Tech Q&A: Spy cams, iPhone batteries, Alexa commands and more

Want to know about spy cams, iPhone battery performance and the coolest Alexa commands? Then read this column.

Clever Spy Cams

Q: I know you can buy a smoke detector that is also a spy cam. Can you tell me what other household objects might be spy cams?

A: When I hear “spy cam,” I often think of James Bond movies. There’s always the scene where 007 has to meet up with “Q,” the savvy technician with an affinity for weird devices. But even Ian Fleming’s hyperactive imagination wouldn’t have dreamed up a bottle of shower gel that doubles as a secret camera. This little item exists, and it not only contains shower gel in the upper half, but the whole thing is waterproof. Click here for 10 types of spy cams that could be watching you right now.

Amazon Expenditures

Q: My wife gets a box from Amazon almost every single day. I would like to know how much my wife spent on last year. I can’t find this in her order history settings.

A: There’s a downside to digital commerce: We often lose track of how much we’re spending, and then we’re surprised by the tabs we rack up. There are ways to find out the total sum, even for shared accounts. It involves downloading a file and analyzing it. From there, you can figure out how to curb compulsive shopping in the future. Click here to find out how much you or your wife has spent on Amazon.

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Upgrading Apple Battery

Q: I have been reading about Apple throttling battery performance on older phones. What are some tell-tale signs?

A: It’s no secret that Apple is obsessed with upgrades, and a lot of critics feel like they’re getting bullied into buying an expensive new phone. That’s why many people are annoyed when iPhones don’t work like they used to; they start spinning conspiracy theories about how the tech giant is manipulating their device. There are signs that your phone could use a new battery because low power affects almost every aspect of your phone’s performance. Click here to see whether your iPhone needs a new battery.

Coolest Alexa Commands

Q: I received an Echo from my husband. I don’t get it. What is it good for?

A: Believe me, you’re not alone. Echo is more popular than ever, and millions of people are embracing its groundbreaking technology. But other people have no idea how to bring such a device into their homes. Sometimes I think the world is divided between people who love Amazon Echo and people who can’t wrap their minds around a talking speaker. What can you tell Alexa to do, and why would these be helpful, illuminating, and even hilarious? Click here for the best Alexa commands.

Save Texts for Good

Q: My father recently passed away. How do I save our text conversations?

A: First of all, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. As someone who has lost many friends and family members, I know how difficult this time can be, and how important it is to preserve their memories. Text messages can be an intimate chronicle of your relationship, and I think it’s a great idea to save them for future reference. But how do you sustain this archive, especially when you upgrade phones? Many people assume that their texts will last forever, but this isn’t always the case, so it’s important to know how to save them permanently. Click here to save your text messages.

What questions do you have? Call my national radio show and click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.

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Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at