Tag iphone

Finnish Libraries iPhone App

My friend Antti in Helsinki writes:

Our library app is now officially @ App Store. It’s called iKirjasto. That’s iLibrary in Finnish. Check it out.

Link to App Store: http://itunes.apple.com/fi/app/ikirjasto/id349629673?mt=8&uo=6 [not downloadable in the US]
Our site: http://www.ikirjasto.fi

It’s the very first beta release of the app. So don’t be too harsh on it. It’s just a basic seach app with some special functions limited to Helsinki City Metropolitan Library (you can browse new book titles in cover images & a native client for reserving). It’s only in Finnish, but hopefully it’s clear how it functions. I posted some crude screen captures to our blog: http://labs.kirjastot.fi/?q=blogi/ikirjasto-app-storessa

There are currently 468 different Finnish libraries and 9 different library systems in the app. It covers almost all libraries in Finland. This made it a bit complicated to code, as you might imagine. This also delayed the project quite a while.

I like the fact that this app works for 468 Finnish libraries. We’re actually working on something similar for the next version of the DCPL iPhone app.

iKirjasto App Storessa | labs.kirjastot.fi


my notepods arrived

So the IBM Thinkpad was a computer based on a pad of paper.

Here we have pads of paper based on a computer.

These are going to come in handy for my work with the DCPL. We are launching our new website next week and can get around to improving the looks and functionality of our iPhone app.

i redesigned itunes and it looks better

Apple has a bunch of really talented software designers and UX people on staff. This being the case, I’m not really sure how the iPhone screen in iTunes got to be so jumbled looking. The text is justified in one strange place (orange line) while there are so many other opportunities to clean up the layout (pink lines).

I know this is a very small thing, but why not fix something so easy? Here’s what 5 minutes in Photoshop netted.


This isn’t going to solve the world’s problems, but it looks at least a little nicer, right?

Thank you for looking at my self-indulgent exercise.

DCPL iPhone App Code Released

If you want to create an iPhone application to search your library’s online catalog (etc), taking a look at the DCPL’s solution wouldn’t be a bad place to start. The code is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license and you can download it at the DCPL Labs website.

DCPL iPhone application ready for download

iphone details photo2

Hurrah for alternative OPAC interfaces! I’m very pleased to let you know that the DCPL iPhone app went live last night. You can download it from the iTunes app store here. Functionality in this version includes:

  • searching for library materials
  • seeing an item’s cover and reading a summary
  • placing a hold for pickup at the location of your choice
  • finding the hours, locations and phone numbers of DC public libraries

If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, please download it try it out. We’d love to know what you think and what we can do to make it better. You can leave feedback through this form.

photo3To my knowledge, this is the first iPhone application put out by a library. A big congrats to DCPL CIO Chris Tonjes who assembled a great team, and a big thanks to Brian Farmer for his coding skills, Bill McClendon for his knowledge of the SirsiDynix backend and Gilbert Luwaile for testing. You can read more about all of them at the DCPL Labs Staff page.

What’s even more exciting about this is that it is just the start of our efforts to provide mobile library services to the residents of DC. I have a bunch of notes written about improving the look and behavior of the application, expanding it, and we’re planning a mobile version of the forthcoming DCPL website.

For those interested in taking a look at the code for the iPhone application, we’re going to make it available for download at the DCPL iPhone Application page soon.

(some) free wifi from starbucks

If Starbucks junkies want wifi they have to pay T-Mobile a usurious fee, but not for too much longer. Starbucks is ditching T-Mobile and partnering with AT&T which creates a nice little Starbucks, iTunes Music Store, AT&T, iPhone niche. A result of this switch is 2 free hours of wifi per day for people that use Starbucks loyalty cards. Or maybe 2 hours per loyalty card regardless of who is using it. I’m already thinking how the system is going to be gamed.

This will likely result in more people putting money on Starbucks cards and more people visiting Starbucks locations. The program must be the result of Starbucks learning from libraries and other sensible places that offer free wifi. I wonder how much traffic Starbucks would divert from libraries if they offered unlimited free wifi. Whatever the case, I’ll stick with my local favorite.
[photo credit]

iPhone/iPod touch webclip icons

One functionality that yesterday’s iPhone software update added is the ability to bookmark webpages by adding “webclips” to the home screen. By default, the web clips are a very miniature version of the page but there is an easy way to make your webpage display an icon instead of an illegible blob.

The process and concept is just like creating a favicon. Making one for the NPPL took me about 6 minutes, start to finish. It look me at least twice as long to get a decent photograph of it!

Here’s a tutorial: HOWTO: iPhone Webclip Icons

How many users will be bookmarking library websites on their iPhones? I would guess a very small percentage of the 4,000,000 iPhone users. But just in case, spend a few minutes and make a web clip icon!

i get all recursive with david king

David King made a video review of his iPhone in which he used his iPhone to watch himself on YouTube. Then he posted the video review on YouTube. Then I recorded myself watching his video on YouTube on my iPhone. Then I put it on YouTube. Got it?

Isn’t it just wild that I can stream video to my phone, record a video with my computer, and have it up on the web in under 5 minutes?

Thanks to David for being the biblioblogosphere’s resident expert on videoblogging and being an inspiration!

again with the eBooks

The (much deserved) hype surrounding the iPhone has spread to the publishing world. HarperCollins has released 14 Books for the iPhone. This lame attempt is unlikely to finally get ebooks right (an impossible task in our highly DRMed world), and might get people excited for only a limited amount of time. I do see the iPhone as an interesting piece of the eBook puzzle, though, considering it is the first high PPI device that people are carrying around on a daily basis.

I read about this right before I read Jessamyn’s post (with comments worth reading) about Overdrive, audiobooks, and the iPod. I love her attitude about making the most of a crappy DRM situation and using the inevitable patron iPod denial as a teachable moment about free audiobooks online.

Similarly, I doubt libraries will be circing titles to patron iPhones anytime soon. Instead we can tell them about Project Gutenberg and iPhone formatted PDFs from manybooks.net.