Last April, AT&T announced 5G Evolution, which is nothing more than a rebranding of its 4G LTE Advanced and LTE Advanced Pro networks. In December, the carrier even announced that it was going to start slapping 5G logos on 4G phones.
So it shouldn't come as a surprise when OpenSignalruns a speed test and finds out that 5G E is no faster than competitors' 4G LTE networks. OpenSignal found that AT&T users with 5G E phones got download speeds of 28.8Mbps, T-Mobile users with the same phones got 29.4Mbps, and Verizon users got 29.9Mbps.
When it comes down to phones that support 4G LTE but not LTE Advanced, AT&T was still slower at 18.2Mbps, while T-Mobile and Verizon came in at 19.4Mbps. Sprint was still the slowest, at 20.4Mbps for 4G LTE Advanced and 16.3Mbps for regular old 4G LTE.
This is all very reminiscent of the days when 4G LTE first started up. You might recall that both AT&T and T-Mobile got HSPA+ to be called 4G. That's why in the United States, 4G and LTE statuses on your phone mean different things.
But today's data from OpenSignal really only shows that Verizon's and T-Mobile's 4G LTE networks are faster than AT&T's, since that's all that 5G E is.
Microsoft keeps making more and more minor improvements to Skype in an attempt to win back the love of its users, who were unhappy with the release of Skype v8. Today, the messaging app is getting a couple of new additions to calls if you're an Insider, with the highlight being the ability to mute incoming audio from someone on a call.
The new mute button is available both in group calls, so you can mute specific people, and one-on-one calls. Muting incoming audio might seem somewhat counter-intuitive when you're on a call, but there might be scenarios where it's a welcome temporary solution. The feature joins the ability to disable incoming video, which has been part of Skype for some time now.
Another addition to calls is a "View Profile" option during calls, which, as you might have guessed, lets you view the profile of someone you're on a call with. This should make it easier to engage privately with someone you might be meeting for the first time on a group call.
The two new features are available with this week's Insider update to the Skype apps on Windows. If you're using the desktop app, it'll be on version 126.96.36.199, and those using the Microsoft Store app will want to look for version 188.8.131.52. Earlier this week, Microsoft added previews for files you're about to send.
Mozilla has introduced a new version of Firefoxthat's specifically built for the iPad, complete with features aimed at making the user experience on a tablet more convenient. According to Mozilla, the idea is to build not just a larger version of its web browser for iOS but also to provide an experience conducive to performing tasks on the iPad.
Some features included in Firefox for iPad may look familiar to long-time iOS users such as the ability to set Firefox as the default browser for opening links from Microsoft Outlook for iOS. The browser also supports split-screen, a feature that debuted along with the launch of iOS 9 in 2015.
Tab management has also been improved for the iPad by displaying individual tabs as tiles so that users may instantly get a glimpse of their content. Firefox for iPad also supports Send Tabs, a feature announced last monthto help users with a Firefox account share tabs between devices and continue with their browsing session without exiting the browser.
Mozilla also recognizes that tablet users frequently use their device with an external keyboard, so Firefox for iPad supports keyboard shortcuts, which will show up when the command key is long-pressed.
Private browsing with Firefox also gets a quicker method. Instead of opening an extra tab to browse the web in incognito mode, users will only have to tap the purple private browsing icon found at the lower left corner of the browser.
Other features of Firefox for iPad are the night mode for low-light reading, a dark theme, and a web tracking protection. It's worth noting that the browser has been refreshed just a few days after Apple unveiled the new iPad Air and iPad mini, and it's available to download from the Apple App Store.
Google is planning to enter the gaming world in a big way tomorrow, at a keynote address during the Game Developers Conference. All signs point to the company officially unveiling and showing off its game streaming platform, dubbed Project Stream.
A new report by Kotaku's Jason Schreier, who has an excellent record of breaking inside stories in the gaming world, reiterated that the focus of tomorrow's event will not be a new console, but rather the Mountain View giant's game streaming platform. The report also suggests that the company is working on a new controller that was designed for the service, with speculation being that you could access the service on your TV with the controller alone. That would suggest that the controller will probably house special hardware beyond just what you'd expect from, say, an Xbox One controller.
Alongside this, Google is planning on making access to Project Stream - it's unclear if the company will have a more consumer-facing name for the platform at its launch tomorrow - as ubiquitous as possible, with PCs, Macs, phones and TVs all being able to stream games through it.
All that is pretty much par for the course with game streaming platforms. What is more interesting is that Schreier's sources reveal the company is planning on including some pretty exotic features with the streaming service. Unsurprisingly, Project Stream will include heavy integration with the YouTube, whereby you could for example pause the game and the service will be able to identify where you are in a game and pull up a relevant video tutorial for the game instantly.
There are also some pretty sweet streaming features planned. For example, you could access your favourite streamers' save games in real time and continue playing where they left off, or even join them in a game immediately at the click of a button - if the streamer allows it.
With all these features in mind, it seems Google is looking to add value to its game streaming platform that goes beyond just the ability to play games without needing to buy a PC or a console. It's looking to push the technical boundaries of gaming as we know it, and to add value to gamers' experiences by moving to a more flexible means of accessing games.
Last but not least, the report also suggests Google will probably have a number of game developers on board at the event tomorrow, pledging their support for Google's endeavour. The company might even be working on creating first-party exclusives for the streaming platform, if its string of gaming hires are anything to go by, the latest of these being former Assassin's Creed creator Jade Raymond.
These and possibly many other features will be revealed by the company at 10 AM PT at its GDC 2019 keynote on March 19.