iPads at the Airport

Like iPads, and think they could work in a public space? Check this video out! I recently saw a bunch of iPads at the Delta terminal at LaGuardia airport in New York, and took a short video of them. Here’s a link to some photos, too.

Basically, here’s what I saw – hundreds of iPads in the airport terminal gates, secured to tables with a cable. Each iPad had airport info, news, games, a restaurant menu, and web access apps installed. You could order items from the restaurant via a credit card swiper beside the iPad. No signup, no waiting list – just find an empty iPad and start using it. Here’s a couple of news articles written about this experiment.

The only real problem I saw was one of sorta gross smudges on the iPads. Thankfully, I also saw someone walking around, cleaning the screens.

iPads in the airportI think this type of setup could easily work in a library setting! Here are some starter thoughts on potential uses:

  • catalog-only computers
  • computer “overflow” – get out the iPads!
  • Simple browsing stations. Who needs PCs?
  • Complete mobile technology in the library – no PCs needed (with those handy self-service tablet checkout machines that were being shown in the exhibit hall at ALA Annual). Just check out an iPad, then take it wherever you want to in the library.
  • Out-of-the-building events
  • For staff, they could work nicely as roving reference tools.

Question – how does your library use iPads or mobile tablet technology? I’ll start: so far, we have some iPads that staff can check out for a learning opportunity, we have experimented with them for roving reference, and we teach a class on using an iPad. How about you?

ALA12 Presentations

As promised, here are my two ALA12 presentations. There was some great discussion at both!

and

I also participated in Battledecks. It’s not for the faint of heart! My goal wasn’t so much to win – more to say something coherent on every slide, and attempt to stick to the topic. And I think I achieved that, with some humor thrown in to boot. So mission accomplished there!

Let’s Make Some Mobile, Mmmkay? #Blogworld

BlogworldPresenter: @SaraSantiago co-owner of @RollMobile

Some stats: US smart phone penetration just hit 50% (Neilsen, 2012).

One in four US mobile phone owners use the mobile web every day (Antenna Software Report).

Gartner predicts more people will be accessing the Internet with mobile devices than with their computers by 2012.

If I access your site, what will I see? If it’s not mobile-friendly, people will go find another site that is.

White space time = commute time, getting ready for work, etc. People digest content during that white space time.

Google – howtogomo.com/en/#gomo-meter – looks at your website and tells you how mobile-friendly it is

Responsive design/Adaptive design – discussion about what they both are.

WordPress – install a mobile theme for your blog. Check out http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-mobile-pack/

Other blog software was covered too, including Movable Type, TypePad, WordPress.com, and Blogger.

http://www.lmgtfy.com – Let Me Google That For You

Once you make a mobile-friendly site, test out everything – make sure it works. Click the links, play the video, scroll through the site, click the navigation, etc.

QR Codes: use a link shortener first, then make your QR Code. Makes the code less dense. IF you use a QR Code, the place that code resolves to HAS TO work on a mobile phone. You KNOW the user is on a phone… so make whatever the QR code is pointing to work on a phone.

Sara’s Rules for Providing an Awesome Mobile Experience:

  1. Think. Plan. Resist “shiny new object syndrome”
  2. Remember, you aren’t creating an experience for yourself. So ask your audience what they want.
  3. Please. Don’t make me feel like you hate me. Make it easy and make it work.
  4. HTML5 is not a verb. Do some planning before you do responsive design, use HTML5, etc.
  5. Be the ball. ME – what in the world does this mean? I’m not sure, and all she said was “this is the best advice that I’ve ever heard.”

Smartphones, Libraries, and your website

I was just looking at March 2012 statistics on my library’s website. Here’s what I saw:

  • 39,161 visits to our website in March
  • 3486 visits via a mobile device.
  • that means slightly more than 11% visited via a mobile device
  • Those devices? Mainly iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches – 57.89%
  • That fits with the web browsers that visited our site – 14.11% were Safari (think ithingies here)

Now look at Pew’s newest Smartphone Update, released on March 1: 46% of American adults are smartphone owners as of Feb 2012. There was an increase of 11% in just 9 months.

And check this out – it’s not just wealthy people getting smartphones:

“Nearly every major demographic group—men and women, younger and middle-aged adults, urban and rural residents, the wealthy and the less well-off—experienced a notable uptick in smartphone penetration over the last year. Overall adoption levels are at 60% or more within several cohorts, such as college graduates, 18-35 year olds and those with an annual household income of $75,000 or more.”

So my question to you: are you designing for mobile? A mobile app, or a mobile website?

If you haven’t yet started building with mobile in mind, now is definitely the time to start – you are very close to alienating almost half your customers. They are interacting with their favorite sites online using their smartphone (think Facebook, Amazon, Youtube, etc.).

Wanna be one of those favorite sites too? Then you had better get that mobile site up and running FAST.

smartphone photo by Bigstock

CILDC: Mobile Apps & Mobile Web Development

Six speakers in 45 minutes! Here are some highlights…

MIT App Inventor and jQuery:

MIT App Inventor – a web-based Android app development tool. Store your code at the site, can test what you’re building by using the site. Has a designer that lets you add components, modules, etc.

Has an AppToMarket that uploads your app to the Android app stores (some registration and a small payment is required for that).

jQuery: mobile framework that’s completely web-based. Basically a cross-browser javascript library that could be pretty handy for web design, including mobile design. Also check jquerymobile.com – a mobile framework. Sweet.

Next up: what’s a mobile framework? Gave an example of mobile design and redesign… they used jquerymobi