Mobile Phones

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

Is the GPS on my Android phone broken?

Episode 1459

Steve from Missouri
LG Stylo 2

Steve has an LG Stylo 2 and he's starting to lose his GPS lock. His Bluetooth also comes and goes. Leo says the Stylo has a weak antenna. That could mean a failing antenna or faulty GPS chip. This could be caused by heat too. That's the likely culprit because when the phone overheats, it's going to protect everything by shutting it off. Leo also thinks that the phone has just worn out and it's time to get a new one.

How can I turn my Android phone hands free?

Episode 1458

Scott from San Jose, CA
Android Auto

Scott just switched from Windows Phone to Android, the LG G30. Leo says that's a great phone, but Scott wants to know if it has a hands-free driving mode. Leo says it's not in Android itself, but they have an app that will run on the phone to do it. Leo says it's called Android Auto. It'll give him a completely hands-free experience and he can enable auto launch to take over the second he turns on the car.

How can I use my smartphone for investing?

Episode 1458

Dolly from San Jacinto, CA
Stock market graph

Dolly is retired and wants to invest in the stock market while traveling, but some of her brokerages don't support using smartphones. Leo says that there may not be an app to run, but she may be able to access her accounts using the phone's browser. What Dolly may have to do is select the "choose desktop" option. Leo also says that using a tablet like an iPad would be a better option since she'd have a bigger screen. She can also look to see if they have an app since many of the big companies do. TD Ameritrade, for instance, has an app, as does Schwab and Fidelity.

How can I update my Motorola Moto X to Android Oreo?

Episode 1458

Sherry from Oklahoma City, OK
Motorola Moto X

Sherry still uses an old Nokia flip phone. She bought an older Motorola Moto X, but she's concerned that it won't be updated. Leo says that they are probably not being updated since it's several years old, but it's probably safe to use. She'll want to install any patches that are available for it, but Android Nougat is the end of the line for that phone, which is fine. She just shouldn't download any strange applications for it, and only get apps from Google Play.

How can I use my mobile phone as a hearing aid?

Episode 1455

Bud from Montana, CA
Starkey iPhone compatible hearing aid

Bud wants to know if there's a hearing amplifier out there for his mobile phone. Leo says his cost $6,000, so that's not practical. Some earphones have apps that would pipe the sound directly into his ears from the phone. Then he could just use Bluetooth headphones, but it wouldn't be the ultimate solution. This is all about to change as companies are designing their products to work with Bluetooth wireless earbuds.

Why doesn't Touch ID work on my repaired iPhone?

Episode 1455

Nam from Lake Forest, CA
Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Nam gave his daughter a used iPhone 6, but after fixing the charging port, the fingerprint reader doesn't work. Leo says that Apple has disabled it because it was fixed by a third party. It's really for their own protection. If he takes the phone into Apple and tells them what happened, they should be able to restore the function, but understand that they may not.

How can my wife unlock her Android phone if she's forgotten the pattern?

Adrian from Irvine, CA

Episode 1455

Adrian's wife did a sliding pattern to lock her mobile phone and now she can't remember it. How can she unlock it? Leo says that in theory, Android doesn't want to give users a way around it, otherwise it would be useless for security. However, it's possible that if she has a Samsung account, she could have it backed up. There's also a way to do it by connecting it to a PC running Android Device Manager. Through that, she could unlock the phone.

Should I buy an iMac Pro for my photography hobby?

Episode 1454

John from Savannah, GA
Apple iMac Pro

John is retired and photography is a serious hobby for him. Should he buy a new iMac Pro, and how much RAM should he get? Leo says that If John was a pro, then the iMac Pro would be a good idea. But the 2017 5K iMac is not only just as good, it can actually be faster using single core configurations. So why spend the extra money? He should go with the 2017 iMac and configure it to his budget. 32GB of RAM is plenty, but he should avoid the Fusion drive. They cause more problems than they are worth. He should get a spinning drive to plug into it for his data.