Moodle for mobile

 
 
Martin in black and white
MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Hi all,

After much thought and various events over the past 6 months I've come to a major change in how Moodle HQ will be supporting mobile development for Moodle.

The current way we were doing it was inefficient.  It was costing a lot, not moving very fast and not serving our community in the best way possible.

So in a nutshell, we are doing this:

  1. We are dropping development of the official iOS app "My Moodle" written in Objective-C (although the app will continue to be available in the app store and will continue working for quite some time yet)
  2. We are releasing the code for it under the GPL:  https://github.com/moodlehq/mymoodle and you are very free to build your own custom apps from it or use the code in other projects (just be careful with the Moodle trademark).
  3. Instead we have contracted Juan Leyva from Moodle Partner CV&A Consulting to lead development of his HTML5+Phonegap app (currently called Unofficial Moodle Mobile).  The new app will be called 'Moodle Mobile'.  Supported by Jerome from Moodle HQ and others we have a roadmap to turn it into a solution for all platforms simultaneously.   The new design will continue using standard Moodle REST web services, be highly modular, and allow a lot of you to contribute to development.  See the roadmap here: MOBILE-153.
  4. The new app will continue to be licensed under the GPL and you are also allowed to fork it and build your own custom apps if you wish.   (I think a lot of institutions would like to have an app that is hardwired for their own installation and includes other info specific to their institution).
  5. Our target is to release first official versions of this new app for iOS, Android and possibly others around the time of Moodle 2.4 at the end of this year.

I hope you all like this news!   Although we will lose a little speed and smoothness in the interface when moving to HTML5, I think the idea of building up community effort around a cross-platform mobile client will far outweigh that and sets us up better for the long term.

Cheers!

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

I like this decision. HTML5 seems the obvious way of the future with massive developer mindshare and cross platform support. 

 
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Martin in black and white
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
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It's not completely obvious.  eg Facebook are going the other way.  But I think it's best for us right now (we don't have Facebook's resources).

 
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Picture of Stuart Lamour
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

There is only one Facebook. It has a single brand identity. A single company controls the interface & interaction. For Facebook one size fits all. Facebook can easily have app style approach to mobile (no mater which tech solution is use).

Moodle isn't like this. We see a huge diversity of branding, layout and flexibility in the ways it's used - its open source and not a one size fits all product, and that is what makes it so fantastic.

I'm really glad that platform specific apps is no longer a development project for Moodle, but what really worries me is this :

Is shifting development effort from platform specific one size fits all app style approach to the same approach with a different technology (html5/webapps) actually appropriate for Moodle?

This is my moodle :

This is not my moodle :

 

moodle app

 

Wouldn't it be better if all those moodles could keep their uniquness across any devices? 

Apps - no matter what tech is used to build them - are great for some things, but not others. Is Moodle an app? Personally i don't believe it is. Moodle is in a great position. It's a browser based open source cms, and their has never been a better time to be one. It's exciting, but it needs the right approach.

In our sussex moodle we practice responsive design as an approach, not just a technological solution. We use css web standards technology for mobile and the huge variety of devices that can view our moodle css media queries.

Have a look at http://mediaqueri.es/ and you'll see a heap more fantastic sites which maintain their character cross device by using media queries.

So rather than a one size fits all approach, how about a one Moodle fits any size approach (with responsive design and media queries)? 

Any thoughts?

 
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Picture of Juan Leyva
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
Group DevelopersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hello Stuart,

the mobile app will be a tool for using the Mobile hardware features (camera, audio recorder), for working offline and for quick access to some features like read forum posts, etc... I don't see the point in comparing a Moodle theme and a mobile app.

I think that they are complementary tools. No one will use the mobile app for browsing Moodle,  you will use your mobile app for receiving notifications, offline view of resources, upload photos and videos, offline grading, quick read of forums, etc.. 

So, please, think that the mobile app will be an additional tool with some very interestings features like notifications and not a "one size fits all approach" tool for browsing Moodle

Regards

 

 
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Picture of shane botting
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

Hi Juan,

I was looking to get an app developed for android with some of the functionality I have seen in the MM app. I was wondering if it is too early in the proces to ask if you could provide more detail on the actual functions of the app. This may save me having to reinvent the wheel.

Will it be more Student focused or more teacher focused. Happy to discuss off forum if that is any better to you.

Thanks

 
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Martin in black and white
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Stuart, what you are talking about are Moodle Themes (and especially the MyMobile theme added in Moodle 2.2), which are a completely separate project (see the Themes forum).

The confusion is perhaps natural since Essex seem to be still on Moodle 1.9 and you have perhaps not used either of these yet.

To clarify things:

  1. The app uses web services to implement specific bits of functionality that are difficult, impossible or undesirable to do in a web browser.  A key one being notifications, as Juan pointed out.
  2. The themes are being improved to make Moodle look and work better in a mobile web browser, for those times when you do have a live connection to your Moodle site.
  3. The app also includes a web browser and so #2 actually shows up in #1 as well.
  4. It should be possible to theme (brand) the app itself so it matches the site you are using.

This discussion is about #1 but we will be working on all of the above.

