Walt Mossberg

Recent Columns by Walt Mossberg

Mossberg’s Mailbox

Stashing Movies

Q:

Can you download movies directly to the AirStash wireless USB flash drive you reviewed recently? Can you play Netflix movies or iTunes movies downloaded to your computer and then moved to the AirStash?

A:

The AirStash is a storage device that is loaded from a PC or Mac with files (of which videos are only one type) and which then uses a special Wi-Fi network to beam those files to devices like iPads that lack USB ports. Because it doesn’t connect to the Internet itself, it can’t download movies or anything else directly via an Internet connection.

As for the Netflix and iTunes questions, Netflix wouldn’t work because Netflix doesn’t sell or download movie files at all. It only streams movies to computers running the Netflix website or mobile devices running the Netflix app. And you wouldn’t need AirStash to view a Netflix movie on, say, an iPad, because the latter can receive them directly via the app.

On iTunes movies, the company says you can definitely use AirStash to beam an iTunes movie you buy (not rent) on a computer, to an Apple mobile device, as long as that device is authorized on the same iTunes account as the computer to which you downloaded the movie.

Q:

I am closing my office and moving to a home office. I need a phone that does email, text messaging and has international service. I do not need all the bells and whistles. Would a BlackBerry be good or do you have other suggestions?

A:

BlackBerry phones are especially good for email and not only handle texts well, but have their own free BlackBerry-to-BlackBerry messaging service. They also come with excellent physical keyboards, which some users strongly prefer. The main downside compared with other smartphones is that the devices have a tired user interface and a paucity of third-party apps. If a slicker interface and a wide variety of apps matter to you, consider an Android phone or an iPhone.


Top Products in Two Decades of Tech Reviews

December 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm PT

Diabetes Data Beamed to Your Phone

December 10, 2013 at 6:16 pm PT

Two Houses, One Cable TV Bill

December 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm PT

Calling Overseas on Wi-Fi

December 03, 2013 at 6:18 pm PT

Dell Tablets at Bargain Prices

December 03, 2013 at 6:12 pm PT

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

Walt Mossberg’s Product Guides

Desktop PC’s and Laptops

The Laptops to Buy


Digital Cameras

Digital Cameras Improve Zooms, HD Function