Skull Osteology iPad app

Skull Osteology Icon
Being busy is a poor excuse for not blogging. if you’re busy then hopefully you’ve got a lot to blog about, but I guess, like me recently, you’re busy with the mundane and there isn’t a lot to talk about. Twitter and the blog get ignored, and you’re only as good as you’re last update these days.

To make up for this I’ve finally got to the point where my first mobile app is about to be released to the world! Much of this I’ve had to do in my own time (like most of my elearning these days), and it’s a very simple app but I feel much more confident and clearer about the process of creating apps for multiple platforms and hopefully this will help others in the College of Medicine. It will certainly knock forward the other apps I’ve been working on, if I can find some time to invest in them.

This first app is only for the iPad right now and will be available tomorrow (1st December) from the Apple App Store. I’ll have to grab some of the official logos for some links and bits. It’s a collection of interactive images of the skull that you can touch to label bones, sutures, and foramina. There’s a web version of it on the medicine page of this blog. Because of the size of the text I’d rendered on the images it doesn’t work well on smaller screens, but I’m thinking of ways to create a smartphone version.

I’d also created an Android tablet version and got it to work fine on the emulator but when I tested it on a physical Android tablet the layout of the image slices was screwed up. I have to spend some time figuring out how to fix this (groan) but I didn’t want to delay the iOS release any more. I recently got hold of a Microsoft Surface tablet running Windows (8) RT so I’m planning to release a version for that platform too, which will also work for the full Windows 8. Life would be easier if I just produced things for a single platform but it seems infair to dictate to students what device they should buy and bring to university. I also get more things to play with, I guess (I’m writing this entry on the Surface).

So I’m hoping that this will be a useful tool for students to use, maybe in the lab alongside a skull, to help learn about the parts of the skull. There’s a lot of detail in there and it’s a thing of beauty that I hope my photos have captured. If you touch a foramen you’ll get a list of everything that goes through it. I’ve only labelled stuff on the left side of most of the symmetrical images but I plan to improve the resolution of the text I’ve used and tidy a few things up in future versions.

I’ll post a link to the app store tomorrow, and it will be free.