 
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Picture of Stuart Lamour
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Martin,

sussex - [not essex smile] has had a responsive theme since december 2010 so we have no need of  a mymobile theme.

what i'm still concerned about is the diversification of moodles, as you say, limited time and resources.

i think you went down this route while trying to create a set of native apps before right? rather than making moodle itself the lean mean webapp it can be?

 

 

 
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Picture of Carlos Kiyan Tsunami
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

isn't the facebook experience relevant to take into account?

Mark Zuckerberg: Our Biggest Mistake Was Betting Too Much On HTML5

http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/11/mark-zuckerberg-our-biggest-mistake-with-mobile-was-betting-too-much-on-html5/

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg knocks HTML5 in favor of native apps

http://www.zdnet.com/facebooks-mark-zuckerberg-knocks-html5-in-favor-of-native-apps-7000004082/

Facebook doubles iPhone app speed by dumping HTML5 for native code

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/appsblog/2012/aug/24/facebook-iphone-app

 
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Picture of Jason Fowler
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 
In response to Zuck's claims that HTML5 was a bad idea: http://www.sencha.com/blog/the-making-of-fastbook-an-html5-love-story
 
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Sachin Suryavanshi
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

Hi Martin,

Is there any developement in moodle, so that we can have moodle lite on all smart phones not only apple's phone.

Regards

sachin suryavanshi.

 
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Martin in black and white
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
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If by "Moodle lite" you mean the app, then that is exactly what I said above.  It will work on all platforms that support HTML5.

Otherwise I don't know what "Moodle lite" is.

 
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Sachin Suryavanshi
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

Sorry for typo, moodle lite means website which will accessible from PDA, smartphones like android, iphone, blackberry, etc.

I want that people can use or you can say for reading content from their smartphones.

As such i went to this link https://github.com/moodlehq/mymoodle and i found that this installation is only for mac machine.

Reagrds

sachin suryavanshi

 
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Martin in black and white
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers
I'm posting this right now from a browser on a mobile device. Moodle works OK already like this. The code you are looking at is an iPhone app and completely different.
 
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Sachin Suryavanshi
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

Hi Martin,

Thanks a lot for quick response, then for mobile view do i need to install new theme or regular theme will work?

Regards

Sachin Suryavanshi

 

 

 
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Picture of Juan Leyva
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
Group DevelopersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Which Moodle version are you using?

 
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Sachin Suryavanshi
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

moodle 2.3

 
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Picture of Juan Leyva
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
Group DevelopersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

You have this theme:

http://docs.moodle.org/22/en/MyMobile_theme

That is automatically displayed to users using a mobile phone, also you can configure the devide detection

http://docs.moodle.org/22/en/Theme_settings#Enable_device_detection

 
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Me
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

This is great news!  I really liked the iOS app, but by moving to HTLM5 will definitely open things up for people to innovate.  I haven't looked at the "Unofficial Moodle Mobile" work yet, but will do so this morning.  

 
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Me
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

When can we officially start playing with this and submitting bugs?  I'm ready! 

 
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Picture of Juan Leyva
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
Group DevelopersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi,

I'm writing a document describing the app  Architecture for some discuss and feedback before writting more code.

If you are interested, you can take a look at this issue:

http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MOBILE-180?focusedCommentId=168231#comment-168231

Any feedback in the issue comments is really appreciated (comments about the architecture, not feature requests or similar)

Regards

 
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Mike Wilson
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

We've been demoing the Moodle iOS app alongside the MyMobile theme to lecturers for a few months. UMM also looked very promising. The iOS app made good use of things like the voice recorder and access to local storage but seemed to be missing core elements like viewing or contributing to Moodle activities (although you could still do this via the mobile theme).

Will Mobile Moodle still run alongside a mobile theme or is the plan to bring these two elements together?

Either way, it's great news.

 
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Picture of Scott Helphrey
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

Um, what about the ability to use the camera or record audio to include in a course discussion, etc while on the go?  Is that doable with a web client?

 
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Picture of Praveen Pendyala
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

Hi Guys,
I made an Android app for Moodle. It works with all Moodle servers. Though it doesn't work with all sections of moodle.

A list of things the app can do,

  • Listing courses
  • Listing files of a course
    • From Files
    • From Forums
  • Listing Forums
  • Viewing of discussions
  • Download of files
  • It has got a good UI smile

Thats a pretty small list when compared all sections Moodle has but I would be happy if atleast a few people find it helpful.

Its free! and its my 1st app. Though I tested it for bugs extensively I might have missed a few. Do let me know if you find something or have some suggestions. Thank you.


Download:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=in.co.praveenkumar

 
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Picture of Nadav Kavalerchik
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
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The Above app did not work on our servers (which might be so, according to the developer)

But! Moodle for Android (YCIS) did work (recommanded)

 
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Picture of Nitin Jain
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

Hello,

I was wondering if there is any updates on its development or any planned release date..

regardsNitin

 
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Picture of Talya Vaknin
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

Hi,

I'm working on a customized moodle app for the Hebrew University, and I'd like to avoid code writing of features that you guys have already implemented.

I've seen the source code of UMM, but is there an access to the MM code?

 

Appreciate your help smile

Talya

 
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Picture of Juan Leyva
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
Group DevelopersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

The code:

https://github.com/moodlehq/moodlemobile

And documentation:

http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Moodle_Mobile

(See also the See also section at the bottom)

 
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Picture of Talya Vaknin
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

thanks smile

Our moodle isn't 2.4 yet, is there a testing site I can use?

 
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Picture of Talya Vaknin
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

Never mind my last post.. 

 
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Mark Aberdour
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

Hi folks, what's the latest on the MM release date? I saw a communiation that it was scheduled for around the time on 2.4? There looks to be a lot of activity from Juan on Github but the Tracker shows a lot of tickets still open. Be great to get a rough estimate of when you think it will be released. Can't wait to see this!

Thanks ever so much,

Mark

 
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Picture of Juan Leyva
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
Group DevelopersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Mark,

we are planning to release a beta version for Android ASAP, I have to finish minor design details.

Regarding the release date, I can't say much, for this first version we are having lot of problems mainly in the HTML, CSS3 part. Is like when IE6 was in the market and you have to design for ie6, i67, firefox, opera etc...

In any case, the main functionallities are implemented, we are just fixing bugs related to design or the compiled version of the app

Regards

 
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Picture of Mark Davis
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

Juan,

How does one become a beta tester?  I'd love to help...

 
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Picture of David Perry
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
Group Testers

+1 for beta testing. We have a Nexus 7 for trying out Android stuff (they couldn't stretch to an iPad for us though, so mine comes in when testing is needed)

 
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Mark Aberdour
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

Message communicated by @moodler at UK Moot this week was that a Beta app is imminent, and was due this week but a blocker bug is holding it up. I guess as soon as that beta is released then we can all have a play and submit bugs in the usual manner. The source is available on githib but I couldn't understand how to get it working so I'm hoping the beta release will be something that is easy to install.

 
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Picture of Jérôme Mouneyrac
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers
Hi all,
the beta is unofficially available there: https://build.phonegap.com/apps/314601/share
The beta build gets updated regularly, at least once a week. I'll try to see how to get the build date available for everyone.

Juan fixed the last blocker few days ago. You can follow the app development there: https://tracker.moodle.org/secure/RapidBoard.jspa?rapidView=6&quickFilter=19

Note that the Beta iOS version only work if your iOS device is registered as QA device at Moodle HQ. People who were QA testing the previous app should be able to QA this app if they use the exact same device.

Cheers,
Jerome
 
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Picture of Jasmin Klindzic
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
Group TestersGroup Translators

How can I become a beta tester? smile

 
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Me, with my new 'slow explosion' hair!
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
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Indeed, we have a strong interest in using Moodle on mobiles so would like to help beta-test too.

 
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vinny
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

That's great news Jerome.

Going through the related forums there are quite a few people that want to get involved with Beta / QA testing for the mobile apps. It would be great if someone could post some instructions how to get involved with testing, and if there is a QA testers group in the tracker for this. I couldn't find anything.

Thanks

 

 

 
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Picture of Jérôme Mouneyrac
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Hi guys,

we'll explain in detail the beta phase in an official announcement. 

Cheers,

Jerome

 
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Fernanda Ricou
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

We would like (and need!) to know if there are any news regarding MoodleMobile development and its planned release date.

I just noticed that Moodle 2.5beta is ready for testers - will it be for this moodle version?

TYVM!

 
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Picture of Rogelio Jr. Dela Cruz
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

Good day!

We in the Philippines from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde are interested in the beta testing of moodle mobile.

For now what try to do is develop a "mobile optimized" web user interface for our moodle site.  Just for our moodlers using mobile devise be comfortable in accessing it.  We know this is not a solution but it is our first step in moving from web to mobile.

How can we become a beta tester?

this is the link to our moodle site http://online.benilde.edu.ph

 

 
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Picture of Mark Davis
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

This is great news.  One question though, I don't see an Android version there (https://build.phonegap.com/apps/314601/share).  Am I overlooking something, because I thought PhoneGap built for pretty much everything?  Thanks!

 
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Picture of Juan Leyva
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
Group DevelopersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi,

sometimes the Android build is broken because Phonegap Build requieres to enter a master password for the Android certificate. We are trying to fix this.

You can use this alternate link for direct download of the apk file instead: https://build.phonegap.com/apps/251002/builds

In any case, the app is available in the Play Store:

 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.moodle.moodlemobile

Regards

 
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Picture of Jason E
Re: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

Has anyone used something like this and tweaked it so as to sell courses in apple store? I would really like to know if / how this can be done.  

 
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Picture of Ekachai Singthong
ตอบ: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

Hi Martin

  Due to Phonegap repo has been deprecated. I cannot follow instructions in 'http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Moodle_Mobile_Building_the_app_for_Android'. Please give me some instructions correspond to this change.

 

Regards

Ekachai Singthong

 
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Picture of Juan Leyva
Re: ตอบ: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 
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Picture of Ekachai Singthong
ตอบ: MAJOR NEWS: Change in our Moodle mobile app strategy
 

Thank you very much.

 
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