I just got an HTC Hero (Sprint Android) yesterday to “play with” for about 4 months from Blackboard. Seems they are encouraging the installation and use of their Mobile Learn building block by offering a test device (either an iPad or an Android).
I already had an iPad to work with so I asked for an Android device. The HTC Hero isn’t top of the line any more, and you can purchase for under $80 now. It only has a 5 Megapixel camera, but it can also be used as a camcorder. *But, here’s the thing. IT’s CLOSE ENOUGH! It’s close enough to let you know what the potential for spending a little more money, or waiting just a short time longer for the technology to slide within the boundaries of acceptable-ness for video.
I installed the USTREAM Broadcaster app and it worked fine “out of the box”. Now the camera resolution and hardware speed leave something to be desired, but here I was walking out to my truck for lunch and I was “broadcasting live” as I went. Also able to save a recording to the USTREAM site and also push to other video hosts including YouTube. *The app hangs every so often and has to be “force shutdown” -ed, but starts right back up. Can even do polling easily (Yes/No) on the fly.
Installed “Google Goggles” today and started photoing objects all around me. Doesn’t work well on images, but then I read that it was supposed to be a darned good “barcode reader”, and “Yes it is.”
But, imagine getting a cheap barcode reading app that could be installed on our tech’s cellphones. Hook the data up to something like FootPrints and you’ve got a mega-Inventory tool that doesn’t require a specialized barcode reader anymore. $3.95 for an app, or maybe free if FootPrints programs it.
“Talk to Me” is perhaps the best surprise I had of the “free” Android apps I tried today. It requires about 4 separate “free” app downloads, but this little tool works GREAT! You can type or “talk” to it and it does very well at understanding (I have a Southern drawl.) US English and then translating into many other languages. It will actually speak the translation for French, German, Italian and Spanish and type the text translation for other languages. *If it can understand me, as well as Dragon NaturallySpeaking can in the Windows World for MS Word, then someone should be able to make a cellphone that you can easily speak commands to.