Monday, February 20, 2012

Episode 4: A.I. App Intelligence

What is an app? It’s pretty likely you already know since the word is so ubiquitous that it was named the 2010 Word of the Year by the American Dialect Society. They define app as “an abbreviated form of application, a software program for a computer or phone operating system.” Like the word itself, an app is a sort of shortened or condensed version of a software application. Instead of having to use a whole software package, apps allow users to pick and choose what function they’d like on their device.

Apps can be downloaded on a variety of portable devices, from smart phones to tablets. With devices that run on an Android operating system (such as most smart phones and tablets), apps can be purchased through the Android Market. Apple products (such as iPhones and iPads) make their applications available through iTunes. By now, you’ve noticed that each branch has received at least one iPad. These iPads have come preloaded with over 100 apps already installed. In this episode, we will be exploring the galaxy of apps available on these iPads and through iTunes.

...3,2,1 On to the Quest!

Submit your answers to the questions below using the form on Harriet. A good practice is to first type your answers into a Word document. When you are finished, Copy/Paste your answers into the form. This may save you from losing your work. Be sure to submit after you have entered all your answers into the form.

A Galaxy of Apps
In this section, you will be asked to begin exploring some of the apps already installed on your branch's iPad.  You will find the answers to these questions in the apps.  The iPad will need to be signed in to HCPL's wireless network for some of these apps to work. 
Google Translate
This app is a voice translator that can translate spoken word into 17 languages or translating the written word into 60 languages.  You can speak a word or phrase into the app, select a language, and have the translated phrase repeated.
  1. After opening this app, select the microphone and say "I need a library card."  You may choose to translate this into any language you like.  
    1. What language did you choose 
    2. What was the written translation?
How Stuff Works (HSW HD)
An information junkie's dream, the How Stuff Works app is chock full of articles, quizzes, videos and podcast on a huge range of topics.  You can search for a variety of topics by touching the magnifying glass icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
  1. Do a search on the term "iPad apps".  What are the first 2 results?
This NASA app is loaded with all kinds of information that every space explorer needs.  You can find live NASA TV  and track satellites in addition to finding information about  planets and current NASA mission information. 
  1. What is Jupiter's distance from the sun in miles?
BB Magic Lite
This is the free app version for the Bob books.  Bob books are a popular early reader series that gradually increases the letters, vowels and sight words in each book as a child progresses through the series.  This app is a great introduction to the type of book geared toward emergent readers.
  1. Select Play and choose one of the levels.  If you see multiple options, play the first one, 'Mat Sat.'  What does Mat do, in addition to sitting, after you complete the word puzzle(s)?
QR Codes-Decoding Secret Transmissions
A QR code is a 2-dimensional bar code used to encode content including website links, coupons, digital business cards, videos and reviews.  You’ll find QR codes in magazines, advertisements, websites, museums, and even TV shows.  Here's a fun video from Cy-Fair explaining QR codes.
Even though QR codes have been around since 1994 when Toyota designed them to track auto parts, they are becoming more common because of the increased popularity of smart phones and tablets.  You can download a free QR reader app onto your device.  Your branch iPad already has QR reader installed called Scan.
  1. For the next question, use the branch iPad to scan the QR  code below. What was the message or link encoded in the QR code?
The Unexplored Frontier Before starting this section, you will need to ask your branch librarian for your branch iTunes password.

For this section, you will install an app on your branch's iPad, uninstall it, and report your findings.  Your first step to completing this assignment will be to find and install a free app:
  • On the iPad, tap the App Store icon.  This brings you to the Apple App store.  You can search for apps in a variety of ways, such as price, featured apps, keyword, subject, customer rating, and so forth.  Find a free app that interests you.
  • Once you've located the free app you want to install, you will tap the gray button on the left-hand side of the screen that says "FREE."  After tapping it, the button will change and now say "INSTALL APP."  Tap the button again to begin the installation process.
  • You will be prompted to enter your iTunes account password. 
  • The app will begin installing.  While it is installing, the app's icon on the iPad will be grayed out.  When it is finished installing, the icon will be in full color.
That's it.  You've successfully installed an app on an iPad.  Take some time to explore this new app you've discovered before moving on to the next phase of your mission.

Not all apps are winners.  Sometimes they just end up cluttering devices.  Let's learn how to uninstall an app on your branch iPad.
  • Press your finger over the app you want to delete.  After a few seconds, all of the app icons will starting wiggling and a black circle with an "X" will appear on the left-hand corner of the app icons.
  • Tap the "X" button on the app you want to delete.  Don't worry if you accidentally tap the wrong icon.  You will be prompted to confirm your choice before the app is actually deleted.
  • Confirm that you do want to delete this app. 
  1. What app did you install and uninstall?
Star-If you found a great free app that you think would be helpful or interesting to your fellow employees, please share it below in the comments section!

If you have submitted all the correct answers to accomplish this mission, you will receive the App Intelligence Space Vehicle to add to your command. This will let you dig through our cramped but coveted Cargo Hold for a chance at a great prize. Complete The Fleet by earning all ten vehicles, and you will also receive ten Intergalactic Training Credits.


  1. Don't forget pogo!! Word Whomp for the win!!

  2. My son told me about PaperKarma recently so I am in the process of seeing just how well it works. But if it does what it says it will do it will get rid of a lot of junk mail so I don't have to deal with it. If anybody else has used it I would be interested is knowing.

  3. is really a cool app if you are wanting to track your calories. It has a huge database of foods and it’s easy to search for the foods you've eaten. There is also a bar code scanner you can use to get calorie information straight off the product. You can save your meals in the app and re-use them as sometimes we eat the same things daily.