Tag Archives: scrolling

Apple Does License Its Patents To Competing Companies, But Samsung Isn’t Interested

Although it is widely believed that Apple refuses to license its patents to competing companies, it turns out that that’s a huge misconception. In fact, the company licenses a patent covering iOS touch-based scrolling to the likes of IBM and Nokia, and it offered the same deal to rival Samsung, who wasn’t at all interested. If it had have taken Apple up on the offer, however, it could have spared the Korean company a whole load of trouble in court.

Both IBM and Nokia have paid Apple for the use of U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381, entitled “List Scrolling and Document Translation, Scaling, and Rotation on a Touch-Screen Display.” The agreement was disclosed in a court filing for Apple’s current legal battle with Samsung, and although the disclosure was removed from documents that were made public, The Verge has obtained a copy of the original filing.

The patent covers the fancy scrolling we’ve all grown to love in iOS devices which shows a background texture when a users scrolls beyond the dimensions of a certain page. You can see the feature for yourself by simply loading up a website in Safari and scrolling too far towards the bottom — instead of just stopping, you can see the grey background behind the page before it bounces back.

The patent was used by Apple in its bid to have Samsung’s devices banned in certain territories. The Cupertino company reportedly offered a license on the patent to Samsung in November last year as part of a settlement between the two companies, but unlike IBM and Nokia, Samsung chose not to license the patent.

Apple hasn’t just used the patent against Samsung either; it has also used it in a lawsuit against HTC. However, according to legal expert Nilay Patel, Apple showed a willingness to negotiate with rival companies before the courtroom battles by offering the patent out for licensing:

Offering up a distinctive software feature covered by a strong patent indicates a level of willingness to negotiate that we simply haven’t heard from Apple in the past — it’s a far cry from Steve Jobs telling his biographer that he was willing to go “thermonuclear war” on Google and Android OEMs for infringing Apple’s patents.

That’s in stark contrast to an anecdote that features in Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography, in which Steve recalls a conversation with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Having vowed to “destroy” Android, Steve told Schmidt, “If you offer me $5 billion, I don’t want it. I’ve got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that’s all I want.”

[via AppleInsider]

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Scroll In Super Slow Motion In OS X Lion [OS X Tips]

Here’s a neat and simple trick that will slow down scrolling to a nice, leisurely pace — great if you’re trying to read while scrolling.

Welcome to Keir Thomas, author of the new book Mac Kung Fu, which contains over 300 tips, tricks, hints and hacks for OS X Lion. He’s going to be sharing with us some of his favorite and most useful tips for OS X in the coming weeks, so welcome him aboard… 

OS X engineers have always paid close attention to scrolling up and down. They created scroll gestures, for example, and all Apple mice over the last few years have featured clever scrolling technologies.

However, the following trick works with any mouse or touchpad — even third party PC mice:

Holding down Option while you click and drag the scroller (the little bar that shows your position within a document in the scrollbar) will slow down scrolling, making it much easier to find something you’re looking for, or to scroll the document as you read.

Hold down Option while scrolling with any mouse and everything will slow down

It’s best shown in practice, so give it a try. Grab the scroller in any open window displaying a long file or webpage, then hold Option and drag. You see that as well as slowing down, scrolling becomes more fluid.

Incidentally, that’s not all the Option key can do when you’re scrolling. Holding it and clicking anywhere in the scroll bar area (outside of the scroller) will cause the document to jump to that position. This can be useful when you want to jump to the top of a document — just hold down Option and click at the top of the scroll bar range.

 

 

 

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How Quickly Did You Adjust To Lion’s New Scrolling?

How do you scroll?

Slate’s Michael Agger wrote a nice post this week, musing on the way Apple changed the way we scroll with the introduction of Lion just over two months ago.

It got me wondering: how long did it take people to adapt to the new rules of scrolling?

Personally speaking, I found it disorientating for only a couple of days. Then for a few more, I still had to engage my brain a little, but it didn’t feel so weird. After that, I stopped noticing. It took about a week, perhaps a few days more. Now it feels completely natural.

Until, that is, I try using the Mac that lives in our kitchen. This is an older MacBook, ill-suited to running Lion. It still runs Snow Leopard like a champ, though, and acts as all-purpose family browsing machine and music hub. On this machine, scrolling still works the old way – which is how the rest of the family like it to be, since they’re not using Lion at all.

Needless to say, installing Scroll Reverser has solved that particular problem. It means each of us can pick the scrolling style that suits us best.

Back to Agger’s article. He writes:

Apple had decreed that “natural scrolling” was the new standard, overturning 25 years of convention. This was more discomfiting than rearranging furniture. This was pulling out the chair as you were taking a seat.

And he’s right to say that: Apple did turn scrolling upside down, they did pull the chair out from under us. But in the end, it turned out to be a small problem. Adjusting was as simple as righting the chair and getting back to work.

How about you? Did you adjust without difficulty, or have you switched back to the old style scrolling (which you can do in System Preferences -> Trackpad -> Scroll and Zoom)?

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Google releases new stable Chrome version, featuring full-screen mode and overlay scrollbars

Google has announced on the Chrome Blog a new release on the Chrome stable channel. The new release has been available to developers in the dev channel since August, where developers got the chance to use the full-screen mode (Ctrl+Shift+F) and overlay scrollbars inside of Lion. Today, these features have landed for everyone; download it here.

Also landing in the new version are two new technologies for developers: Web Audio API and Native Client. Web Audio API adds the ability for developers to use different audio effects, but even better, Native Client brings the ability to execute C and C++ code in the browser. Check it out in the video after the break:

Download

 (via MacStories)