Playing with the iPad

Playing with the iPadOK – we bought two iPads at work, and I was greeted with one this morning!

So I’m seeing if I can create a blog post using it. And guess what? I can!

But not easily, mind you. Let’s see – the pic, I was able to log into flickr and copy/paste the embed code for the image pretty easily. I was obviously able to log into my blog too, to do this post. Interestingly enough, for those of you familiar without he back end of WordPress – I’m using the HTML simple editor to type this. The fancier visual editor wouldn’t let me type in the text box. Go figure.

Also, to scroll around in the text box window, I just discovered I have to hold one finger down, then scroll with another finger. Otherwise, the whole screen moves. And I’ll have to get into the post on a pc to add categories to theta oust – I can’t scroll down on that window.

Typing is interesting, too – but possibly because I’m not used to the keyboard yet. It feels clunky to me, and I would suggest getting the external keyboard for any serious typing.

That said … websites are beautiful on this thing. In the vertical position, it shows more screen real estate. And the touch/use your finger thing instead of using a mouse is amazing, as should be expected.

The next couple of years in computer technology should be amazing, revolutionary ones, if my first experience with this thing is any indication.

Top Tech Trends – Ebook Readers and the iPad

I was a panelist at PLA 2010’s Top Tech Trends session, and talked about ebook readers and the ipad as a top tech trend to watch in 2010. Here’s my outline for the session:

Ebook Readers and the iPad:

  • ebooks have been around wince 1971! that’s when the gutenberg project started!
  • 1998 – first ebook readers appeared

how many different models are there?

  • at least 20 different manufacturers

over 2 million free ebooks

  • 15 different file formats!
  • kindle, txt, epub, html, pdf, etc
  • epub
    • open free format – not proprietary
    • css, xml styling
    • default standard, not everyone (ie., kindle) uses it

Operating Systems on ebook readers:

  • linux
  • android
  • windows mobile/win ce
  • iphone OS

size

  • most are 6-8 inches or so
  • mobile version – iphone is an ebook reader, other phones

e-ink or LCD

  • e-ink – imitates the look and ease of readability of print while consuming little power

memory

  • most are in gigabytes
  • holds hundreds of books

connectivity

  • wifi
  • cellular networks
  • price – 150 to 750
still sorta like the 90s with cell phone or PDAs

why did I pick this for a top tech trend when they’ve been around for so long?
Apple likes to change things
  • Mac – changed the computer industry – mouse and GUI were pretty obscure untilt hat first mac came along in 1984
  • ipod – changed the music industry – pricing, formats, size, etc., mp3 players
  • iphone – changed the cell phone industry
    • touch screen
    • more than just a cell phone – games, internet, browsers, ipod, movies, calendar, email, twitter, facebook, etc, etc, etc
    • many copycats

iPad will do the same thing  – but to what industry?

  • gaming and movies
  • will probably change the ebook industry
    • better ebook reader
    • more like a book – flip the pages by touch
    • color
    • great screen
    • turn the thing to flip the screen
    • accessibility built in
    • and 5 of the 6 largest publishers are already on-board.

why?

  • money – they’ve seen itunes and the app store and want in

What might we have by end of 2010?

  • The iPad ships on April 3
  • iPad will be on version 2-3 by the end of 2010
  • will have made millions of publishers millions of dollars, Apple even more
  • price will have probably dropped
  • more publishers will be using the epub format (and wanting into itunes store)
  • copycats will start to appear

Issues for libraries to consider:

our patrons will start buying iPads soon.

  • does it work with Overdrive?
  • does it work with our catalogs?
  • can patrons plug them into your PCs?

staff issues

  • can your staff use them to help patrons who own one?

library stuff

  • can patrons check them out?
  • can your library buy them for patrons to use/check out?
  • battery life -do you charge the battery before handing them out to patrons? Do you have a place for multiple devices to be charged behind the circ desk (or wherever you might keep them)?

bigger issues

  • content licensing and DRM

iPad – a Game Changer?

I don’t attempt to predict stuff very often, but I think this one’s safe – I think Apple’s new iPad is most definitely a game changer.

Why? Because it combines so many things into one handy, easy-to-use device. Just watching the video about the iPad and poking around on the website a bit, you find out all that the iPad will supposedly do, including:

  • web browsing
  • email
  • photo viewing
  • watch videos (even YouTube videos)
  • listen to music (it has iTunes built in)
  • buy and read ebooks
  • a cool map
  • note taking
  • a calendar
  • Contacts list
  • iWork (Apple’s answer to Microsoft Office) is rebuilt for the iPad, so you have word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software
  • The App Store works here, too, which opens up 140,000 apps that all do different things

And of course, it’s multi-touch. So instead of having to use a mouse or keyboard shortcuts to operate the thing … you just touch the screen. I’m just amazed that Apple seemingly rolled up a Microsoft Surface, a tablet PC, a video player, a netbook, an iPod, and an ebook reader, and came out with something light, cool, and truly unique. Except maybe the name – sorry Apple, but the iPad is a silly name.

