Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Google Plus

Several people have asked whether Google Plus will be made available at the University. 

The answer is yes! However, Google Plus is not activated automatically, each institution has to apply to Google in order to have Google Plus enabled. We have applied for the ability to turn on Google Plus for the University domain and are now waiting for the Google process to run its course. 

Once we have the ability to activate to activate Google Plus we will test it for a maximum on two weeks and if it does not cause problems for our existing services we will enable it for students and staff. As yet we do not have a set date for its arrival but will update you as we learn more.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Using Kindles at University

It's fairly widely known that Kindles cannot connect to the high security eduroam wireless network used at UK Universities. However, that does not mean the Kindles don't work at the University of Sheffield, there are alternative ways to connect and download books from Amazon and from other online resources.

The Kindle 3G Keyboard for example does not need a University wireless network to connect. It can connect to the Internet and download books for free anywhere where there is a mobile phone signal.

The standard Kindle does not connect to the 3G network but you can still download books to it.
  • Staff can connect it to the Guest wireless network, which is intended to provide wireless internet access for guests of University staff but doubles up very nicely as a second wireless network compatible with the Kindle.
  • Students can download their ebooks to standard student computers provided by CiCS and then connect their Kindles using the USB cable and copy the ebook across.
Detailed instructions are available via the web page below.

www.shef.ac.uk/cics/kindle

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

New BlackBerry version of CampusM due January

We've spoken with the developers and in January they are hoping to release a new version of CampusM designed specifically to work on BlackBerry devices running OS5 and OS6. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

The original BlackBerry version of the University mobile app, CampusM was released fairly soon after the original iPhone app. It seemed to work well for a long time but increasingly we have heard that students are reporting errors when attempting to download the app. Interestingly it also seems to have been removed from BlackBerry App World.

We think that the link here: http://m.grppl.com/g/2470/cmuos will allow users of BlackBerry devices running OS4 to install and run the original CampusM app for BlackBerry but unfortunately no-one in CiCS has an OS4 BlackBerry to test this on! If you have a BlackBerry running OS4 could you please test this link and let us know what happens!

In other CampusM news, CiCS staff recently attended a developer's conference and have returned with a number of great ideas on how to quickly improve and increase the range of services offered by CampusM. These should be hitting your handset over the coming days and weeks.

If you don't yet know how useful CampusM can be for students check out the video below by the developers oMbiel.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

New Look and Improved Features for Google Mail

Google have just launched the new look for Gmail. If features cleaner colours, gives you the choice of how densely the messages are listed and has a range of new themes.



It also offers new features too.
  • Conversation view is more streamlined,
  • Labels and Chat areas are kept in view at all times and can be resized if needed
  • Advanced search features have been added
To try out the new look click the Switch to the New Look link, to revert back to the older look click the Settings cog.