Archive for the ‘Electronics’ Category

Description of ‘Electronics’ Category:

Posts about general electronics.

Apple Resolves the Issue Plaguing the Battery Life of Their iPhones . . . . Maybe

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Shortly after the release of the iPhone 4S and the iOS 5 software update many users began experiencing major problems with the life of their iPhone batteries. In our last blog post we addressed these issues and even provided some tips for conserving your iPhone’s battery. In the article we discussed how Apple had announced that their iOS 5 update was at fault and that they were working hard to bring an update to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

full iPhone battery

Image of the iPhones Full Battery Icon

Yesterday, Apple released the new iOS 5.0.1 software update for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, the update is supposed to fix the battery problems that a number of users have reported with iOS 5 over the last few weeks. Along with a fix for the bugs that were affecting the battery life, the latest update also added multitasking gestures for the original iPad, resolved bugs with documents in the cloud, and improved voice recognition for Australian users using the dictation feature.

The update is now available in iTunes or also available with the over-the-air function for existing iOS 5 users. Users with the previous iOS 5 can update by going into Settings>General>Software Update to update their device over-the-air. Using the update OTA provides a much faster experience due to the smaller size of the update file. For users who are not operating on iOS 5 they can update their operating system the traditional way by plugging in their device into iTunes.

iOS 5.0.1 update

Image of iOS 5.0.1 update

Although the update has only just been released it has been reported at PCWorld that some users are still experiencing a slightly faster battery depletion rate. One user posted on a forum that they had “Updated about 1.5 hours ago, the battery has drained 20% since then with no usage! This is awful”. Another forum commenter stated that they have “Lost 15% in 45 minutes and I didn’t even use the phone. What happened?”. Others have even started saying that the battery life was better before the update took place.

Although there have been a lot of complaints that the update hasn’t resolved the issue there have been other users that say that the update has worked fine for them. Did it work for you, or are you still suffering from a fast draining battery?

If the problem still persists for you, others have suggested being patient and that possibly resetting your phone to its original factory settings may help the battery update to take effect. However if you find that this doesn’t work then try some of the tips to save your iPhone battery that we offered last week until resolved. Hopefully Apple will hear the new complaints and implement another update shortly.

Have a Great Day!


Providing Tech Support for Businesses in Maryland

Tips for conserving your iPhone’s Battery life

Friday, November 4th, 2011

A couple weeks ago Apple released the iPhone 4S which is their latest mobile device. Along with the 4S, Apple also released their latest mobile operating system upgrade. The iOS 5 comes standard on the iPhone 4S but is also available as a free download to all compatible iPhone users. Since the release, a small but significant number of users have reported a drastically shortened battery life.

iPhone's Low Battery Display - Tips for conserving your iPhone’s Battery life

iPhone’s Low Battery Display

According to The Loop’s Jim Dairymple on Wednesday November 2, 2011 Apple confirmed that the battery issues were due to a bug in the iOS 5 software update. According to the article Apple reassured users that they have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life and will release a software update to address them in a few weeks to help conserve your iPhone’s battery life.

In light of the recent problems surrounding the iPhone’s battery we thought it would be beneficial to discuss some methods for conserving your phones battery life. Although this particular problem was a result of a bug in the software we feel that these tips will still be tremendously useful because iPhones already have a natural short battery life due to its powerful performance and crisp display. The suggestions below for saving your phones battery are applicable to all iPhone models and are designed to ensure that you have the juice when you need it the most.

  • Close Background and Inactive Applications – Double tap the home button to access the list of running applications. Similar to how you would move the apps hold your finger down on the application for a couple seconds and then select close when the app begins to shake.
  • Use the Auto Brightness Feature – Access the settings folder, select brightness, and make sure the Auto-Brightness feature is selected.
  • Decrease the Brightness – Within the same menu you can increase and decrease the default screen brightness. The lower the brightness the less battery your phone will consume.
  • Turn off Your Bluetooth – Transmitting wireless data requires the battery and leaving Bluetooth on when you are not using it takes up more of your phones battery life.

Settings > General > Blue Tooth > Move the slider to the off position

  • Keep Wi-Fi off When Not Using It – Unless you are in a Wi-Fi hotspot there is really no need to have this feature on. Keeping it on at all times will cause it to continuously look for a network to connect to and wastes its battery life in the process.

Settings > Wi-Fi > Slide switch to off position OR

Settings > General > Network > Wi-Fi > Slide switch to off position

  • Turn off 3G – If you don’t need to be on 3G or you are using a Wi-Fi hotspot turn off your 3G network. Connecting using 3G for faster data speeds and higher-quality calls requires more battery life.

