Got your IPhone recently and want a quick overview of what innovative librarians , library or library vendors have done with IPhone apps?
I was in this situation about 2 months ago and did quite a bit of research, so to save you all time, I offer the following list plus commentary .This is not meant to be a complete guide on what are the best general interest Iphone apps (typically this involves picking a Twitter client, IM Client, RSS feed reader, online storage service like dropbox etc). Such lists already exist
, but rather this is list of apps that are of interest to librarians, or have being used by Librarians in library settings.
I've decided not to link directly to the App store, mainly because the link has to be country specific?, and this blog serves an international audience so there is no one best link. To find the app, just do a search in the appstore with the app name. Do note that in some rare cases (e.g. WorldCat), the app might not be available depending on your location.
These are search apps offered by specific database vendors that make searching such databases on Iphones easier. Most of this was found via Mobile libraries blog
Naxos Music Library
iResearch (American Institute of Physics iResearch)
What if you want an Iphone app of a database that isn't included above? The next category of apps, allow you to set up custom search engines to use quickly. You can add your library catalogue, custom database searches (with Ezproxy built-in) etc. I've covered this idea here .
I find myself using this a lot on the go.
Barcode related apps
One interesting idea is to use Iphones as barcode readers. By using the Iphone camera, you can capture ISBNs, and then send to search for the item in library catalogues, bookstores etc. Similar apps, are those based on capturing the book covers, and recognizing the book (Google Goggles for Android is the most famous example).There are many such apps including snapshot, pic2shop Snaptell
, but they typically send you to Amazon, Google books etc
Below are two apps that allow you to customize the search to be sent to your library catalogue. I've covered this idea here
- This allows users to store barcodes on their Iphones. Some users are using this for their library cards
Many libraries are experimenting with QR codes
, which are 2D barcodes that can encode urls, so users can snap the barcode, and be instantly sent to a url. (see guide
) .This is particularly useful since it's difficult to type in a url in a smartphone. Among many ideas, in theory the online catalogue could generate QRcodes along side barcodes, and users could just snap the qrcode on the screen into their handphones. One could embed Qrcodes to posters, blogs with the appropriate urls encoded.
I haven't yet blogged on QRCodes, but among many other posts on this you can have a look at Jo Alcock's post.(See comments as well)
Many more just search for QR code
These are apps that have being created by libraries or universities (with a library related mod), worth taking a look at if you are tasked with creating one. I covered this here
HK libraries (searches consortium of HongKong Libraries
Library Navigator (Tokyo) (similar to above but for Tokyo Libraries...
Dukemobile (Part of University IPhone app)
iUsask (Part of University IPhone app)
Northwestern (Part of University IPhone app)
NC State "Wolf Walk"
Ebook reader app
Kindle for iphone
These class of apps can be used to convert your Iphone into a slide controller. Use your Iphone to move slides forward and backwards with one flick! Some apps will allow you to see the next slides and/or your notes, either in split screen or full screen mode.
Personally I think it's between Mypoint
, but the free version of Mypoint is pretty functional, while the free version of i-Clickr is limited to only 15 slides.
- This is very interesting app, that allows you to control web presentations using your Iphone.
- Use this to keep in touch with assignments posted on the popular courseware BlackBoard!
Local books - App that can locate closest bookstores and libraries that have an entry on LibraryThing
- Use this for roving librarians who are equipped with Iphones/Itouches, users can summon librarians for help. See here
- Use this for scheduling appointments - covered here
Foursquare and other location apps
- Libraries are using this to offer prizes to "mayors", Covered here
- Tom Boone suggests using this to make it easy to download PDF of articles and to email them.
Hope this list has being helpful.
Library Success wiki
, also has an excellent section on mobile libraries that goes beyond just Iphone. apps. Anything else I missed?