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Weekend of April 26, 2019 – Hour 2

skyroam solis© by Skyroam

Liz in Windsor, Ontario Canada listens on AM800 CKLW – The Information Station and asked: “Just over a year ago, I purchased a Garmin Vivo HR fitness tracker. I love it and wouldn’t change it for anything. But when I got it, I would get notifications or alerts when I got a text message as well as a phone call. I still get the phone call alerts, but the text messages don’t come through anymore. I have all my notifications on, I changed nothing but now my Garmin is not giving me that alert and I’m wondering if you can help.”

Liz, Garmin makes great exercise watches from the less expensive ones all the way to the ones that get close the $1000 mark, but they make awful companion apps.

Your first step would be to restart the watch, sometimes a reboot does still help.

Your problem is likely not with the watch itself though, but the app that you use to pair it to the phone.

You can try to delete the watch from the app and re-pair it as if it were a brand new device (frankly, it’s surprising that you haven’t had to do this already since Garmin’s app has a way of forgetting you ever bothered to pair a device to it). Failing that, you may need to reinstall the app itself. Sometimes it’s the only way to get rid of persistent issues like the one you’re facing.

Ed in Brunswick, Georgia listens on 93.7 WBQO – “When you need to know.” and asked: “I’m about to travel to Scotland. Dave, when you travel, you’re traveling, you always seem to be connected to the Internet. What do you use to be connected to the Internet so you don’t have to use hotel Wi-Fi or anything like that?”

Ed, if you want to skip hotel WiFi and roaming charges, the Skyroam Hotspot maybe the answer.

It’s been an Into Tomorrow staple for years and we’ve taken it to China, Korea, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Turkey, and plenty of other places.

The Solis model will get you LTE service all over the world and it will also work as a battery pack to charge your devices.

The way Skyroam works is that you buy day passes for as many days as you’d like to use the device, those are loaded into the unit, and one pass gets you 24 hours of internet access. If you don’t use it, you don’t use up any day passes, they only get deducted if they’re used.

Buying a Solis will cost you $149, and each day pass will cost you $9 for 24 hours. You can also rent the device for $9.95/day including the pass.

The speeds are solid, the device is as easy to use as any WiFi device. You pair it with your phone once and then it will connect when it’s in range, and you can get internet access in more than 120 countries.

Karl in Rapid City, South Dakota listens to the Podcast and asked: “Apple seems to think you want every picture you’ve ever taken on your iPhone. Just exactly what is the best way to get just a couple photos on your iPhone and the rest of them on your iCloud storage instead of trying to put everything on your iPhone?”

Karl, iCloud backs up your pictures and plenty of other things on your phone, and it works along with newer phones to optimize the amount of room those pictures use up, but it doesn’t give you options as to how to set up that storage.

If you delete a picture off the phone, iCloud will notice it and get rid of it online too. If you want to be able to store pictures remotely and delete them from your phone, you will have to use a different storage solution.

The good news here is that there are plenty of free options. Dropbox, Google, Flickr, and plenty of others will jump at the chance of storing your pictures for you, since that’s how they get a lot of their users, from people who keep running out of room on their phones.

There is one pretty annoying way of just using iCloud to do it too, but it’s not how iCloud is designed to be used and it will be a clunky workaround. You can save them to a folder in iCloud Drive, then delete them from your Photos app. That should work, but again, it won’t be seamless or easy. You’re expected to store documents in iCloud Drive, not photos you just took, so the workflow isn’t very natural.

Rich in Purcellville, Virginia listens to the Podcast and asked: “I want to cut the cord because DirecTV has gotten too expensive but I am very much in love with my DVR and I don’t want to give it up. I know I can get a DVR for my over-the-air channels, but those aren’t enough channels for me. So, I’m looking for online services. Some of them look like they’re just live stream to TV, which I’m not sure if I can pause, rewind and especially skip through ads with those. So I was wondering can I cut the cord and still keep the DVR?”

Rich, you can’t keep your old DVR. You actually don’t own the content recorded, so if you stop paying for a monthly plan they can just block you out of it.

You can however get an online streaming service with a cloud DVR. Hulu Live, YouTube TV, Sling TV, they all include some level of DVR in their plans.

Have a look at what each tier means. For example, Hulu Live’s $40/month plan includes 50 hours of DVR time, you can extend that by paying extra, but you may not need to since you’ll have access to everything in Hulu’s streaming library.

Since YouTube TV doesn’t give you access to a library like that, they’ll give you unlimited DVR without asking for any extra fee.

Look at your options, they’re not all the same, and make sure it’s worth it to you since you do have to keep paying for internet access, but it probably is cable companies charge pretty exorbitant prices.

Barry in Windsor Ontario Canada listens on AM800 CKLW – “The Information Station” and asked: “I’m in the process of trying to purchase a new phone. So many variables out there. I’m looking at the Samsung and I’m looking at the Apple. What suggestion can you help me with for people that are in their “senior” years. Please and thank you.”

Barry, there’s no real answer to this question other than “go with whatever you like.”

We should start out by telling you that your age shouldn’t be a big factor, modern phones are not like computers, in spite of all they can do. They’re pretty intuitive devices that rely on you tapping on the screens as few times as possible to get where you need to be. No one likes to have to poke at their screen endlessly to do something simple.

Samsung and Apple are not enough of a comparison though, Samsung makes extremely cheap phones, and extremely expensive ones, Apple doesn’t dip down below say $550. High-end Samsung phones are comparable to iPhones. Don’t expect a $150 entry level Samsung Galaxy phone to keep up with a $1000 iPhone X.

What the comparable models can do is really the same, there are always tiny difference in features that you won’t really notice or care about, one has a better camera, the other has a better flash, and they both get you flawless pictures so you don’t even stop to think about those things day to day.

What we’d recommend if for you to stop by a cell phone store near you and try them out and see which user interface feels more natural or easy to use to you. That’s probably the one you want.

We’re past the point where features make much of a difference anymore since phones these days are 99% alike in what they can do and how well they do it.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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