Euro Coin Collection on Android

Euro Coin Collection for Android, iOS and OSXEuro Coin Collection is now available also for devices with Android operating system.

Already available for Apple’s iOS and OS X platforms, the Android version supports smartphone and tablets equipped with Google’s operating system, starting from version 4.0 to the latest 6.0.

Considered (by the users 😉 ) among the most comprehensive and visually appealing apps about Euro coins, the Android version retains all the features that set it apart: interactive album, detailed images and parameters of both standard coins and 2 Euro commemoratives, information texts and translation in seven languages.

The first 13 2-Euro commemorative coins of the 2016, already issued or announced, are listed, including those of Belgium and Portugal dedicated to the incoming Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

In addition to the 184 standard coins issued by the 23 Euro-area countries, the total of of 2-Euro commemorative coins has reached the figure of 244.

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Euro Coin Collection Update 2.2

Euro Coin Collection for Mac, iPad and iPhoneHere’s another update for the app Euro Coin Collection!

13 new 2-Euro commemorative coins of the 2016 have been added, already issued or announced.

This year two countries, Belgium and Portugal, celebrate the participation of their athletes to the incoming Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Also, French is the coin dedicated to the 15th edition of the European soccer championship that will take place in France from June 10 to July 10.

With this update, the total of 2-Euro commemorative coins reached the number of 244.

What’s next? Just one word: Android! 😉

Follow the Facebook page of the app to know the release date.

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Euro Coin Collection Update 2.1

Euro Coin Collection for Mac, iPad and iPhoneEuro Coin Collection, the suite of apps dedicated to collectors for Mac, iPad and iPhone, has been updated again!

12 new 2-Euro commemorative coins of the 2015 have been added, thus completing the series of independent emissions of each country.

Among them there’s the coin issued by Monaco to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the construction of the fortress on the rock, which is expected to have very high prices.

The 19 2-Euro commemorative coins of the common emission dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the European flag have also been added.

The design selected as winner by a public voting shows twelve stars that morph into human figures and embrace the European flag, a symbol that unites people and cultures with shared visions and ideals for a better common future.

With this update, the total of 2-Euro commemorative coins reached the number of 231.

To the next update (soon)! 🙂

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Euro Coin Collection Update 2.0

Euro Coin Collection for Mac, iPad and iPhoneEuro Coin Collection, the suite of apps dedicated to collectors for Mac, iPad and iPhone, has been updated!

16 new 2-Euro commemorative coins of the 2015 have been added, already issued or announced.

This year two countries, Italy and San Marino, commemorate the 750º anniversary of the birth of Dante Alighieri, the Florentine poet author of the Divina Commedia.

Italian is also the coin of the Universal Exposition Expo 2015 taking place in Milan from May 1st to October 31st with the motto: Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.

With this update, the total of 2-Euro commemorative coins reached the round figure of 200. A figure that will soon increase with the next issues of 2015, including the common one dedicated to the thirty years since the adoption of the European Flag.

Enjoy the new coins! 🙂

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Euro Coin Collection Update 1.9

Euro Coin Collection for Mac, iPad and iPhoneDid you ever ask yourself what’s the meaning of a 2 Euro coin design?

There’s an app for that!

And since 2011 it helps collectors keeping track of their collection.

The latest update of Euro Coin Collection, in versions for iPhone, iPad and Mac, includes all the 2 Euro commemorative coins of 2014, Lithuania has been added as the 23th Euro-area country, and the new design of the Spanish 1 and 2 Euro coins issued for King Felipe VI’s succession.

Some corrections and improvements requested by collectors complete this release.

But the news don’t stop here: as already announced on the Facebook page of the app, the Android version is in the works, for all the smartphones and tablets using Google’s mobile operative system.

And we’re already collecting data and graphics for the first 2 Euro commemorative coins issued in 2015; this year there will be 27 of them, in addition to the common emission dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the European flag.

There’s a lot of irons (or coins..) in the fire! 😉

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Gardens of Lake Como on Android

Gardens - AndroidEven the app Gardens of Lake Como has been updated and is now available on Android!

