Designer/Developer Fiesta – London, 28th September 2012

October 5, 2012

http://www.designersfiesta.co.uk/

I attended the Designer’s and Developer’s Fiesta which is run by Academy Class – a digital media training company that specialises in Adobe training. It’s a 1-day event for digital creatives, focusing on inspirational sessions and workshops.

As our team are in the progress of shifting our focus and skills on mobile development, I was keen to gain as much knowledge and insight I could.

I focused on attending sessions on mobile development, and this seemed to be a popular theme for the event with most sessions standing room only. There was much discussion on developing for different mobile platforms eg. Apple iPhone/iPad, Blackberry, Android-based phones and tablets. iOS for Apple devices, Android SDK and web apps using HTML5/CSS3/javascript.

Apple – Xcode
Language is Objective C
https://developer.apple.com/
https://testflightapp.com/

Android
Language is Objective C
https://developer.android.com/index.html

HTML5
http://jquerymobile.com/
http://www.sencha.com/
http://phonegap.com/
https://build.phonegap.com/

Responsive Design

Designing sites that adapt and respond to different devices – they resize automatically based on screen size of device eg. screen, tablet, mobile

Examples:
http://mediaqueri.es/
http://html.adobe.com/edge/animate/

More information:
http://webdesignerwall.com/tutorials/responsive-design-in-3-steps
http://978.gs/
http://designshack.net/articles/css/5-really-useful-responsive-web-design-patterns/

eLearning

There were some elearning specific sessions too. A workshop on Articulate Storyline showed the potential of this tool; easy to use and can create interactive resources easily using the in-built library and coding tools. One good feature is the option to create your resources specifically for iOS –  iPhones/iPads. 

Project tin can is replacing SCORM
http://scorm.com/tincan/

Adobe Edge Animate  newly launched product that can create interactions and animations. It creates HTML5 resources that can work across different mobile devices.

Mobile technology and innovation

An eye-opening showcase by Scott Seeborn for their pioneering mobile technologies company XS2, showed how mobile technology innovation is being pushed further and further to create some truly amazing apps. Inspiring.

Image


Tablets

March 4, 2011

A quick browse around for latest tablets currently on the market:

Archos Android tablets http://www.archos.com/products/ta/archos_70it/specs.html?country=gb&lang=en

Two sizes available:
–     7” (201 x 114 x 10 mm) £ 234.88
–    10” (270 x 150 x 12 mm) £ 275.74
–    Uses Google Android operating system
–    Supports Flash
–    Has USB port

Samsung Galaxy http://www.samsung.com/uk/galaxytab/

–    7” screen
–    £449.00
–    Uses Google Android operating system
–    Supports Flash
–    No USB

Dell Streak http://www.o2.co.uk/dellstreak/dellstreakspec

–    5” screen
–    £399.00
–    Uses Google Android operating system
–    Supports Flash
–    Has USB port

Apple iPad2 http://www.apple.com/uk/ipad/

Not yet released
– £TBA
– 10″ display
– No Flash support
– No USB port

Motorola Xoom http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/motorola-xoom-internet-tablet-now-available-for-pre-order-09752543-pdt.html

–    Not released until April 2011
–    10” screen
–    £499.00
–    Uses Google Android operating system
–    Supports Flash
–    Has USB port

Blackberry Playbook http://us.blackberry.com/playbook-tablet/BlackBerry_PlayBook_v5.pdf

Not yet released
– £TBA
– 7″ screen
– Supports Flash
– Has USB port


Virtual Worlds and Gaming for learning

November 24, 2008

Virtual World Watch is ‘Tracking activity in UK universities and colleges’. It’s set up through a collaboration of researchers including ‘Silversprite‘ (aka John Kirriemuir) who writes a great blog on Second Life research and using video games for learning. It’s the future.

This interesting article and videoclips show how a future generation are using new technologies for learning.

And more recently, the Nintendogs DS game is being used to teach pet care – in association with The Dogs Trust (and launched by Girls Aloud, naturally).


Cloud computing Vs Personal storage

October 2, 2008

Cloud computing seems to be the buzzword du jour in the world of technology. Cloud computing is a new concept of computing that uses third party software and storage space provided by companies such as Google or Microsoft, to handle work that would normally be done on your desktop computer.