Settings > General > Network > Move 3G switch to the off position

  • Turn off Location Services – The GPS is a great feature because it lets apps know where you are and become more interactive but at the same time it is a huge energy drain. When you’re not using an app that utilizes your location turn it off.

Settings > Location Services > Slide to Off (After iOS 5 updates)

Settings > General >Location Services > Slide to Off (Before iOS update)

  • Turn data push off and Fetch less – Turning this off reduces the number of times your phone connects to the network and will extend your battery’s life. Push is when your phone automatically connects to the network to download new information like email and app updates. When Push is off you can fetch data every 15 minutes, every 30 minutes, hourly, or manually. Choosing manually or hourly will use the least amount of battery.

Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar > Fetch New Data > Slide Push to off and select the fetch frequency

  • When Your Battery is low, avoid extraneous activities – Avoid playing games, watching movies, or listening to music while the battery level is low.
  • Turn off Music Equalizers – The iPods music equalizers may make your music sound better but can also cause an unnecessary drain in your battery life.

Settings > Music > Select off from the equalizer selection list (After iOS 5 update)

Settings > iPod >Equalizer >Off (Before iOS 5 update)

  • Adjust the Auto-Lock Function – Enable your phone to Auto-Lock sooner to save energy when not using it.

Settings > General > Auto-Lock > Select Lowest amount of time from time selection list

  • Turn off Siri’s raise to speakfunction – Because Siri is activated when lifted to the user’s ear it can accidently drain the battery if you’re not actually using it.

Settings >General > Siri >Slide “Raise to Speak” to the “Off” position.

  • Use iPhone regularly – For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, it’s important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally. Be sure to go through at least one charge cycle per month (charging the battery to 100% and then completely running it down).

  • Sleep and wake less – Avoid waking your iPhone only to lock it again without using it.

These are just the basics there are plenty of other ways that you can conserve the life of your iPhone’s battery. For more information check out Apple’s iPhone Battery life Page.

Have a Great Day!


Providing Tech Support for Businesses in Maryland

<tr><td colspan=”3″ class=”PadLeft10″><?php the_title(); ?></td></tr>

HP Explores their Options and Puts an End to their webOS Devices

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Thursday August 18, 2011 Hewlett-Packard confirmed both their recent discussion with Autonomy Corporation regarding a possible offer for the company as well as the upcoming discontinuation of their webOS devices. In a press release HP expressed their plans to discontinue production for webOS devices including the recently released HP Touch Pad. HP also reported that its board of directors had approved the exploration of strategic alternatives and that they will be considering a wide range of options such as full or partial separation of the Personal Systems Group from HP through a spin-off or other transaction.

HP Logo

from, August 2011

This decision follows only 2 months after HP latest product launch, the HP Touch Pad. The HP Touch Pad was initially thought to be a major competitor for the iPad. However, following a rocky launch that included an announcement of a better model just days after the initial release, drastic price changes, and bad PR it was clear that HP had fumbled the release and the HP Touch Pad didn’t stand a chance against the iPad or other competitors.

Along with the dwindling release sales for their new tablet HP was also far behind their mobile competitors. Although the fastest growing consumer electronics are mobile devices according to HP’s chief financial officer Cathy Lesjak “the webOS would require significant investments over the next five years, generating a risk without clear rewards”. HP webOS users currently only account for 3% of the market while Android occupies a steady 40% and Apple controlling fewer than 30%.

HP also faced struggles obtaining developers to build applications for their devices. The more developers there are usually means more applications and more importantly more customers. However because the platform with the most developers usually attracts the most customers and the platforms with the most customers usually draw in the most developers it can be very difficult for new devices and platforms to even get off the ground.

HP now seems to be modifying their strategy and shifting from consumer electronics to developing large software for businesses. This new direction is evident with the latest $10 million acquisition for Autonomy. According to Léo Apotheker, HP president and chief executive officer

“Autonomy presents an opportunity to accelerate our strategic vision to decisively and profitably lead a large and growing space,” said. “Autonomy brings to HP higher value business solutions that will help customers manage the explosion of information. Together with Autonomy, we plan to reinvent how both unstructured and structured data is processed, analyzed, optimized, automated and protected. Autonomy has an attractive business model, including a strong cloud based solution set, which is aligned with HP’s efforts to improve our portfolio mix. We believe this bold action will squarely position HP in software and information to create the next-generation Information Platform, and thereby, create significant value for our shareholders.”

What does this mean for Apple and Google? Although this has been major news from HP their decision isn’t likely to impact their competitors because they were not a major threat to begin with.

