Internet outages during lockdown: How to use your phone’s mobile data instead

Your phone’s hotspot feature is sure to come in handy during an internet outage. 

Juan Garzon / CNET

This morning I woke up to a long list of alerts from my alarm system, video doorbell and a lamp letting me know they’d lost connectivity for over two hours in the middle of the night. If that happened during waking hours I’d go work at the local library or coffee shop, but in this time of state-wide lockdowns, that’s not possible. Thankfully, anyone with a phone has a built-in backup: Your phone’s hotspot feature can act as a mini Wi-Fi

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Best weather apps of 2020

Weather apps provide one of the most basic but important tasks, giving you a forecast to plan your day and week. Depending on which one you choose to download, you may also get added information like monthly forecasts, precipitation totals and humidity levels. 

However, any third-party weather app — as in, those that don’t come built-in to your phone — poses a risk, since they operate using location data, and sometimes ask for permissions they don’t actually need. A number of weather apps, including those from AccuWeather, The Weather Channel and WeatherBug, have come under fire or faced lawsuits for

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SIM swap fraud: What it is, why you should care and how to prevent it

SIM swapping is a serious trend you should know about. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Scams related to the coronavirus pandemic are on the rise. Phone calls and text messages claim to offer a cure or test kits, but what the scammers are really after is your personal information. With that information, hackers and scammers can do all sorts of things, like take control of your phone number and then access your online accounts. 

In January, a published study revealed how incredibly easy it to do, potentially leading to thousands of dollars in fraud — that’s your money on the line. The practice

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How to change your Zoom background just like everyone else is doing right now

Sarah Tew/CNET

Millions of people have taken to the Zoom video chat app to work and study from home during this coronavirus pandemic. And many have discovered a fun little setting that transforms your video background from the room behind you to outer space or the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge. You can even upload a photo to customize your own.

For the most part, Zoom — which is seeing a tremendous rise in use as a result of states mandating shelter-in-place and other measures — will hold onto your background image pretty well, making for a fun way

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Huawei P40 Series: Pro Plus flagship, new Leica cameras, pricing and more

Huawei unveiled its flagship phones, the P40, P40 Pro, and P40 Pro Plus, on Thursday in a livestreamed launch on YouTube. The new phones follow in the Huawei P30’s footsteps by pulling out all the stops in their cameras. But they won’t support Google services, so they won’t have access to the Google Play Store. The launch event was due to take place in Paris, but due to restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, it was pared back to an online-only event. 

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Huawei unveils P40, P40 Pro and Pro Plus


The P40 costs

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Google Stadia captures rollout, newest games and everything else you need to know

Sarah Tew/CNET

Google Stadia, the megacorp’s service to stream playable games on TVs and mobile devices without a console or PC, is the company’s leap into the melee of cloud gaming. Google is typically the biggest fish in any pond, but in cloud gaming it competes with other heavy hitters like Microsoft (xCloud), Nvidia (GeForce Now) and Sony (PlayStation Now). 

As so all those services, Stadia games run on powerful data center servers, which makes it possible to render and stream demanding games to lightweight hardware like phones. Sometimes using a

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