As the semester winds down, we always enjoy seeing the students and faculty coming through our doors in the final days. In addition to a growing number of students producing digital storytelling projects, we’ve been happy to see groups using the collaborative spaces in new ways.
A couple weeks ago Mike Wiggins brought his ART 457: Interactive Design class over for their final project. Students broke into groups to propose mobile app ideas, develop basic functionality, consider user personas, and produce wireframes and then final screen designs of their proposed app.
Check the class blog to see student reflections and screen mock-ups.
Mike sent us an update this week, including a link to the final project critique. Two alums of the department of Art & Design, now working for MEplusU in Dallas (formerly IMC2), joined the class in a Google Hangout to hear student pitches and provide feedback of their work.
The iPod is 10 years old this fall and most of us can remember the first time we ever picked one up. The smooth action of the scroll wheel with the slight click as you moved through albums or artists. In 2001, the iPod seemed like the evolution of the music player–less hard drive than box of wonder–but for its first few generations the iPod remained a one-way street. Your computer sent music to the device and the iPod sent it to your ears.
So much has changed with media players in the last decade, but perhaps the most important is the two-way expressways they’ve become. We’re as likely to record a track as listen to one, and the addition of better optics and HD cameras have only expanded the role of the iPod and now the iPhone as a mobile media production studio.
The App Store is teaming with media creation apps, but these are the best of breed..
Apple re-imagined audio production for the touch interface. GarageBand brings smart instruments to the iPad and the iPhone to support performers of all skill levels. It also packs an 8-track recorder and mixer for editing together an interview or electric guitar solo quickly. When you’re done, the app can export high-quality audio files or bring your tracks into GarageBand back on your Mac for further editing.
The quality of the camera now on the iPhone with the sudden explosion of photo sharing sites have encouraged app developers to move beyond seeing this as a basic camera-phone. Apps like Filterstorm bring together the combination clean interfaces with advanced tools to approximate Photoshop Elements on a mobile platform. The Pro version is iPad only but–combined with the iPad camera connection kit–provides opportunities to get some real work done on the road.
Since video first came to the iPhone on the 3GS, student filmmakers have been exploring ways to shoot music videos and short films on it. Now with the processing power of the iPhone 4, 4GS, and iPad 2, editing and basic visual effects are also possible on a mobile device. Like GarageBand, iMovie allows you to record content directly into the app, bring in DRM-free music from your library, and cut together a movie with basic edits and transitions. When you’re finished, the app makes it easy to upload to YouTube or Facebook, and with video mirroring to play it on a local TV.
This is an alternate movie editor compatible with all versions of iOS device. It provides most of the same features now found in iMovie but does allow access to DRM and DRM-free music from your library. Both apps also provide a platform for creating narrated slideshows or digital storytelling projects quickly and easily.
Though our #12apps giveaways will focus on paid apps, there are a few free apps that provide additional capabilities to your photo, audio, or video projects.
PhotoSynth – quick and easy way to produce mobile panoramas, though app doesn’t currently produce “synths”
Instagram – simple way to share immediate photos with followers, often with some retro-analog style
Camera+ ($0.99) – nice upgrade to basic camera app, with shooting scenes and a timer
8mm Vintage Camera ($1.99) – basically Instagram for video with an analog, old-school look