In addition to the Android version, 13 new points of interest of the province of Lecco have been added, which together with the 37 ones of the province of Como already included, bring to 50 the total of gardens reviewed.

Since the earliest releases of the app it was evident that the most important villas and gardens of the east branch of Lake Como were missing.

So now, thanks to this territorial marketing initiative by the Chamber of Commerce of Como, in collaboration with the two provices of Como and Lecco, the app becomes really complete.

Although less complex than the app about the Rationalism, both from a technical point of view and for contents production, the Android version required an accurate testing phase.

According to recent data, there are about 19.000 different devices using Google’s mobile operative system, compared to the relatively small family of devices with Apple’s iOS.
To be more specific, the app currently supports 95% of the devices listed in Google’s Developer Console, which means 7571 out of 7971.

The press release of the Chamber of Commerce of Como, included in the press-kit, also reports some data about the downloads, which aren’t bad for a thematic app among the many available in the “Travel” category of iTunes.

I personally met each of the managers and owners of the gardens of Lecco and with them I reviewed the text describing the gardens. To say the truth, I was a little surprised to know that some of them didn’t know the other villa-gardens reviewed for the app, so I hope that this project could help them to meet and build a network, other than being a useful guide for tourists.

The care and passion with which they work daily inside their gardens is actually more difficult to put into words. So I’d like to invite you to browse the app and visit the gardens when you’ll get the chance, maybe during the next spring flowering.

Some of the opening hours and ticket prices have been already updated for the 2015 season, such as with Villa Carlotta, while the rest will be updated later.

To paraphrase the motto of Expo 2015, “feeding the planet”, I hope that even culture, as food for the mind, will be among the main themes of the milanese event.
It’ll be an important event, during which the Lake Como area will be able to show off its “beauty” also thanks to thematic apps about the gardens and the Rationalism.

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Rationalism in the Province of Como on Android

The tour about Rationalism in the Province of Como has been updated and is now available also for Android!

After the release of the iOS version last year, together with the Culture Department of the Province of Como, we asked ourselves how we could improve the audio-guided tour dedicated to the rationalist buildings located in the Lake Como area.

Then we came up with different complementary actions: new contents to complete the tour of the so-called “rationalist district” of Como, the Android version of the app and an audio podcast.

The new contents include buildings designed by the architects Gianni and Enrico Mantero: the headquarters of the Industry Workers Union, the headquarters of the Lario Rowing Club and the Balilla House with the adjoining Sinigaglia Stadium.
Again narrated in italian, english and german by voice-talents Luca Grandelis, Garth Kennedy and Birgit Röhricht.

With the Android version we satisfy the request of the people using a smartphone or tablet with Google’s mobile operative system, which now rules the market in terms of share.

The podcast completes the digital offering and was designed for tourists and locals without a compatible device on which to download the apps or prefer this simple and easy tool.

The effort in order to support old and new devices, both with iOS and especially with Android, has been considerable, but we’ll release small updates and some news before the next spring, when Expo 2015 will begin, together with the many cultural events related to it.

Last but not least, a personal and sincere thanks to my collaborators and to the Culture Department of the Province of Como, since this project allowed me to appreciate the rationalist treasures of my town that I didn’t know so well before.

Apps and podcast are free, download them!

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Euro Coin Collection Update 1.8

Euro Coin Collection for Mac, iPad and iPhoneEuro Coin Collection, the suite of apps dedicated to collectors for Mac, iPad and iPhone, has been updated!

20 new 2-Euro commemorative coins of the 2014 have been added, already issued or announced.

This year, important historical events are featured, such as the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landing, the 100th since the beginning of World War I and the 25th of the fall of the Berlin wall.
Renaissance art is well represented thanks to the 500th anniversary of the death of Bramante.

Other than the eagerly awaited 2014 commemoratives, two new countries adopted the Euro this year: Andorra and Latvia. Latvia has already planned to issue its first 2-Euro commemorative coin dedicated to Riga, european capital of culture 2014.

Also, three countries modified the design of the national side of their standard coins: Belgium, Netherlands and Vatican. Probably even Spain will follow, given the recent abdication of King Juan Carlos.

