Joanna Stern

The 3G Shutdown Is Coming—Here’s How That Affects You

All three major US cellular carriers will shut down their older 3G networks this year to free up more wireless spectrum for 5G. AT&T will be first, on February 22. By July, T-Mobile’s could be gone. Finally, Verizon, before the clock strikes 2023. The carriers’ 4G networks will remain. How will this impact you? It likely won’t; Only 1 percent of AT&T consumers have devices that depend on 3G according to the company. Think about it this way: Apple hasn’t released a 3G-driven phone since the iPhone 4S, a decade ago.

They Used Smartphone Cameras to Record Police Brutality—and Change History

In the last decade, the smartphone has become a tool for witnessing police violence toward African Americans. From the 2009 killing of Oscar Grant to the 2020 killing of George Floyd, we reviewed the footage and talked to the people who captured it, to see how the accounts of racial injustice became clearer as the phones evolved. “This is our only tool we have right now. It is the most effective way to get us justice,” said Feidin Santana, who used his smartphone in 2015 to film a police officer killing Walter Scott in South Carolina. “The smartphone is a weapon that tells the story.

Facebook Really Is Spying on You, Just Not Through Your Phone’s Mic

A conspiracy theory has spread among Facebook and Instagram users: The company is tapping our microphones to target ads. It’s not. “Facebook does not use your phone’s microphone to inform ads or to change what you see in News Feed,” says Facebook.