Apple could turn this thing into a student’s best friend. Instead of carrying a heavy backpack around, students could use the iPad to carry all their textbooks (assuming Apple partners with textbook companies), any multimedia they need to watch, their word processor to write papers (or they could just use Google Docs via a wifi connection), multiple ways to take notes, communicate to classmates and teachers via email/IM/Facebook/Skype/etc. And still have their favorite photos, their grand music collection, and a couple of fun games with them, too.

How about for libraries? Think Reference Desk and roving reference here. It’s the same price as a netbook laptop. But probably easier to carry around, easier to show stuff to people, easier to make the text larger for people who need larger text (you just touch and stretch the screen with your fingers to make the text larger – just like an iPhone). And has a 178 degree viewing angle, so it would work well to show stuff to patrons.

Game changer? I think so … or maybe I’m just gushing at the cool new toy. What do you think?

CIL2009: Handhelds & Mobile

Ben Smith, Sheryl Bai, someone else…, Aaron Schmidt

First up – Handhelds at UCHC School of Medicine

PDA Program:

  • PDAs supported by the library since 2001
  • Library purchased PDAs for staff
  • Did an in-service class for staff
  • did some student and faculty training, too

Ben:

Current PDA Initiative:

meet with faculty, then test handhelds, create instructions.

Train students so they can be a resource to ther students. Cool.

They hold PDA clinics, help them install apps, etc.

Considerations:

  • which handheld platform?
  • Windows Mobile 2003 or Mobile 5?
  • Smartphones?
  • They’re limited because they’ve developed stuff on Windows Mobile platform, so they have to use those…

Smartphones:

  • two devices in one
  • cheaper
  • you have a phone contract too – have to make sure students understand this
  • screen resolution can be worse on a smartphone (aside – I love my iPhone)
  • not all have touch screen functionality

Handy software utilities:

  • dotPocket
  • DeepFreeze
  • ActiveSync
  • Microsoft Remote Display Control (displays the PDA on a computer screen, hence a live demo during a presentation)
  • My Mobiler
  • Windows Mobile Device Center

Chris Tonjes, Aaron Schmidt

Chris (CIO, DC Public Library)

their iphone app:

three layers – transaction layer, data layer, presentation layer (I think)

Goals:

  • continue horizontal integration of our ILS
  • presents an alternative delivery of online catalog – like most, not happy with their ILS. So this gave them a great excuse to start experimenting
  • first foray into mobile world
  • leverages the power of the iTunes app store – the delivery method of the future
  • model for other projects
  • provides tangible near term ROI and extended library use and awareness
  • leverage! Code and analysis used for …
  • They have a blackberry version too
  • more online catalogs! playing with VuFInd
  • Integration/direct download target for content from our electronic resource providers 9Gale and Overdrive)
  • iPhone 3.0! Ecommerce – fine and other payments from within app!
  • model for near future projects (kindle or other readers)

Showing their release roadmap – they are planning for the future

DCPL iPhone App – fast facts:

  • 2199 downloads so far
  • 85 in the last week placed holds with it
  • works with SirsiDynix enterprise portal search discovery tool
  • plug in web service
  • took about 100 total hours of programming time
  • we can forecast LOE to modify for use with ibistro and elibrary
  • code available for download

DCPL SMS Text Msg – Bill

Reach out to the younger people is a goal

they send notices, announcements

patrons opt-in on website registration page

increase library event participation via same day notifications – great reminder of events.

messages and notices tailored to SMS limitations/requirements (ie., message size & delivery)

Normal txt stuff: small messages, if you have more than one to send, you have to do each as separate messages

Cost to the library = 0

They schedule the txt msgs in the middle of the day – important point. You don’t want them sent at 2am! And you WANT them sent when people can see them, for reminders…

Aaron:

in charge of how this should look and feel.

started making paper prototypes

Even did user testing with paper mock-ups to see if the idea worked

It IS possible to design a BAD iphone app… they wanted to avoid that

There’s a PSD element library for iphones so you can quickly create a photoshop mockup

Giving examples of how it works

Next?

QR codes,barcode reading.

HUGE potential for these mobile devices.

How’s the iPhone Working Out?

Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click To Play

Quicktime version | YouTube version

I’ve owned an iPhone for about two months now, and thought I’d make a video sharing my likes and dislikes.Dislikes:

  • Stocks icon – works great, but I could care less about the stock market, so it’s not terribly useful to me
  • Calendar – again works great… but I have a work calendar and an everything else calendar… so I have both synced up to Google Calendar. That works fine. Usually. [translation=I haven’t quite figured it all out yet].

Likes: Pretty much everything else. Ease-of-use is awesome. Included apps are great. I originally thought I’d get a Treo, but waited for the iPhone to come out to see what it was like… and haven’t been disappointed!

Update: I had a little trouble viewing the video, so I’ve been playing around with it. It should work now! And there’s a .mov and a YouTube version now, too.