Since this update, the graphics of the apps change.
It isn’t just a matter of aesthetic tastes: less saturated colors, transparencies and a flat-style design of the user interface help to better concentrate on what matters the most, the contents.

A little usability note: now the mini-albums dedicated to greek and german mint marks can be opened with a single tap on the handle, without having to drag it anymore.

New contents, new graphics and all the marketing materials updated accordingly: descriptions, screenshots, press release and the Facebook page.

A lot of work that required time, so thanks to collectors for their patience and to anyone willing to share the news! 🙂

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Design is how it works. A lecture at POLI.design

Steve Jobs said that and it’s repeated by the people who recognize how much important is building apps as much nice as user-friendly.

And it was the theme of my presentation as “visiting lecturer” at the Augmented Reality & Mobile Experience course held by Prof. Spallazzo at the Design Department of the Polytechnic University of Milan.

Generally speaking, designer and developer are two very different kinds of people, both in terms of education and personal tastes.
These differences often cause communication obstacles when they have to work together, for example to make an app for mobile devices.

So, in the first part of the lecture I talked about the best practices the two figures should follow, since knowing some details of how one works helps communicating better with the other.

In the second part I briefly showed the tools used by developers to make apps for the three main platforms: Apple iOS, Google Android and Microsoft Windows Phone.

No, I’m not a fan of any of the three operative systems! 😉
As I told the students, “I just can’t, as a professional”, but I started from iOS because in my experience it’s the ecosystem in which design and code are aspects historically treated with the same importance.

Being a class with a focus on technology applied to cultural heritage, I closed the lecture talking about the project Rationalism in the Province of Como.
Who better than rationalist architects did know how to use the rule of the golden mean, nowadays evident in the user interface design of iOS 7 and Windows Phone?

Thanks to Prof. Spallazzo for the invitation. Given the interest in this matter, together we hope to organize a course about app design and development.
Meanwhile, the presentation (italian only) I made for the lecture is available on SlideShare.

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Museums and the Web Florence 2014

Palazzo Vecchio in Florence has been the ideal setting to host for the first time in Italy the international conference Museums and the Web, organized yearly in the USA and dedicated to the relationship between technology and cultural places.

For me it was the chance to reconnect with “old” colleagues and meet new ones.

These are the three key points on which I’d like to focus, among the numerous matters discussed by the speakers during the three days-conference:

  • metrics: Robert Stein, Director of the Dallas Museum of Art (500.000 visitors per year), shared some very interesting metrics he used to measure and evaluate the initiatives of his institution. That’s a good practice we Italians aren’t quite used to: measuring the results of a project and planning the next steps according to that data.
  • live-tweeting: it was surprisingly useful during the presentations, since it helped me focus on the key-points, especially if the speaker didn’t have an effective presentation style. You have to be trained to be able to listen, synthetize and tweet properly, so thanks to BAM! Strategie Culturali, #svegliamuseo, flod republic and other bloggers.
  • gamification: it’s a hot topic, trendy I’d say, but it has to be treated carefully in my opinion. As a provocation, I’d like to recommend speakers to not talk about gamification in conferences about digital storytelling if they haven’t a line like “I play videogames from the beginning to the end” on their CV! 😛
    Taking “just a peek” at an storytelling-based game it’s like listening to the beginning of a story and never knowing how it will end, if you know what I mean.

The rest of my personal thoughts are in the captions of the photos I posted in the gallery dedicated to #MWF2014.

I also showed the work we did for the project Rationalism in the Province of Como in the demonstration area inside Palazzo Vecchio.
Someone told me that he liked it because the app looked more “emotional” compared to other solutions, since it generated empathy and involvement.
And if an french expert in the field tells you that, in english, I think it’s a quite valuable appreciation! 😉

  • They printed a wrong title for my badge...
Someone actually noticed... did I look like someone from a norvegian museum? ;)

#MWF2014 day-1
  • Laura Longo (Musei Civici Fiorentini) kick-started the conference in the amazing setting of the Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio.

She recalled that Anna Maria Luisa, the last hei ...
  • Robert Stein, Director of the Dallas Museum of Art (500k visitors per year), shared some very interesting metrics he used to measure and evaluate the initiatives of his institution.

That' ...

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