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Mobile Technology

Learning Objectives
• Define mobile technology and provide examples.
• Define mOPAC and provide examples.
• Define apps and provide examples.
• Differentiate between mobile applications and mobile websites.
• Describe how mobile technology can be used in libraries.
• Describe strategies for building an effective mobile library website.
• Define text messaging and provide examples.
• Discuss how SMS services can be used in libraries.
• Define QR codes and provide examples in the library setting.
• Speculate on the future of mobile interfaces in libraries.

Mobile technology is associated with cellular devices and other hand-held technology.

The mobile Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology was originally used for two-way pagers and basic cell phones. Today, mobile technology also includes GPS navigation, instant messaging, web-based communication, and games.

The fastest growing segments of computer technology is in mobile computing and wireless networking.

Today, people of all ages are using mobile technology to access library services.

Mobile Technology Operating Systems

Mobile technology have their own mobile operating systems (OS) that are available on smartphones. These operating systems are also available on tablets such as the iPad.

Apple iOS is used on Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

Android is an open source mobile OS developed by Google.

Windows Mobile Professional is a Microsoft OS.

Mobile Online Public Access Catalogs

worldcatA mOPAC is a mobile version of a library’s Online Public Access Catalog.

A mOPAC accesses the same information as the OPAC. The mOPAC simply provides a mobile-friendly interface for accessing the catalog.

WorldCat Mobile is a great example available.

Many libraries incorporate their mOPAC as part of the their mobile website. For instance, Jefferson County Public Library provides access to their catalog as well as library resources and events information.

Try It!
Try WorldCat Mobile on a mobile device.

Mobile Websites

A mobile website is a website displayed in a web browser that has been adapted for use on a mobile device. These adaptations generally include reducing the number of images, adjusting screen widths and type for the small screen, and other changes that facilitate use by mobile users.

Try It!
Go to the IUPUI UL Mobile page.

Mobile versions of many useful library tools are available. These versions often simplify the screen and increase loading speed for those using hand-held devices.

Try It!
Go to the Medline Plus mobile website.

Examples of Mobile Library Websites

riversideExplore examples of mobile library website:

Mobile Apps Store

An app is short for application software and most often associated with mobile apps. From writing and drawing to mapping and gaming, apps come in many forms. Apps are designed to help a user perform a particular function. Although some apps are free or inexpensive, others are subscription-based. Apps can generally be quickly downloaded.

Apple's iPhone kickstarted the latest generation of application software known simply as "apps."

At the Apple Apps Store, users can download thousands of these small, focused applications for the iPhone, iTouch, and iPad. Apps can also be used on other handheld devices.

The Google Play site is use to download Android apps.

The Windows Phone Store and BlackBerry App World are two other examples.

Mobile Apps

From learning a foreign language to exploring a museum, Mobile Apps are increasingly common in libraries.

Mobile apps often connect to the Internet. For instance, Google's Mobile page links to lots of Google apps.

google

Mobile Library Applications

spiMobile library applications (apps) and mobile websites are important services for today’s libraries.

Users can access library information such as

Examine examples of mobile apps for libraries include:

Try It!
Go to the U.S. National Library of Medicine Mobile Apps and Sites page.

Mobile Apps vs Mobile Websites

nprMobile apps and websites different ways to access information.

Mobile apps are self-contained applications that must be downloaded to an individual’s mobile device. The apps can be downloaded from the app store for the particular device.

Mobile websites are web pages displayed on a mobile web browser. They have been designed to meet the needs of mobile users.

National Public Radio (NPR) can be accessed many ways:

Try It!
Explore the University of Arizona Libraries mobile access page.

Mobile Library Applications

questMany library websites link to apps that can be downloaded for use with library materials.

For instance, e-book and music download services may provide apps.

Destiny Quest is a popular mobile app for accessing high school library catalogs.

Overdrive is a popular e-book and audiobook service. Their OverDrive Media Console can be downloaded as an apps for Android and iOS.

Many subscription databases have mobile sites and apps to access their resources.

Try It!
Explore examples of Gale Apps.

