Mobile Phones

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

Should I force the Oreo update for my Note 8 mobile phone?

Episode 1454

Nathan from Tuscon, AZ
Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Nathan got a new Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and wants to know if he should update it. Leo says that Samsung is starting to push out the Oreo update to the Galaxy S8, but not the Note 8 just yet. Leo also doesn't recommend forcing an update — he should wait until it's available. He should focus more on the security updates. Patience. Oreo will come soon.

How can I get my Android phone to stop crashing?

Episode 1453

Michael from Desert Hot Springs, CA
LG Aristo Silver

Mike has an LG Aristo mobile phone and it crashes all the time. What can he do? Leo suspects that there's an app that has been corrupted or flawed that causes the phone to crash. Leo suggests backing up the data and then restore the phone to its factory condition. It'll be in Backup and Reset under settings. The phone will wipe the drive and then reinstall Android. Then he'll have to reinstall everything.

How can I track my family with my phone?

Deena from Manhattan Beach, CA

Episode 1450

Deena wants to track her family with her iPhone. Leo says that a smartphone has GPS, an always on internet connection, it's designed to be a surveillance device. Always remember to have permission of the person you're tracking. For the iPhone, there's Find My Friends. There's also Life360. But her husband's phone is on Android, so how does he keep track of their son? Google Maps will let you share your location. Open Google Maps, tap the blue dot and select share location. It will time out after awhile though. That's the best option because it's free and cross platform.

How can I keep my phone from always listening?

Episode 1452

Pat from San Gabriel, CA
Motorola Moto Z

Pat upgraded to a Motorola Moto Z with Android 7, but when he listens to music at home, it displays what he's currently listening to on the screen. How does it know? Leo says that the Android has an always listening feature that will pick up the ambient sound in the room and identify it. It's basically for the OK Google feature.

Pat had an issue with it playing a video unexpectedly as well. Leo says he can train it to just listen to only his voice, or he could even disable "OK Google" entirely. It'll be under Settings > Google.

Can I say no to Customs if they want to read my phone?

Episode 1451

John from Westchester, NY
US Customs and Border Protection

John is worried about traveling overseas and then having his mobile device or computer taken away and being forced to unlock it. Leo says it doesn't really happen all that often, though they do have the right to do it, and it hasn't been ruled on being unconstitutional just yet. He'll have to worry when they take his device into another room. Chances are, they've cloned the data or even installed something to monitor him. At that point, if he's security conscious, the only thing he can really do is replace the device to be sure he's secure.

How can I transfer data from my old iPhone to my new iPhone?

Episode 1451

Evelyn from Lake View Terrace, CA
Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

Evelyn just got a new iPhone and wants to transfer all her settings and data from her old iPhone 5. Leo says the first thing she'll want to do is backup the old one in iTunes. Make sure to select encryption, because it won't backup her passwords without it. Then she can plug in her iPhone 8 and iTunes will then ask if she wants to restore. She can just select that, and then it'll backup her passwords, download the latest apps, and any other data she wants. Here's a support page from Apple on how to do it.

How do I tell my bluetooth speaker to play music from my phone?

Episode 1449

Joe from Kankakee, IL
Harmon Kardon Invoke

Joe has a Harmon Kardon Bluetooth speaker and he is having trouble playing music from his phone. It pairs with it, but he can't figure out how to give it the command to play music. Leo says that he has the Harmon Kardon Invoke and it sounds great for $100, but it may not be made "aware." He'll have to go into his phone's Bluetooth settings. On the Amazon Echo, you have to tell it to connect to the phone and then pair it in the Bluetooth settings. So he may want to try that.

How can I enter my password without using my phone's keyboard?

Episode 1448

Rich from Scranton, PA
Google Gboard

Rich is having trouble entering his password on his cellphone screen due to his Parkinson's disease. Leo says that there are plenty of accessibility options including the swiping keyboard. It would let him draw a line from key to key. It may be easier to do that than tapping the keyboard. Leo recommends using the Google Keyboard, GBoard.

What Android phone should I buy?

Episode 1448

Scott from Hisperia, CA
Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Scott owns a Windows Phone, but he's tired of people making fun of them and Microsoft has killed it. So he's ready for a new phone. Should he go with Android or Apple? He doesn't trust Google, but he'd prefer an SD card option. Leo says the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the ideal phone for Scott. It takes an SD card, has a large screen, and has a stylus. If he doesn't want the stylus, the Samsung Galaxy S8+ is very close in size.