We all know 4G is faster than 3G, but that extra speed means more than just faster web browsing, it can drastically improve almost any other activity which relies on mobile data and the more or faster mobile data that’s needed the more 4G improves it. Here then are five things that work substantially better on 4G.
1. Streamed video
Streaming video is one of the things 4G is most useful for. It seems that everyone is streaming video now, whether it’s Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube or any number of other services a huge amount of data is consumed by streaming video and 4G enables users to keep on streaming when they’re away from home.
Many video streaming services don’t even work over 3G and the ones that do aren’t exactly a pleasant experience, with long load times and frequent pauses to buffer. 4G minimises those issues, coming close to the instant video experience you’d get on high speed broadband.
So whether you’re catching up on last night’s TV from the train, watching the news on a bus or chilling out in front of a movie from a park bench you’ll never have a problem streaming your favourite content. Or you could even go a step further and download a video over 4G for offline viewing later.
2. Online games
While perhaps more of a niche area than streamed video, online games are if anything even more reliant on fast, reliable mobile data and low latency, because loss of connection won’t just lead to pauses but to you being kicked from the game, while low speeds will lead to lag, making it impossible to play enjoyably, let alone compete with other players in multiplayer games.
So if you enjoy mobile gaming, particularly high speed multiplayer games, 4G is essential for play when away from a Wi-Fi network.
There was a time when work was all but confined to the office, but now not only are a growing number of people working from home, but also on the move, allowing them to get things done during a commute or in the field, or just to get a change of scene and work from a coffee shop.
While technically possible over 3G, doing much more than checking email could be a pain. You could pretty much forget about downloading, uploading or synching files and video conferencing would be little more than a pipe dream. But with 4G you’re only really limited by your device. Typing up a document on a smartphone might not be ideal, but at least when you have you’ll be able to share it with colleagues.
Of course devices needn’t limit you either. You could tether your laptop to your smartphone and use its 4G connection, or just get a keyboard for your tablet.
4. Streamed music
Like streamed video, 4G is important for streamed music. It’s not quite as vital as music typically requires far less data than video, but if you’re streaming in high quality it’s still useful and in any case the last thing you want mid-way through a chorus is for the song to pause and buffer.
4G is even fast enough that you can quickly download songs or entire albums, so if you’re expecting to be somewhere with no 4G or Wi-Fi you can make sure you’re prepared.
5. Video calls
Now that phones are basically pocket computers the act of actually calling people seems to be of increasingly minor importance, but video calls are a more modern take on the humble phone call and take advantage of the large HD screens and powerful cameras our phones have.
Of course a video requires a lot more data than a voice and as such they work better over 4G than 3G. More video call services support 4G than 3G and you’ll get a better experience over 4G, with fewer dropped calls and higher quality feeds.