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Tech News & Commentary
Shawn in Redmond, Oregon listens to the podcast and is calling via the App asked: “Google Chromecast- I would like to be able to use it in my truck. I’m on the road a lot. Can I use my iPhone’s hotspot or does it have to be some sort of land-based wi-fi. I almost bought one since they’re only $35 and come with like 200 channels. But I don’t know if I could use my iPhone’s hotspot for the connection it requires.”
Shawn, You will probably have a hard time using your iPhone as the access point for a Chromecast.
Typically, when your iPhone acts as a hotspot it knows that it is the source of the connection and it doesn’t consider itself to be connected to itself, just sharing the connection it’s getting from it’s own internet provider, so it acts a little differently.
Some people have had some success, but it may or may not last. The other problem you will very quickly run into is that your iPhone probably has either a limited data plan, or a limited tethering plan, and both will feel the weight of video streaming very, very quickly. To give you an idea, Netflix claims that to stream standard definition content, uses 700MB/hour, and as the quality increases the bandwidth really increases, up to around 7GB/hour for UltraHD content. Whoever you’re getting your data from will love you, but whoever you bank with will panic.
If you’re mobile, you may be better off paying for an unlimited data plan that allows you stream on your phone, even if it’s a smaller screen. That way at least you won’t have to worry about nasty surprises at the end of the month.
What would work much better for you is to buy an Apple TV. Apple recently dropped the price to $69 for that device and with it, you’d have access to AirPlay. AirPlay would allow you to easily play streaming video content from your iPhone over your Apple TV. Both the iPhone and the Apple TV will need to be on the same wireless network, however, and you’re still going to have to deal with the question of how you get data on that network.
You will probably have to engage the hotspot on your phone and then link your Apple TV to your iPhone. But we’re still going to running up hard against the brick wall of your wireless data plan.
Streaming video, as we said already, will shred your data plan. And unlimited data plans…simply aren’t. They may not charge you for it, but there is a soft cap in there somewhere, and something WILL happen to you (typically network throttling) when you go beyond a predetermined limit.
But for video streaming using an iPhone, the Apple TV can’t be beat.
For more information tune in to Hour 1 of our podcast.
Consumer Reports Segment:
One day soon you may want to trade in your smartphone for a newer, better model. And before you do, you’ll want to delete all your photos, e-mails, app accounts, and other personal data. If you have an Android phone, simply hitting the factory reset button may not be as secure as you think. Consumer Reports electronics spokesman James McQueen is here to explain.
The “Into Tomorrow” team discussed the latest apps that they have been playing with recently.
- Samantha recommends: White Noise, $1.99
- “You know how many people find a thunderstorm so relaxing, they just drift off to sleep? White Noise is an app that is intended to help you sleep by bringing that and over 40 other sounds to your smartphone. Even when you’re asleep, your brain is constantly scanning and listening for sounds. Many times, if it’s too quiet, unwanted noises such as faucet drips or police sirens can interrupt your sleep. They say White Noise generates sounds over a wide range of frequencies, masking those noise interruptions, so you can not only fall asleep, but stay asleep. Once you launch the app, you can select your sound. (You can also record your own sound and create a loop from within the app) You can also set a time for how long you want the sound to play for and set an alarm to wake you up, all from within the app. White Noise is $1.99 in the Apple App Store.” — Samantha
What are your favorite Apps? Let us know at 800-899-INTO and we’ll feature them in this segment!
Brad Nickel, Co-Founder – CodeKids
Summer camp where kids focus on coding, programming and video game production.
Jamie in Tampa, Florida listens on Zeno Radio asked: “What are your thoughts on flip phones? Are they on their way out or are flip phones making a comeback?”
Jamie, In Japan in particular smartphone sales have stalled, but feature phone sales keep growing, so in some ways they’re kinda making a comeback.
It’s understandable too. Smartphones are very annoying devices, they are constantly vibrating and they keep making non-stop noises to notify us of 10,000 things that we don’t want to be notified about, all with the discomfort of an overly big package, and with the battery life of a phone from 1993.
It’s no surprise that some people are embracing phones that are more comfortable, and that serve us rather than demand that we serve them.
Having said that, they’re not making any real comeback, and they probably won’t. Being immune from getting lost, and being incapable of not knowing something we want to know is something we’ve already gotten used to, and we won’t give that up.
Smartphones are not going to lose any serious ground, even if some lucky few make the choice to switch to less oppressive older phones.
For more information tune in to Hour 1 of our podcast.
This Week’s Prizes for Our Listeners
TYLT: Car Charger RIBBN Cables – These cables rapidly charge 2 Smartphones or 2 Tablets simultaneously.
Jabra: SoleMate Portable Bluetooth speaker for your laptop, tablet, smartphone or music player
Monster Products: DNA Pro 2.0 High powered Over-ear headphones
Hydreon Corp: FakeTV Burglar Deterrent – Simulates the light output of a TV to deter burglars from your home.
Verykool: S5015 Spark II Smartphone – Unlocked GSM phone with Android OS and front facing flash – perfect for selfies!
Kensington: SD4000 Universal 4K Docking Station for laptop computers