Cheap and disposable cell phones, what TV detective shows love to call "burner phones" are always shown being thown away in trash cans. But if they are only used once, what happens to them? They all have to have the symbol of a trashcan with an X through it on the back cover to show they're capable of being environmentally recycled. [more inside]
Since Apple decided to stop tethering their products, I've been seeing stories in the news about people just walking into stores in large groups and walking off with thousands of dollars worth of items. Explain Apple's business plan to me. [more inside]
My smart phone broke and it's been...awesome! How can I continue to cut my smart phone addiction after my phone is repaired? [more inside]
Can you help winterize my iphone for cold weather use (and quick battery drain), and find some new earbuds for running or general outdoor listening use? [more inside]
My phone keeps spontaneously shutting down even when there's plenty of battery life left. [more inside]
I need a new phone. Everything I see is too big. So far, only the iPhone SE is on my list. Anything out there comparable to the SE? (U.S. use). Big phones allow doing things I do not do with a phone. I just want the thing to fit comfortably in my jean's pocket.
(previously, 2005). Looks like a trip to Cuba will in fact go down in September. Cursory research indicates that the cell network there is GSM and that there is no US roaming in place (not a shock). Any pointers, tips, useful links? [more inside]
Hi, My daughter has an I-pod Touch and I have an I-phone 6. I understand that we cannot facetime each other, because we are on "family share" and we have the same e-mail address when we sign into our phone. She is not yet 13. [more inside]
My new to me 2011 Camry didn't come with a bluetooth enabled stereo, but it does have an Aux jack, There are bluetooth adapters that work by plugging into the aux jack, and they seem to get universally good reviews on Amazon. The $15-20 price point for them is appealing. Does anybody have personal experience with them, for both streaming music from your phone and hands free phone operation?
I'm in my late 30s and I've never owned a cell phone or text messaged in my life. I was gifted an iPod Touch for Christmas and (if possible) would like to know how to use this device to do these things. I'm poor, so free methods are best, although the drawbacks of the free methods would be good to know. And, ok, maybe there aren't free methods. [more inside]
hello. I and my son are on a Verizon family plan. We use our smart phones heavily. My husband, however, has never had a cell phone and is a resistant user. I'd like to be able to contact him from time to time. For example, a couple of days ago it would have been really nice to have been able to find him in the crowd where Ben and Jerry were speaking in Union Square (I am in New York City). [more inside]
Our AT&T smartphone bill is absurdly high for two people who never go anywhere, do anything, or talk to anyone. There are cheaper "postpaid" plans, but there are even cheaper—by a lot—prepaid plans. Why doesn't everyone have a prepaid plan, if this is the case? What's the catch? [more inside]
I need 2 neko atsume/kitty collector accounts. Maybe not need, maybe want. But I have two children and they each want to place, feed, and name the cats in their own way. How can I do this? [more inside]
My mother has never had a smart phone before, and wanted to get one, but she's a pensioner who finds it hard to cover her daily needs so can't afford to spend more than the bare minimum necessary. I steered her towards the Moto G 3rd gen as one of the best options in the low-cost range, and helped her buy it online so she didn't have to pay the $400+ actual shops here charge for it. Now that it has arrived, Spark NZ is apparently telling her it is completely incompatible with their network - that she can't even make phone calls or send SMSes on it. I have never heard of that before and can't find any reference to it in NZ forums. Is it really likely? [more inside]
I'm sure this is a stupid question, but I wondered. Why don't cell phones and other chargeable electronics charge multiple small batteries in parallel? The analogy is like this: * I have one cell phone with a large battery that takes 3 hours to charge. * I have three cell phones with small batteries that take 1 hour to charge. Why can't cell phones just have 3 smaller batteries and charge them all at the same time, and therefore make the charging faster?
