The Wrap – March 23, 2018

Facebook has problems with people, Apple rumours heat up, Telstra rolls out speed across the nation, and which Galaxy works best for you? It’s The Wrap.

Transcript

For the second last Friday of the month, you’re tuned into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology round-up, and it’s just one of the things beginning to reach ears faster than ever before. You may not realise it, but your mobile is one of the fastest ways for you to connect.

In fact, the minimum speed for pretty much every 4G mobile out in Australia far exceeds what your ADSL connection back home will do, and is quite a bit faster than quite a few NBN installations, but it’s about to get even faster, because if you have a new phone, you might be able to hit the gigabit mark.

Telstra and Optus both chimed in this week to prove their networks can do it, but only Telstra hit that 1000 megabit speed mark in its tests, proving that if you rely on a phone like the Galaxy S9 in a 3 kilometre radius of central Sydney or Melbourne and the timing is right, you can hit that magical 1 gigabit speed mark.

Or to take it out of jargon, that’s 125 megabytes per second. That means you can download an episode of something like Game of Thrones in 30 seconds if you hit those speeds, and Australia will have more chance to do that very soon.

While we know telcos are doing what they can to test these speeds in the major Australian cities, Telstra told us that its gigabit LTE was also being deployed in Perth, and worked in Brisbane and Adelaide, too. The rest of Australia should begin to get it soon, but Telstra is also testing 2 gigabit speeds. That’s even faster again, and won’t be here for a while.

To get those 1 gigabit speeds, you’re going to need a recent phone, and that’s a question we’ve had since we published our Galaxy S9 Plus review: what makes more sense, the S8 or the S9?

Well, the funny thing is, as much we like a new phone — and we like a lot of new phones — the Galaxy S8 still makes a lot of sense. If you can find one that saves you money, the S8 is a good bargain.

It’s a question enough readers seemed to ask us, and it’s one we keep thinking about because money is important. Seriously, if you can save a good three or four hundred dollars, you can see similar performance, fast gigabit network speeds, and an excellent phone all around that doesn’t differ dramatically from the new design.

If you want the best Samsung has to offer, you’ll find it in the S9 Plus. At least for now, because Samsung’s next flagship phone is coming in the back half of the year as a new Galaxy Note.

For now, that’s all rumours and speculation, which is exactly what we have for Apple, as the world awaits what is possibly a new iPad announcement next week.

Yes, while we’re expecting a lot of new products from Apple in June, next week might reveal something as well, as Apple sends word of an education event for March 27.

Now this is interesting because the invite looks like it might have been drawn with an Apple Pencil, the on-screen stylus you can only use with the iPad Pro, and the iPad Pro is an expensive tablet, certainly too much so for something like a school.

And yet, the invite gives off the impression that we might see a new iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil support next week, possibly as a less expensive model, or even maybe a model sized for school children.

We don’t have anything other than rumours, but we want to say that there’s a possibility of an iPad Pro Mini, and that’s because the Mini was last updated in 2015, and yet Apple keeps it around, so we have to wonder, is that what Apple is working on, a new model made for school kids?

We’ll know more in the next few days, but for now, we have bigger issues to deal with, because I f you use Facebook — and who doesn’t use Facebook — you may be deciding whether you should stay or you should go.

This week, the #DeleteFacebook movement kicked up steam, as an investigation into Facebook and an analysis company Cambridge Analytica kicked into gear.

Now if you don’t know what this is all about but you’ve been hearing it all week, the “too long, didn’t read, would prefer it if we read it out” version of the story is this: we all know that Facebook captures a tonne of data, and it ranges from your name to your birthday to likes, dislikes, pictures, videos… you name it, if you put it on Facebook, it has access.

Unfortunately, at least one app service may as well, and that’s because it did something rather tricky, building online profiles and what’s called psychometrics to understand around 50 million people.

That gives this company a wealth of information, and it was used to essentially predict people’s patterns, with the company possibly influencing what people see and think, and the general feeling is that Facebook didn’t do enough, but that’s not stopped people from wanting to leave
Facebook, to shut the door and never come back.

So if you’re in that boat, we’ve put up a guide to help explain the process.

However, given Facebook has become part of what many of us rely on to connect with friends, family members, and so on, we air on the side of caution and suggest that deletion may not be the answer.

Just like when you lose a backup: you’ll swear it’ll never happen again, and you make regular backups just in case. This is like one of those lessons.

While Facebook is fixing its platform problems for better security, you can tell the apps you have on your account what to do, kicking them to
curb and limiting the access they have to your life.

We’ve put that all down in a guide at the Pickr website, as well as more on all of these stories, but that’s about all the time we have for The Wrap this week.

You can find more of us Pocket Casts, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, and more, and The Wrap will be back next week for more that’s happening in the world of tech.

Until then, have a fantastic week and we’ll see you next time. Take care.

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