apple

Apple iOS 6 update - considerations and issues for apps

blogEntryThumbnailOn September 19, 2012, Apple will have their iOS 6 update available via the desktop iTunes app, or over-the-air on iOS devices. The update is compatible with the iPhone 3GS and newer, iPad 2, iPad 3, and the fourth generation iPod touch. If you plan to update to iOS 6, be cautious about doing it immediately because your 3rd party apps could have issues. In many cases, developers need to update their apps to be compatible with iOS 6. If their apps are not updated for iOS 6 support, bugs and crashes can occur. The problem for developers, including myself, is that the iOS 6 gold master (final beta for testing) was released one week ago. This means that developers only had a week with the gold master and their apps to test, fix, submit, and receive Apple approval. Well, that can be quite difficult when the average app review time is currently 9 days!

For users, choosing to update to iOS 6 is appealing, but it’s important to think carefully about when to update. Like other people, I’m eager to get the great new features from Apple including Maps, Passbook, Guided Access, and more. But, if I wasn’t a developer and I had to do a presentation in the next week or therapy that required extensive iOS device use, I likely would wait at least a couple weeks to update to iOS 6. That way developers have a sufficient amount of time for Apple to approve app updates supporting iOS 6.

As an app developer, I have four apps that needed to be updated for iOS 6 support. StoryPals, ArtikPix, and ArtikPix - Full updates have been submitted to Apple and are currently waiting for review. And an update for PhonoPix - Full will be submitted in the coming days. The updates will resolve the following known issues in the existing versions of my apps running iOS 6:

StoryPals (On 9/20/12, Apple approved the update for iOS 6 support)
- Text-to-Speech does not play continuously in stories
- Taking/using photos cause a crash

ArtikPix/ArtikPix - Full/PhonoPix - Full (On 9/22/12, Apple approved the ArtikPix and ArtikPix - Full updates for iOS 6 support. On 10/5/12, The PhonoPix - Full update for iOS 6 support was approved by Apple.)
- Voice recording causes the apps to freeze
- Unnecessary comma in timestamps for scores
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Apple education event

blogEntryThumbnailToday, Apple held an education event where three announcements were made: 1) An updated iBooks app for reinventing the textbook, 2) A brand new app called iBooks Author for anyone to easily create interactive books, and 3) An updated iTunes U for making it free and simple for anyone to take courses anywhere. I followed the event via live blogging on Engadget, and I’m going to summarize the first two announcements:

1) iBooks app for reinventing the textbook
The first announcement is regarding iBooks for reinventing the textbook. As students are beginning to use iPads, there are remarkable things happening. But, there are challenges in education including increased class sizes and reduced budgets. Nonetheless, Apple wants to help accelerate the use of iPads in education and make it even easier to integrate the iPad into the curriculum. They plan to do this for textbooks because they understand the problems with textbooks. Textbooks are heavy, they're expensive, they wear out, and they’re not durable, interactive, searchable, or updatable. The iPad, however, is portable, more durable than paper, interactive, searchable, and current. And, until now, the main obstacle for the iPad as a textbook is the lack of content. Fortunately, the main textbook companies including Pearson, McGraw Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have joined forces with Apple to create interactive textbooks that look great and are aggressively priced at $14.99 or less. As many of you know, textbooks can traditionally be very expensive, so $14.99 is quite a bargain. The major textbook companies are launching high school textbooks first for math and science. And, I can confirm there are titles available as of today. Just download the free iBooks app, then go to the iBooks store and download the free samples or the full books.

2) iBooks Author app for anyone to easily create free interactive books
The second announcement is regarding iBooks Author for anyone to easily create interactive books. Apple wants everyone to have the opportunity to create their own interactive books (not just the textbook companies), so there will be more book content available. Any Mac owner will be able to create interactive books using a Mac app called iBooks Author. This app is available for free today and is compatible with OS 10.7, Lion (if you don’t have 10.7, you must update your operating system in order to use the iBooks Author app). Traditionally, it’s hard to create books, but Apple is hoping to change that with iBooks Author. A number of templates are included in the app that can be used to help people get started. You’re able to use templates that include text (from a word processing file such as Word), photo, and video placeholders. You can also create cool interactions, but it appears you’ll need to know how to write code in Javascript and HTML. Before you finish your book, you can utilize an easy to create glossary tool. Finally, you’re easily able to do a preview on the iPad and then submit to the iBooks store for publishing.

Apple ended the education event by discussing research showing that student achievement is largely based on student engagement. It looks like Apple is going to facilitate student engagement with their two iBooks initiatives. I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.
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Sailers video blog: Episode 3


My wife and I started a video blog series on Apple technologies, education, and special needs. Episode 3 includes CNN Student News, the BigGrips frame and stand, and an app demo. Watch the video to learn about the information covered and to see me demonstrate one of my new favorite apps.

To receive the next video blog automatically, please subscribe to my blog at http://ericsailers.com/blog.html.

Note that it's best to view the video in 720p HD and full screen mode. You can do this by changing the controls found in the bottom toolbar of the YouTube video.

Disclosure: The author was provided with a complimentary BigGrips iPad frame and stand.
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Sailers video blog: Episode 2


My wife and I started a video blog series on Apple technologies, education, and special needs. Episode 2 includes BrainPOP, an iPad stand, and an app demo. Watch the video to learn about the information covered and to see us demonstrate one of our new favorite apps.

To receive the next video blog automatically, please subscribe to my blog at http://ericsailers.com/blog.html.

Note that it's best to view the video in 720p HD and full screen mode. You can do this by changing the controls found in the bottom toolbar of the YouTube video.
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Sailers video blog: Episode 1


My wife and I started a video blog series on Apple technologies, education, and special needs. Episode 1 includes Apple Siri, DS Action (a non-profit organization for Down Syndrome), and an app demo. Watch the video to learn about the information covered and to see us demonstrate one of our new favorite apps.

To receive the next video blog automatically, please subscribe to my blog at http://ericsailers.com/blog.html.

Note that it's best to view the video in 720p HD and full screen mode. You can do this by changing the controls found in the bottom toolbar of the YouTube video.
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Remembering Steve

blogEntryThumbnailRecently we all received the very sad news that Steve Jobs passed away. He built and revived Apple Inc. into the greatest technology company of all time. Almost everyone owns an Apple product, whether it's a Mac, iPod, iPhone or iPad, and none of it would have been possible if it wasn't for Steve Jobs. We all have a lot to be thankful for.

We can all share our thoughts, memories, and condolences by emailing rememberingsteve@apple.com. I plan to email about how Steve Jobs facilitated educational adoption of Apple computers. It was in school where I first began using a computer, an Apple II, because my parents could not afford to buy one. And ever since those days in the late 1980's when I was typing and playing Oregon Trail on the school's Apple computer, I have loved Apple. I cannot imagine my personal or professional life today without Apple.

And if you haven't looked at the Apple website recently, I strongly recommend that you do. It is with great class that the company has replaced all product images on their front page with a picture of Steve Jobs. If you click on the picture, it will link you to a page with the aforementioned email address for remembering Steve.
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