Posts Tagged ‘iPad’

iStanford launches for iPad this Thanksgiving Break

Monday, November 12th, 2012
Home screen

Page one of the home screen upon opening the app

If you’re lucky enough have an iPad, you just got a bit luckier. I’d like to introduce to you iStanford for iPad, the one way stop for all things Cardinal. If you’ve used the iPhone app, you already have an idea how iStanford provides a sleek, convenient mobile experience. The iPad version, however, has been completely rebuilt and redesigned for an ever smoother U/I experience, cool new features, and has integrated some of the most popular web services on the Farm. By combining features from Axess, ExploreCourses, Classowl, and others, iStanford demystifies the mobile side of the college experience.

iStanford was originally released in 2008 as a iPhone tool for students to access campus maps, course catalogs, email professors, and get news and information about Stanford sports teams. Since its first iteration, the app has undergone several face-lifts and added features, and now features real-time information about the campus shuttle service, the Marguerite, as well as campus trivia and class analytics.

“Students regard their mobile devices as indispensible to the way they learn, work and live,” said Thomas Black, Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs and University Registrar at Stanford University, whose team spearheaded the effort. “Providing them with the native tools they need to more intuitively navigate campus life in a way that feels normal and natural to them has been our primary focus throughout the iStanford initiative.”

Upon opening the app, the user is met with a series of tiles, each of which correspond to a Stanford-related feature. “My Academics” gives you quick access to your grades, GPA, and contact information. My personal favorite, “Classes” is a sleek, intuitive, take on explore courses. You can visually navigate through each department’s offered classes and easily access course descriptions, as well as see how different lecture or section times fit into your schedule. Neat stuff. Some of the more basic features include Stanfordwho, our campus directory, as well as Treevia, a quirky trivia game testing your knowledge on a wide array of Stanford facts.

My favorite feature: interactive course navigation

What makes iStanford for iPad really cool, though, is its integration of various Stanford-related features such as Classowl, OrgSync, and a few others. With Classowl, you can plan your school and social life in one convenient swoop, and Orgsync makes planning your club or student group’s meeting insanely easy. Along with Pathbrite, a feature offering next-gen e-portfolios, iStanford for iPad is really a one-stop shop. More info for Classowl, OrgSync, and Pathbrite is available on their respective websites.

So here’s a short to do list: First, find an iPad. Secondly, download iStanford when the app launches this Thanksgiving. I guarantee your Cardinal experience will get a whole lot easier. Visit the Facebook and Twitter pages for more info!

You win, Tablets.

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

So on my way home after finals this past Tuesday, I had the misfortune to have to carry 2 laptops (both partially broken) in my airport-dubbed “personal item” bag. Carrying one computer is already a pain, but after 2 computers and over 6 hours of getting on an off planes, my muscles felt like jelly.

The entire time I had serious envy of the crazy amount of people whipping out iPads and Kindles. And I also felt serious amazement. When had everyone jumped on the tablet bandwagon? I mean I understood that people were buying them off the shelves but it wasn’t until my semi-bulky laptop ran out of battery after an hour and a half that I finally saw why people could love them. If I just want to watch a movie or read, why would I want my whole laptop when I could something shiny and slim in the palm of my hand? I wasn’t working on America’s next greatest novel on the plane so what need did I have some keyboard?

So now with that miserable experience behind me, and my new-found love of Angry Birds thanks the Google Chrome extension so in addition to my current summer plans, I think I’m going to finally take a look at the options for tablets and/or e-readers. I tend to distrust new technologies that everyone loves but never really needed before. But my mistrust died with my arms. I’d love to hear some thoughts on the current tablet-PCs out right now.

What do you consider to be the best Tablet-PC?

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O, and for those of you who’ve never played Angry Birds, here is a cute introduction:

Going Digital

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

When you're faced with a stack of newspapers and the sleek Kindle, is there really any need to figure out which is the better option?

I’m not a fan of digital textbooks. Before my hard copies come in the mail, I’ve been forced to pore over previews provided by Google Books. Besides the fact that the books have put me to sleep once or twice, the experience wasn’t otherwise enjoyable.  Having to stare at the tiny letters for over an hour isn’t my idea of fun. But if I wanted to stay caught up while waiting for my real textbooks, I had to persist. I did – but only grudgingly.

