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Mobile Apps & Public Libraries

Earlier today I asked the library twitterverse for examples of mobile apps related workshops, classes, hangouts, meetups, etc that they’re offering to their communities. Some great examples were shared! I’ll add more if I get any more responses later.

My Tweet:









Haiku Deck for Great Presentations

Haiku Deck is the simple new way to create stunning presentations – whether you are pitching an idea, teaching a lesson, telling a story, or igniting a movement, it’s fast, fun and simple for anyone to use.

I know, I fall in love with apps easily and Haiku Deck is my latest love. It’s an  iPad app for creating great presentations, quickly and easily. Type in a few words and Creative Commons photos are retrieved to be used as the background for your slides.  Each slide can only accommodate a few words, which fits right in with Presentation Zen concepts of simpler, more meaningful slides that enhance, rather than overwhelm your presentation.  You can also use your own images that are on your iPad.

Slide decks can be shown from your iPad or exported to PowerPoint. The iPad share menu also posts to Facebook & Twitter. You can also access your decks via  the HaikuDeck web page. From here you can download a slidedeck as a a PDF, share via some additional social networks, leave comments on public slidedecks and get a snippet of code to embed the slidedeck on other sites.  (I’m having trouble embedding anything here on a WordPress site though.  A link to one instead:

This would be a great tool to use with kids and teens, since it won’t find anything but Creative Commons licensed photos. No more struggling  through dreadful Google Image search results and wondering who really owns an image that you want to use.  One caution though, the image source info is available when you’re viewing a slidedeck on an iPad, but that information seems to disappear when exported to PowerPoint or downloaded as a PDF. It would be great if there was a final slide that included the credits for each image and/or an option to place the source in tiny print somewhere on the slide.

The app is free and comes with a choice of several free styles and fonts. There are also some premium themes available for $1.99.

(via: Linda Braun)

My Android Apps

A few weeks ago, I was thinking how useful it would be to know what great Android apps my friends and colleagues are using. Before I could remember to figure out if there was an easy way to share this info, Nicole Engard posted her list of apps using a widget from the AppBrain site. Since I’m already using AppBrain, all my info was there and all I had to do was find some friends!

From the AppBrain web site, I can more easily browse apps and add new ones to a list to sync with my phone. It also recommends apps based on what I already have installed.  You can even browse apps popular with people of different ages, though I find the categories very funny: Youngest, 20’s, 30’s and “older people”. All you 40 somethings – welcome to the “older people” category! And the most popular app for those “older people”? A $19.99 Audubon Birds Field Guide. Clearly, only “older people” can afford really expensive apps? Though, I have to admit, it sound appealing.

So, friends with Android devices – start using AppBrain and be my friend. 🙂

I’m off to buy that Audubon app now……

Google Goggles on my Droid

Google Goggles uses pictures to search the web. This conjures visions of magic glasses that  capture the world around you and flash back info right through the magic glasses. Anyone remember the tv show Romper Room? I really, truly believed that the magic mirror was real.   Well Google Goggles is indeed real and it’s kind of what I was imagining it to be, sans glasses.

It currently runs on Android mobile devices and takes advantage of the great camera, GPS and tight integration with all things Google.

Open up the Goggles app, take a picture of product, a logo, a book – and the search tries to find something about the items in the image. (more…)

Google sky map

Droid phone - Google Sky Map I’m having a great time playing with my new Verizon Droid phone and learning how to interact with a phone that is way smarter than me. My old phone was 6 years old, hip for it’s day, but that day is long gone!

My favorite app so far is Google Sky Map. My local astronomer immediately took it outside to test it against the real sky and gave it two thumbs up. The sky moves with you and zooms in to give you more detail of any section of the sky.

There are options to turn stars, constellations, grids and other sky features on and off. Type a planet or star into the search box and it helpfully suggests objects so you don’t have to type the whole name. Select an object to get a big circle and arrows that point you to that object. Look, I found Mars! I wonder if it will show the location of meteor showers?

My astronomer is now fearing redundancy. I promise that will never happen! Really.

p.s. There’s a web based version of Google Sky and a Sky feature in Google Earth too.