Thursday, October 18

iPod touch - does it have a future for learning?

We love our iPod Touch.

We love that it challenges assumptions on user interface, and takes a few steps towards the hallowed ideal of ubiquitous computing where the interface becomes intuitive (and invisible).

We love that we are not locked into a ridiculous phone contract with Orange for 18 months at £30pm, but we still have all the other features of an iPhone

What we really do NOT love is:

- No flash support. Come on apple, you are using the Safari browser, and an OSX base platform. Why block flash from your browser? (there have been rumours for some time that Flash support will be added but nothing firm)

- No 3rd party apps. I know I know, the hot news of the day is that Apple WILL allow third party developers access, but we will need to wait till next year. In the world of m-learning I am impatient, and want to offer my learners something NOW.

- Mac-only content formats, uploaded via mac-only tools (iTunes). Why not be open?

But life moves fast, and here are some of the growing initiatives that are tying to turn the tide of propriety control over mobile devices:

- MediaMonkey offers a far more flexible alternative to iTunes for synching your media files

- OpenMoko are building an open alternative to smart phone operating systems, as are the MobileAndEmbedded team at Ubuntu

We wait with baited breath for an open iPod Touch ...


flow said...

A bit rude and controversial, but Russ Beattie makes a few good points about the 'opening up' of the iPhone to 3rd party developers:


alistair said...

I was listening to a blind guy recently bemoan the gradual decline in the accessibility of telephone technology from the early 20th cent (pick up handpiece and say "Bradford 4537 please" to operator) through dialing disc to number pad to little mobile pads to totally padless touch screen. Sometimes technology makes thngs progressively worse!

andy black said...

Its an O2 contract me thinks on iphone ?? and the cloud are offering a £3.99 a month wifi deal with the touch. but the device needs to be bit easier for third party developers to put stuff on !!! Alistair accessibility point is very valid !!

Andy of Http://

geoff said...

yes, alistair, very good call about the slow decline of accessibility in many mainstream gadgets, but I guess the silver lining is that every now and again something pops up, unannounced, and transforms the landscape all over again.

I am thinking SMS, and how that has helped deaf users. Or plain text email and TTS (text to speech), and how that has opened doors for more users.


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