Yet, every quarter I think I find more offerings to download my books online. For the most part, it’s cheaper. And it’s also greener. There are no production costs and no paper used! While this may seem like a blessing I’m frightened by the downfall of the physical textbooks and regular books. I stare at a screen all day anyways; I prefer not have to stare at it while I’m enjoying light reading. Yet I could metaphorically hear the nail being hammered into the coffin when I got the news that Borders is filing for bankruptcy. Barnes and Noble is still strong since it’s riding the ebook wave with it’s eReader the Nook but there doesn’t seem to be demand for companies that just sell books in print.

Borders has always been a favorite store of mine. While Barnes and Noble seems almost formal with its bustling Starbucks carrying customers and forest green designs, Borders has always seemed more comfortable and relaxed. I’ll be sad to see its stores go. But in order to survive you have to compete. Without an e-reader out, Borders doesn’t really stand a chance.

Something that’s even more telling of the popularity of digital texts is the rapid growth in the tablet PC market. After Apple’s iPad launch last year, it seems like other computer companies are scrambling to catch up in the race for the best tablet. This year brings us the Apple iPad 2, Motorola XOOM, HP TouchPad, and more. More people than ever own tablet PC’s. A tablet PC isn’t the same as an eReader, but consumers purchasing more and more of these products it doesn’t make sense for the average person to own both devices. People are going to have to choose but either way, the ebook market wins.

Even public libraries have jumped on the digital bandwagon. It’s inevitable that sometime in the near future, people will be more reliant on ebooks than traditional hard copies. Even in the past few weeks, I’ve talked to students deliberating between buying a Kindle or suffering through carrying their books around. And considering Stanford’s efforts to be both green and up-to-date with current technological trends, it’s a wonder of how long it will take our student body to make the conversion. For print texts, with its popularity declining, the end may not be imminent but it’s definitely getting there.

O, and in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, if you’re a fan of e-readers here’s a few gift ideas and deals.

Crash Course: VEVO

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

An odd mix, but Vevo encompasses them all

What do Iron Maiden, Rick Astley, Eminem, Justin Bieber, Marilyn Manson, Sublime, Shania Twain, Limp Bizkit, and Abba have in common?

Vevo channels.

Are you surprised?   Perhaps on the basis of the wide variety of musical genres represented by these artists, yes.  However, with regard to current trends in music consumption, online and elsewhere, Vevo makes perfect sense – which is why it’s taking over how America receives its music.

Vevo to the rescue?

According to Credit Suisse analysts, YouTube only makes 0.4 cents per video view.  This garners a measly $240.9 a year for a venture whose bandwidth, licensing, and operation costs will run upwards of $700 million.  In other words, “Google will lose $470.6 million on YouTube, for which it paid $1.76 billion in 2006.”

Vevo's "world premiere" of the Telephone music video changed the way we perceive online music promotion.

Vevo may provide the solution to Google’s online video woes.  Launched on December 8, 2009, with the slogan “Music Evolution Revolution!,” Vevo overcame MySpace Music as #1 music site in the US within its first month.  The company represents a collaboration between Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Abu Dhabi Media.  Vevo has domain over music videos from three of the “big four” major record labels: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and EMI.  (Warner partnered with MTV Networks.)

Today, approximately 23,000 videos are available on Vevo.  Vevo’s near dominance of the major music labels is allowing it to approach monopoly status.  According to Wired Magazine, “there could soon be no other game in town.”

How does this help Google?  Well, Google and VEVO share the advertising revenue, and the institution of Vevo ended Google’s licensing difficulties with Universal Music Group.  “The purpose behind Vevo is to sell advertising at higher rates than YouTube does now.”

Changing music as we know it

According to Wired, Vevo “could save the music business.”  Mashable’s top 5 predictions for the music industry in 2011 suggest the following:

Now, we’re not saying Vevo has single-handedly sparked the renaissance of the music video, but it has helped give the format a kick in the you-know-what.”