Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss a Google Maps error, Google Maps weather future alerts, and more.
Doug in Stevensville, Michigan listens to the podcast and asked: “The other day, Verizon sent me an e-mail saying I was eligible to upgrade my phone and suggested that I go with this 5G-enabled phone. Wondering what are the advantages or disadvantages to 5G? I’ve already got 4G on my phone. Why do I need a fifth? Unless I wanna have a drink!”
Doug, there’s probably no real good reason for you to go with a 5G phone yet.
The infrastructure is not really there, the first batch of phones of each new generation tend to be less than great at things like battery life and the first one across the line is usually a mediocre phone wanting to capitalize from the new G. Overall there aren’t a lot of incentives, especially if they’re going to try to get you to pay more, which companies like Verizon like to try to do when there’s a new generation with better speeds.
In terms of advantages, you’re basically looking at faster speeds and probably lower ping times, but… do you do anything that needs faster speeds on your phone these days?
Don’t get us wrong, you will eventually, controlling something on the other end of the world without delay from your phone sounds interesting, a smart doorbell that doesn’t take ages to connect sounds actually useful, but is there anything you use that needs that extra speed today?
These are early days and it’s likely that if you upgrade now you’ll end up with 4G services at 5G prices.
If you want to brag about being an early adopter though, go for it, it’s likely to be the biggest benefit you’ll get from 5G in the short term.
Eric in Miami listens to the podcast and asked: “I go on a lot of business trips and I keep losing my luggage. Is there an app that I can use to help track my luggage?”
Eric, why does this keep happening to you? Did you have a bad breakup with a gate agent recently?
The best app to track your luggage is the one put out by whatever airline you’re flying. For years many airlines like Delta have been notifying travelers via their apps when bags are loaded and unloaded and they sometimes even tell travelers that their bag won’t be making them but that they’re aware and will get it to them.
There are some gadgets that will attempt to track bags with varying degrees of success, some using bluetooth trackers like the Trackr or Tile, Samsung makes their own SmartThings luggage tracker, Gego makes another one.
The thing about all of those is that they are not apps, they use apps, but they require some investment on a hardware device that isn’t guaranteed to work. If you’ve reached your limit you can invest in one of those and try your luck, otherwise a good travel card with decent luggage insurance and your favorite airline’s own app may serve you better.
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