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#748: iOS Alarm Bug, Sharing Multiple Photos in iOS, Recover From a Forgotten Passcode


Happy Tuesday,

With the holiday and main gift-giving season behind us, the technical services team in our three facilities is working hard to keep up with your support phone calls and an unusually high volume of repairs.

We always see an uptick in the number of customer repairs after the holidays, and it seems this year an unfortunately large proportion of these repairs involve accidental damage. We see all types of damage on a regular basis, but half-evaporated eggnog was a first for us.

While I’d argue that using a keyboard protector takes away some of the pleasing tactile and audible feedback from typing, they are a very good investment if you absolutely have your laptop near liquid. They won’t stop a full glass of water, but they do make a difference. Check some of our offerings here.

Here’s to a healthy, happy, and fulfilling 2011. Thanks as always for reading!


  iOS Alarm Bug Keeps Users Snoozing Through New Year's Weekend  

If you currently have iOS 4 installed on your iPhone/iPod/iPad, and you rely on the device as an alarm clock, you may have caught a few unanticipated Z’s this weekend.

What some users are already calling “Alarmgate” caused any non-recurring alarms set in the Clock app to fail between January 1st and 2nd of this year. While this inadvertently afforded some users (i.e. moi) the opportunity to gently roust from a late New Year’s Eve, not all users were as lucky. Throughout the day Saturday, I heard from friends and family who had arrived late to work, and even missed flights due to the glitch.

While one could say “You shouldn’t rely on your phone to wake you up” it’s easy to make this claim in retrospect. Given the prevalence of iOS devices, this bug is comparable to traditional alarm clocks failing for hundreds of thousands of people worldwide at once. It may be a little too easy to throw Apple under the bus, but there isn’t really an excuse for sloppy coding. Maybe the developers felt a Y2K-esque revival was in order as we entered the new decade. Regardless, it is strange Apple didn’t examine the code more thoroughly after the daylight savings issue.

Apple has officially acknowledged the issue, and claims that the bug has resolved itself as of yesterday morning (Jan 3rd). While alarms functioned fine for many, there are still reports floating about that some users unintentionally played hooky from the office. There is currently no word whether Apple will officially patch the issue in an upcoming software update, but it is likely the code will be re-evaluated. At the very least, this debacle might snag us a glimpse inside Apple’s multi-million dollar alarm clock testing facility.

If your device is still affected, you can attempt to resolve it by setting any non-recurring alarms to recurring for the time being. It also might be a good idea to dig up that old clock radio for a back-up alarm.

  Sharing Multiple Photos in iOS  

About a week ago Matt said that he didn’t like the interface for sending photos from his new iPod touch. This was his first iOS 4 device, and he had multiple images he wanted to send and was sending them individually.

One great feature some of you might not know about the Photos app is that it will allow you to send multiple photos in an email or MMS message, or print multiple images in one go (please note you’ll need an AirPrint compatible printer to be able to print them).

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Tap on the Photos app and select the album you need, or your Camera Roll.
  2. Tap the “Share” icon in the upper right corner (the one that looks like a box with an arrow coming out of it).
  3. Select as many items as you wish to send or print. A red check mark will appear on the selected items.
  4. Tap on the “Share” button (or “Print” if you wish to print the images) on the lower left corner of the screen.
  5. If you are emailing the images, a new email will open for you with all of your images attached. Simply enter the recipient’s email address, subject, a message if you’d like, and press send. You will then be asked if you’d like to resize the images to reduce the size of the email (remember, photos can be a few megabytes) before you send. I generally select “Medium” but feel free to play around with it and decide which size is best for your needs.
  Recover From a Forgotten Passcode  

There seems to be an influx of customers who have forgotten the passcode on their iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad. Although this is an unfortunate frustration, the fix is relatively easy, and (hopefully) painless, provided you have your music/apps/other data backed up on your computer.

(I need to warn you, this fix will erase all data on the device itself. As long as everything is backed up on your computer, you have nothing to worry about.)

Basically, you need to restore your iPod/iPhone/iPad in “recovery mode”. In order to get your device into Recovery Mode, you first need to turn off your device(hold the Sleep/Wake button until the “slide to power off” prompt can bee seen, slide it!). Now, that your device is off, make sure your usb dock connector cable is plugged into a usb port on your computer, but NOT plugged into the device. iTunes should be open during this process. While holding down the Home button, plug your usb cable into the device, keep holding the home button until you see the “Connect to iTunes” screen (iTunes logo+usb cable).

You should now get an alert in iTunes that states a device in “recovery mode” has been detected. Click OK, and you are now able to restore the device, erasing the user added data, as well as the passcode.

  One Month In: MacBook Air  

I bought myself a MacBook Air a month or so ago, and pondered the possibility of speed degradation in a Tech Tails article shortly before taking delivery of the new laptop. I knew the degradation would occur over time, and in the month or so of use I’ve been pleased with the computer’s performance. As advertised, it wakes from sleep within moments—even after a week of continued use.

I’ve experienced fewer “beach balls” than on any Mac I’ve ever used, including my late 2009 i7 iMac. I’ve very much appreciated the near complete lack of heat and the complete silence that this thin and light machine produces. My usage is mostly web browsing (with numerous tabs), listening to music, editing video in iMovie, managing my photo library in iPhoto, email, and other light tasks.

It hasn’t been long enough for me to comment on the Tech Tails article a few weeks back on SSD performance degradation, but I can say that I’ve never used a Mac so responsive at the admittedly mundane but essential tasks I use my computer for on a day-to-day basis.

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