Moodle for mobile

 
 
MS in Destin, FL, 2013
Moodle on an iPad
 
When trying to access moodle 2 on an iPad I was not able to write forum entries. I was able to edit the title of an entry (i.e. clicking the appropriate box brought up the virtual keyboard of an iPad) but I was not able to write the actual forum entry. Is there an easy fix for this?

--Mika Seppälä
 
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Picture of Mauno Korpelainen
Re: Moodle on an iPad
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Mika,

I'm afraid not yet...

See http://tinymce.moxiecode.com/punbb/viewtopic.php?id=21314 (and moodle 2.0 is not even using the latest version of tinymce)

And after 2-3 months we will all have Nokia N8 instead of IPad ... wink

 
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Picture of Mauno Korpelainen
Re: Moodle on an iPad
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
And the problem is not in TinyMCE or moodle 2.0 - see for example http://cksource.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=18317 (CKEditor has the same issue with IPad)
 
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Picture of Lisa Pedicini
Re: Moodle on an iPad
 

Hi All -- Well, we are at six months, and stats suggest that more and more of us have iPads. http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Desktops-and-Notebooks/Apple-Mac-Sales-Up-58-Percent-Thanks-to-iPad-iPhone-601805/

Is it time to supporting the device rather than dismissing it?

I spent the day at an Apple seminar for education and asked the Cupertino folks there about Moodle use on an iPad. Their response is that they work with developers who approach them. Is anyone on the Moodle 2.0 developer team active here: http://developer.apple.com/ ?

Thank you.

 
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Picture of Mauno Korpelainen
Re: Moodle on an iPad
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Lisa,

this is purely a problem of Apple & Mobile Safari. None of the current javascript based WYSIWYG editors can be used with IPad because IPads, IPods and IPhones do not support contentEditable. It's a similar issue as pressing Microsoft to add SVG support to IE which will finally happen in IE9.

Apple has chosen their own way - and Apple is the only company that can fix this issue. If they want to. For example the latest smart phone models of Nokia and SonyEricsson can use TinyMCE but I suppose the reason is that they use different OS & browsers and Sweden, Norway and Finland are liberal neighbour countries ( smile ) which allows close contacts between developers - both for open source and closed source. Apple on the other hand is "using elbow tactics" everywhere and in a way it's sad since Microsoft is clearly pushing their code towards standards (hopefully they will support also MathML some day)

Developers of moodle have chosen to disable editor (show textarea) after detection of IPads, IPods or IPhones which is in my opinion the only right way do. Somebody who is smart enough could as well write a new IPad application that could be used instead of current open source editors - and Apple might of course buy & sell such application with a high price.

 
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Picture of Mauno Korpelainen
Re: Moodle on an iPad
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Some IPad/IPod/IPhone owners may not agree but in my opinion it is almost wasting of other developers time to require that other applications should start supporting one tool (toy?) that is using custom code. I wonder how many clever people are right now writing applications that work only in IPads, Ipods or Iphones. In Apple this kind of decisions have been made to get some benefit on global markets - and like one comment found from the article you linked says “If you have an Apple product” — such as an iPad or iPhone “you’re likely to wander into an Apple store...

There are 11 remarkable smart phone producers - see http://www.isuppli.com/Mobile-and-Wireless-Communications/MarketWatch/Pages/Android-Drives-Success-in-Q2-Smart-Phone-Market.aspx - and 10 of these 11 do not need special IPad/Ipod/IPhone applications... smile

 
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Picture of Mauno Korpelainen
Re: Moodle on an iPad
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

This issue has been known for a long time but if you get feedback like this from Apple's forums it's not very helpful:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa;jsessionid=FB858AD297CFECE17E2E8645C0BB5D2F.node0?messageID=12290468&#12290468

To put it in a nutshell main problem is:

If a mobile browser like Mobile Safari in IPad does not support contentEditable or if contentEditable is not working correctly in some other mobile devices it is impossible to use any javascript based WYSIWYG editors because you miss two main concepts:

1) Selection - contentEditable allows the user to set position of text caret in the context and select various parts of it

2) Content entry and deletion - contentEditable allows the user to type basic text and to delete selected content

It has nothing to do with moodle.

