Mobile Phones

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

How can I use Waze internationally without data?

Jim from Atlanta, GA

Episode 1200

Jim wants to know if he can use Waze in New Zealand. Leo says that it looks like Waze does support New Zealand. So his issue is going to be with data. Google Maps would allow him to precache map information before hand, so he could do that while at the hotel. But Waze does not have an offline mode. So he'll have to get a local SIM card in order to have data.

How can I prevent getting an expensive cellphone bill overseas?

Zenia from Inglewood, CA

Episode 1198

Zenia is going to Africa next month for a wedding, and she's worried about taking her phone. Leo says that the most expensive thing is data roaming. So the first thing she should do is go in the settings and turn off data roaming. That means she won't get any data while out of the country. However, T-Mobile, Zenia's carrier, offers unlimited international texting, affordable calling, and free EDGE data. It's not fast and she'll probably have to verify that the country she's in will support it. If not, she can always buy an international data roaming plan.

How can I save my iPhone photos online?

Episode 1198

Drew from Ventura Beach, CA
Apple iPhone 6

Drew has taken over 1,000 photos on his iPhone and he wants to put them online. Leo says that Google Photos is a brilliant solution for that. It just came out and he'll get unlimited free storage from 16 MP or less, plus video. He can also create folders and slideshows. Leo's going to do this for his trip. Drew can then share the collections via link, Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus. iCloud can also do it through iCloud Drive. But he has to enable it.

Should I buy my next phone before moving to Italy?

Michael from Sacramento, CA

Episode 1198

Michael is retiring to Italy. Leo says that's exciting! He has a Samsung Galaxy Note III. Will it work in Europe? Leo says probably, but he'll have to have it unlocked. If he wants to get a new one, should he get it where he is now in the US or in Italy? Leo says that if he buys it here, again, he'll need to unlock it. He'd also have to buy it outright, and not subsidized through a carrier. The key is to be sure it has all the frequencies he needs. But he should get ready for some sticker shock because there is no subsidizing in Europe, plus there's VAT taxes, exchange rates, etc.

How can I stop my video from buffering?

Jim from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1196

Jim is frustrated because he'll be watching a video on his phone and it'll buffer. Leo says that's a speed/bandwidth issue. Streaming will buffer about 30 seconds of video before starting to get ahead. Then if the packets come out of order or slow down, the buffer is there. If it happens a lot, the buffer will just run out and rebuffer. So it has to do with connection, bandwidth, and the ability of your system to keep up. Faster internet will solve the problem, as will a lower resolution stream.

Should I wait for the Ubuntu phone?

Rusty from Mobile, AL

Episode 1196

Rusty is an open source fan and has heard about the Ubuntu phone. Should he wait for it? Leo says that he's a fan of Ubuntu but it's very unfinished and he imagines that a phone OS is probably going to be the same. It's primarily aimed at emerging markets where price is a consideration. If you like Ubuntu, it's probably very usable. But there won't be a lot of apps for it and that's going to be a frustration,.

How can I backup my text messages to my Mac?

Episode 1196

Dina from Manhattan Beach, CA
eCamm PhoneView

Dina wants to download her iPhone text messages with time and date. Leo says that the nice thing about the Apple environment is that they all work together. So the program that she uses for text messages, also works on the Mac if she sets it up that way. Then all the messages will appear there.

Another option is eCamm's Phoneview for $30. Dina can try before she buys and it will let her save all of her messages and data. They come in a PDF format when she saves them.