Version 1.1.5: Spanish and Turkish

Earlier today we have published version 1.1.5, which mostly introduces new translations into Spanish (by Edinson Isai Carlos Abanto, Guillermo Jorge and Ruben Santiago Martinez) and Turkish (by Fatih Can Birinci). Note that the Turkish translation already partially slipped into previous releases by accident when it was still incomplete. There are also some minor improvements and a list of little bugs that have been fixed.


Changes on Android and iOS

  • Spanish translation.
  • Turkish translation (this has partially been enabled before by accident).
  • Spectrum experiments now have a peak frequency history plot.
  • The apply-zoom dialog when leaving a graph now defaults to “reset”, but remembers if you want to keep the zoom for the next time.
  • Fix: Remote interface breaks if NaN / null values are to be plotted. (Typically in frequency history or Doppler effect experiments)

Changes on Android

  • Fix for Bluetooth Experiments failing to load if using specific conversion functions on many Android devices.
  • Fix Bluetooth input conversion “formattedString” failing when using indices without explicitly specifying empty labels.
  • Fix: GPS experiments crash on phone that do not offer a network-based location service.
  • Fix black background of graph toolbar on some devices (i.e. Pixel 3).

Changes on iOS

  • Fix unresponsive Bluetooth scan result dialog.
  • Fix for Bluetooth: Pick write with/without response depending on peripheral’s capabilities.
  • Fix Bluetooth input conversion “formattedString” failing when using labels (this is different than the similar Android fix).
  • Fix for crash when sending an empty /control or /export request to the remote access webserver.

File format version 1.9

  • New Bluetooth device atttribute “mtu” to request a specific MTU size.
  • Support for new sensor type “attitude”.

A little footnote, in case someone is wondering: Spanish is a great example for which the concept of representing languages with flags fails miserably. None of the translators above comes from Spain, so just using the Spanish flag feels rather unfair and wrong, but it needs to be in the picture as it is the one that is best associated with the language. Then which other flags to include? Well, I chose the ones matching our translators, but there is a long list of countries that might feel left out when just looking at the picture…

Ars legendi faculty award 2020

The ars legendi faculty award for excellent academic teaching in mathematics and science is being awarded for the seventh time by the Stifterverband, the German Mathematical Society (DMV), the German Physical Society (DPG), the German Chemical Society (GDCh) and the society biology, bio sciences and bio medicine in Germany (VBIO). This yearly award is selected in the categories bio science, chemistry, mathematics and physics. It is the latter one, in which Professor Christoph Stampfer and Dr. Sebastian Staacks from the 2nd Institute of Physics and Professor Heidrun Heinke from the 1st Institute of Physics of the RWTH Aachen University received this year’s award for developing and disseminating the physics app “phyphox”.

By developing and continuously improving this app, the team permanently improved physics education in schools and academic teaching worldwide. By transforming common smartphones with their extensive sensor capabilities into powerful miniature laboratories, phyphox creates entirely new possibilities for teaching physics. Students of classical lectures can be drawn into an active role by contributing to experimentation that originally was only done as a demonstration on stage.

Website of the ars legendy faculty award (Stifterverband)
Press article of the RWTH Aachen University

Interesting OER material and cancelled events

Here are two topics that are entirely unrelated:

The positive one is that I would like to share with you some great open educational resources (OER) on global navigation satellite systems and the atmosphere from a project called TRYAT (“TRack Your ATmosphere”) by the OSZ Lise Meitner school in Berlin. The material is in English, includes some phyphox activities and can be found on their website as “Intellectual Output 3: GNSS and Atmosphere”.

The unrelated bad news is that several events have been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. For the upcoming weeks, we will unfortunately not have a chance to meet at the Sinus-Congress in Bochum, the JuLe-meeting in Berlin and the DPG spring meeting in Bonn, as all three have been cancelled.

1 million installations!

At some point over the past week it finally happened: We have surpassed one million installations! (Android and iOS combined)

This is so amazing. If anyone had told me that phyphox would spread like this three years ago (our initial release was in September 2016), I would not have believed it.

We, the phyphox team, are humbled by the amount of resonance we get from all around the globe and we are grateful for all the support we get from our RWTH Aachen University, from teachers, from colleagues, from students and of course from our volunteer translators and ambassadors who help us offer the app in so many languages.

Thank you all so much! We will continue to improve phyphox and create new and unusual ideas to use smartphones in STEM education.