Apps Inventor

Back in March I wrote about PhoneGap the JavaScript programming app which could be used to create Android and iPhone Apps. Well earlier this month on the Google Blog was a post about App Inventor;

a new tool in Google Labs that makes it easy for anyone—programmers and non-programmers, professionals and students—to create mobile applications for Android-powered devices.

Importantly, it’s now available for anyone to use, after a year of testing.

Here’s the vid:


Swype for Android

It’s not often that you encounter something that significantly changes the way you do things in such a subtle fashion. I’ve signed up for the Beta of Swype for Android. Registration will probably only be open for a few days; demand is high.

So what is Swype? Well it’s a new means of inputting text into an Android device (at least for starters). I’ve a feeling this is going to be on so many devices in the future. I’m sure there’s a complex algorithm under the bonnet, but this is so quick and easy to use it’s going to make a significant different to the way I’ll be able to work into the future. For example, I’m thinking of creating a mobile blog for jotting down quick thoughts throughout the day, and Swype will make that practical and possible. It’s so easy to get started with using as well.

The special thing about Swype is the way you just slide your finger or thumb across the keypad and spell out the word, increasing the input rate significantly from the customary double thumb approach preferred by many. So much so that the texting world record has recently been set using Swype.

This video of a presentation by the CEO (perhaps a bit long but you don’t need to watch it all) demonstrates things better.

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There’s a set of Swype tips videos on Youtube. This one shows you a trick to type even faster:

PhoneGap – JavaScript programming apps for iPhone, Android, & more

I found this last night and noted it on Squire’s Daily Interest until I could write a post here.

PhoneGap looks sooooo interesting. It allows native phone apps to be produced for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and more in JavaScript.

It started from a two day iPhone Dev Camp. The underlying reason for it coming into being is that there aren’t that many Objective C developers, but there are a whole lot of HTML and JavaScript programmers.

Under the MIT Licence PhoneGap will always be opensource.

There’s already a list of apps created using PhoneGap.

The download is here.

Check out the video, it explains things a whole lot better:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “PhoneGap“, posted with vodpod

Mobile based artwork & the PhoneBook

In Japan there seems to be a craze for creating artwork for mobile phones, as the majority have something called FlashLite running. Investigating this a little has termed up festivals relating to ‘Pocket Films’, the creation of video specifically for mobiles; the synchronizing of art between two phones to give a sense of connectedness between partners, Hanbunko; and a ‘concept’ from the Mobile Art Lab that combines the iPhone with a book to create

Voxopop – recorded conversation

I recently posted about Nurphy, a way of having a public ‘conversation’ that is saved, kind of like a recorded email discussion that others can access and even join in with. Now I’ve found something that parallels Nurphy, except it’s about a voice conversation; a sort of way of saving an asynchronous phone conversation that multiple people can participate in.

The service is called Voxopop.


You can make your discussions private, open or restricted and you can create talkgroups specifically so that others can join to discuss within a particular topic of interest, similar to a discussion in a forum topic.


The talkgroups are categorized so that you can find one you might want to join in with, or you can use the search facility. Also you can list the most recently active, the newest, or the ones with most members.

You can follow the discussions using the RSS feed or you can squirt the feed out into iTunes and follow it as a podcast using the useful iTunes link.


Asynchronous discussions can have some benefits, for example they provide you with time to think before you add in your opinion.

I can imagine using Voxopop instead of trying to record a Skype conversation, or for easier interviewing of multiple participants in geographically separated locations and/or in different time zones. Also, this will allow questions to be put to large communities for responses and discussions. I can see me making some use of this service professionally.#

I haven’t tested this yet, but it has just occurred to me that you should be able to participate using a mobile device, an iPod Touch with a mic fitted for example.