Newsletter Archives

  • Special note for Samsung users (or Pixel users too!)

    If you have any of the following read on….

    Mobile devices from Samsung, including those in the S22, M33, M13, M12, A71, A53, A33, A21, A13, A12 and A04 series;
    Mobile devices from Vivo, including those in the S16, S15, S6, X70, X60 and X30 series;
    The Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 series of devices from Google;
    any wearables that use the Exynos W920 chipset; and
    any vehicles that use the Exynos Auto T5123 chipset.

    What is this about?  Google project zero have released a blog post about a security vulnerability that impacts these devices.

    What does this mean? Tests conducted by Project Zero confirm that those four vulnerabilities allow an attacker to remotely compromise a phone at the baseband level with no user interaction, and require only that the attacker know the victim’s phone number. With limited additional research and development, we believe that skilled attackers would be able to quickly create an operational exploit to compromise affected devices silently and remotely.  So if the attacker CALLS you, they could compromise your phone.

    Note: Until security updates are available, users who wish to protect themselves from the baseband remote code execution vulnerabilities in Samsung’s Exynos chipsets can turn off Wi-Fi calling and Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) in their device settings. Turning off these settings will remove the exploitation risk of these vulnerabilities.

    What should I do? 

    How to turn off WiFi calling on a Samsung phone

    1. Open the phone on your Samsung phone
    2. Tap the three-dot menu in the top-right corner
    3. Select Settings
    4. Find the WiFi Calling option about halfway down and toggle it off

    How to Disable VoLTE on any Samsung Galaxy Phone

    1. Head over to the Settings page on your galaxy device.
    2. Then go to the Connections section.
    3. Scroll to the Mobile network section.
    4. Within that, you should see the VoLTE Calls option. Just disable the toggle and that’s it. (note I think this should be default disabled and is probably not enabled by default)

    No patch is available at this time.  As soon as I hear word of one, I’ll add it to the master patch listing.

    Please note – each vendor of the phones can customize the deployment and thus you may not see these options in your phone.

  • Android 13 is out

    Like any upgrade no matter whether it’s for the phone or for a computer, before you read the stories about what’s new, what’s cool you should be asking yourself first…. do I have a backup of my phone or tablet?

    As always it depends on the model, but generally speaking you should double check that your device is being backed up.

    If you want to manually back up your device to a PC:

    How to transfer files from Android to Windows:

    1. Plug your Android phone into your computer using a USB cable.
    2. On your Android phone, slide down the notification menu, and you should see an Android System message saying Charging this device via USB. Tap on it.
    3. Under Use USB for, select File transfer / Android Auto.
    4. On your Windows PC, open This PC in your folders or explorer.
    5. Look for your phone and double-click on it.
    6. Look for the files you want to transfer. Highlight them, right-click on them, and select Copy.
    7. Create a folder where you want to store your files and open it.
    8. Right-click on any empty space and select Paste.

    And remember… got any questions about Android devices?  We have a forum for that!


  • Got a cell phone? Are you getting more spam calls?

    Even though “supposedly” the industry is trying to clamp down on spam calls, I get more, not less. Lately I’ve received calls where clearly the spam technology isn’t working and they end up being calls with “dead air”.

    If you have an iphone you can opt to REALLY block all unknown phone calls and ONLY those people in your iphone contact list with the following settings:

    Go to Settings > Focus > Do Not Disturb > move the toggle next to Do Not Disturb > to ON position and tap on the People tab. On the next screen, tap on Calls From option, located under “Also Allow” section. On the next screen, select All Contacts option. After this, your iPhone will only allow Calls from people who are listed on your Contacts List. All other Calls from unknown Callers or Callers with hidden Caller ID will be automatically silenced.

    If you don’t have someone on your contact list, when they call it will go to your voice mail.

    Androids may be a little different depending on the model, but you should be able to google and find instructions.

    Bottom line what are you doing to stop being annoyed with spam calls, spam texts and anything else related to spam?


  • Surface Duo (the Android-based two-screen phone) teased yet again

    Credit: MS exec Shilpa Ranganathan

    Yes, the Surface Duo should arrive shortly.

    No, I’m not the least bit interested. I don’t know anybody who’s going to line up to buy one. Look at the huge bezels and the 1930s-style hinge.


  • What’s the best way to lock your Android phone?

    Android security

    Security vs. convenience: What’s the best way to lock your Android phone?

    Lincoln SpectorBy Lincoln Spector

    You want your smartphone to be locked down so that no one but you can find your secrets. But you want to unlock your phone quickly and easily.

    You can’t have the best of both worlds. You must choose between the best security and the easiest entry. But with the right precautions, you can have reasonable security without constant annoyance.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.26.0 (2020-07-06).

  • Three of the best Android file managers


    By Lincoln Spector

    Among its many duties, an operating system should provide the tools you need to manage files — to, at a minimum, copy, move, find, and delete them.

    Oddly, Android doesn’t offer its own built-in file-management app. It’s almost like using Windows without File Explorer. Thus, countless developers have stepped up and created add-on file managers for Android. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that many are simply awful. But a handful are quite good, as I discovered when I tested 11 file-management apps for Android devices. (However, none matches Windows’ File Explorer.)

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.24.0 (2020-06-22).