Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss Apple’s WWDC announcements including iOS 16, new MacBooks, and more.
Peter in San Francisco, California listens on TuneIn and asked: “I got a message from T-Mobile who handles my account and the SMS message said “Your T-Mobile device has met unlock eligibility. To unlock your device, Please follow the instructions found here” and they give me a link. So I open the link in my browser and there’s all of these instructions on how to unlock my phone. And I don’t understand. I mean, I have to unlock my phone every time I use it anyway. So what are they telling me here, Dave? I don’t understand. Should I do it? Should I ignore it or just don’t pay any attention to it?”
Peter, you can ignore it.
T-Mobile isnt telling you anything about your phones day to day settings (like locking a phone daily or leaving it unlocked), and its not telling you anything about locking or unlocking your service (as in, needing to do it to keep your service working).
You likely paid off your phone, or enough of it, and T-Mobile is letting you know that you can remove the lock that forces it to only work with T-Mobile and not other cell phone companies.
Unlocking it would be useful to you if you were interested in switching mobile phone service providers, like if you wanted to leave T-Mobile for AT&T, or if you wanted to use it abroad with a local carrier to save some money.
These days texting abroad is free on almost every T-Mobile plan and most offer free data roaming as well, but unless youre traveling to Canada or Mexico, or you are on a more expensive monthly plan your data speeds will be capped at 2G speeds which is enough for messaging, emails, and VoIP calls, but will likely struggle with anything with an image, let alone a video. Thats the main reason people connect to foregin carriers these days.
If youre not looking to change carriers or connect to a foreign network using their local plans, then you can ignore that notice. Its optional and T-Mobile wont complain about you making it harder to leave them.
Helen – didnt tell us where she was calling from or how she hears us, but used the AskDave button on our site and asked: “Hi Dave, is there a way to tell if someone has placed an AirTag on my vehicle unknown to me? Just wondering if there’s a safety check for that.”
Helen, if you have an iPhone it will do it for you and actively alert you if an AirTag is around you and away from its owner for a certain period of time.
The alert is a notification, the AirTag will also beep loudly and allow you to disable it.
iPhones also allow you to search for nearby devices that havent been around you for long enough to trigger an alert by going into the FindMy app and clicking on Items. There should be an option there for nearby devices.
From there youll be able to see where it has moved with you, make it play a sound, and youll see instructions on how to disable it (its basically a how to guide on removing the battery, but if its not yours hitting it with a hammer and dunking it into a glass of water after its been cracked is also an option).
If youre using an Android phone, Apple released an Android app called Tracker Detect that will more or less do the same thing that native iOS version does. It will detect AirTags nearby, alert you, and instruct you on how to remove the battery.
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