 
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Picture of Lisa Pedicini
Re: Moodle on an iPad
 

Thank you for your replies, Mauno. Are any core Moodle developers also Apple developers? Now that >contenteditable is W3C compliant, someone with a good relationship with Apple might be able to encourage support for contenteditable.

In the meantime, how is Moodle imlementing

<textarea>
?:

"

contenteditable
is not supported in Safari on iPhone OS. If you're using
contenteditable
to enable text input within a styled element (for instance,
<p contenteditable>
or
<div contentediable>
), you can replace this styled element with a styled
<textarea>
. In Safari on iPad, iPhone, Mac OS X, and Windows, you can customize the appearance of
<textarea>
elements using CSS. If necessary, you can even disable any platform-specific, built-in styling on a
<textarea>
by specifying
-webkit-appearance: none
."

source: http://developer.apple.com/library/safari/#technotes/tn2010/tn2262/index.html

There are many wysiwyg editors that could be employed. http://www.webresourcesdepot.com/category/goodies/wysiwyg-html-edit/

Despite the many stated wishes and predictions in this thread that the iPad will go away, it is not doing so. The iPad is having significant implications, particularly in education. All I am saying is, can't we give peace a chance? wink Why put users in the position of chosing between two terrific tools -- the iPad and Moodle?

Thank you for your thoughts.

 
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Picture of Lisa Pedicini
Re: Moodle on an iPad
 

Another thought -- Google docs are now totally workable and editiable on the iPad. That was apparently another contenteditable issue, but it was solved.

http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Docs/thread?tid=621ad46f8aa70336&hl=en&start=40

 
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Picture of Mauno Korpelainen
Re: Moodle on an iPad
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Yes, Google Docs developers seem to have found some kind of workaround for editing content in Google Docs

http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2010/11/create-and-edit-your-google-docs-on-the.html

http://www.google.com/mobile/docs/

but that's far from a traditional Wysiwyg editor wher you can use different plugins ... in mobile opera you get a similar text editor for editing content of textarea - see for example http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=161746

Anyway I am happy to see some progress - even if Apple needed Google to give some help smile

 

 
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Picture of Mark Veljkov
Re: Moodle on an iPad
 
Of course you can a differnet browser such as the Atomic web Browswer.
 
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Picture of sam marshall
Re: Moodle on an iPad
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers
Yes there is an easy fix. Somebody needs to edit the relevant function, I think it's called can_use_html_editor(), and make sure it returns FALSE for the iPad's user agent. (Presuming there is some way to determine the iPad's user agent from other WebKit agents.)

If there is not a bug about this already, please file one as it should be corrected in Moodle.

As a temporary measure, you can change your own profile settings to turn off the HTML editor.

Either approach will mean you can edit forum posts in text-only mode using your iPad.

There is also a third approach which is to wait a couple of months until you've realised your iPad is utterly pointless and serves no discernible purpose that isn't much better addresed by other computers you already own, and stop using it. While this may be the best way of solving the problem, I think it would be good to fix the Moodle issue too. smile

--sam
 
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Picture of Mauno Korpelainen
Re: Moodle on an iPad
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Or Apple should probably update it's Mobile Safari browser to support content editing - like the "normal Safari" does.

It is possible to detect different versions of Iphone/Ipad/OS/browser but it may not take many months untill Ipads allow editing content with TinyMCE or other editors, see for example

http://davidwalsh.name/detect-ipad

http://developer.apple.com/safari/library/documentation/AppleApplications/Reference/SafariWebContent/OptimizingforSafarioniPhone/OptimizingforSafarioniPhone.html

If Ipad allows editing content without editor (editor disabled from user profile) it's the easiest "fix" - but many users of Ipad might want to use plugins of tinymce as well...

 
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Picture of Bryan Williams
Re: Moodle on an iPad
 
Have to agree with Mauno on this. iPad like devices do have a significant future for mobile learning. I am making this post on my iPad and am only hobbled by this rather mediocre Safari browser, not the device. Apple should be made accountable by those in education for their incredibly shortsighted and arrogant position on issues of real importance to those in education. For example, it is the limits of the Mac OS, not Flash, that has Apple spreading FUD onto Adobe's tool. I like the iPad but see it has a very limited use in education until Apple fixes it's problems, allows the developer access to the hardware acceleration API and stops trying to impose it's very closed and proprietary dogma on the user community. We should tell Apple this is the 21st century and their arrogance simply dumbs down the learning experience.
 
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MS in Destin, FL, 2013
Re: Moodle on an iPad
 
Thank you very much for your advice.

I posted a bug report on this.

--Mika

Mika Seppälä
 
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Picture of Mauno Korpelainen
Re: Moodle on an iPad
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Mika,

http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-22260 should have been moodle 2.0 issue, current moodle 1.9.8+ (core version) with HTMLArea does not support any version of Safari and by default moodle 1.9.8+ renders only textarea for mobile Safari of IPad.

See the details in http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-22260

 
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Matt Bury
Re: Moodle on an iPad
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Don't you have to buy and install "iTextEditor" from Apple to make it work? ;)
 
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Picture of Bob Puffer
Re: Moodle on an iPad
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Hard to resist a good religious war.

I've used the iPad for a couple of weeks before I gave it to my 90-year-old mom (the original intention for the purchase). She uses it for reading books mostly (easier turning the pages than a regular book for her age), running her Netflix streaming account, emailing her friends and operating her TV and Blu-ray player.

I commend Apple for taking control of volatile elements of a common-user OS. There seem to be three main OSs:
  1. Windows - fraught with problems, many caused by MS and many caused by the fact that anybody can do anything to it (and do).
  2. Linux - various flavors and technical enough so the common user won't use
  3. Mac OS - controlled (entirely) and reliable (mostly)
Now... not being a fan of closed systems I still congratulate Apple on their ingenuity and for accomplishing what eluded larger organizations. If we could just get them to be a bit less predatory in their "nothing for free" attitude.

I almost always agree with Mauno but don't think Nokia or anyone else is going to quickly supplant Apple's iPad -- it is purely a wonderful device, in spite of its flaws (which always get fixed in gen2 or gen3, for a cost).
 
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Picture of Mauno Korpelainen
Re: Moodle on an iPad
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Ah - I must explain a little bit this Nokia N8 ad - it was written in a cheerful mood ( 1st of May ) for Mika with wink

Mika was teaching mathematics (analysis) 40 years ago as a young professor at the university of Joensuu, Finland, when I was a young student charmed by games of Sinclair spectrum and Commodore 64 (that I still have...)

Since that we have seen many kinds of  Personal digital assistants http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_digital_assistant starting from Apple Newton http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Newton

On the other hand we Finns (believe that we) are best known (all around the world) about things like sauna, reindeers, Wife Carrying Championships, Linux/Linus Torvalds, Mysql (well - together with Swedes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Widenius ) ... and of course Nokia.

Nokia has been actively developing Maemo devices http://maemo.nokia.com/  mostly based on open source code http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maemo and MeeGo project http://meego.com/ - an open source, Linux project which brings together the Moblin project, headed up by Intel, and Maemo, by Nokia, into a single open source activity.

There were some rumors about HP Slate as a IPad killer but it obviously fails http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/195335/ipad_killer_we_cant_even_get_an_ipad_challenger.html - still I believe that we have not seen the real battle of Giants of mobile device markets yet... Nokia has never been succesful in the US market area but they have some suprises to show and Nokia N8 will be one of the mobile phones/devices available in July-August but not the Ipad killer - IPad and Nokia N8 have different users and markets. wink

 
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Picture of Mauno Korpelainen
Re: Moodle on an iPad
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

One correction - 30 years ago... wink

 
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MS in Destin, FL, 2013
Re: Moodle on an iPad
 
This is my view also. Did you get another iPad for your mother?

moodle community would do a big mistake if it were to ignore devices like the iPad. Regardless of what one thinks of Apple, the reality is that iPad is soon going to be very popular among the students. Actually I believe that it already is among the top devices for which students are saving money. We should take an advantage of that by providing a good iPad version of moodle 2.
 
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Picture of Mauno Korpelainen
Re: Moodle on an iPad
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

There seems to be 2 minor problems:

1) Petr has not finished the editor configuration and user preferences for current version of moodle 2.0 & tinymce so right now there is no option to disable editor from user profile like in moodle 1.9.X: When editing text > Use standard web forms mixed

2) Current versions of Mobile Safari can't handle for example contentEditable elements and iPhone/iPad devices don't have caret support so it's impossible to use any rich text editors. Developers of moodle can't help Apple in this issue...to add reguired features to Mobile Safari browsers.

I don't believe that nobody wanted to ignore devices like IPad or any other mobile devices - it's just a sad fact that you can't use rich text editors in IPad ( and moodle 2 is not stable yet so some settings are missing... )

 
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Picture of Bob Puffer
Re: Moodle on an iPad
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Ah... yes. My Mom got the iPad while I'm stuck with the iBookstore charges to my PayPal account.
 
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Matt Bury
Re: Moodle on an iPad
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Here's what the US version of CNet have to say: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10443246-1.html

And I guess it was only a matter of time before someone did this:
 
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Picture of Arin Basu
Re: Moodle on an iPad
 
I could use iPad just fine to respond to this post. However, for my own university course, I could not use the rich text editor for posting responses to the forums. I think there are design issues around this (and I plan to do away with either tinymce or fck editors ie no rich text editor at all). I'd rather use markdown or plain text for all my course related textual posting activites.
I found a couple of iPhone apps (look clunky but at least works in those situations where there is no other way to post responses than using the rich text editor. One is an app titled "mtouch" (search iTunes for mtouch) and the other is a free app titled "mPage", again for iPhone, not for iPad (at least not for now). The problem with the mPage app is that it requires the course admin or tech support to install some form of plugin but this information is not given in the iTunes resource page. I guess one other optioin might be to jailbreak the iPad and then look for reposiatories or apps in the relevant sections, but I haven't done it. The mtouch app cost me about four dollars, but at least I could use it for posting. However, it has very limited function as i am not sure I can use it for serious course admin job other than some rapid mail/forum post check and short postings.

Hope this helps. On another note, I think that tablets such as ipads have a lot of potentials, we are perhaps experiencing the beginning of the trend (those of us who are regularly using it now). Quite possibly some other competitor may as well come up with a more useful less restrictive device. It's not going to change my computing habits or reliance on notebooks at all, and I do not think it's designed for that purpose.

Hope this helps,

Arin Basu,
New Zealand
 
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Matt Bury
Re: Moodle on an iPad
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Things are changing as we speak...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartbook

Always on (a truly mobile communication device)
A less scratched, dirty screen
Smaller profile clamshell design
Proper keyboard
Longer battery life (very low power consumption)
Open source OS (probably other options too)
USB ports
Flash Player 10.1 support
Java support
Choose your preferred browser

...and who knows what else is just around the corner?

eReaders don't look like they're about to go away either. They're much easier on the eye for reading for long periods of time, they're starting to support more formats, including playing MP3s while you read which is ideal for learning foreign languages, and offering better connectivity and apps. Not much good for colour illustrations (photos, graphs and charts) though!

For many students at the moment, I think it's a choice between a laptop or an iPad to do their assignments on. Which do you think they'll choose?
 
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Picture of Ali Ozgur
Ynt: Re: Moodle on an iPad
 
@Arin

* mTouch is 2.99 USD not about four dollars
* On the AppStore page it is clearly stated that mTouch supports only student actions. mTouch team will work on teacher and admin support when moodle2 gets stable enough for development.
* mTouch has full support for forums, chats, glossaries, assignments, grade view, course overview, upcoming events.
* mTouch has limited support for Quizzes, Choices, Surveys, SCORM, Databases,Lessons and Wikis.
* mTouch for iPad will hopefully include basic support over Moodle web pages for the currently limited activities listed right above.
* mTouch for iPad will include bookmarking and saving content on the device for offline viewing of content.

 
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Picture of JD Moodle
Re: Ynt: Re: Moodle on an iPad
 

I don't see mTouch support for the ipad.  When is this coming?  Please make this app universal for both iPad and iPhone.

 
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Picture of Thomas Edgerton
Re: Moodle on an iPad
 

Hi,

I am about to propose a large and lengthy project for a corporate client. The number one  requirements for a LMS and courseware is it *must* run on an iPad.

I read the iPad forum posts particularly the thread relating problems to the inability to  write forum entries. Additionally, I read about mBook and the reviews seemed mixed. I was also not clear on what I would gain from it?

Finally, when I login to a moodle 2.0.3 site with an iPad, the core functionality of the course seems to workfine. I then went to check my moodle directories and saw I do not have the "mobile" directory in stalled. Go figure?

Here's my questions...

Have the problems with the iPad documented in 2010 been resolved?

Does anyone have recent experience with 2.0.3 courses running on the iPad and do you have recommendations (particularly go/no go) you could make? What should I watch out for, avoid, and additionally install if I proceed?

Thank you,

Thomas

 
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James Chan, FCoT, MCollT, MCCC, Teacher Cert. (N.C.E.& S.R.B.C.E.),
Re: Moodle on an iPad
 

Hi Thomas

Our current mBook 1.2.4 is supporting all versions of Moodle before the 2.x.The "mobile" folder can be downloaded from our website. It should NOT be uploaded in Moodle 2.x server.

We shall introduce our new mBook 2.0 version that supports Moodle 2.x web service with our new web service plugin, MWS.

 
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James Chan, FCoT, MCollT, MCCC, Teacher Cert. (N.C.E.& S.R.B.C.E.),
mBooks is coming!
 
Hi, everyone

If you are looking for Moodle on iPad, mBooks (from mPage) is coming.
It is a newly designed app for iPad, not just magnified version of mPage.
I hope it will be released in a week.

Stay tuned!
 
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Picture of Robert Russo
Re: mBooks is coming!
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Any idea when mpage will support external authentication methods like CAS?
 
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James Chan, FCoT, MCollT, MCCC, Teacher Cert. (N.C.E.& S.R.B.C.E.),
Re: mBooks is coming!
 
Hi, mPage may support more authentication after version 1.5.
 
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James Chan, FCoT, MCollT, MCCC, Teacher Cert. (N.C.E.& S.R.B.C.E.),
Re: mBook is launched
 
Hi everyone,

I am excited to announce that mBook for iPad is just released today.
It is available at iTunes or the App Store at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mbook/id386095251.

Please visit http://mbooks.hk for all details or download the web service Moodle file from here at http://mbooks.hk/mod/resource/view.php?id=2

If you have already downloaded the "mobile" folder (for mPage app from http://mpage.hk or http://mpage.hk/mod/resource/view.php?id=2 and updated to the latest version, you don't have to repeat the procedure. The two folders are the same.

Cheers

James
 
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Picture of Peter Torning
Re: mBook is launched
 
James, I am having trouble with both mBook and mPage. Most of the time when I try to do something on my iPad, I am simply logged-out of my Moodle site. Where can I go to get support. I've searched Google but I cannot find any help or support pages.
 