Best Practices in Mobile Websites and Apps

best pWhen designing mobile websites and apps, consider the following ideas:

Try It!
Explore guidelines, go to Mobile Web Best Practices.

Building Mobile Apps

Tools have been created for building apps. For instance, Apple Developer provides tools for creating iPad apps.

Boopsie is a popular tool for making library apps.

Try It!
Explore library apps created using Boopsie. Hundreds of examples are available.

Applications of Mobile Technology

Mobile marketing might include incentives programs such as rewards and downloadable content.

The image on the right shows a library encouraging users to check-in to Foursquare for prizes.

Use mobile technology to publicize campaigns and encourage users to join the library’s social media site.

orange county

Bluetooth Technology

bluetoothDigital interaction and collaboration can take place in many library spaces. For example, many electronic keyboards and other handheld devices have infra-red or bluetooth technology allowing easy information sharing.

Infrared allows devices in close proximity to communicate. Many handheld simulations and interactive games involve this type of sharing.

Bluetooth technology allows devices to connect through wireless personal area networks. For example your keyboard, mouse, printers, and digital cameras could all communicate with your computer through a personal area network.

It's common for a smart phone user to share information from their address book with another person running the same operating system.

Text Messaging

Over the past several years, Short Message Service (SMS), known as text messaging or texting, has become the preferred method of communication for youth.

Available on most digital cell phone and other smart devices, SMS allows users to send short messages between handheld devices. Often used in voting and polling activities, texting is catching on in other areas too. For example, it is often used during natural disasters. Some areas texting is used for sending Amber Alerts. Unfortunately, like email, spam is becoming an increasing problem.

Increasingly, text messaging is bridging platforms. For example, you can send an email to a text messaging phone. You can use your cell phone to post messages to a blog.

texting

SMS Language

SMS language refers to the slang used in text messaging such as "forgot" becomes "4gt" and "telephone" becomes "fon," so "I forgot my telephone" becomes "i 4gt my fon". These shortcuts are also seen in chat environments.

Some educators, particularly English teachers are concerned about the impact of texting on writing.
However Sali Tagliamonte, a professor of linguistics at University of Toronto recently conducted a study of teen messaging. She found that rather than hurting writing and grammar skills, messaging actually helps students master language skills. She considered this new communication channel as "an expansive new linguistic renaissance."

Texting and Library Services

Text messaging is increasingly being woven into library services.

SMS can be used for the following activities by library users and library staff.

texting

QR Code

qrA QR Code stands for "quick response" and is a matrix barcode that is readable with a QR scanner or smartphone.

The image consists of dots in a square on a contrasting background. Increasingly they are being with with mobile apps.

QR Codes can easily be placed on signs, posters, and in handouts.

The use of the QR Code is free of any license so individuals can create the and use them as they wish. If you want to try it out you can find apps at the Android Market and iTunes App Store.

You can also download a QR reader to your desktop or use a portable reader.

QR Codes in the Library

QR Codes are being used throughout the library for both informational and learning activities.

scan

Try It!
Go to Contra Cost County Library. Notice how they are using QR codes in their library.
Examples are shown below.

Creating QR Codes

Keep in mind that not everyone has a way to access QR codes. It's a good idea to put a shortened URL under your QR code for people who can't use the QR code. QRStuff is a QR code generator (shown below).

qrcodes

Try It!
Go to QRStuff. Create a QR Code. It’s easy as 1-2-3!

Conclusion

Mobile technology is associated with cellular devices and other hand-held technology. They have their own mobile operating systems.

A mOPAC is a mobile version of a library’s Online Public Access Catalog. A mobile website is a website displayed in a web browser that has been adapted for use on a mobile device. An app is short for application software and most often associated with mobile apps.

Mobile apps are self-contained applications that must be downloaded to an individual’s mobile device.

Bluetooth technology allows devices to connect through wireless personal area networks.

SMS or texting allows users to send short messages between handheld devices.

A QR Code stands for "quick response" and is a matrix barcode that is readable with a QR scanner or smartphone.


| eduscapes | IUPUI Online Courses | Contact Us | 2014 Annette Lamb (Adapted from earlier s401 materials)

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