Archive for August 2012

Apple Wins Case Against Samsung And Is Awarded More Than $1bn

Posted by on in News Articles.

Apple Computer has one its legal battle with Samsung in a row over infringement of intellectual property and Samsung has been ordered to pay compensation of more than $1 billion.

The jury decided several of Samsung's devices had infringed Apple's software and design patents relating to the iPhones, and counter-claims by Samsung over use of its 3G technology were rejected.

5 of Apple's claims were upheld in court, including the following:

  • Some of Samsung's handsets, including its Galaxy S 4G model, infringed Apple's design patents for the look of its iPhone including the system it uses to display text and icons
  • All the disputed Samsung devices had copied Apple's "bounce-back response", which makes lists jump back as if yanked by a rubber band
  • Several Samsung devices incorporated Apple's facility allowing users to zoom into text with a tap of a finger

None of Samsung's counter-claims were accepted.  Effectively, Apple won hands down.

One of the jurors in the case has spoken out, saying that it was very clear almost from the beginning that infringement had occurred and that Samsung really didn't do themselves any favours in court.

Read an interview with one of the jurors on CNET's website here.

Ejecting A Stuck CD or DVD

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

Quite a number of times I have been faced with a disk stuck in the disk drive (a CD or a DVD) and no way seemingly to get it out.  Mac OS doesn't realise it's there and pressing the Eject button on the keyboard has no effect.

Well,  you have a couple of options to get the disk out.  The first would be to try a piece of software that would have access to the drive, like Disk Utility or Toast.  You will find Disk Utility inside the Utilities folder which is located in the Application folder on your hard disk.  Toast is a commercial product that many people use for disk burning.

Both of these programs will allow you to access the drive, as opposed to the disk that 's in the drive.  That way, you can tell the drive to eject whatever it's got and usually it will spit out the disk.

If, however, this does not work.  Then What?  Well, as a last resort, switch off your computer completely.  Then, while you hold down the Left Mouse Button, switch the computer back on.  Keep holding the mouse button down.  After a few seconds you should hear the Mac trying to access the drive and it should spit out the disk for you.  Just like magic! 🙂

Mac OS X Hot Corners

Posted by on in Mac Tips.

The Mac OS has a neat little feature called Hot Corners, which some of you may already know about and use, but others will have possibly encountered it by mistake which can be quite frustrating.

Hot Corners effectively activate the four corners of your screen as hot-spots, so that when you move your mouse arrow to one of the screen corners, a certain feature can be activated.  For example, you can configure your screen saver to activate as soon as you move your mouse arrow to a certain corner, say the top left corner of your screen.

This feature can be very useful but also a bit frustrating if you don't know how to use it or how to switch it on and off.  The Hot Corners feature is located in slightly different places depending on which version of the Mac OS you are using, but you will find by going to the Apple Menu (in the top left corner of your screen), choosing System Preferences and then looking for Expose & Spaces, or in later versions of the Mac OS you will find it in Mission Control.

You will see a button called Hot Corners which will open a window which allows you to choose which feature you want to assign to which "hot corner" of your screen.  So, to use the example above, you would click the menu which is located by the top left of the screen image and choose "Start Screen Saver". Now, every time you move your mouse arrow to the top left corner of your screen, the screen saver will kick in automatically.  Another very nice option is to use "Disable Screen Saver" instead.  This means that if you have your screen saver set to come on after 5 minutes for example, moving your mouse arrow to the top left corner of the screen will now prevent the screen saver from ever activating, until you move the mouse from the top left corner to another location.

There are many other options you can assign to your hot corners, so play around with them and see which ones suit you best.  Some people like to have all four corners enabled, others find that frustrating because they keep activating things that they didn't intend.  You'll need to try it our and find your own style!

Apple Is Now World’s Most Valuable Company

Posted by on in News Articles.

Apple has overtaken rival Microsoft as the most valuable company in history based on the value of its shares.

Apple's stock began a steady climb late last week and hit a new high of $664 (£422) a share during Monday trade on the Nasdaq exchange. It eventually closed even higher, at $665.15 (£423.48). It is now worth well over $620bn (£394bn).

The increase began amid rumours that Apple is about to release new versions of its iPhone, iPad and Apple TV devices.

Its new market value eclipsed the previous record of $618.9bn (£394.1bn) set by Microsoft on December 30, 1999, at the height of the dot-com bubble.

Apple has actually been the world's most valuable company since the end of last year.

It is now worth some 53% more than second-placed Exxon Mobil.

Apart from the iPhone and mini iPad, analysts are speculating that Apple plans to make a TV set to complete its suite of consumer electronics products.

Background Apps Menu – The Extras

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips, iPod Tips.

So there are a couple of extra things that are useful in the Background Apps menu, i.e. the row of apps that appear across the bottom of the screen when you double-click the home button on your iDevice.  Swipe almost all the way to the left of these icons and you will find the iPod controls.

This hidden extra gives you quick access to a few different things.  Firstly, you have the Rotation Lock which is covered in a separate blog post, but very briefly this allows you to lock the screen rotation so that it does not rotate automatically when you rotate your iDevice.  This is the first icon that you see.

