This week I had an opportunity to ‘kick the tires’ on the Adobe Connect Pro Mobile client. I downloaded the free client to my iPod Touch and iPhone.
I started a host session on our Board’s server via my laptop. Next, I logged into the session with my iPhone over the 3G network and via wifi with my iPod Touch. Both mobile devices responded well. Audio transmission from the host session was clear, and the available modes of video, chat and screen share all functioned well. In video mode, you see the image transmitted by the host web cam. Chat mode allows you to read and enter text chat information, the same as you would sitting at a computer. Screen mode displays the image being presented via a screen share at the host end.
Later in day, I had a chance to try a more involved session with @dougpete. For this session, Doug hosted a session where we connected 5 users – Doug’s iPhone and iPod Touch, my laptop, iPod Touch and iPhone. Again, performance over both the 3G network and wifi worked well. Doug experimented by showing a powerpoint slide show as well as a graphic calculator. Chat and video modes worked well also.
The 1.0 version of the client is quite functional. Audio level settings needed some adjustment to optimize the session communication clarity. We found using the standard earbud style headphones worked better than the speaker audio.
The only issue we found was there was no voice input on the mobile devices. Documentation referred to toggling mute on/mute off to control the mobile voice access. However, we found the icon (see graphic below – 3rd icon from the right in the top row) to allow access to the controls was not actually visible to use. I am sure this will be corrected in a later version.
Overall, very impressive for a 1.0 version free client. I think this opens up a lot of possibilities for mobile learning.
My daughter will be spending her March Break traveling with a group from her school. We agreed that this makes an ideal time to try some communications and trip updates via her iPod Touch in wifi mode. I am sure she will post on Facebook via the Facebook mobile app and send emails from her MSN or Hotmail accounts. We also wanted to try extending our communications with 2 additional applications.
Earlier this year, I had tried Ping! with @dougpete and @rebrouse. I bought the ‘pro’ version for 99 cents. The Ping! app gives you text messaging between iPhones (cell or wifi modes) and/or iPod Touch units (wifi mode only). I have found the application to work great. This trip will be a great ‘international’ test.
We are also going to try some Skype audio calls. I purchased a set of the iPod earbud headphones with the built in mic. In the photos below, you can see the 3rd marker on the pin connector and the inline microphone.
We have tried some iPod Touch to iPod Touch calls here at home as a test run and everything works great. The grand plan is to use Ping! to set up a call time, then have Skype running at the time of the call. In testing, we discovered that you can stay logged into Skype if you ‘swap out’ to run another app, but in this state you will not be notified of the incoming call.
I am sure she will have a great trip, and I look forward to our iPod based communications. Now, off to check out the wifi availability in the hotels listed on the itinerary.
The more I use FirstClass mobile, the more I like it. It is a powerful application, and I am always poking around to explore new features and discover how much of the full desktop client functionality is packed into this app.
One of the features I have always liked about the desktop client is that you can reflag a message from ‘read’ to ‘unread’. I use this technique to track important messages so I don’t lose track of my followups, to do’s and time sensitive items. Initially I could not figure out how to do this in the mobile client. However, I did discover how to do this the other day.
Here is a view from my mailbox. Note the ‘tech in schools study’ message has been read (flag gone).
Now, tap the ‘edit’ button. This will cause the > symbols to change to radio buttons.
Next, tap the radio buttons to select the message (or multiple messages). A check mark will appear in the radio button to indicate the message has been selected.
Now, tap the flag symbol in the bottom menu bar to restore the mail flag indicator to the message.
Once the flag icon is tapped, the screen returns to the main mailbox view, with the display showing the updated flags.
I hope you enjoy the additional mailbox functionality in the mobile client to help you stay organized.