Today, I took a look at the Treehouse iPad App. Treehouse only offers this app on iOS 7 for iPad, and not on smaller devices like the iPhone or on any Android devices yet.
Treehouse for iPad offers all of the basic features that you would expect from a learning application – you can watch the videos, take the quizzes, do the coding assignments, and the application will synchronize with your account so that you always know which videos you have watched and which you have not. There also seems to be the ability to download individual videos for later viewing, although the ability is missing at the course level. Also, since the videos alternate between watching a video and taking a test, and the tests are not available offline, you really can’t do much offline and so the ability to download a single video for later viewing doesn’t really work.
When the iPad was first introduced, one of the most celebrated features was that it made a great learning platform. The ability to take the device to a comfortable sofa and watch videos, take tests, and learn was a major selling point of this device. Well it’s taken a few years for various online education companies to emerge and create applications specifically for the iPad, but it seems that we are here.
I do have a concern that the app seems to have a few glitches. While in the middle of taking a quiz, the app stopped suddenly and told me it could not work in offline mode, kicking me back to the previous screen. It seems overly sensitive to the quality of a wifi connection, and should probably be a bit more patient as connectivity is not guaranteed to be 100% at all times.
Also, in taking the quiz, it shows some odd results after submitting answers. It doesn’t impede my use of the app, except it doesn’t look right and might put some people off from using the app because it seems broken.
I think that Treehouse needs to get a bit more into testing the app, and fixing these seemingly obvious glitches.
But those are largely cosmetic – except constantly getting kicked out of the app because your WiFi connection doesn’t stay strong might get annoying quickly. If you have a subscription to Treehouse, and you have an iPad, this app could be a good alternative to sitting at your desktop or having your laptop with you. But the inability to download videos for offline viewing limits it’s usefulness when travelling.