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Adobe Refresh 2011 – a Teachers view

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At Adobe Refresh today it suddenly dawned on me why I can’t successfully teach my subjects at school. The world of the device (broadening away from the simple PC) and it’s development base(s) change to rapidly for a school system locked down like the DET.

Now I’m not saying the DET is not supporting the computer science subjects. The total opposite is my view, in the last three years they have moved mountains. Problem is with public funds and every school doing different things it is extremely difficult to fund and change direction quickly to keep up with what’s popular and worth while for our students future of device development.

Today Adobe showed off some impressive new software technologies all aimed at the mobile space no matter which platform as long as it’s not Windows based. Also they showed off Air apps for the Google television.

The future of Flash also looks promising and may be I should focus more on it in class, however the problem then becomes “how do we get enough iPods/iPhones, Android devices or Blackberry Playbooks?”. Then there is the sign up process for developer access to the tools and the devices, this can be extremely expensive and time consuming. At least with Flash we can develop for iOS on Windows and not having to buy a bunch of Macs, only needing iTunes and developer access to the device.

The question I’m really asking is should we stick with development for the truck as Steve Jobs called PC’s last year or should we continue to push forward and teach our students about the future of device development at an ever increasing cost.

What do you think? Please let me know your thoughts on this.

Written by themolisticview

March 2nd, 2011 at 9:39 am

Why i’m going back to an iPhone

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I feel sad writing this post, I love the idea behind the new Windows Phone 7 but the time has come (and all to soon I might add), to let it go, back in the box for now, and return to my trusty iPhone 3GS.

As I have said previously I love the idea behind the Windows Phone 7. The way the operating system integrates with social networks, windows live, windows live doc’s, the ability to play games linked to the Xbox, intuitive turn based games and the general look and feel of the panorama interface. All of this is quite powerful and unique to Windows Phone 7. The problem though is two fold, firstly Microsoft released the phone promising users that they would not experience the problems that beset many Android users of relying on carriers to deliver OS updates, and that Windows Phone 7 users would have the first of 4 minor updates by the end of January 2011. So far this has not happened and it is hurting the 2 million estimated Windows Phone 7 users world wide.

Initially the first issues I had with my phone were due to my carriers wows (Telstra Australia). Once these were fixed other small issues crept into the phone, problems like the Four Square and Twitter apps opening and instantly closing, or opening and just hanging open without displaying any data. All of which require a system reboot, which admittedly is far quicker then both iOS and Android. The screen freezes and the phone becomes a brick even if you try to call it, yet again another reboot, though this time you have to take the battery out etc just like a Windows laptop. Now when using the alarm (which is also an excellent feature) the interface goes all weird and requires a restart and a call to work saying I’ll be late.

If the problems with the operating system weren’t bad enough, all the main applications such as Four Square, Twitter and Facebook are not made by the respective companies and have not been updated since the launch of the phone. Where are all  the main third party applications like Dropbox, Evernote etc? Their no where to be seen. Admittedly you could get by on Windows Phone 7 in Australia with nothing else but the free Microsoft applications and only buy games. Oh wait that is what every user is doing already! In the market place all the top selling applications are games. God help the developers who need to make $200 USD of sales before they get paid for their hard work on a forgotten system which is not six months old.

So now Nokia is in the Windows Phone 7 game. Will this help? I do not believe so, Nokia has been losing market share like a falling satellite in recent years and is only truly dominate in developing nations with its reborn 1100 hand sets. So its over before it all began which becoming an all to normal occurrence at Microsoft. We need to bring back Bill or someone like him.

Back to the iPhone you’re now saying, why?, why not your Nexus One?

Android has its own issues as far as I am concerned. Its out of control multitasking for one, kills it for me. Having to go deep into your OS just to kill a program you opened two hours ago is stupid. The only good thing about Android is the Google integration and the auto syncing of photo’s, contacts etc.

So back to my 3GS which has never let me down other than the Vodafone issues with networking which luckily will now be avoided with the Telstra. Why is the iPhone superior as a device? Well I have never had any issues with it other then carrier related, which I believe explains the American issues with AT&T. All the third party applications I use are there and many more are designed to integrate naturally with them such as Elements with Dropbox. “If your phone does not have Dropbox, it is a useless brick”. And yes there is the having to deal with iTunes, no over the air updates that @benpaddlejones keep reminding iPoney users, but i’m sorry Ben, the Apple device is what is superior from any other in this market and not it’s ecosystem. But with such a device the world can put up with iTunes.

