Monday, January 11, 2010

Getting excited about iPhone, Mac, iTunes and Mobile ....

The first week of the new year is dominated by my quest for a new mobile phone. My work htc tytn II is 2 years old, but what's worse, is it's inability to keep connected to any providers network. I only use it for wifi-access .... My personal Samsung "died" in Portugal.
My boss is waving around with her personal new iPhone and I keep feeding her with nice (medical) apps. 

I am limited to a business phone subscription provided by KPN, and they don't deliver iPhones. And if you want a new phone, you just have to buy a new one. No nice deals including new phones... So, how can I buy an iPhone, make my boss pay and still use the KPN as provider?

I do not JUST want an iPhone, I want to make a library application for the iPhone. The trend is "going mobile". Within the hospital I see more and more staff and students using iPhones or "simular" devices. Hospital policy is NOT to support any other but the standard issued devices. But with our content and services out there, 95 percent web-based, and the number of people with Internet-access on these devices rising quickly, there is urgent need for:
  • a mobile version of (parts of) our website, including tools for interaction and contact
  • mobile versions of the most commonly used databases, inclusing the linkresolver sfx
  • an overview how to access our licenced resources from mobile devices. 
  • info on how to configure an iPhone (or "simular" devices) to access our proxy server (RUG), and 
  • info how to use VPN on iPhone (or "simular" devices)(UMCG)
You can argue about the need for specific apps for library resources or services when all focus previously has been on making everything web-based. Why do you need to have an app when you can just go to your mobile browser and approach them there? Are we going to repeat history? (in first creating windows-based desktop clients and  later on move to web-based).
The success of iPhone apps can't be ignored.
But let's make sure we get apps for several platforms (Symbian OS, iPhone OS, RIM's BlackBerry, Windows Mobile (marketed as Windows phone), Linux, Palm WebOS, Android and Maemo. ), or even better, " platform-independent". And if I have to pick two to start with, I would go for the iPhone OS and Android :-). (BTW: Do read the great post by Aaron Tay on Accessing library catalogue & databases on your Mobile phone!)

And if this take buying a Mac to be abled to create an iPhone app, so be it.... Maybe, just maybe I can grow to like them ...
Another thing you HAVE to do on a Mac, is create content for iTunes U (like Stanford).
When talking of iTunes, I again wonder why there is no such tool for Open Access or Scientific Papers yet. Two tools come close though: read a translated blog post about Mekentosj Papers (iPhone) and Mendeley (windows desktop & web).
What would happen if we were to implement iTunes-like functionality on all scientific Open Access content?

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Edwin Mijnsbergen said...

I'll be your tester Guus. Iphone is on the way here :-)

Anonymous said...

KPN heeft wel iPhone's, maar alleen voor klanten die dreigen met overstappen naar een andere provider.

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