App Design

Google Maps 5.0 (3D images)

Just took a quick look at Google Maps 5.0 with 3D images of buildings, etc.

Check out what engadget had to say about it.

My Motorola Droid has been acting crazy since the latest update so I’ll check it out on my Ascend and let you know what I think.  So far, so good.  Pretty interesting addition!

App Design Blog Instructors

Two Full Weeks with Android Phones

So, it’s been exactly two weeks since everyone in class was given Cricket Ascend Android phones.  I’ve heard and read about a huge range of thoughts and was happy to read student app reviews.  I’d now like to ask a few questions and get everyone thinking about your own app ideas.  I’m delighted to know that some of you have been thinking on your own outside of class assignments.   You guys rock!

Over the next few days/weeks, I’d like everyone to answer a set of questions here, as a comment to this blog post, and a few more you can answer individually in your own blog posts.  Some of these questions are easy to answer, while others will require some reflection.

If you have questions about any of this, please be sure to ask me and/or Mr. Marco soon!

Have fun with the reflections and answers to these questions!

-Ms. Leshell

QUESTIONS TO ANSWER HERE (via comments to this post):

1.  How many apps have you installed on your phone?

2.  How many apps have you checked out and uninstalled?  If you’ve uninstalled any apps, why?

3.  What is your favorite app so far and why?

QUESTIONS TO ANSWER IN YOUR OWN POSTS/Google Document (be sure to review the links as well):

1.  What does it feel like to be a thumb away from the internet and a huge selection of apps that you choose to install and use?

2.  Cell phones are the only way some people have access to the internet.  Research shows that African-Americans and Latinos use the web via mobile phones more than others.  Now that you’ve lived with these devices for two weeks, is there any particular app that you think is needed?  Describe it in a blog or google docs (so no one reading can take your ideas).

3.  Read everyone’s blog post/answer to the above question (#2) and pick someone to work with over the next several weeks.  Your task is to use Google docs to work on a the design of a new app.

4.  Try the ‘Engadget’ app and write a review about it.  Share your thoughts on why you think I have assigned this particular app to review and what is beneficial about it, especially as a Youth APPLab student.

Blog Portfolio Video

Watch our competition video

App Design Blog Instructors Thoughts about Class

Android Day!

Tonight’s class was exciting – especially for me because I knew I’d hand out Android phones by the end of class.  Marco said he felt like Santa Claus today and he, Howard, and I really did work like elves to get the phones documented and activated.  Clueless to all the activity down the hall the students continued to work on their app designs from Tuesday.  Every now and then, I left to check on the android phone elves to ensure everyone would be ready for the big (surprise) presentation.

Imani, a Film student at Howard, was on hand to capture the event.  She’ll be around more often and will help capture and record various moments.  Today was her first day.  She said she wished she’d had this type of class when she was younger – a sentiment I hear often about the class.

Continuing the app design process today provided clearer pictures to the ultimate app ideas had by most students.  Some even got to explain their app on camera.  That footage will be edited, compiled, and posted soon.

But of course, the big event of the evening was the announcement about the arrival of the phones.  I encouraged the class to review the features of the two Android phones available on Cricket and discuss pros and cons of each.  After which, they were to notify me of their ultimate decision and according to what they knew at the time, I would make note of their decision and order the phones tomorrow.

Shortly after they announced their choice, Marco and Howard walked in with the mysterious box.  The students looked surprised.  Then the announcement came.  I know I heard cheers, but I also think it took them a while to realize we were serious and that there were phones in the box – for everyone.  It was an awesome moment – also captured (and will be made available later).

Students are tasked with exploring their phones over the weekend and blogging about what they find, what they like, what they think is good and not so good about their findings.  I can’t wait to hear what they share.

There are 15 new smartphone users in DC now trying to figure out what this ‘Android’ thing is all about.  If you are in the DC area, you just might see them taking pics, recording video, or just simply trying to understand how to use their new Cricket Android phone.

This should be interesting….

Lead Instructor

App Design Instructors Thoughts about Class

App Design – Day One!

Tonight was the first time the students focused on designing apps.  They faces were filled with intrigue, but I can tell they were a bit hesitant and not sure of exactly what to do.  To help, I used a design technique that I created with colleagues at the University of Maryland called ‘Moving Panels.’  Some students got into it, but others still looked at the materials of the technique as if they were pads of paper on which to list their ideas.  The technique calls for illustrations and explanations of the intended user interface.

But after some time, you could slowly see details of app ideas coming through, and some of the ideas were awesome.  I can’t wait until they are made and available for everyone to see and use.

The students are extremely creative and by the end of class, I could tell that they appreciated the true challenge of creating an app idea and fleshing it out with details.  It was inspiring to watch.  I would share some of their ideas, but I don’t want to spoil it.  🙂

We’ll continue this exercise on Thursday.

Stay tuned.

Lead Instructor