Walt Mossberg

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Tablet Buyer’s Wi-Fi Goof

Q:

I think we may have goofed. We bought a tablet that claims to be “Wi-Fi only.” Can it be activated to handle 4G cellular data?

A:

It’s highly unlikely. To use cellular data, a tablet needs extra chips, antennas, and other hardware and software, similar to what a smartphone includes. If it says “Wi-Fi only,” that very likely means it lacks this hardware.

In fact, if you compare the specs on, say, an iPad, or a Google Nexus 7 tablet, you’ll see that not only are the prices higher for the 4G cellular versions, but they weigh slightly more, to accommodate the cellular gear.

Q:

I am trying to monitor my teenagers’ iPhones. I bought an app called PhoneSheriff based upon good reviews. However when I went to install it, it says to ensure the targeted iPhone is “Jailbroken.” I believe this will void the Apple warranties. Is there anything I can do to monitor my teenagers’ iPhones without jailbreaking?

A:

There’s an app called TeenSafe that claims to be the only monitoring system for iPhones that doesn’t require that the target phone be jailbroken, which essentially means hacking the phone to accept apps that Apple hasn’t approved.

It apparently works via the Web, and relies on your knowing your children’s Apple IDs and passwords (presumably, even if they change). I haven’t tested or reviewed the app, so I can’t recommend it.

Email Walt at mossberg@wsj.com.


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