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.

Using Classdroid with any WordPress site

Classdroid allows you to upload to any wordpress site.
PrimaryBlogger supports this by default.

Either a) Download & install this plugin

or b) Goto Settings, Writing then click Enable XML-RPC (Bottom option of the Writing settings page)

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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10 Android Apps for Primary School

To use an Android phone in your classroom you will find a great deal already available to you on the device however you will probably want to get some applications from the market…

To get an application simply goto your home page on the device, Click Android Market, search for one of the below apps:

FEATURED – Classdroid is an app I work on.  It is open source and free.  It is used as a simple assessment app where a teacher takes a picture of a pupils piece of work, grades it and assigns it to a pupil.  The work is then uploaded to the pupils learning portfolio.  Visit here to find out more about Classdroid

1. Zebra Paint – Paint with your fingers! Pick your favorite color and paint the image. Use the menu button to pick one of the dozen built-in templates. When ready, save your images and share with the world! Tested with 4 to 5 year old kids. Requires a touch screen.

2. Maths Workout – Test your mental maths and exercise your brain once a day. Maths Workout is a daily routine for thousands of players worldwide – both young and old. Get competitive! Play the World Challenge and submit your score for ranking with other players around the world.

3. Brain Genius Deluxe – Get a head start to getting smart by playing through a daily dose of teasing and original brain exercises. Brain Genius Deluxe is the Android game to train your brain, with 24 touch and motion-controlled games as well as bonus puzzles including Sudoku! It’s pure Genius!

4. WordPlayer Art of War – WordPlayer is a book reader that allows you to add to your library from amongst thousands of instantly downloadable books or load epub books. WordPlayer’s page navigation, highlighting, bookmarking, and customizable settings make reading a breeze. Comes with Sun Tzu’s classic book of strategy, Art of War, already installed.

5. My Maps Editor by Google – Create, edit, share, and view personalized maps on your phone synchronized with the My Maps tab on Google Maps. We provide full editing functionality for markers, lines, and shapes, plus you can mark your location using GPS or attach a photo directly from your phone.

6. WikiMobile Encyclopedia – Being a walking encyclopedia is now at your fingertips. With WikiMobile, you carry 2+ million Wikipedia articles with you, including pictures. Faster and uses just a fraction of the network data vs. the Android browser. Download free for a limited time!

7. Google Sky Map Google Sky Map: A star map for Android. Google Sky Map turns your Android-powered mobile phone into a dynamic window on the night sky. When you point your phone up you will see a map of the brightest stars, constellations, and planets in that part of the sky.

8. Pintail (not educational but useful) – Lost your pho
ne? Find it with an SMS: Pintail replies automatically with your phone’s location to a PIN protected message. Let friends and family ea

sily find out where you are by sharing your PIN number with them: They send an SMS, Pintail replies with your location.

9. School Email (UK only as of yet) – You don’t need to download this! School Email is the easiest and safest service for emailing between pupils and teachers. Pupils emails are checked for sexual predators and bullying. The service runs over Activsync which means pupils are always “up to date”.

10. Keepy Uppy – If you are struggling getting young boys who enjoy football(soccer) to use their device you may want to think about using an app such as Keepy Uppy as a reward for good work.