I finally joined the rest of the world in owning a smart phone this Christmas. My choice after literally years of consideration was an HTC Desire which uses HTC’s own Sense UI based on the Google’s Android. One major reason for my choice was the availability of the flash player on this platform. So one of the first things I did on turning on my shiny new phone was to try a Dragster activity (see below).
And I was not disappointed. I was extremely pleased to see that not only did the activity load up exactly as one would expect on a laptop or PC, it also responded as I hoped with the labels dragging with finger swipes on the touch screen. The activity feedback is displayed by tapping on the activity feedback button as you would expect. The only real difference between a PC/laptop with a mouse and cursor, and on the phone is when it comes to displaying feedback on label positioning. As the phone touch screen has no equivalent of mouse/cursor roll-over, I found I needed to tap on the labels in order to display the answer areas and pop-up text. The only problem with this is that if you lift your finger from the screen the answer areas disappear again, so viewing these areas can be problematic if they are small and are obscured by your finger. However when these areas are larger and not obscured this isn’t a problem.
So I think we can now state that Dragster 3 activities can be delivered to users of modern Android smart phones that have an up to date flash player installed. My only reservations are about screensize which limits the accuracy of element positioning and can hinder viewing of feedback as descibed earlier.
This experience makes me very excited about the new generation of Android based tablet computers that are due for release later this year. With their flash compatibility and large touch screens they will be absolutely ideal for delivering tactile drag and drop interactions for learning with Dragster. I’m expecting 2011 to be a very exciting year!