DMA Central

THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY FOR DIGITAL MEDIA ACADEMY

iBooks Author: How to Make eBooks on iPad

Apple is reinventing textbooks thanks to the latest iBooks update. iBooks 2 which is available in the Apple App Store gives readers a new way to interact with the written word.


The new textbooks inside of iBooks. To sample the new textbooks, download  E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth for free. Your iPad will need to be running 1OS 5 to view the new books.

The iBook update now allows textbooks to be sold through the popular ereader app that already offers bestselling novels and literary classics like”Dracula” and “The Count of Monte Cristo.” Textbooks were not available before. The price for the textbooks? $14.99.

Reading is Fun-damental
Apple made the announcement at a press event in New York at the Guggenheim Museum. Apple feels it’s time that books caught up with other types of media, ebooks offer interactive notetaking, and highlighting as well as interactive videos, photo galleries, 3D models and other illustrations. For authors it’s another way that they can make their content come to life – for students it’s a fun and interactive way to learn.


The Beatles “Yellow Submarine is another free interactive ebook that showcases video. 

Before has death, Steve Jobs told the author of his biography, “Steve Jobs,” that he believed Apple could significantly shake-up the textbook industry and do it, with the iPad. Jobs held meetings with book publishers such as Pearson Education to encourage them to partner with Apple.

To date, Apple says there are more than 1.5 million iPads currently being used in schools and there. “Now with iBooks 2 for iPad, students have a more dynamic, engaging and truly interactive way to read and learn, using the device they already love,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

Becoming an eBook Author
Apple aims to make it easier for educators and authors to create books using iBooks Author. The app provides plenty of templates and putting your content into a ebook is as simple as dragging and dropping it into the template. The app supports multi-touch interface, like pinch and zoom views and swiping gestures. Apple has even included iBook Author HTML5 and Javascript support for programmers who want to take their books beyond the app.


The iBooks Author app uses a template and drag and drop interface, much like Apple’s Keynote or Pages app.

Digital textbooks are the future of educational publishing. Using iBooks Author to create your own content is a major win for not only educators, but for those that want to self-publish too. It’s exciting to see Apple in education and learning app development for iPad’s and iPhones is another way to development content, it can be a great tool for book publishers, too. Either way, Apple is helping both educators and authors create the future of media.

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posted by DMA Phill in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments

How to Make Your Own Apps using Twitter

Tired of just tweeting your status? Looking for an easy way to get your followers more involved with your Twitter feed? Then make your own Twitter apps. You can, and the process is easy using Bootstrap.


The DIY concept behind Bootstrap (a toolkit released by Twitter) enables developers to make or refine their own Twitter web apps.

Pulling Up Your Bootstraps
Bootstrap is a small set of tools that’s only approximately 6 KB. Though small in size, these are the same tools that Twitter developers use to create web pages and apps for the Twitter social network. Twitter released Bootstrap in August on the code-sharing website GitHub. In addition to using Bootstrap to make apps, it also has helped Twitter developers make Twitter’s operating code more consistent across its entire selection of apps.

At the center of Bootstrap is CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets (a programming language that regulates the appearance and functionality of a website or web app). Bootstrap lets developers define essential parts of web apps, including page templates, tables and forms, buttons, and navigation through the app and also covers style components (such as color palettes and typography). Bootstrap is considered an open source toolkit, which means that anybody is free to use Bootstrap and is even welcome to improve its functionality through added modifications (sometimes known as “forking”).


This little bird is doing a lot more these days than just updating his status.

Developing Apps Beyond Twitter
Twitter is the primary means of short, quick status updates – so it’s no wonder that more than 350 billion tweets are sent daily. Even more surprising is how we can condense our communications down to 140 characters.

If you’re interested in a career in technology or communications, a Twitter feed is as vital as an e-mail address. Bootstrap is a great place to start, but aspiring programmers and developers should look even further. Learning web development or how to build apps can be the key to your future. The first step though is professional training, and computer camps like Digital Media Academy can put you on a fast-track to a career. DMA offers hands-on instruction by industry professionals: experts in web design, app dev and more who share real-world experience in a pre-collegiate environment. Take, for example, DMA’s new program: Academy for Mobile Device Programming or the DMA Studios: App Development for iPhone & iPad. In both courses, students achieve basic mastery of app development and get a true taste of the industry. Creating the future has never been easier.

