I've made a big effort to get off Google over the last few months because I'm not at all comfortable with what they are doing with my personal information. Now I mainly use Duck Duck Go for searching. This video does a good job of showing you how Google uses your personal information more than you probably want it to, and something you can do about it - use another search engine.
I've also changed my habits to use Siri on iPhone and iPad, or use Bing if I'm already in Mobile Safari.
Marco has a quick post today regarding the application and team acquisitions that happened today at Facebook and Google. I think it sucks that Sparrow is going away because it will probably become solely a gmail client for iOS, and I'm no longer interested in letting Google index everything in my life, including my personal email. In fact, I've moved mostly away from all Google services the last few months. Marco boils this trend down to the following succinct statement:
If you want to keep the software and services around that you enjoy, do what you can to make their businesses successful enough that it’s more attractive to keep running them than to be hired by a big tech company.
I've really taken this to heart the last few years. I know these software developers work really hard to solve what seem to be easy problems to fix, but are not. There is a ton of complexity in these apps that make our lives easier and I am happy to support them to do it. I'm tired of hearing people continue to ask for things for free.
If it's free, like gmail, you have to ask yourself why. And it's almost always the same answer - the product is you. Facebook and Google want to know everything about you so they know exactly how to target your eyeballs and wallet. I prefer to own my own stuff.
I've bought applications that cost several thousands of dollars in the past. $1-$5 apps are nothing to keep these people going.