Alexander: What to do if phone-to-car software link disconnects

Q: I recently bought a new 2020 Hyundai Tucson. At the time, my phone, a Sprint Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, seemed to work with the car (the Android phone icons are shown on the car’s display screen.) But now, when I want to use the phone-to-car connection for navigation, the phone takes a long time to connect to the car and soon disconnects. After two visits to the car dealership, I was told that my phone appears to be too old to connect with the newest car technology. I don’t consider a phone introduced in 2016 to be outdated, and after buying a car I’m not ready to buy a new phone, too. What do you suggest?

Lori Larson, St. Paul


A: Your Galaxy S7 Edge phone may not seem outdated. But when you connect your 2016 phone to your 2020 car via the “Android Auto” software, the age difference may matter.

The first thing you should do is make sure your phone meets the basic phone-to-car connection requirements for Android Auto. Google says your phone needs to have version 6 or higher of its Android operating system, but Hyundai says you need Android version 7.

Here’s where updating your phone becomes important. The Galaxy S7 Edge came with version 6 of Android, and with operating system updates available from Sprint (now merged into T-Mobile) your phone should have progressed to version 7 and then version 8 (the latest version your phone can use.) If you haven’t downloaded those upgrades, do so and see if it helps.

If the upgrades don’t solve your connection issue, you may be facing the tech industry problem of “backward compatibility” (the ability of new gadgets to work with older ones.) While Google says your Galaxy S7 Edge phone should be compatible with your new

Palantir IPO Cements Billionaire Fortunes For Cofounder Peter Thiel And CEO Alexander Karp

After nearly two decades as one of Silicon Valley’s most closely guarded companies, data mining company Palantir Technologies finally went public on Wednesday in an unusual direct listing process.  After an expected delayed first trade, Palantir opened at 1:40 pm Eastern trading at $10 a share, up from the $7.25 reference price the company set on Tuesday night. It hit $11 at 1:50PM Eastern.

In a direct listing, the company does not raise funds for itself. Instead, existing shareholders get a chance to sell.  

Controversial investor Peter Thiel, who cofounded Palantir in 2003 and bankrolled the company in its early years, will be the biggest winner today as company chairman and its largest individual shareholder. 

Thiel and three investment firms he founded, Founders Fund, Clarium Capital and Mithril Capital, owned a total of 17.7% of the company before the offering, according to a regulatory filing. Forbes estimates that Thiel owns an 8% stake directly and through the funds, worth $1.9 billion at $11 a share. Thiel and the funds he runs registered to sell as many as 62 million shares in the offering, or 15.8% of their stake. It’s not clear yet whether all 62 million shares will be sold on Wednesday.

Palantir CEO Alexander Karp, who has called wealth “culturally corrosive,” owned 5.6% of the company before the offering, including vested options.  Karp registered 20.5 million shares in the offering, which means he may sell some or all of them in the offering, bringing in as much as $200 million or more, before taxes. Forbes estimates that Karp is now worth $1.1 billion.  

Forbes first called Karp a billionaire in 2015, when Palantir raised $400 million at a $15 billion valuation; Karp owned an estimated 8% of the