The next three icons are the "quick access" buttons to rewind, play/pause and fast-forward your iPod.  The last icon is a quick link to get to your Music.  These icons are all permanent and can not be removed or "closed" as this is a special utility menu added for your convenience.

If you are looking at the iPod Controls and you swipe one more time to the left, you will get to the Volume control for your iDevice.  Again, this is a quick access function so that you don't have to use the Settings app to access the volume.  This feature may not be available on all devices, it will depend on which version of iOS you are using.

Closing Apps Running in the Background

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips, iPod Tips.

Following on from the post on Background Apps the other day, I wanted to share with you all how to actually close the apps that you don't want running in the background.  But first, let's ask the question - Why would I want to close them anyway?

When apps continue to run in the background, they are taking up RAM and processor time (albeit a small amount of each in some cases).  This can cause your device to slow down while you're using it, especially if you have every app you own all open at the same time!  Also, some apps, like Skype for example, actually stay connected in the background when the app is running and this might not be what you want.  If you thought you had closed Skype, but it's still running the background, people will see you are "Online" when actually you thought you were "Offline".  These are a few examples of why you would want to close apps that are running in the background.

So - how to close them?  Well, it's pretty simple really.  Double-click the home button to show the row of icons across the bottom of the screen - these are the apps that are currently open and running.  Hold your finger on one of these icons, it doesn't matter which one, and all of them will start to "wiggle".  You will notice that a red "minus sign" appears in the top left corner of each icon.  Just press it and that app will be closed immediately.  You can close as many as you want, even all of them.  It's a good idea to check this regularly and close most of the apps that you're not using.  It's good housekeeping 🙂

The Hard Reset

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips, iPod Tips.

Occasionally, I have found that my iPhone or iTouch will not "wake up".  It's in sleep mode but doesn't respond to any of the buttons or touching the screen.  It does also happen, on rare occasions, that the device will just freeze completely while in use.  So what to do in this situation?  If it was an iMac, we'd just pull the plug.  If it was some other device we might remove the batteries and replace them.  In this case, we have no access to the battery and there is no "plug" to pull.

What you need to do is perform a hard reset of the device.  What this does is effectively disconnect the electrical supply internally for a few seconds, causing the device to switch off completely.

To perform a hard reset, you simply hold down the Power button and the Home button at the same time for 10 seconds.  Then wait a few seconds and press the Power button to start the device up again.  You should see the familiar Apple logo appear.  If you don't, try another hard reset.  If you still get nothing on the screen, either you battery is completely flat or you have a more serious problem with your device.

If you need help diagnosing or resolving iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Mac problems, why not click on over to our main site MacHelpline.net and see what we can do to help!

Apps Running In The Background?

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips, iPod Tips.

Now here's something that everyone should know but far too many people don't.

Every time you open an App on your iPhone, iPad or iTouch, the App launches and it keeps on running until you tell it close.  Telling it close is not the same thing as pressing the Home button and this is where people get confused, or more commonly they are blissfully unaware.

When you press the Home button, your iDevice does what you asked it to do.  It goes home.  In other words, it shows you the home screen where you can choose other apps to open etc.  Most people assume that this automatically infers that the app that you were using is now closed.  That is not the case at all.  It is, in fact, still running in the background taking up valuable memory and processor time.  Enter the hidden menu which gives you access to these apps and much more besides!

To see which apps are actually open and running at any given time, you double-click the Home button.  You will notice that the screen slides upwards and a new row of icons appears at the bottom.  These icons represent the apps that are currently open and running on your iDevice.  Try swiping left and right on them - you'll probably be horrified to find that every single app you own is actually open and running!  One huge advantage of this feature is that you can easily switch from one open app to another by double-clicking the Home button, swiping through the row of apps until you find the one you want, then clicking on it once to switch directly to that app.

Try it when you have an app open. Without going back to the Home screen, you can quickly switch from one app to another (provided they are already open).  This can be really handy if you need to flip to another app to grab a piece of text (using Copy & Paste - which I'll cover in another post) for example.  You can then flip back to the original app and paste it in.

So in my next post, I'll cover the other features of this new menu, including how to close apps that you don't want open, why you would want to close them anyway and also the other options available in this cool new feature......

Mac OS X Mountain Lion Downloads Exceed 3 Million

Posted by on in News Articles.

Apple® today announced that downloads of OS X® Mountain Lion have exceeded three million in four days, making it the most successful OS X release in Apple’s history. With more than 200 innovative new features, Mountain Lion is the ninth major release of the world’s most advanced desktop operating system and is available through the Mac® App Store™ as an upgrade to Lion or Snow Leopard users for only €15.99!

iPhone 5 Release Anticipated For September 12th

Posted by on in News Articles.

According to reports from various news sources and blog sites, Apple may be looking at September 12th as the date to unveil the new and eagerly awaited iPhone 5.  It is suggested that they will actually start shipping the devices 9 days later on September 21st.  Many auction and resale sites are experiencing a significant increase in the trade-in and sale of 2nd hand iPhones in the run up to the release date.

There is also a lot of speculation that Apple may be looking at releasing an iPad Mini, perhaps in 7" size, on the same date or possibly a month or so later.   It is rumoured that the price could be between $249 and $299.  The iPad Mini may be as thin, or thinner, than the iPad 2 and benefit from increased endurance due to a 33% reduction in energy consumption.