Another big part of this week was spent on Pluralsight and Lynda. I really appreciate having access to these to learning sites and had used Lynda in the past but was surprised with Pluralsight. Normally I just logged in and know what I wanted to study but the approach Pluralsight was a pleasant surprise. After answering the interest questions and take the assessment tests after, I was surprised with the feed back and have started studying the Unity Developer course with a focus on Unity’s cross-platform AR Ecosystem, AR Foundation, ARCore and ARKit. I have dabbled with Unity quite a while back but happily remembered most of the basics of getting around the interface and file setup. A new change was using Unity Hub.
I watched the “Mobile App Design and Prototyping in Photoshop and After Effects” video on Pluralsight and similar to a website mock-up using adobe, though I have never used after effects to screen transitions before. While I’m more familiar with this approach than the one take in the video “Design an App with Android App Inventor” on Lynda, the speed of putting together a “working” app mock-up was amazing. While I don’t have an Android phone at the moment, I have found something similar for iOS with Famous (https://famous.co)
Photo Credit: Famous.co
and am looking to try this out over the weekend. While not as function rich as the Scratch style drag and drop codeblocks of MIT App Intentor, it gives a functional app mock-up using the same barcode app loading feature. Again, more time saving than the Photoshop – After effects method.
I stumbled across Famous after reading through the IEEE paper on “Comparing Performance Parameters of Mobile App Development Strategies” using cross-platform development frameworks. Looking through the paper there seems to have been quite a shakeout in this market with frameworks looked at but the main point was the runtime speed of the different frameworks on the main mobile platforms and the difference of running as a web app or running as a “standalone application by using
a Web-to-native wrapper”(Willocx, Vossaert, and Naessens 2) Having looked at the frameworks list in the paper : Ionic (https://ionicframework.com), Appcelerator (https://www.appcelerator.com/mobile-app-development-products/) and Sencha Touch 2 (https://www.sencha.com), I have decide to stay with Flutter and Unity’s AR Ecosystem. They are both working on running at near native speeds and are able to access most of the OS API’s without relying on the phone browser that many of the web-app frameworks had relied on. As a student, Flutter and Unity offer full feature development for no cost, constantly being upgraded and improved and have a healthy development community.
The one thing I hadn’t put much thought into was testing and the ACM Digital Library paper “Remote Paper Prototype Testing” was an interesting look at quickly testing and iterating on a concept. The feedback was simple and direct and was easily done with two people. I was glad that they had posted a support video that easily validated the concept and encouraged me to also take a simple approach to testing. I am going to enlist my students help with this one a have a concept that’s ready for testing.
There quite a few things to work on going forward,
- Finish Wk 1 Concept assignment
- Continue with Unity on Pluralsight
- Work on some Flutter
- Brainstorming app ideas for sketchbook
- Finish reading “Future Presence” by Peter Rubin
M. Willocx, J. Vossaert and V. Naessens, “Comparing Performance Parameters of Mobile App Development Strategies,” 2016 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Mobile Software Engineering and Systems (MOBILESoft), Austin, TX, 2016, pp. 38-47.