Classdroid on the iPhone

I keep getting asked if Classdroid is coming to the iPhone…

It is complex so I wanted to write a specific blog post.

Firstly, I don’t like the iPhone. I don’t like how its marketed, how it’s sold, how it’s app store works, how the community support is supposed to work, how the licensing model works and what impact it has on the tech industry as a whole. “We need substance, not glitter” is probably the best way to put it.

Now you know how much I dislike the iPhone it will be of no surprise that I love Android, but this isn’t about love/like/dislike. It’s about economics. I would need to charge $5 per device or so and sell 400 copies of Classdroid on the Appstore and still wouldn’t break even.

Classdroid must remain free and open source to encourage others to use it, if you don’t know about crowd sourcing and how that develops applications then here is a quick example of why open source is good…

Before Classdroid got to market someone had made language support for traditional/simplified Chinese. That would of taken me hours to do, but it’s now done just by some guy I don’t even know. Classdroid includes parts of the WordPress open source App so we were able to make it, test it and publish it quickly without writing too much code.

Stop ranting and tell us when it’s coming to the iphone!

It’s coming to the iphone as soon as:

a) Apple allow iphone apps to be developed on something other than Apple devices.
b) Apple reduce/drop the ridiculous 100$ annual SDK fee.


c) Someone who does done apple/ios development reads our source code and makes an apple version then publishes it under their name (that is fine with me). The code must remain open source, that is the only prerequisite.

So that’s it, Basically I would need about $1100 just to start coding.. It’s not worth it for a handset that is losing market share month after month.

If you really still want Classdroid for your iPhone then ask about, see if someone you know, knows an iPhone developer who will be happy to help out. If so then get in touch or point them at the source code.

Classdroid public beta

Here is the Classdroid apk for public beta. We only have support for primaryblogger and xparena(not a live service) available right now. We are waiting on Moodle V2 to bring moodle support in.

1. Get the Classdroid.apk
2. Read this guide for how to install an .apk
3. Make sure you have a Primaryblogger account & Blog
4. Have fun :)

Note:  We still have a lot of GUI tweeking to do but most of the functionality now exists. We will be releasing the source code once beta testing is complete.

Thanks to this guy for the great custom artwork/logo/icon!

Go here for info on classdroid

Security Warning: Using a mobile phone to take pictures of kids activities/work

Did you know when you take a picture on your mobile phone it may add your current location to the Exif data of the image?

So if you are out on a school trip and have GPS or location enabled on your device then you upload an image to an e-portfolio or blog anyone will be able to see the latitude and longitude of where you took the picture.

I discovered this when working on Classdroid and Kudos to Hak5 for the useful link.  Safe to say all images uploaded from Classdroid will set the location as: “The moon”.

This is especially a concern if you out doing school trips and updating your blog on the fly.

How to turn off location tagging. On Android, Click Settings then Locations then un-tick My Location.

Android install APK

So you are beta testing an application or whatever and you have been given an .apk file to install.

Before we start make sure you have the android device driver installed, if not you can download it here.

1.  Plug the phone in to your PC with a USB Cable.  When prompted DO NOT mount USB.

2.  On the phone goto Settings –> Applications then click the Unknown sources tick box.

3.  On your PC Download the Android SDK

4.  Extract the Android SDK to c:\androidsdk

5.  Copy the .apk file you were given to c:\androidsdk\tools

6.  Click Start –> Run then type in:

c:\androidsdk\tools\adb install -r c:\androidsdk\tools\whatever.apk

Make sure you replace whatever.apk with the name of the file you copied.

7. Your application should now be installed.  Visit the application menu on the Android device and look for your icon.

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Ye Olde Android adventure – Day 2

Today as I ventured towards Droidville I met a sage who reminded me about some useful keystokes.

Eclipse: Control Alt Down duplicates line
Emulator: Rotate screen – Control F11

As I moved closer to Droidville the air began to fill with hope, thousands of hopeful children and teachers poored into the streets, so I quickly hid and jumped into Bar Youtube (Part of the Starbucks chain) and watched another video to further my understanding of the power of Android, another good one this time by Ye old O’Reilly

Building my team to fight the forces of evil

I got in touch with a developer through rent-a-coder called Kumar Bibek who has 3 years experience fighting the forces of evil (developing Android apps). We had a conversation that went something line:  “I can make the bow, can ye make the arrow?”  We agree’d on 100$ for the array (final bits of the work that were out of my skill set).

Overview of the bits I’m doing:
Making Classdroid look fit for a princess (Layout design/User interfaces)
Making Classdroid easy to use  (Application flow)
Making Classdroid link together (Intent assignments)
Designing how Classdroid will save our princesses minions (Database design)

Overview of the bits he’s doing:
Not shooting the messenger (Code to read/write preferences/settings to/from SQLite)
Carrier Pigeon nurturing (Control method for post to WordPress)
Controlling the Eye of  Gondor (Camera SDK modifications)

In the Sage’s library I found a piece of parchment with some notes scribbled on it:
Resource = text,pictures, sound objects, layout….
Intent = change the page
View = new page layout/display
\n = newline when using text elements

Very cryptic clues, maybe I will need them to enter the great hall of Droidville?

It’s been a long day…..

As the day drew to a close and the Sun nestled the hills of Azrowilsden I discovered WordPress have an android application that does 80% of what I want to do from a control point of view so I’m going to hack into that to save me needing to write the function that posts the RPC over XML to WordPress.  This is why the world should embrace more open source, it empowers us all instead of dumbing us down like iLem users who are too scared to google how to create an android application (or don’t see it being a valuable use of their time).

As the iLem users fall off their platform I am gently warmed inside by the knowledge that we are creating a better, more open world without any corporate borders.  One application at a time.

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