How families communicate

How families communicate
A mother, father and son. Two iPads, 2 iPhones, 1 HTC device and no talking. This is poorly shot but I quickly captured this as a record of the state of communication amongst families where I live today. It’s not uncommon to be in any public place, at any particular time and see many with their near complete focus being one device or another; I think in many instances that the smartphone has become the modern soother.
This was taken at a local Starbucks where I too had my face glued to an iPhone.
Posts have and will continue to be erratic as I adjust to a new schedule. I’ve got a lengthy (for me) review of Tom Bihn’s new Ristretto sitting open in window ready to be posted when I get a chance to take a few pictures. Check out Tom Bihn’s catalogue in the interim.


Mobile devices encourage greater reading of news publications

Mobile devices encourage greater reading of news publications
According to by Pew research centre’s state of the news media 2012 report, there is a mounting body of evidence finds that the spread of mobile technology is adding to news consumption in the United States. Its effects, however, are mixed. While it enhances the appeal of traditional news brands, and even boosts the reading of long-form journalism, it also shows that technology companies are strengthening their control. The Guardian reports:

The reports find that rather than replacing media consumption on digital devices, people who go mobile are getting news on all their devices.
They also appear to be getting it more often, and reading for longer periods of time.
For example, 34% of desktop/laptop news consumers now also get news on a smartphone. About a quarter, 27%, of smartphone news consumers also get news on a tablet.
These digital news omnivores are also a large percentage of the smart phone/tablet population. And most of those individuals (78%) still get news on the desktop or laptop as well.
A PEJ survey of more than 3,000 adults discovered that the reputation, or brand, of a news organisation is the most important factor in determining where consumers go for news, and that is even truer on mobile devices than on laptops or desktops.
Indeed, despite the explosion in social media use through the likes of Facebook and Twitter, recommendations from friends are not yet a major factor in steering news consumption.

New mobile devices spur greater news reading


Anarchy in the App Store

Anarchy in the App Store
With the App Store’s debut in 2008, Apple revolutionized the way tech companies interact with their customers and third-party developers. They have been having some trouble maintaining that approach of late, Bloomberg reports:

Instead of the open-air sandbox typified by Microsoft’s Windows, where developers can create any programs they want and distribute them any way they please, Steve Jobs decided that Apple would have to OK every bit of code that reaches its customers. He effectively built a walled garden for Apple users. The explicit promise was, and still is, that in exchange for giving up some control, developers and consumers get a curated marketplace where the software is high-quality, free of bugs and malware, and unplagued by scams and marketing gimmicks.
But living up to those promises has become increasingly difficult as the App Store has expanded to include nearly 600,000 games, organizational tools, and other programs. Once criticized by app developers for long approval times and arbitrary rejections, Apple is now struggling with the opposite problem: letting through too many apps that violate the company’s own privacy rules or rip off trademarks. The company is also trying to swat down startups trying to manipulate the App Store, which has helped drive sales of more than 315 million iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. Apple declined to comment for this story.
[...]
Apple has been fighting infractions of its App Store rules on a case-by-case basis. Now it may be looking for more effective solutions.

Anarchy in the App Store . Via textually.


Mobile doesn’t always mean “mobile”

“Mobile users won’t want to do that, they’re ‘on the go’ and will be in a hurry or want a quick distraction.”

Study after study reveals people use their mobile at home, while watching TV. People also use mobile devices for hours while waiting on trains and at airports. For each user who is in a hurry there will be another who stares intently at their device for 20-30 minute stints. If that devices happens to be a tablet, they may use it for even longer periods. And while many users will simply be consuming content, others will be shopping, banking, or performing other very specific tasks.

Mobile users don’t do that


Axa Insurance: iPhone print ad


Perhaps this served as the inspiration for the aforementioned content-rich résumé, but without the ugly QR Code (I’ve changed my opinion on those). This is an old ad* but still seems fresh; here the ad agency intro: “AXA is Belgium’s first insurance company to launch an iPhone app. Their free application helps and guides you through some basic steps when you have a car accident. This product has been launched with an innovative print ad that requires your iPhone to complete the message”.


Stick-Up Weekly Calendar

Stick-Up Weekly Calendar
Stick-Up Weekly Calendar
I can’t say with certainty whether it’s simply my advancing age or increased practicality due to experience, but I often find analog tools to be more attractive than their digital counterparts. I often accuse the multitude of mobile apps. that help run my life of giving me a “lazy brain” – the age of a digital assistant that thinks for you has arrived. When it comes to managing tasks, a concept learned in elementary school long before the David Allen book, I simply need a number of categorized lists with a weekly/monthly overview of what I’ve accomplished at the end. The Stick-Up Weekly Calendar is a sticky note and calendar which would likely accomplish much of what I need to do. It’s not entirely portable, nor sortable, or saved in the cloud, nor is it able to ping you when it’s due, but is any of this really required?
From their description:

Put it right by your keyboard on your desk as a wrist pad. You can write down your to-dos for the week, peel off a sheet, then tack up the sheet on your computer or wall as a reminder. You can stick it to the refrigerator for weekly menu planning or grocery list. Once you’re done, just tear it off and enjoy your sense of accomplishment.

