5 Things - Week Ending 6/22/12

This is the 13th post in a series called 5 Things. Each week I will share a combination of technology articles and apps that I have discovered and liked in the past week. Anything highlighted in blue is a link to an article, an app, or another section of my website.

Squeeze the Most Juice Out of Your iPhone or iPad Battery

“Battery” symbol shown above is by Arjun Mahanti, from The Noun Project collection and can be found at http://thenounproject.com/

Ben Jackson:

Pop quiz: Your hiking guide is suddenly mistaken for an afternoon snack by a bloodthirsty grizzly bear, leaving you stuck in the middle of the woods somewhere far from civilization. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that you somehow manage to escape the bear. You have 38% battery left on your iPhone, and luckily you use Verizon, so you actually have a signal and can use the Maps app. How will you make sure your battery lasts long enough that you don't get lost and die of exposure or dehydration before you make it to the nearest town?

While the above sounds very exciting, the much more likely scenario is that you it's the end of the work day and you are expecting an important phone call from a client that you can't miss and your battery is at less than 10%. This is a great wiki article that gives you some pointers on how to squeeze every last bit of juice out of your iPhone or iPad battery.

I would encourage to give it a read. The most basic tip I can give you is to turn down the brightness of your device. One of the biggest power drains on any electronic is the screen. By bringing the brightness of your device by a few notches, you will enjoy longer battery life.


Virgin Mobile's $30 iPhone Plan Gamble

Jamie Lendino:

The thing is, American consumers are allergic to high upfront prices. We live in a culture of financing. We've already seen this play out with unlocked phones, which without exception fail miserably in our market. Aside from the stray phone geek or world traveler, few people in the U.S. want to spend $549 up front when they can get a subsidized phone for $99.

In a week, Virgin Mobile will start selling the iPhone 4 and 4S at full price with plans starting at $30 for 300 minutes, unlimited data, and unlimited texting. If you need more minutes you can pay $40 per month and get 1200 minutes.

It's almost been two years since I last have owned an iPhone. I gave it up because I could not justify the high monthly cost and never liked the idea of having a two year contract. Virgin Mobile (Sprint's prepaid division) offer of paying full price for the iPhone and a much lower monthly cost (no contract) is very appealing to me.

I think I might be selling my digital camera, TomTom, iPod Touch, and Ting PrePaid phone in the coming days and will replace them all with an iPhone 4S from Virgin Mobile.


Microsoft Surface

Microsoft announced their very own tablet called Surface this past week to compete with the iPad. It looks like an intriguing product. I would like to know more about how much it will cost, how long the battery lasts, and how well it actually works.

I am very much an Apple enthusiast, but I really hope that the Microsoft Surface is phenomenal. It would give consumers choice and keep Apple on its toes to continue pushing the iPad forward.


Surface vs. iPad: Microsoft's Getting Rusty Stealing from Apple

Microsoft copying Apple is nothing new. Microsoft has tried copying the iPod with the Zune, the iPhone with Windows Phones, the Apple Stores with Microsoft Stores, and now they are trying to copy the iPad with the Surface.

It's crazy how similar the introduction of the Surface is to the introduction of the iPad. I have watched both introductions and there was a few things that stood out to me.

The first was that web surfing actually worked when Apple demoed it. This is a pretty crucial part of the tablet experience and Microsoft was unable to demonstrate it during the introduction. That doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

The second thing that stood out was that Apple shared the price and it was below expectations of everyone. Microsoft did not share any information about pricing. My guess is that it will be similar or slightly higher than the iPad because Microsoft doesn't have the economy of scales that Apple has in the hardware world.

The third and final thing was that Apple introduced the iPad 28 months ago. By the time the Surface will be available Apple will have shipped three generations of the iPad and two massive software upgrades. It's going to be hard for Microsoft to catch up to Apple in this space.


TRVL

If you like travel or photography you need to download TRVL for your iPad. This digital only magazine dedicates entire issues on specific aspects of a culture or city. It if filled with amazing photos and tons of fascinating information.

There are over 60 free issues available for download. You can learn about Irish Pubs in Dublin, Belly Dancing in Cairo, Great Wall in China, Rich vs Poor in Moscow, Think Different in San Francisco, and so much more.

Photographers will love that many of the photos the speed, aperture, ISO, camera, and lens that were used to take the photo.