There’s certainly an interest here at the College to try and utilize this technology and the advantages are numerous: No maintenance, free storage, no software installation, no access restrictions. But while we continue to explore the options of Google Docs and MS Skydrive, there is also a backlash against using this new technology.

This Guardian article has GNU founder Richard Stallman giving his opinion on cloud computing, “It’s stupidity. It’s worse than stupidity: it’s a marketing hype campaign.

It also has Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle saying, “The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we’ve redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do,” he said. “The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It’s complete gibberish. It’s insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?”

Is cloud computing just a fashionable fad in computing or will it revolutionise the way we use computers?

My main concern is the security of data put in the hands of third party companies, but with an incredible amount of data already out there on personal PCs (emails, bank details) and the increasing gaffs of data security breaches from personal hardware, maybe the ‘safe hands’ of Google would be a better idea?


Smartphones

September 29, 2008

The new wave of smartphones are upon us! We’ll all be GPS-ing, 3G-ing and touchscreen surfing the web on-the-go soon.

Let’s have a quick look at a few on offer:

T-Mobile G1

Caused a big stir when it was launched last week, it’s the first phone to feature Google’s Android operating system. Android was developed by The Open Handset Alliance – a collaboration of developers creating an open and free mobile platform.

Lot’s of people think the phone is ugly – I think it looks solid and functional. What’s more off-putting for me is the geeky nature surrounding the phone (and promoting it).

http://www.t-mobile.co.uk/shop/mobile-phones/whats-hot/

iPhone

We all know what this is all about…What I find sad is the amount of awe and wonder with which people treat the phone. People seem to wrap it up in all sorts of protective cases and then touch it like they’re rubbing a precious stone.

http://www.apple.com/uk/iphone/

Samsung Omnia

A direct competitor to the iPhone, the Omnia is an all singing and dancing touch screen phone with a better hardware spec than it’s rival. Runs Windows Mobile 6.1.

http://omnia.samsungmobile.com/

Sony Ericsson Xperia

A rather swish looking touchphone with slideout keyboard (ok, so this phone does make the T-Mobile G1 look like a brick). Features some quirky touch phone features such as the nine panel grid layout.

The website is worth a look if only to hear an odd sounding European woman explain the phone to us (“I just love this giant touchscreen!” and tantalizingly, “I can’t live without my daily dose of celebrity gossip.”).  I’m sold.

http://www.sonyericsson.com/x1/index.aspx?en-gb


Tasty Technology: Virtual keyboard

April 25, 2008

There was a nice bit of kit featured on the Guardian’s Dork Talk page recently. It was the LaserKey CL850 Projection Keyboard, a device that projects a virtual keyboard onto your desk and uses light sensors to detect which ‘keys’ your fingers are tapping.

It’s a bit of sci-fi wizardary come to life.

The device is aimed at the handheld technology market and communicates with your PDA or Blackberry via Bluetooth or USB. This would be a great tool for people like me who find using tiny fiddly, plastic buttons to type anything bigger than a simple text message a bit of a nightmare. It would also enable mobile communication and learning to be taken to the next level – increased accessibility, accuracy and speed for typing on screen.

The only downer about this product is that it’s yet another additional bit of hardware that you need to carry around with you along with your mobile device. If your Blackberry itself could beam out the keyboard then we’d truely be in sci-fi business heaven.


A look at the Eee PC

April 15, 2008

We have had a few Eee Pc’s delivered to the College recently and I was keen to check them out. They look pretty sweet – small, compact and in a clean mighty white colour. Ultra cool. The start up is pretty snappy, then you’re in the Linux interface which here, is a series of big, click-on-me icons. You can’t go wrong. I was impressed by the ease of use of it all – browsing the internet, using the applications and built-in webcam. I recorded some video from the webcam but it saves it in a .ogg file which I’m not sure transfers that well unless you convert it using an encoder (ie, not sure how easy it is to get footage on the web/blogs etc).

A collegue used one at a conference recently to give an up-to-date account of events using a blog. The webcam was used to interview people, get their opinions and capture their image. It worked really well.