January 12, 2010
Stanford's latest iPhone Apps course now available on iTunes U
By Dan Stober
The popular iPhone Apps course has returned to a Stanford classroom for the winter quarter. Beginning today, the first class of the 10-week session is available as a free download on iTunes U, a dedicated area within the iTunes Store .
Users of the iTunes Store may subscribe to and download each week's lecture videos and accompanying materials for the 10-week course, iPhone Application Development, which is taught by Apple engineers. However, grades, college credits and access to the classroom and the teaching staff are limited to Stanford students only.
"We've got a big enrollment; we're going to be oversubscribed again," said Julie Zelenski, a Stanford computer science lecturer who helps coordinate the class.
"We anticipate that it will be just as wildly popular off-campus, similar to last year when the course was downloaded 4.4 million times on iTunes U," said Brent Izutsu, Stanford's project manager for Stanford on iTunes U.
This year's course will teach iPhone OS 3.1, the latest operating system for the iPhone and iPod touch, released last summer. "The curriculum has been updated to take advantage of new opportunities and abilities in iPhone OS 3.1," Izutsu said.
Applications are small downloadable software programs that allow cell phone users to play games, get directions, balance their checkbook, locate friends and perform thousands of other tasks, both recreational and utilitarian.
Some of the apps created by students in previous classes are available at Apple's App Store, which offers more than 100,000 applications. More than 3 billion apps have been downloaded, ranging from games to location-based social networking and productivity tools.
This year, the course videos have a new feature. "We're getting the videos closed captioned this time, so they'll be even more accessible," Zelenski said. In addition to helping those with hearing disabilities, the captions will be helpful to English language learners or students trying to understand the more technical aspects of the classes, she said.