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posted by Phill Powell in App Development,News Blog and have No Comments

Cool Things You Can Do with Siri, iPhone’s 4S Voice Recognition

So you’ve got a new iPhone 4S and you’ve already started putting Siri, apple’s voice recognition technology, through her paces with commands like: ”Can you find me a good Chinese restaurant?” or “Who’s on first?”


You ask, she tells. Need to find the nearest local dry cleaner? Siri knows. Hungry for the best Indian food in Dayton, Ohio? Ask Siri. Ready to tweet out your status? Siri can do that, too. She’s a do-it-all digital personal assistant.

Siri’s Serious Muscle
Siri’s a master communicator; she currently recognizes and “speaks” three languages (English, French and German), but within a year, Siri will also support Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Korean and Italian. Another cool trick: through the iPhone 4S, Siri will take any words you speak and convert them into text.

Siri depends on the processing power of the dual-core A5 chip in the iPhone 4S. Siri also uses 3G, Wi-Fi and Apple’s data centers to find the answers to your questions. With all that processing power, it’s not surprising that users, developers and hackers are all experimenting with Siri’s capabilities. Siri already does plenty of things, like making telephone calls, finding business locations, searching the Internet and scheduling appointment reminders. But Siri can do so much more.

Cool Things You Do With Siri

Update Your Twitter Feed
Want to update your Twitter status but your thumbs are too lazy? In your Contacts list, under the name “Twitter” add 40404. Now text “START” to that number. When you’re prompted, respond with your username and password. Any time you want to tweet, simply tell Siri to “Text Twitter.”

Update Your Facebook
Use Siri to update Facebook in a similiar way. Just add “Facebook” to your contacts and assign the number 32665. Now tell Siri to “Text Facebook” with your update.

Check Your Bank Balance
If updating your Facebook or Twitter status isn’t enough, you can also use Siri to do your banking. It’s true; you can easily learn how to set up Siri to check your bank balance or send money to your friends.

Play Music 
SiriTunes lets you search for music using Siri and it even works if you don’t have Siri. Listen to whatever you like, whenever you like.

 

Learning How to Hack Apps
There are plenty of other great Siri hacks and tricks you can perform with Siri, although some require jailbreaking your iPhone 4S. No matter how you approach it, this great new technology is just begging to be explored. Learning how to program apps for iPhone 4S and the iPad or for other handheld platforms (like Google’s Android) can change your life.

Want to prepare yourself for a career in app development? Why not start by spending next summer at a computer summer camp like Digital Media Academy? DMA provides expert, hands-on instruction in subjects like app development for the iPhone and uses the iOS for development in its iPhone App courses. Who knows? You could make the next Siri.

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posted by Phill Powell in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments

Facebook App for iPad

Facebook has long teased iPad owners/Facebook users with rumors of a Facebook app. Finally, after months of anticipation, the iPad Facebook app is now available.


The new Facebook offers many of the features you get from the online version; it’s just optimized for the iPad. 

The long-awaited app was released on Monday with little fanfare. Much more noise was made behind the scenes as Facebook and Apple worked out the details on the release.

Like That
The Facebook iPad app is available for free from iTunes and offers Facebook a laundry list of great features:

  • Bigger, better photos: Photos take on new life with Facebook’s photo album. Images are big and high-res.
  • Cleaner user interface: Facebook fiends can navigate their content – such as updates, photos and stories – quicker. Navigation is also easier, using a gentle tap, slide or pinch.
  • Simplified navigation: Send a message or see a notification. Also browse bookmarks without switching screens.
  • Games: You can also play your favorite Facebook games through the app, and on a bigger screen.
  • Send & review messages with a tap: A simple drop-down menu makes it easy to scan your messages and send them without visiting your inbox.