Since Verizon ditched the subsidized-phone-with-contract deal, I'm not sure what the best way to buy a phone is anymore. My contract just ended and I'm DYING to get a new phone. My last one failed under warranty and the replacement that they gave me had a battery that would barely make it through the day ("like new", my ass). I've been counting the days until I was able to upgrade. [more inside]
I'm about to make the move from an iPhone to a Nexus 5X running Android. If you've made the iOS to Android switch recently, what was your experience like? What surprised you? What confused you? What did you forget to think about and do that you wish you had?
Canadian cheapskate seeking travel communication options. Read on for geek details. [more inside]
I have an idea for an app for smart phones, but have no idea on how to develop the idea to a working app. Can anybody walk me through the process?
For the time being, I'm living in southwest Virginia. I'm having major problems making and receiving calls. Details within. [more inside]
I need to find new VOIP hardware for my office. I don't even know where to begin. [more inside]
I have an Iphone 5s that I'm using with Ting, a pay-as-you-go service that uses the Sprint network. So far, I'm very happy with the arrangement. In August, however, I'm planning a month-long visit to a location not covered by Sprint. According to local residents, AT&T provides the best coverage in the area. [more inside]
So I'm at my new job. The main thing I'm supposed to be doing is calling people. Thing is, my phone isn't working and the tech support person's wife just had a baby, so he's incommunicado. A little help? [more inside]
I have been asked to set up an emergency VOIP "phone" at my house. What's the best hardware/service combo for this? [more inside]
I've had a stalker for about 4 years. I'm not physically afraid of this person, but this is a nuisance in terms of intrusive, unwanted phone calls, texts, emails, social media. I am just so done with this person not respecting my right to peace in my own home. How do I "block" landline/cell phone when Verizon tells me "no can do?" Details after the fold. [more inside]
What happened here? Are the phones salvageable? Or have they become bricks, usable only on wi-fi for apps? [more inside]
There must be an easy way to send photos from a cell phone to a computer... (as brief as possible explanation inside). [more inside]
My current mobile situation meets some of my needs, but not others. Can I do better? [more inside]
A couple of years ago I read a talk that was posted online by a guy (maybe a professor or culture critic) who talked about how in the future everyone would have great tech gizmos (phones, iPads, etc.) but everyone would also be poor. [more inside]
I tend to be very rough on phones and my beloved cell phone case maker otterbox does not make a case for my new phone (HTC Desire 601/ZARA) What would you get instead and what site would you buy it from? [more inside]
I want a plan that has NO monthly fees for a rarely used cell phone. [more inside]
Which dumbphone should I get? Special snowflake details inside. [more inside]
I need a prepaid "burner" phone for work in the USA later this year. However, I will need one that works in Canada as well, which was not an option the last time I was traveled with one. [more inside]
Due to limited mobility from a disability, I'm forced to rely strictly on voice commands to control a cell phone. Over the years, trying to find a solution for reliable hands free functionality in this area has been challenging. Anyone familiar with voice recognition in the past knows the capricious, quirky nature of the beast. It can be VERY frustrating and almost comical at times. Anyway, with today's processing speeds and the advent of Siri and Google Now, I can happily say that it's almost there for me. In fact, I give a 90% approval rating for recent experiences with the latest Iphone and Android products. The biggest obstacle now has been the necessity to hit the home button to trigger the lovely Siri. This last hindrance was overcome by none other than Google with their release of the Moto X -- which waits in standby mode listening for your command. I was so excited by all the reviews that I rushed out to buy my own. It turned out fantastically, but (and there's always a butt in these things) it came with another quirky disappointment. And this one is kind of surprising: The damn thing won't answer incoming calls by voice. I've looked thru all the settings and searched high and low for an app but to no avail. The closest I've come is an app that auto answers after one ring, but who wants that? What if I'm trying to dodge the ex-gf. Lol. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
Suppose I want to use my phone and computer like a normal human being (I do not want to jump through lots of annoying technical hoops every time I make a call or send email or browse a web page), but I want to minimize how much government agencies can learn about me. What are some reasonably cheap (free is best) and transparent methods or tools or products I could use? And what are some more secure (if more elaborate and annoying) methods I could use supposing I didn't mind jumping through a few extra hoops every once in a while if the stakes were high enough?
