July 14, 2012

Info Navigator for London 2012: A free Android App

Info Navigator for London 2012 is actually an Android App that I have created for my own interest in following this summer's Olympic games. Something "Made in the USA", right here in the Caribou Coffee shop at the corner of Adams Road and Walton, Rochester Michigan, just outside the gates of Oakland University.

Download the Ap for free here: Google Play

As a scientist, and professor, I have started to build Android Apps that are full of activities that I can customize for my own work. Work flow, organization, portable study guides, information sharing, resource aggregators and organizers.

I was recently trying to bookmark websites that I can use to follow the games (starting July 27th). Then, I realized I could make myself a nice App to organize all of this into one launcher in my smartphone. Once I made the first one, I thought others might find it useful too. I use an Android programming environment that organizes components as "activities". As a biologist that studies "function", this way of thinking about an App makes good sense to me.

What do I mean by activities? Launching a specific website is an activity. Making a free-form information text/image/tables page is a more "embedded activity", that will be available even if you have no internet access. A gallery of images is another activity, as is a customized feed via YouTube, or from a specific Twitter feed. For events and location related items, a navigation map is another activity that can be customized to make use of the Google Maps navigation tools already available in Android.
So, because of this strange desire of mine, you too can now download the Navigator Ap. It is just under 1-Mb in package size, and yes... you can move it to your SD memory card storage and not use up that wee bit of phone internal memory! I even created a nice looking icon for the Ap with a stylized Union Jack and Compass symbol. The games are in the UK after all. As you can see in the picture, right, the homepage of the App presents some icons for each activity. Globes represent link outs to websites for London 2012, and official Olympic websites, which will be important and useful updated information sources. Other activity buttons quickly take you to major sports media centers for the games such as BBC, FranceTV, CBC, and NBC.

The image on the right is an view of one of my favorite activities, the London Venues Map. This activity launches Map functions in your phone and will use your GPS system if you activate it to show you where you are relative to the map of London's Olympic events. I have preprogrammed each location marker, which you can press and get a pop up of the venue's name and a list of the sporting events hosted at that location. A second navigator button is also included for Out of London Venues. Football is also hosted up in Scotland, and sailing is down south on the coast. 
I have included an easy to use CONTACT US activity, so you can email me suggestions for other websites or embedded information you might like to see in the Info Navigator for London 2012.  I will update it a few times over the next few weeks.

So if you just need to know how your favorite beach volleyball team is doing, or you wonder "where the heck is Wimbledon (tennis) relative to Hyde Park?", you can whip out your Android Phone and show off your Info Navigator. It is free for you to use.
Use it in good health.
Ken Mitton ;)

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