Overall, the Facebook iPad app gives users a sleeker interface, allowing you to stay up to date with your friends, their activities and more. For iPad users on the go, it’s a no-brainer.


The app even provides a way to easily find your friends in the real world. 

iOS Connection 
Apple insiders had assured techies that the Facebook iPad app would be revealed when Apple announced the iPhone 5 last week – and we all know how that turned out. Apple instead revealed the iPhone 4S. Nonetheless, a Facebook app is still a win for Apple considering no other tablets running Google’s Android OS have a tailor-made Facebook app – and that’s definitely something that would make Steve Jobs happy.  App development is a huge business. In fact, mobile apps already eclipse stand-alone software sales for consoles and PCs.

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posted by DMA Phill in App Development,News Blog and have No Comments

iPhone Invitation Confirms Oct 4. iPhone 5 Launch

Apple has officially announced the launch date for its next iPhone (or iPhones). The big day? Next Tuesday, October 4th. The Cupertino, California-based company will reveal the eagerly anticipated iPhone 5 from the Town Hall auditorium on Apple’s campus.


Apple sent this simple invitation to the press to announce the event. 

The invitation Apple sent to the media doesn’t reveal much else beside the date and location of the event. A Google maps icon pinpoints Apple’s campus location at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino. The date and time are also communicated. What is intriguing is the the red notification “1,” which on the iPhone indicates a message or call. Many industry insiders have speculated that Apple will introduce not only one iPhone but two new iPhones – including a smaller, cheaper and faster iPhone 4.

iPhones for Everyone
It’s also been rumored that Sprint will also carry the iPhone. That partnership, if a reality, will most likely be announced at the event, too. The various iPhone options (including a new iPhone 5) has been the source of many industry rumors. Most believe Apple is offering different types and price points for the iPhone in order to be more competitive with Google’s Android phones. If you’re considering a new cell phone, we recommend waiting until after the release of the iPhone 5, as the release of the iPhone 5 and different types of iPhones will most likely dramatically affect the plans offered by smartphone providers like AT&T & Verizon.

iPhone 5 Apps & Features
In addition to the new iOS 5, a number of other features and updates are expected along with the iPhone 5 announcement. Among them, Facebook and Twitter may be more closely intergrated into the phone. According to Ben Parr of Mashable, an unnamed source informed him that a new Facebook iPhone app, a new Facebook iPad app and, possibly (if that isn’t enough to have you updating your status by now), an HTML5-based mobile app store.

Neither Apple or Facebook have made any comment confirming the above rumor. Instead, Apple just quietly sent an invite for the October 4th event to press and select app developers. DMAC has been tracking the status of the iPhone 5‘s release for some time. Join us next Tuesday for a full report on the iPhone’s launch, including price and availability.

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posted by Vince Matthews in iPhone News & Tips,News Blog and have No Comments

Cheaper iPhone 4 & First Look at iPhone 5

In a few weeks Apple is expected to release the iPhone 5, but there’s also a cheaper iPhone 4 on the way. Reuters recently reported Apple is producing a lower-end version of the iPhone 4, expected to reach the market in late September. The iPhone 4 is currently only available in 16GB and 32GB versions. The new iPhone 4, which is being manufactured in Asia, could contain an 8GB flash drive.


                        iPhone 4                                                iPhone 5

With a wider, sharper screen, the iPhone 5 will be a smartphone that really amazes.  

Cheaper iPhone 4, Sprint Availability on the Way
News that Apple is producing a cheaper iPhone 4 is exciting iPhone fanatics and developers alike. App development is a huge business, and now even more iPhones will be released. Recently, the Associated Press reported  Sprint would sell the iPhone in September. iPhone hardware is currently only available through the AT&T and Verizon network.

When Does the iPhone 5 Release?
The iPhone 5 is apparently just weeks away from release. Some sources have even said that September 7 would be the release date. The device is rumored to have a better display and wider screen, among other great features.


Could this be the iPhone 5? Sadly no, it’s Photoshopped. But we can dream, can’t we?

