Firefox phone?

Firefox Phone

I’m a Firefox fan. I try to switch to Chrome once in a while, but I keep coming back to Firefox. I do however love my Android phone and don’t know if I’d switch to a Firefox phone just because I prefer the browser. Yep, you read that right – a Firefox phone!

Over a year ago, Mozilla announced its plans to work on its own mobile operating system, dubbed Firefox OS. The company officially made a prototype simulator available for developers and anyone curious enough to play around with it (though it’s still in early alpha). The OS does take some of Android’s core functionality so it works on Android-capable handsets, but Mozilla also built the UI and application stack around Gecko, the Firefox HTML rendering engine.

The pictures are kind of impressive, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see if I’ll switch down the road.

Read more at Ars Technica.

Shopping at Macy’s this holiday?

macys_logo

We totally need this in our libraries! Macy’s has rolled out a new feature to its iPhone app (I don’t see any mention of Android so I won’t be using it) that allows for in door navigation using GPS.

Macy’s has added a new feature to its iPhone app that provides indoor turn-by-turn directions for its massive flagship location in New York City’s Herald Square, courtesy of Meridian, the software startup behind an indoor GPS platform.

Learn more from Mashable.

Create Android Apps

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As an Android fan I find it annoying that iOS seems to get many apps first. I’ve used iOS and it’s just not for me. So I wanted to remind you all that there are a lot (maybe more than iOS by now … I don’t have the numbers) of us out there using Android and we want apps too. So if you’re looking to create a library app you might want to take a look at one or both of these Android App tools:

  • MIT App Inventor
    App Inventor lets you develop applications for Android phones using a web browser and either a connected phone or emulator. The App Inventor servers store your work and help you keep track of your projects.
  • Apptimizer
    Apptimizer supports developers with useful tips on how to optimize an app so that it drives more downloads. Best of all, this service is completely free.

My Android Apps

Most of my readers know that I’m a huge Android fan and love my Android! One of the threads I always reply to is ‘what are your favorite android apps?’ Well today I find out that AppBrain (one of my favorite apps) allows me to share my list of Android apps right here!

Tomorrow I plan to head to the store to upgrade my phone from the HTC Eris (which I have loved) to the Droid X (which is much more of a powerhouse). If I change this list of apps much, I’ll let you know! If you share your list, feel free to share the link in the comments here so others can see what you have installed. And if you think I’m missing something essential, let me know!

 

 

 

 

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Mobile Future (cont.)

I am home and catching up on all of my posting. First, I promised to post the URLS from the Planning for a Mobile Future keynote.

Sites that offer mobile verions (by detecting what you’re using):

  • TV Guide
  • NWS
  • Hoovers
  • PubMed

Tools to shrink a page to fit on a mobile device (disclaimer – you may lose important info by using these services)

Web 2.0 Mobile Sites:

  • Mobilicious
    “Mobilicio.us is a ‘mashup’ that combines the del.icio.us online bookmarking service with Google’s Mobile Search tool.”
  • Splash Blog
    Mobile picture blogging

Sites to download Mobile tools from:

Mobile Answers Sites:

Reference by SMS is a service specifically for libraries which gives the library a cell number than can be texted – allowing them to recieve reference questions via email. (LibrarianInBlack wrote about this service back in November). Other options include Teleflip (which Meredith recommends) and Vazu which let you send text messages from their sites.

Learn more:

Megan’s presentation can be found online on Monday.

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Planning for the handheld mobile future

Megan Fox gave a very interesting (especially for me – who is sorely behind on mobile devices) keynote presentation yesterday morning.

At our library the Blackberry is the mobile device of choice – but according to Megan Smart phone are being used more than PDAs – which make sense because who wants to carry around a phone and a PDA when you can have 2 in one? My question always is – how are they as phones? Are they as good as my boring phone?

She also showed us a very sci-fi looking ad for an ebook reader. There was a person reading their newspaper on the using an ebook reader and across the isle is a woman reading the old-fashioned way – the future is here folks!

She mentioned a good number of sites that offer mobile versions of their sites – and hopefully when we redesign Jenkins later this year (probably next year) we will be one of those sites. I’ll post the long list later – when I’m home with my reliable wireless connection :)

What does this have to do with libraries? Well most people are using their mobile devices for quick answers – what time is this movie? how do I get to this restaurant? where can I find an electronic copy of this law book? (I added that one :) ) Who better to answer these questions than librarians? Why are we letting everyone turn to Google and the other search engines to find their answers?

Text messaging is huge in the US and even huger ;) in the rest of the world and companies are already jumping on trend and offering answers via text messages. Now I do not use text messaging because I can’t see paying for the service when I can use my email or IM to contact people – but one day it will a standard in all phone packages – and wouldn’t it be great if the law students could text message us and ask for a quick answer? I’ll post the services that are already doing this later (along with the list of mobile friendly sites).

We (our library) were planning on buying a blackberry to share among the staff so that we could all learn how to use the device – I was not as excited as my boss – but now I can’t wait to give it a whirl. Thanks Megan for turning me on to even more gadgets!

[update]I forgot to tag this post[/update]

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