Froyo’ing – These are the droids you are looking for…

May 24, 2010

Google last week announced the release of Android 2.2.

Unlike other phones I could mention, even though the update was announced my Google Nexus One said “it was up to date”. You have to wait until the phone provider sends out the update.

In my case that’s Google…

Waiting…

Certainly won’t be waiting as long as Motorola Droid users who had to wait six months for 2.1, but still waiting…

Then on Saturday night I noticed a post on Lifehacker.

Want to try out the neat new stuff in Android 2.2, a.k.a. FroYo, but haven’t lucked into an update notification yet? Follow these instructions to download a 2.2 update, install it, and get Flash up and running.

I downloaded the zip file and following these instructions updated my  Nexus One on Sunday morning.

The first thing I wanted to do was try out the Flash player… specifically I wanted to see how BBC iPlayer would perform. My first site was BBC News and I was very pleased with how the live stream of BBC News worked on the Nexus One.

Very similar experience to the EyeTV App on the iPhone, but obviously streaming from the internet and no need for the Mac to be on. I then tried to watch a programme from the archive, the film Brazil as it happens and… well the site asked if I was old enough! And trying to zoom into the checkbox was not particularly easy. However it did work!

As did Doctor Who!

Android 2.2 does off a little more than just allow you to view Flash on the web.

Android now has Exchange support, this is a feature I have found very useful on the iPhone. Despite what you may think of Exchange, it is a service that many organisations and institutions use, so by having support on Android, it allows for Enterprise deployment of phones like the Nexus One.

You can also now use the Flash when shooting video, great for when there is little or no natural light.

The Nexus One with Android 2.2 can now be used as a portable WiFi hotspot. This is something I have been doing for some time with Joikuspot on the Nokia N95 and was one of the main things I missed from the Nexus One, missing it no longer.

This is also something that is missing from the iPhone and technically it would be able to do it…

The key improvement though of 2.2 is improved performance and I certainly have found my Nexus One to be a little more zippy and faster than before.

I would never recommend bypassing the traditional upgrade process, but when the update does come I would recommend upgrading.

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iPlayer on the Wii

April 9, 2008

Though the BBC may be having (heated) discussions with certain ISPs over the BBC iPlayer and has had issues with the iPlayer on the iPhone; it now appears that you will be able to use BBC iPlayer on your Nintendo Wii.

The BBC’s iPlayer video service will soon be available via the Nintendo Wii.

The video download and streaming service that lets people catch up with BBC programmes will soon be a channel on the hugely popular game console.

Early versions of the service will be available from 9 April but more polished software will be released as the service is developed.

You can already use the Wii with an internet service to access the internet, but certain sites such as BBC’s iPlayer have been unavailable until now.

This now means that you can watch some of the last seven days of BBC TV through your console. Yes you will need an internet connection (and a wireless connection at that) but you can use it to watch old TV.

iPlayer on the Wii

So…

Well it does provide another reason why it might be purchased (instead of a “real” computer). If our learners are using consoles such as these not just for gaming, but also for watching video, viewing photographs, listening to music, even surfing the web; shouldn’t we try and ensure that we take this into account when we plan and develop e-learning and mobile learning activities and scenarios.

It might not be the “perfect” computer for e-learning or as mobile as a PDA, however for some learners it is the only device which they have substantial access to and therefore can not be ignored.


BBC launches iPlayer for iPod touch and iPhone

March 7, 2008

The BBC launches a version of its iPlayer video on demand service for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch.

The BBC has launched a version of its iPlayer video on demand service for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch. It is the first time the software has been available on portable devices. The software, which allows users to download programmes from the last seven days, will work over a wi-fi connection but not over the mobile network.

Read more.

I am really pleased to see this happen. I do use the (flash version) of the iPlayer on my Macs now and again to catch up with the odd BBC TV programme either I miss or my EyeTV misses.

This will allow me to catch up either at home or say over lunch at work (on our new learner wireless network).

Obviously from a licensing perspective we can’t use this within the college to show BBC programmes to learners, but this does now allow learners who have an iPhone or an iPod touch to watch the useful or interesting BBC programme on the iPlayer.


Access BBC Online free over wifi

October 16, 2007

The BBC have come to a deal with The Cloud wifi service to offer BBC Online free at The Cloud’s thousands of wifi hotspots.

This means that if you are at a wireless hotspot you don’t need to pay anything to access the BBC News website for example. You can also download TV programmes (via iPlayer) as well.

Read more.

I do wonder if there is potential in this kind of relationship between educational institutions and wifi hotspot providers. Could we see college websites and vles available for free at local wifi hotspots. Something I am certainly thinking about.