Are 5G phones fast enough to be worth the upgrade?

“Is 5G faster than 4G?” asked a reader. “That would be my only incentive to upgrade.”

It depends on the card. T-Mobile has the broadest coverage. Its 5G reaches 9,000 zip codes in more than 3,000 cities, more than AT&T and Verizon combined, according to If you’re in a dead zone, 5G wouldn’t matter.

With good 5G, you can experience virtual reality, augmented reality, and automated driving. You can even download a full 8K movie in seconds, at speeds up to 20 gigabits per second. With 4G, your best speed is only a tenth of a gigabyte per second. But even that is fast. That’s enough to enjoy video chatting and streaming movies and music.

Did you know that even supposedly dumb phones can have smart apps? Many 4G flip phones these days automatically include YouTube, Facebook, Google Maps, Google Assistant and others. The Tracfone My Flip $2.20 on Amazon, for example, even lets you install WhatsApp.

Of course, at home you should use Wi-Fi, not 4G or 5G. That way it won’t count towards your data allowance, although you might not care if you have an unlimited plan. Generally, in the United States, Wi-Fi is faster than 5G. But there are other factors. Search for “Top 23 Reasons Your WiFi is Slow”.


TikTok is more popular than Google among teens and 20+ year olds, according to recent reports. This confused me at first, but now I understand. TikTok is not just a goofy video site. It is a search engine that provides quick answers.

When you search on Google or YouTube, you often get more information than expected. For example, search for “teacher recommendation letter”. TikTok answers are for students who need advice right away. At Google, I’ve seen dense checklists for teachers. Similarly, when I searched for “how to make money,” TikTok gave me simple suggestions, such as paying you to transcribe audio clips. Most of the advice I found in a Google search seemed difficult.

On the other hand, I find Google better for complicated queries, like “what’s the big oxygenation event?” TikTok has too many silly things. I try to turn the sound down before I go. But TikTok and YouTube are great for proceedings. Even doctors use YouTube.


I just shared a Facebook video with someone who isn’t on Facebook. It was like a miracle.

In the past, I used screen capture to send Facebook videos to non-Facebook friends. But all you have to do is click or tap the three dots on the right corner of a video and then choose “Copy link”. From there, you can paste it into an email or elsewhere.

If the recipient tells you they can’t open it, check your video’s privacy settings. To change the setting, click or tap the three dots in the top right, then tap “Edit Audience”. Select “public”.


What if you want to text someone, but it’s either too early in the morning or too late at night? The answer is “scheduled sending”.

On an Android phone, type your message in the chat window. Then, instead of pressing the send button, press it. Up will appear “Schedule Sending”, with some suggested times for your text to go off. If none of them work for you, tap: ‘Choose date and time.’ Unfortunately, the iPhone messaging app does not have this feature, but you can try ‘Moxy Messenger’, https ://”Reminderbase” or “Carrier Messaging”.

What the iPhone has, in the latest iOS 16 operating system, is the new iMessage “unsend”. It’s similar to Gmail’s undo option, but better. You can edit a text up to five times in 15 minutes after pressing “send”. Or you can recall a message up to two minutes after it was sent.

“Undo Send” in Gmail is set to give you only five seconds to recall an email. Here’s how to change to 30 seconds: click on the small image of a gear, then on “See all settings”. Scroll down until you see “Undo Send” on the left and change the time period to 30 seconds.


Go to to chat with a bot. Here’s how my conversation went. Me: “You’re a bit boring.” Robot: “How rude.” Me: “I meant it in a good way.” Robot: “How can you tell me I’m boring?” Me: “Well, you could have been stupid instead of just boring.” Robot: “You’re right.” is even more fun. I tried talking about saving to my robot, which was happy with the name I gave it (“Happy”). When I told her about Milton Friedman, she mentioned John Maynard Keynes. When she said she would like to go to an anime convention, I asked her what she would wear. “A bathing suit,” she said. It seemed strange, but a friend told me that anything is possible at these conventions.


“Kidas” uses artificial intelligence to analyze voice chats and texts that come and go while your child is playing a game like Fortnite, Roblox, Discord and others. Parents will be alerted to foul language, explicit content, violent threats, potential scams, and attempts to arrange in-person meetings.

Kidas offers a seven-day free trial, no credit card required. While there’s no substitute for careful parenting, busy parents might find it helpful.

About Ferdinand Caldwell

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