Written by themolisticview

February 15th, 2011 at 1:36 am

Windows Phone 7 UI

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Sorry for those who have been following my Windows Phone 7 posts, I have been a little preoccupied with work but mainly Call of Duty Black Ops.

So back to Windows Phone 7. This post is about the User Interface. The user interface that Windows uses for the phone is different to any other smart phone on the market. Instead of following the iPhone Os like Google did with Android, Windows has gone with the “Metro” Os which it had been using on the Zune player. The Zune player was Microsoft’s response to the iPod and iPod Touch. This device though not very successful in the market place was one of the first to offer full HD and full games using Microsoft’s XNA Framework (used for the Xbox and Windows PC).

The major difference with the Metro UI, is that you don’t “tap” into hidden areas of the interface. Instead with Metro you have multiple columns; which can house endless rows of content. However if the app designer chooses you can also have multiple application windows that you tap deeper into.

Without the capacity to take screen shots on the phone at present this is a little hard to demonstrate with images; though I shall try my best with these pictures below. The application on show first is Four Square. As you can see, across the top of the application window there are the titles for each row, similar to the same app on iPhone, except you do not have to tap further in to the UI, you simply scroll or slide across to view the content.

Four Square on Windows Phone 7

Four Square, places View on Windows Phone 7

Four Square Friends list on Windows Phone 7

Four Square Friends list on Windows Phone 7

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Written by themolisticview

November 23rd, 2010 at 2:26 am

Windows Phone 7 Standard Applications and more…

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Windows Phone 7 comes with plenty of standard applications and features some of which I have already mention liked the Windows Live ID integration and Xbox Live if you have an account.

I’ll start by naming the worst application the phone has in my opinion, Internet Explorer. Now Microsoft said a long time ago that IE on the phone would be a mix of IE 6 and 7 made suitable for phone and would be updated over time once IE 9 has been officially launched and integrated into the phone. So I guess we can live with that for now, I just hope we do not have to wait a year.

Other standard applications which live on the start screen are Xbox Live, Zune, and the email accounts. So everything else lives to the right of the start screen as I mentioned in my last post:

  • Alarms
  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Camera
  • Games
  • Hotmail
  • Internet Explorer
  • Maps (Bing Maps)
  • Marketplace
  • Messaging
  • Zune music and videos
  • Office
  • Outlook
  • People
  • Phone
  • Pictures
  • Settings

So more then enough to get started.

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Written by themolisticview

October 31st, 2010 at 11:55 am

Windows Phone 7 How does it work?

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Where to start?

As I mentioned in my previous post about the phone you can associate your phone with a Windows Live ID. Having done this all your contacts from Windows live sync via the could to your phone. Now I am not 100% sure that you need a Windows Live ID, though if Android phones are anything to go by needing a Google account to access the Google market place I would guess you do.

As I found out thanks to Paul Thurott on the Windows Weekly podcast, first you need to link services to your Windows Live ID. This can be done via the services link on Windows Live. Linked services are other web sites like, Slideshare and Facebook. Having completed this step, when you sign into your phone the “People” Live Tile fills with the latest updates from which service has the latest.

The People Live Tile where all your contacts reside

The People Live Tile where all your contacts reside

When you tap this Live Tile you go to your contacts where you can see all your contacts information as well as any live updates from theirs and your linked accounts. Also at this part of the people UI you can manually add your contacts which will then be synced to your Windows Live ID and viewable through your Windows Live account on the web.

As with all the smart phones you can also integrate with Microsoft Exchange Web Mail. This populates seamlessly, on the phone importing all your exchange contacts from your online contact list. You can add phone numbers, avatars (pics of your contacts) etc easily as well.

To add your exchange account you can swipe left or tap on the home screen arrow situated on the top right screen to show all the phones applications.

Apps display left to right iPod 4, HTC Mozart 7 Windows Phone 7

Apps display left to right iPod 4, HTC Mozart 7 Windows Phone 7

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Written by themolisticview

October 31st, 2010 at 8:19 am