Fort Vancouver Mobile - A video overview

Courtesy of: Research Assistant Aaron May of Washington State University Vancouver's Creative Media and Digital Culture program. Produced in 2011.

Video highlights from the apps (36-minute version)

This montage provides a sampling of some of the video media in the Fort Vancouver Mobile apps. This app is much more than just a video distribution system, but these videos show the variety of content, from expositional segments to new journalism to those intended to prompt the development of interactive narratives.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

R.A. Long High School beta test is complete

Several students from R.A. Long High School, chaperoned by teacher-librarian Joan Enders, took some time out of their Fort Vancouver National Historic Site field trip schedule on Tuesday to give the FVM app a beta test. This was the first time we had tested the iPhone version of the app with members of the public, and it also marked the debut of the Android version using a new underlying mobile framework called Phone Gap. In fact, both versions are now using Phone Gap, in an effort to broaden the accessibility of the app to not only Android and Apple users but also, eventually, to Blackberry and Windows7 users, too. I will post a separate entry on this significant backend switch, but, going back to the beta test, the Phone Gap versions demonstrated a couple of major programming issues to overcome in the next few weeks: 1. The Android version did not load and play the video segments properly. 2. The iPhone version did not geolocate the media properly. 3. Because the iPhone version required the devices to be prepared as provisional testing devices (as part of Apple's heavy use restrictions), and because the students hadn't done that before arriving, and because there is no WiFi in the area we are testing (to do that on site), we were unable to install the iPhone version on the phones of the students who had those models.
So, Apple developer Nick Hill, is going to go ahead and submit the beta app to the Apple App Store, in an effort to allow us to get the app on iPhones for more testing at the site, without having to go through the contortions of testing on devices provisionally. Android developer Joe Oppegaard, in turn, is going to submit the Android version to the Android market as well, just to get both of these into places where we can easily get the apps on the phones of users in a timely manner. To compensate at the time, research assistant Brady Berkenmeier heroically led the iPhone users around in a cluster, allowing them all to experience the app on Nick Hill's prepped device. A couple of the Android-using students reverted back to the original version of the app, which was written in the native Android language and tested on Android devices, and they essentially formed a second cluster, in which those students were able to see a representative presentation of the app at this point. Afterward, many of the students said they will be eager to come back and try the app again, in its more polished form, and added their names to our email mailing list.

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