theMolisticView

A new journey in education

Archive for the ‘iPhone’ tag

Mobile Phone Application Challenge

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PBL in Metalwork has not been my only foray into Project Based Learning. Now I do not profess that what I have been using is strictly PBL or the Apple version CBL.

So what came after the Metalwork attempt, the mobile phone app challenge. In the last weeks of term 1 this year I introduced this concept to my year 9 IST class. We spent 75 minutes discussing what was expected.

The next lesson they all lined up outside before coming into the room and selecting their chosen mobile platform. There were three platforms for them to choose from: Apple’s iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7.

The 24 students that we started the term with (several students have since left the school), separated perfectly into the three groups. They were all provided with their platforms device so they could start their research. The questions of inquiring minds came thick and fast and we ran out of time in the lesson.

Basically I asked the students to develop a concept of a mobile application from which they would then produce and deploy to a device within a ten week period (turned out to be 11 weeks). The application had to follow the given platforms requirements and be suitable for submission to the platforms appstore. There would be two presentations, one at week five and the final “Keynote” where they would launch their application to the world. This final presentation was to be delivered in-front of the Principal. Each group was also to provide detail information of their progress with lesson by lesson updates on a group posterous account. These updates were intended to be reinforcements of the students individual KWL (What I KNOW, What I WANT to KNOW, What I LEARNED), forms from each lesson. In the final week each student had to present their own one page reflection and working timeline in a spreadsheet.
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August 1st, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Why Windows Phone 7 is dead already

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There are many reasons why Windows Phone 7 is dead within six months of release. For me it is the fact that Microsoft gave in to the worlds telcos and allowed them to modify the OS to suit there backward needs and stop the instant release of OS updates. You can see form the distribution list at Where’s my phone update? how bad it is and yes that is the site name. Though it still isn’t as bad as the Android devices from Sony and Samaung that will never be upgraded to the latest Android OS.

Yes Nokia did come on board the Windows Phone 7 platform but their products wont launch for six months or more. But the real evidence is when you see companies selling the phone for free! Thats right free, Logic Buy an online retailer in the US has done just that in store for free with bonus goodies to choose from when you buy http://www.logicbuy.com/deals/htc-hd7-windows-7-smartphone-for-t-mobile/27239.aspx

When I first received my phone I thought “yay integrates great with work and social, way better then my Nexus one (the phone I was using at the time) or my iPhone 3GS.”

It turned out to be false promise, Microsoft let us down again 🙁

The best thing about my phone at this point, is it make a great Windows iPod and my games are linked to my Xbox.

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April 2nd, 2011 at 4:51 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.

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February 15th, 2011 at 1:36 am

XNA game studio at school

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Start this  at the start I guess.

Being a Play station user since the play station (one), and not into computers at the time I never really cared about the Xbox when I bought my PS2, or even early last year when I upgraded to the PS3. The first I had heard of Microsoft XNA Game Studio was in 2008 and it was totally by chance when having purchased the then new Microsoft Expression Studio. Microsoft Expression Studio came with 2005 Visual Studio. Now at the time I had only just been made a permanent teacher filling in at what is now my school and my position. I had at that time had little experience with computers except what I had to learn at University and what I had picked up during the many casual and temporary permanent positions I had, had since 2004 and had no interest in coding or  programming.

Fast forward to June 2010, I had spent the last 6 months trying to get year 10 into Flash games using their DER laptops. What a nightmare that was, the DET Lenovo’s struggle to power Flash projects, there is a constant issue with the Flash player plugin being out of date. So this quickly removed any enthusiasm the kids had. Around this time rumors of the new Windows Phone 7 started along with some of the then suggested capabilities of the phone. One of these was to play games, games that would be linked to an Xbox Live account. In one article that I read they linked to XNA Game Studio.  On arriving at that page I was amazed that this secret had been hidden away from me for so long. With a simple download you could make games for your PC or Xbox.

So immediately I download the development tools which were available at the time and then went in search of books which would help me in learning how to make games. I spent most of the school holidays reading through books and coming up with ideas for my multimedia classes.

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February 5th, 2011 at 5:23 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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November 23rd, 2010 at 2:26 am