Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bjork apps now availableor Android

Photo credit: Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin
In order to bring her Biophilia educational apps to a wider audience of students, educators and fans, Björk has collaborated with San Francisco-based Apportable to make the apps available for Android tablets and phones. Also available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, the 10 Biophiliaapps each correlate to a song on Björk’s multimedia album of the same name and serve as the cornerstone of the Biophilia Educational Program, which incorporates the apps in a series of interactive workshops to bring science and music instruction to students around the world. The apps will now be available as one combined download for Android tablets and phones for $12.99.
“The Biophilia Educational Program is a new way to teach children about science and music,” says Björk. “It has met with success in many cities, sparking interest from kids and educators from all over the world, from South America to East Asia to Africa. The most interest has come from students from low-income households and schools with underfunded art budgets, and the only way to bring the project to those people is to have Biophilia reprogrammed for Android and Windows 8.”
Apportable’s technology quickly transfers programs from Apple to Android platforms without extensive changes to the code. The company was founded in 2011 through the Y Combinator startup accelerator program and has since powered apps that have risen to the top of the charts and reached millions of users through the Google Play Store, Amazon Appstore, and the Humble Android Bundle. “We are honored that Björk has chosen Apportable’s technology to powerBiophilia’s much-anticipated arrival on Android,” says Apportable’s CEO Collin Jackson. “Just as it broke new ground for interactive music apps with its original iOS release, Biophilia is breaking the boundaries of cross-platform mobile development as the first-ever Objective-C music app on Android.”
The apps are a central part of the Biophilia Educational Program, which began as a series of workshops Björk developed as part of her residency in Iceland. Björk collaborated with the University of Iceland and the City of Reykjavík to create interactive programming instructing students in the themes and natural phenomena that inspired her Biophilia album. She then brought the Biophilia Educational Program to New York middle school students during her residency at the New York Hall of Science in 2012, and also teamed up with the New York Public Library and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan to develop educational programming that ran in the city throughout last year. “It’s taught me that any sound can make music, and how much science and music is related,” described one student.
After traveling to Paris, Oslo, Buenos Aires, New York, Reykjavik, and Manchester, the workshops were held in Los Angeles and San Francisco this past month as part of Björk’s North American Biophilia tour. Reykjavik City’s Board of Education is currently running a mobile version of the Biophilia Educational Program in all of the city’s middle schools for the next three years.

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