Originally published on the Mobile Garage Blog.
The Northern Arizona University app just made its debut in the Apple App Store and Android Market. The app features a movable classroom via Blackboard Learn for students and faculty to access course information. It keeps users connected with the latest news from Inside NAU, Alumni Relations and NAU Athletics. It offers YouTube videos and campus photos, a university directory and a calendar of upcoming eve nts. It also features an interactive map of the Flagstaff campus and real-time tracking of Mountain Link and on-campus bus services. Admissions and Dining modules will be added in the next few weeks and regular updates will continue to enhance the app’s features.
Congrats to the team at NAU, and make sure to check out their fabulous, spirited commercial, highlighting just a few of the NAU Mobile app’s many features and benefits.
Originally posted on The Mobile Garage by Eric Denman, lead developer for Android and BlackBerry.Today we announced the availability of an “SDK” for integrating other Android applications with Blackboard Mobile Central. Ever since we released Android for Mobile Central last Fall, we’ve known that we wanted to allow third party developers to join our Android ecosystem. Our focus is, and always will be, on creating tools that do the greatest good for the greatest number of our users. This means that specialized tools (discipline-specific assessment tools, regional utilities, integration with specific systems) aren’t something we’re likely to develop ourselves. Now, with the Android SDK for Mobile Central, schools can integrate those tools themselves.
Rather than release a structured set of tools and APIs for building Mobile Central modules like for our SDK for iOS, the Android solution leaves the door completely open: if you want to integrate your existing Android app into Mobile Central, you can, with very little effort. Our build scripts will automatically detect the entry point, logo, and title of the module, and add it to the springboard automatically. At some point, we may release a shared library to encourage consistency of UI with the rest of Android Mobile Central, but for now we just wanted to open the door and see what solutions come out of our talented developer pool.
Existing clients: if you want to get started integrating SDK modules into your Android Mobile Central app, you can submit a ticket to your Client Implementation Manager.
We talk a lot about our native philosophy, and wanted to take a minute to show some of the benefits of native in action.
Texas Tech’s mobile app, TTU Mobile, leverages iPhone functionality, things like the device’s GPS in its campus maps as well as integrating directly with the phone’s address book. Modules within Mobile Central apps are also built to integrate with each other allowing, for example, a student browsing the course catalog to move seamlessly from the Courses module to Maps to see in what building a class is located, or to the Directory to get more information about or contact the instructor.
Similarly, DukeMobile for Android leverages these same native device capabilities in addition to Android-specific features like “widgets”. Widgets allow users to put important information found in the app directly on the homescreen of their device. So, that means you can browse news and even search the app without even opening it.
See how both work: