Mobile Phones

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

How can I get my phone unlocked?

Episode 1460

Rob from Los Angeles, CA
Person using smartphone

Rob has an old Android phone and he doesn't like his carrier. Can he unlock it and go with another carrier? Leo says he should as long as his account is in good standing. Even if he's no longer a customer, they should still do it for him. He should just call and ask them politely. He should not pay to unlock a phone, though. If he has to, Rob should go to XDA-Developers.org and look in there for instructions.

Is my cell phone safe from an internet attack on my router?

Episode 1460

Bonnie from Riverside, CA
Hacker

Bonnie uses Eset's Smart Security, But she recently saw that an external intruder was blocked. She's worried that while her PC was safe, her other devices may have been compromised. Leo says that Bonnie's router probably blocked the bad traffic that comes lurking. There are bots that are looking for security holes, though. Getting attacked is normal, but the router will handle 90% of the attacks. The rest is covered by antivirus. Her cell phone IP address changes constantly, so it's mostly pretty safe.

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.