Last week I attended a development course for iOS which ran over three days at the University of Plymouth (lead by Nick Outram). For me it was to cement some of the self learning I had previously been doing on Lynda.com and hopefully give me the opportunities to ask an expert about some of the Objective-C ways of doing things.
The course was excellent. We had the chance to try some of the various ways to create apps (in terms of navigation), zoom, pan etc. Eventually when we grasped the Objective-C language we moved onto some more “fun” stuff including the Google Maps API and GPS technology. This was a great fast paced course to attend and has really got me thinking about the software design and development for mobile devices and has even made me think about development for Android too. Oh well… something else to investigate!
I’ve spent a bit of time trying to centre my text in some eBooks recently. On every device I have experimented with, my text is turning up in the centre (exactly as I want) except when I view it on an iPad. WHY!!!! Is it my code? Am I missing something?? After smashing my head on the desk a few times I found the answer. The answer is… its not my code but rather a setting within iBooks.
This week I have been researching how to create eBooks for the iPad so they can sit within the iBooks App on the device. By releasing materials as eBooks on the iPad users can take advantage of the features iBooks offers, such as highlighting important information, bookmarking, zooming images and making annotations in the margin for later use.
iBooks for iPad uses the .ePub format which is a free and open e-book standard. However I have found it a little tricky to create this format with everyday software. Most of the materials we create at Technology Enhanced Learning, University of Plymouth (for print and PDF design) are built with Adobe InDesign and luckily it does come with the ability to export your documents as .ePub, however I have found that you don’t always get the intended results and there will be random things such as the front cover not showing when viewing the Table of Contents. Annoying.
Continuing on from the Sunday Service I was ready for some more exciting and innovative thinking at Learning Without Frontiers – Day 2. The day kicked off with a Welcome & Introduction by Graham Brown-Martin, where he introduced a variety of speakers. There was an interesting talk from Iris Lapinski, who runs Apps for Good, a programme where young people learn to create apps. The talk was mainly focusing around themes of problem solving and making people’s lives easier. Iris called upon a student to come and talk about an Oyster Card App where users can check the amount of money left on their card. The app also gave people the option of depositing more money if they were low. The app was made because they identified a problem many people were experiencing, to back this up many people in the room agreed that they too had come across this problem and had caused them to me late for work/meetings/appointments.