One thing is for sure: Steve Jobs resignation hasn’t slowed down tech giant Apple, as insiders say the company has big plans for the next iPhone release. The dual release of a cheaper iPhone 4 and the iPhone 5 would make a lot of business sense.

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posted by Vince Matthews in iPhone News & Tips,News Blog and have No Comments

iPhone Games & Apps By The Numbers

15 million. That’s how many apps have been downloaded to date from Apple’s App Store, in just three years. Like Apple’s iTunes, Apple’s App Store has completely changed the way digital media is distributed. “The App Store has grown to become the most exciting and successful software marketplace the world has ever seen,” Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said in a recent Apple App Store statement.


Games dominate apps as the most downloaded App Store item.

Let’s break down the numbers:

  • More than 425,000 apps are available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch
  • There are more than 200 million iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users worldwide.
  • More than 100,000 apps are built specifically for iPad.
  • Apple takes 30 percent of all app sales; it paid developers more than $2.5 billion from app sales.
  • Mobile gamers average 7.8 hours of game time a month.
  • iPhone users game an average of 14.7 hours each month.
  • Android gamers play on their devices around 9.3 hours per month.

(Sources: Apple Inc., Nielsen Ratings 2011 App Download Report)

Who’s Winning?
Apple’s iPad is the top-selling tablet computer, making iOS the most popular tablet operating system. Google’s Android is the most popular operating system for smartphones. At Google’s I/O developer conference, Google claimed it had more than 200,000 apps in the Android Market – and more than 4.5 billion Google apps had been downloaded.

Get Your Game On
Games are by far the most popular mobile apps, followed by those for weather and then social networking, according to a recent mobile app study by Nielsen. If you’ve downloaded an app to your smartphone in the last month, you are in the 93 percentile of app users that are willing to pay for gaming apps. “Only 76 percent of app downloaders are willing to pay for news apps,” Nielsen said. Educational apps make up 11 percent of downloaded apps.  The least popular apps? With only 6 percent of the download share: household or personal care apps.

Now is the perfect time to become an app developer. Learning app development could give you the skills to create the next Angry Birds. Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android development kits are available to anyone that wants to become an app developer. Not sure you can take on the SDK (Software Development Kit) yourself? Then get training through Apple Certified Training Centers or a digital media training center.

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posted by Vince Matthews in App Development,News Blog and have No Comments

iOS 5 Beta Released: Features Wireless Synching with iTunes and More!

The latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system has been released, and while the OS is still in beta, the update is exciting both app developers and consumers with a host of new features. Do you have an Apple Developer’s Account? If so, you can download iOS 5 for free. We do, so we took the new iOS for a test drive:


iOS 5 includes much-requested bug fixes – and wireless synching to iTunes!

Wireless Synch
The first thing we noticed about the new OS were the updated Lockscreen notifications – the look is now less templated and more organic. Another major improvement? Wireless synching for the Mac. iTunes 10.5 beta 2 and OS X 10.6.8 or Lion are required but the option will come in very handy. To enable wireless synching, connect your iDevice to iTunes with the USB cable. (WARNING: If you’re a developer, we suggest you perform and initial synch using a cable after restoring the device.) There are still bugs to work out on this feature but in testing, for the most part, it worked great.

Getting to the Cloud
iCloud is a huge initiative for Apple and is integrated into iOS 5. iCloud works like other cloud services, allowing you to store and backup your data.


Apple, it seems, covered everything from Airplay to redeye correction. For more information on all the features and fixes, visit our friends at 9 to 5 mac, who cover all the updates and fixes.

Right about now we’re very glad we’re paying $99 a year for the developer’s account and have a chance to take a sneak peek at tomorrow’s iOS today. If you’re interested in developing for any iDevice – iPad, iPhone, iTouch, why not explore a career in app development? Apple’s iOS is awaiting you – learn how to program for it, get certification and get college credit for sumer camp. Who knows? You could soon be developing a blockbuster game on the iOS 5. Learn about it now with hands-on training from Digitial Media Academy.

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posted by Vince Matthews in App Development,News Blog and have No Comments