Mobile Phones

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

How can I stream Major League Baseball to my phone?

Dale from San Diego, CA

Episode 1180

Dale is buying a Slingbox 500 and he also has the Amazon Fire TV Stick. Can he plug the Fire Stick into the Slingbox and then watch Fire TV on his phone? He uses Codi (formerly XBMC) sideloaded on it. Leo says probably, but it's a lot easier to just use apps that can be installed onto his phone. Since he wants baseball, the MLB At Bat app may work, but he'd have to subscribe to it. Doing it via Codi would be pirated and as such, it wouldn't be wise to do it. Leo recommends the MLB app -- it works great.

How can I improve cellular data reception on my property?

Larry from Irvine, CA

Episode 1180

Larry is having issues on his property where he gets 3G in some areas, and 4G in others. Leo says he's on the edge of both. Will an antenna or amplifier help? Leo says that a cellphone amplifier could help. The benefit being that it becomes a Wi-Fi access point for up to 5 different devices. He can also set up an ad-hoc network with his laptop wired in. A directional antenna aimed at the cell tower will also be beneficial. He should watch his signal as he aims the antenna, and when the signal improves, he'll know where to have it pointed.

What's a good backup battery for my mobile phone?

Episode 1179

Todd from Topeka, KS
Aukey external battery

Todd is going to be travelling to the Grand Canyon and he's not sure what kind of reception he'll be getting. Leo says the Canyon isn't ideal for cellphone coverage. Will it work OK with power? Leo says he can get huge backup battery to charge it back up. A 10,000 mAh battery would be able to recharge three times before needing to be recharged. Anker makes a great one.

How good is the reception with the new iPhone?

Episode 1179

Jim from Saginaw, MI
Apple iPhone 6

Jim has an iPhone 4 and he's ready to upgrade. Do the newer phones get better reception? Leo says that the answer is yes. The iPhone 4 was the "antenna gate" iPhone, the phone that Apple claimed we were holding wrong. Those issues have since been designed out of the phone and they have much better reception. The new iPhone 6 antenna works better. Apple redid the reception indicator in order to get a more accurate read as well. Leo calls it arrogance that Apple held customers in contempt for complaining about bad reception.

Can you use something other than a fingerprint for Touch ID?

Episode 1178

Brad from Peoria, IL
Apple iPhone 6

Brad hears that you don't have to use your fingerprint for Apple's Touch ID -- you can actually use other body parts. Knuckles, palms, and even noses can work. Some guitar players or construction workers who have callouses on their fingers may not be able to use fingerprints. So for those people, they need to think outside the box.

Why doesn't Touch ID work on my iPhone?

Episode 1178

Patrick from Guelph, Canada
Apple iPhone 6

Patrick is frustrated because Touch ID doesn't work on his iPhone 6. He's had his phone replaced and it still doesn't work. It recognizes his fingers for a day or two and then it stops. Leo says that there was an issue with "fingerprint rot," where the reader capability degrades, but Apple fixed that in iOS 8. So it shouldn't have an issue. If Patrick's fingers are clammy or wet, it won't work. His hands need to be bone dry.

How secure are smartphones?

Derek from Seattle, WA

Episode 1177

Derek wants to know how secure cellphones are today versus 20 years ago. Leo says that they are secure because of digital networks that are encrypted. Back in the 90s, cell phones were analog, making them really easy to eavesdrop and "snarf." It was even possible to clone them. But just because you have digital security, doesn't mean you're completely secure. Law enforcement can pay a small fee and get the meta data from your wireless company via a pen register request. Also, there's GPS data, super cookies, and social interaction.