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James Chan, FCoT, MCollT, MCCC, Teacher Cert. (N.C.E.& S.R.B.C.E.),
Re: mBook is launched
 
Hi, Peter

Thanks for using mPage and mBook.
The supports are from the same site where you downloaded the server files, "mobile".

Please visit http://mpage.hk and http://mbooks.hk.

Support forums are at http://mpage.hk/course/view.php?id=3 and http://mbooks.hk/course/view.php?id=3.

Actually, mPage and mBook work, to some degree, like Safari and don't easily quit unless Safari also quit accidentally. Moreover, you might NOT, but sometimes on ONLY some app, easily find applications to be quiting on iPad or iPhone because the demand on memory management is really strict from Apple.

So, please send me a demo user account so that I can check out where you are logged out from your server.

Thanks

James

 
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Picture of Peter Torning
Re: mBook is launched
 
Hello James,

Thankyou for your prompt response.

The site is set-up for a public sector client. For privacy and security reasons, I cannot grant you access to the site. I'll go the mBook support fora.

Thankyou
Peter
 
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Picture of JD Moodle
Re: mBook is launched
 

Hmmm crashes when accessing Moodle objects.  Login is lost when crashing.  Hangs occasionally.

Do you have a changelog somewhere?  Version 1.2 is pretty rough.

 
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James Chan, FCoT, MCollT, MCCC, Teacher Cert. (N.C.E.& S.R.B.C.E.),
Re: mBook is launched
 

Hi,

Our versions 1.2.1, 1.2.3 and 1.2.4 have already been reported as "working fine" on iPad. I have also pre-tested our latest version, 1.2.5 (to be launched in June 2011) on iPad and iPad 2. iPad works fine with only 8% crash in our report, whereas iPad 2 works with lightning speed, performing at the lowest report we can have (under 2%), especially when compared with other iPad apps. Hope the above can provide all prospective users a positive review of mBook (and mPage).

 
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Picture of Thomas Edgerton
Re: mBook is launched
 

hi,

i appreciate the information and enthusiasm. you are providing a needed service. do you have a date for mBook for moodle 2.0.3? i could use it now running on an iPad 2 as the target platform.

thank you,

thomas

 
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James Chan, FCoT, MCollT, MCCC, Teacher Cert. (N.C.E.& S.R.B.C.E.),
Re: mBook is launched
 

The mBook 2.0 is targeted to be released in a month or so. But surely before the start of the coming school year (in Northern Hemisphere).

I'll keep you informed.

 
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Mt. Fuji
Re: mBook is launched
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
James, I'm eagerly awaiting mbook 2.0. Quick question, how does mbook handle text editing in areas such as forums? I'm typing on my iPad now in Safari (the weak link) and have no trouble posting to a forum (obviously) but formatting is not easy (if possible at all). Does (or will) mbook introduce more formatting options in Moodle in areas such as forums? Jason
 
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James Chan, FCoT, MCollT, MCCC, Teacher Cert. (N.C.E.& S.R.B.C.E.),
Re: mBook is launched
 

Hi Jason,

mBook is designed on iOS and makes use of whatever you see on iPhone or iPad Safari. The good news is iOS5 which have the new editor functions. If you upgrade your iPad to iOS 5, the latest mBook will offer you the same interface with some editing buttons, like italic, underline, bold, centered, etc.

James

 
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Picture of Linda Russell
Re: mBooks is coming!
 

I feel really out of date since I am replying to something everyone else was talking about 3 years ago, but better late than never, right? I am an intervention specialist working with a braille reader who is included in the regular education curriculum where more and more teachers are using Moodle.  We had thought that using the laptop with JAWS was the best way to teach her to access the classes on her own. Now when of support teachers wants to switch to Apple products. Is it possible to access moodle through an ipad app without out sight?  

 
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