5 Things - Week Ending 6/29/12

This is the 14th 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.

21% of iOS users say they wouldn't leave Apple at any price

Neil Hughes, AppleInsider:

iPhone and iPad users are so loyal to Apple and unlikely to switch to another platform that one analyst has pegged their total collective value at nearly $295 billion.

There are two reasons that I wouldn't leave Apple at any price. The first is that over the last five years I have invested a lot of money into the platforms. I have hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, invested into apps, songs, movies, and books purchasd through Apple. I don't want to have to purchase all those items all over again on a competing platform.

The other reason is iCloud. All my stuff syncs flawlessly between my devices. If I were to purchase an Android tablet or a Windows phone I wouldn't be able to transition between devices as easily as I do now. Apple was very smart to give iCloud away. It makes it very difficult to leave for another platform like Android.


How 30 Days Without Social Media Changed My Life

Steve Corona, Lifehacker:

30 days ago, I made the decision to give up social media for a month. Well, here I am, reporting that I’m still alive and that the past month has been life changing - the most successful month of my existence.

I think this is an interesting experiment worth doing to find out how much you would miss using social media. My guess is that it wouldn't be as much as you think it would. I might not use Facebook during the month of August and report back on my findings at the beginning of September.


On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Dana Mattioli, WSJ:

Orbitz Worldwide Inc. has found that people who use Apple Inc.'s Mac computers spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels, so the online travel agency is starting to show them different, and sometimes costlier, travel options than Windows visitors see.

Dear Orbitz,

I haven't used your service all that much in the past. Now that I know that you would show me more expensive hotels based on the particular brand of computer I use, I will definitely not be using your service in the future. That is all.

Sincerely,

Mike Pahl

P.S. If I find any other companies doing this I will stop using their service as well.


RIM thought iPhone was impossible in 2007

Electronista Staff:

RIM had a complete internal panic when Apple unveiled the iPhone in 2007, a former employee revealed this weekend. The BlackBerry maker is now known to have held multiple all-hands meetings on January 10 that year, a day after the iPhone was on stage, and to have made outlandish claims about its features. Apple was effectively accused of lying as it was supposedly impossible that a device could have such a large touchscreen but still get a usable lifespan away from a power outlet.

This is one of the major reasons why the BlackBerry maker has been bleeding money and laying off thousands of workers. They didn't anticipate the iPhone and have been trying to catch up ever since.

Considering the head start that companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft have on RIM, my best guess is that RIM will be bought or file bankruptcy by the end of 2013. If you are still using a BlackBerry it might be time to get a new cell phone before you go down with the ship.


GuidePals

This past week I discovered GuidePal City Guides. They have a fantastic website along with apps for your iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Windows Phone, and Android smartphones. If you are traveling to major cities in Europe, North America, Asia, or Australia it is worth checking out. You can learn about airports, public transport, useful tips, activities, entertainment, museums & galleries, parks & nature, sights, restaurants, bars & nightlife, and shopping.

If you have never been to a city before, GuidePals can help you navigate the public transit system. Here is what they had to say about Chicago public transit:

Word to the wise: You can buy CTA singles from machines at stations, but passes are only available from pharmacies like Walgreens or CVS, or other shops displaying a CTA sign. Run by the Chicago Transit Authority, the 'L' (elevated) train stands on stilts above ground level and carries passengers around and beyond the city limits on color-coded lines. The north/south red line and west/northwest blue lines are fairly quick and cut straight through downtown, while the more sedate pink, brown, green, and orange lines traverse the loop. Note that the loop is one-way, so you may have to complete a full circuit to get to your destination. A CTA single journey is USD 2, but a weekly pass makes more sense at USD 23. Daily or three-day passes are also available. All passes are also valid on buses. Trains serving the wider suburban area are operated by Metra from four stations in the Loop, notably the grand Union Station building just north of Clinton. Useful mostly only for southside locations, singles are from USD 2.25.