Simple and attractive. Maybe going analog will be the new killer app.


iPads used to bolster physician training

MacWorld reports that research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine indicates that providing personal mobile computers to medical residents reduces delays in patient care, enhances their access to electronic records and helps them to train.

In November 2010, researchers gave Apple iPads to 115 University of Chicago internal medicine residents. The residents were able to access electronic patient records, the hospital’s paging system to order tests, and medical publications for reference information.
When researchers surveyed the residents in 2011, three out of four said that the iPads allowed them to finish tasks faster, gave them more time for direct patient care, and helped them participate in educational activities. The hospital spent about $650 on each iPad, including insurance, protective covers, straps, and software. The tablets had access to the hospital’s wireless network but were not allowed to store records. They were also password-protected.

MacWorld: iPads used to bolster physician training, speed up patient care


Storytelling with Picle

Storytelling with Picle

What would Instagram sound like? Picle captures the sounds occurring at the moment a picture is taken — more completly preserving the moments that matter. I love this new app., it’s perfectly simple and fun. Telling stories with photos and sound was something of a labour of love, at least before apps like this came along. I can remember painstakingly stitching together photos in some early version of flash, adding a soundtrack, sometimes with some of that ‘Ken Burns’ effect so commonly used by iPhoto. Picle feeds our need for instant gratification and our desire to tell stories all at the same time. Adding sound to stills seems to complete the visual.
Picle is free on the app store.


Sometimes getting there can be half the fun


Fun. Google maps is one of those apps that make life incredibly easier, so much so you wonder how you lived without it (well I got lost allot which isn’t always bad). Especially over here where data is cheap and the language slow to acquire.


iPads and apps to spur a revolution in education

iPad in education

Brent Tworetzky is product lead on the eTextbook Reader, a cloud service that enables access to digital textbooks on any device, which has been created by Chegg.com, the textbook rental service. He says: “We find that when students are reading on tablets rather than on a PC, they consume more pages in a session. They seem to be sitting down and focusing more with a tablet.”

How does this compare with the book? Why aren’t journalists asking this question?

Josh Koppel, chief creative officer of ScrollMotion, a developer of etextbooks, agrees. He says: “Touch changes the intimacy of the experience. When you touch the content, it resonates psychologically in a different way from when you’re just reading it. It changes the way you engage.”
Content creation tools also allow the teachers themselves to update course materials.
“If I read a great story in the Financial Times in the morning,” says Brad Wheeler, professor of information systems at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, “I can go into the software and find a chapter, highlight a paragraph, add a web link to the article and say: ‘Here’s an illustration of what we were talking about’.
“I just changed everyone’s textbook, it wasn’t some email note stripped of context, that kind of thing starts to bring the text to life.”
Mr Koppel says the potential is there for many further improvements in areas such as making education more social as students help one another.

This part sounds compelling.
To dominate in class, tablets will need to let us take notes. Photo by {Flixelpix} David.


Actually, teachers are excited about the iPad

Actually, teachers are excited about the iPad
The highly anticipated new iPad reveal apparently has had educators across the US eagerly awaiting the big reveal, including those in Minnesota who want to overhaul how educational material is presented to students.

Bakke noted that even though technology is so deeply ingrained in everyday life, not every student’s family has access to the Internet. “The things they are going to be able to do to start off on the right foot as digital learners is just amazing.”
Teachers in the group were not discouraged by the history of educational research showing technology has little impact on student achievement. That tide may be turning; some new studies involving the iPad show promising results. But much of the research is in its infancy.
The Lake Marion teachers say they want to embrace the device because it helps them tailor instruction for classrooms of students with varying abilities.
“Individualized learning was a huge piece for us,” said Traci Radtke, a first-grade teacher.
The tablets also are “huge motivational tools,” members of the group said. They noted the devices get both strong and struggling students excited about learning.
“We find that it is very easy for kids to use,” said teacher Cari Zoellner. “Instant gratification is also a real motivator.”

It seems to me that they are more excited about the devices themselves then any real measurable comparative impact on learning.
Lakeville educators celebrate iPads in the classroom. (Photo – Pioneer Press: Ben Garvin)