Here’s your quick, fun, sometimes serious, and always interesting daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Thursday, April 4, 2019!
1. 5G arrives! But only to about six blocks of US soil…
Yesterday, Verizon announced it had released the closest thing to real 5G we’ve seen in the United States.
Here it is in use:
(via Verizon spokesman David Weissmann on Twitter)
What we have here is:
- An actual mmWave 5G signal from Verizon;
- Running on a real consumer 5G smartphone (even though it’s likely to be the worst 5G phone we’ll ever see) the Moto Z3 with a Moto 5G Mod;
- And with proof! We see the speed test end with Weissmann’s speed test ended with a healthy 762Mbps down and a 19ms ping. (We didn’t see upload speeds here.)
- (Note that latest modern 4G LTE can offer similar download speeds, but ping is more like around 60ms according to OpenSignal.)
Now, there are caveats. To Verizon’s credit, the company wasn’t hiding the details too much:
- This is working in a few areas of Chicago and Minneapolis. We’re talking a few blocks, plus a few Verizon stores.
- Verizon didn’t try to pretend it works widely, listing in its PR exactly where coverage can hopefully be found: Chicago – “Throughout the West Loop, the South Loop, The Gold Coast, Old Town, and River North,” and in Minneapolis, service is “concentrated in the Downtown area.”
- And you couldn’t get more ideal conditions. Weissmann is 20 or 30 yards from the tower you can see in the background, and the number of connected devices using the 5G service may be as low as one: just that one phone. And isn’t a particularly good phone either, the 4G Moto Z3 with the 5G adapter is a rather Frankenstein way of getting a kind of quasi-5G experience.
- But it’s still real-life, sort of, rather than in a pop-up box or controlled conditions.
- The real test though, will come both non line-of-site usage and with congestion.
- We can expect better phones which will improve the device side of things – like the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G which is tipped to hit Verizon on May 16, but congestion can only go one way from here.
- Will these early 5G installation speeds and all-important latency hold up?
- How quickly can someone burn their entire monthly data on 5G?
- And can we send Adam to podcast on 5G-location?
2. Moto G7 and Moto G7 Power review: Still the best affordable Android phones money can buy (Android Authority).
3. Second Android Q beta now available for Pixel phones, unexpectedly early(AA)
4. Here’s everything new in the second Android Q developer preview, including better volume settings, directional/zoomable microphones, chat bubbles like Facebook Messenger, and more (AA).
5. Beats’ coming Powerbeats Pro are AirPods with a longer battery life and better fit (The Verge)
6. Google’s one week old AI ethics board is already falling apart (Vox).
7. The Netflix price rise is coming May 3rd (Engadget).
8. Researchers find 540 million Facebook user records sitting on exposed Amazon S3 servers thanks to a third-party app (TechCrunch).
9. SpaceX just fired up the engine on its test Starship vehicle for the first time (The Verge).
10. Zapping nuclear waste in minutes is Nobel Winner’s Holy Grail quest (Bloomberg).
11. The first picture of a Black Hole will be revealed next week (astronomy.com)
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