I hope you can help me with a course I am team-teaching next semester at the University of Iowa on creating iPhone applications.
Before I ask for your help, I should note that I know nothing about the technical side of the class. Jim Cremer, chair of the Computer Science Department, will handle that aspect of the course.
We will have students from journalism, computer science and informatics in the class, working in teams to create iPhone applications providing useful community information. I will use my Newspaper Next experience to teach the students about spotting opportunities by identifying jobs to be done for consumers or businesses. I’ll handle the aspects relating to gathering the information needed to do the job. We hope to develop a class that will help students with computer backgrounds learn about development for the iPhone, help students from journalism learn about product development and help students from both backgrounds learn something about the other field and about working across disciplines in a project.
So here’s what I’d like to know from you, especially if you’re an iPhone user, though I’d welcome help from other smart phones: BlackBerry, Droid, Pre, whatever. What are your favorite applications? How do you find them useful? What are your favorite features of the applications? What jobs do these applications do for you? How did you get those jobs done before you found this app?
I noted in an earlier post that I view mobile opportunities as an urgent opportunity for local media companies. I strongly believe that people will spend more and more time using mobile devices (you can hardly call them phones any more). We will get increasing information from phones and do increasing business on phones. Media companies that master the mobile world will have healthier futures, I am certain, than companies that are slow in moving into that world. Journalists who find their niches in the mobile world will have more prosperous careers, I am certain, than journalists who wait for someone else to find these answers.
I am excited about this course, and I hope you will share some of your experiences with the students and me. Tell me about your favorite apps and what you like about them.