News

Version 1.0.10 (hotfix for iOS)

If you are using an iOS device (specifically an iPhone older than the iPhone 6s or most iPads) and tried our latest update, you will quite certainly have encountered the error “rate mismatch”. Sorry about that, we have just released version 1.0.10, which fixes this. (Since this only fixes the iOS issue, there will be no 1.0.10 on Android.)

If you are working with your own phyphox experiments, the following details might be relevant to you:

The problem here is, that there is no guaranteed way to force a certain audio sample rate. You can set a preference, but the system might chose to ignore this (for example when using AirPlay, which forces 44,1 kHz). Since many experiments require the exact data rate for their calculations, we inserted a check, which tests if we actually got the correct rate. Turns out that this resulted in the error on all older devices which natively run at 44,1 kHz because a) we checked to early and the desired rate might still be set correctly and b) there are several more scenarios which prevent switching to a specific rate. Therefore we now allow that the system sets a different rate and modified our file format, so that the experiments can get the actual sample rate and use it for their calculations.

This means, that at the moment the file format in iOS supports this new output while the Android version does not. We will fix this with the next update soon, but if you rely on the exact sample rate for your own experiment, please let me know, so I can help to get this right now.

Version 1.0.9 (minor bugfixes)

Version 1.0.9 was just published to address a range of minor problems (we are still working on the big update with Bluetooth and interactive Graphs). This most important fixes of this update address crashes related to the remote access on iOS. Thanks to everybody who reported these bugs.

Changelog

Changes on Android and iOS

  • Location (GPS) experiment now calculates the distance travelled.
  • Pendulum experiment shows a genreic results page first.
  • Minor optimizations of remote access communication.
  • Minor optimizations of text in experiments.
  • Fix: Inclination experiment now resumes at correct timestamp.
  • Fix: Jittery axis in roll experiment.

Changes on Android

  • Allow installation on external storage.
  • Added some MIME types to allow opening phyphox files from more third-party apps.
  • Correct GPS height from WGS84 ellipsoid to geoid if possible.
  • Adaptive Icons for Android 8.0.
  • Fix: Order of external links now matches definition in custom experiments.
  • Fix: Rotation lock ignored in main menu.

Changes on iOS

  • Wider text fields.
  • Icon-Positioning in tool bar no longer optimized by the app as this lead to problems on some iOS 11 versions.
  • Remove subject text when sharing data or screenshots as this generates multiple files in iOS and leads to more trouble than it’s worth.
  • Fix: Crash when using the remote access in hotspot mode.
  • Fix: Crash when saving a saved state a second time.
  • Fix: Crash when activating remote access while port 80 is already in use.
  • Fix: Crash when the system does not support an audio rate of 48 kHz (for example when using AirPlay).
  • Fix: Crash when external link has not been translated in custom experiment.
  • Fix: Highlighted link not visible if not translated.
  • Fix: Some sensors do not produce data on iPods (fix not tested).

Modular online worksheets

There is now a new system to generate modular worksheets that can be send to students as a webpage. The teacher can decide which aspects are included in the worksheet (hence modular) and set up a customized session. This can include theoretical explanation, experiment instructions and/or assignments. The system also allows to collect experiment results from students through a web form.

Unfortunately, while the system can handle multiple languages, there is no content in English yet as we are still evaluating the demand. This system is mostly targeted towards academic teaching where masses of students can work online, so please let us know if you are interested in an English version of our worksheets.

New events in Berlin and Taipei

Just another update to our events calendar. The first one in January, after our visit to San Diego, we will be at the Annual Meeting of the Physical Society of Taiwan, where Sebastian Staacks will give a talk and hold two workshops with hands-on experiments. Later this year, the Junglehrertagung in Berlin has been added to our schedule, where again Sebastian Staacks will hold two workshops.

Applause meter used in the RWTH science slam

I hope you enjoyed our science night at the RWTH Aachen University and attended our smartphone experiment talk or visited us at our phyphox booth. But even if you did not attend our science night, you might still enjoy playing with a new tool…

Right at the beginning of the science night there was a big science slam which used phyphox as an applause meter to assign scores to the contestants. So, here it is – Simply open the following link on your phone with phyphox installed and it should automatically launch in our app:
Applause meter

Just a few things to keep in mind if you want to use it in an actual competitions:

  • Scores varying across different phones, so you should use the same phone to judge all contestants.
  • Do not place the phone too close your audience as close sounds register much louder. Often a place quite central on stage is a good choice. Always evaluate the applause from the same place and orientation of the phone.
  • The score will be proportional to the integral of the RMS of the recording. In other words, you will get higher scores for louder and longer applause – It adds up continuously at a rate that depends on the volume of the applause.

Reviewing our workshop on academic teaching

It’s been more than a week since we held a workshop on academic teaching with phyphox for the first time. I picked the phrase “for the first time” with intent because this workshop has been a huge success and it is quite likely to be held again in the future.

A total of 25 participants from the RWTH Aachen University and a whole range of German educational institutions gathered to learn about ways to use phyphox in lectures and associated exercises. There was not just an introduction to the app and a presentation of our use of phyphox in physics lectures at RWTH Aachen University, but also hands-on experiences for experiments and our experiment editor as well as discussions on the future of phyphox.