding, PA

Episode 1075

Tif wants to know if he should keep his cellphone plugged in when he's not mobile or does that hurt it? Leo says it actually doesn't hurt it at all. Cellphones use Lithium Ion batteries and there's a limited number of full charge cycles. If you have keep it plugged in when you're not using it, preserves and improves the lifetime of your battery. And it has circuitry that prevents overcharging.

How do I unlock my Android phone?

Bob from Hermosa Beach, Ca

Episode 1075

Bob has an LG Android phone through MetroPCS and he would like to unlock it. Leo says it isn't something you want to try yourself, nor should you take advantage of offers on the Internet to unlock it. What he would recommend is to contact your carrier and ask if they will unlock it. Tell them you're planning on traveling overseas and would like to unlock it to take advantage of purchasing a local sim to make phone calls. If you're past your two year commitment, they should be willing to do it. In fact, the chatroom says that MetroPCS will unlock it after three months.

What's wrong with my Android Phone touchscreen?

Pete from San Gabriel, CA

Episode 1075

Pete is having issues while playing Candy Crush. The game pieces seem to be moving out of control, and after he puts it in sleep mode and then back up, it affects other games as well. Leo says that sounds like a touch screen issue. Leo says that if it's a hardware issue, it can't be affordably fixed since it's several years old. Leo advises getting a new phone, it would be much faster and cheaper. But before doing that, go to the settings and see if there's a firmware update available. That could solve the whole problem for nothing. Can he get a refurbished phone?

How can I get an app made?

Kevin from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1074

Kevin has an idea for several apps and wants to know how he can get them made, and then get a patent on them. Leo says that it's easier to get a patent if he has a working app. But app ideas can be patented with a sketched out concept as well. But this is also what creates patent troll lawsuits. Where could he find coders for making the app? Leo recommends eLance.com. There are good and affordable programmers there. There's also StackExchange.

What's the best video camera for a kid?

Episode 1074

Jenny from Cypress, CA
Olympus TG-2

Jenny's daughter wants a video camera, what should she get? Leo says that since Jenny's daughter has an iPhone, she already has a great camera there. Camcorders are dying. So Leo recommends getting a point and shoot camera with a good zoom. They shoot great HD video these days.

Leo likes the Olympus TG-2. It's a tough camera that's both dust proof and water proof.

Google's Update to Its Gmail iOS App Raises Privacy Concerns

Episode 1072

Gmail iOS

The latest version of Gmail's iOS app will not only support background app refresh, but also will provide for sign in across all Google apps. This means that once a user signs into gmail, he or she is automatically signed into all Google apps. This also works for signing out. This is leaving users up in arms over the fact that Google is even more intrusive in their daily mobile lives. Users are also complaining that the app refresh will eat up more battery power. In Europe, countries are investigating Google over privacy issues as a result.

What should I get for my first smart phone? (Part 1)

Episode 1071

James from Woodland Hills, CA
Motorola Moto X

James is going to get his first smartphone and is considering getting an older model like the Samsung Galaxy S3. But should he just move forward and go with the latest HTC One? He doesn't want an iPhone, though. Leo says that in general, it's not a good idea to go with an older model because he'll lose out on the latest innovations. However, with Samsung, things have gotten worse because Samsung has loaded it with programs that users can't get rid of, in addition to what the carrier puts on it. At least the Galaxy S3 didn't have so much of that nonsense.

Can I get arrested for downloading music from BitTorrent?

Mario from El Paso, TX

Episode 1070

Mario downloads music and he wants to know if he'll get sued or arrested for it. Leo says that when he's sharing or downloading, law enforcement doesn't know who he actually is because it's all based on IP addresses. Both the recording industry (RIAA) and the movie industry (MPAA) often have phoney torrents in order to find out what IP addresses are downloading them. Then they have to find out who owns that IP address from the ISP.