Best no-contract Android smartphone that I can buy (ideally new) for under $250? [more inside]
Are older phones or phones designed for poorer countries any less susceptible to spying than the latest Apple, Google or Android models? I've read about CEO's looking for the very old brick phones because since they don't have the sophisticated technology of the modern phones, they're harder to monitor or track. I understand the phones w/o apps are clearly more secure regarding third parties because they aren't sending personal data to companies. But what the government and everything else; voice, location via cell towers, SMS; the very basics.
Here's the thing: I don't have a land-line. Over Thanksgiving, my mother got upset at the thought that she couldn't reach me late at night if there were some kind of emergency - the dreaded "3 am phone call." I understand her worry, but I'm feeling very resistant to the idea of keeping the phone on at night. In part, this because I know that most of the calls I'll get will just be annoying and unwanted (I have a fairly severe telemarketing issue) but I think there is also a kind of psychological resistance. I'm a slave to my phone already for all these hours of the day, and it feels good to know it won't be bothering me while I'm sleeping. I'm reluctant to give that up. Can you help me sort through these issues? [more inside]
I'm going to be travelling to India soon and I wanted to get a prepaid cellular connection for my iPhone to avoid roaming charges and for internet access. What's the cheapest/best prepaid connection in India (going to be travelling around South India)? Is there some way I can buy it in the US so I can have cellular access from when I immediately arrive? [more inside]
I have a Verizon iPhone 4 that is now off-contract. It's clear from my usage that I don't really need a smart phone. For my purposes, what do I need? [more inside]
Can I buy an iPhone and use it only as a camera without having to sign up for a service plan? I don't really need nor want a smartphone, however, I'm now wondering, with Instagram, etc, if I should start shooting some stuff on a smartphone? The only downside is that I like having big, canvas prints up around the house am under the impression that the phone's image quality is still pretty crappy.
Looking to get a phone for our 9-year-old son for use in case of emergency. Several factors precipitated the decision, but most recently, he was left sitting alone outside school for an hour waiting to be picked up early. [more inside]
Even with the ringer set on maximum volume, I tend not to hear my phone ringing when I'm out walking on a busy London street. I'd like a ringtone that will be audible over traffic noise, but not be earsplitting or annoying when I'm indoors. Are there any acoustic properties (other than sheer loudness) that I should look for in a ringtone to help it stand out against a background of car engines and other street noise?
I need a new smartphone. I am tech savvy and an informed consumer, but I also have terrible timing (in general). So though I'm looking at the options, my terrible timing + T-Mobile's expensive new phones make me very unsure of what to get. Halp? [more inside]
I've had my phone (a Samsung Galaxy S Blaze) for about a year and a half, and it is no longer under warranty. Recently, it has developed two problems relating to aspects of the hardware. I need to determine if I (a person with little to no experience with fixing electronics) can fix these problems inexpensively, or if I should just bite the bullet and buy a new phone. (I'm a student, so buying a new phone after less than two years is not something that makes my wallet happy.) [more inside]
Not your usual question. I'm on a family plan with unlimited everything so I'm not asking about plans or providers. I just want to be able to text a lot without strife. [more inside]
I need to port my Sprint phone number over to boost. Bills are out of control and I rue ever leaving Boost for a contract phone. I've been with Sprint over a year, but not long enough to finish out two-year contract. Yes--I know I will be on hook for early termination fee. My main worry is that I owe money to Sprint (phone is still on for a few more days). I want porting to go smoothly and I do not want to lose my cell phone number. I can do this tomorrow or later today. Just let me know what I need to do to port number smoothly. Thanks for your help.
Is a several-years old (2009-2010 era) smartphone worth $30 on eBay? [more inside]
I have a temp job tidying IT store rooms. We're gonna throw away (I mean recycle) loads of stuf, like hundreds of kettle (power) leads, couple dozen first gen Cisco VoIP phones. Any better ideas? [more inside]
Does any cell phone network engineer perhaps know why you can't hear your own voice when speaking on a cell? [more inside]