Along with the HP Touch Pad other discontinued HP devices include HP Palm Pre 2, HP Palm Pre Plus, HP Palm Pixi, HP Veer, and the HP iPAQ Glisten.

Thanks for Reading and Have a Great Day!


Providing Tech Support for Businesses in Maryland

Harmful Electronic Waste, the Negative Component of Continuous Tech Production

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

computer recycling

As technology becomes ever more prevalent in our society so does the amount of electronic waste. Each year a number of new gadgets or devices are produced leaving the outdated models to be discarded. The production of new devices is not a bad thing especially since advancements in technology keep us moving forward and increases our productivity. However the same can not be said for how we handle the disposal of our old electronics. The short life span of electronic devices causes us to continuously dispose of more and more electronic waste each year.

Due to the amount of e-waste most states have already put in place standards against dumping electronic devices. Similarly in 2010 the Federal Government enacted the Electronics Recycling Act. This Act states that any organization that is found to be exporting their non-useful e-waste to developing countries will receive heavy penalties and fines. Many companies have recently begun to focus their efforts on establishing guidelines to reduce their amount of e-waste and ensure their compliance with green standards. Although these types of companies are providing the groundwork for a successful reduction in electronic waste it is really up to the individual consumers to follow through with this proposal by disposing of their old devices appropriately.

There are four main ways that we currently handle our electronic waste which is through landfills, recycling, reusing, and incineration. While certain methods may be more suitable than others each of them can still produce negative impacts on our health and environment. Approximately 14-20 million PC’s are discarded making up a huge portion of the 20-50 million tons of electronic waste that we produce annually. From that 20-50 million tons only around 14% of the old products are actually recycled which leaves the rest of the millions of electronics to accumulate and be disposed in a counterproductive manner.


The major problem associated with e-waste is the composition of toxic heavy metals (lead, mercury and cadmium, etc.) that can seep into our water, soil, or atmosphere depending on how it is disposed of. Toxic heavy metal from e-waste makes up 70% of all heavy metals in landfills. Using a landfill for e-waste is very dangerous because it contaminates essential aspect of our environment.


Like in landfills the incineration option releases massive amounts of hazardous waste into the atmosphere. Although incineration will reduce the amount of space used for e-waste the release of this hazardous material into the environment would not only affect the atmosphere but would eventually make its way into our water supply and soil when it rains.

Recycling and Reusing: (Most Viable)

It is extremely expensive to appropriately handle electronic waste. Due to the high cost of disposal many corporations were exporting their old products to developing countries and therefore resulted in several law and guidelines. Developing countries often have lower environmental policies and are not adequately equipped to handle the disposal of e-waste. The Responsible Electronics Recycling Act of 2010 was enacted to prevent the hazardous material from being exported to countries that are unable to properly deal with it. As for the equipment that is still working properly and meets the necessary guidelines it can still be recycled which can help the developing countries even though the majority of working exported devices are obsolete. In the past, hazardous electronic waste in developing countries had been linked to causing cancer, neurological and respiratory disorders, as well as birth defects hence the stronger environmental enforcement regulations.

In addition, these disturbing statistics have also urged companies to create “Take Back” or recycling policies. Take back policies and recycling programs let you trade in your working electronic devices, sometimes for cash, store credit, discounts, new models, or the satisfaction of helping your environment. Once traded in the company can either choose to use the device for parts (Recycle) or export it (Reuse).

What you can do to help:

Although the government is attempting to solve the problem of e-waste it is up to the customers of electronic devices to dispose of them properly and follow the regulations that the government sets forth. The following are some suggestions when dealing with and disposing of electronic waste.

  • Avoid throwing out electronics with your everyday garbage.
  • If you are getting an upgrade or newer model, donate or sell your old device.
  • Consider if you really need an upgrade or if you can utilize the same device.
  • Shop with companies that use a “Take Back” program.
  • Make it a priority to shop with companies with “Green Principals”
  • Try to purchase sustainable/upgradeable devices.
  • Don’t buy the latest technology right away because there will most likely be something better only a month or two away. Why upgrade twice and create twice the waste?
  • Contact your local representative regarding your state’s electronic waste policy. Does your state have an e-waste policy?
  • Locate local e-waste recycling and disposal centers.
  • Find useful information on Recycling procedures, Takeback programs, and Donation centers at the Environmental Protection Agency Waste Center Resource.

Additional information available at: Examples of Electronic Take Back Programs & Companies with the best Green Rank

Thanks for Reading and Have a Great Earth Day!


Providing Tech Support for Businesses in Maryland