I have recently been struck by the rich electronic resources packed into today’s smart phones. Because it is my business to educate students about “embedded systems” through the use of microcontrollers I wondered how easy it would be to connect a mobile to a microcontroller. A quick scan via Google revealed so much material on connecting “this” to “that” and how to do it that I knew it was possible. The big question was, given my day job, could I do it? The answer was yes! I borrowed a Samsung Galaxy S2 and bought an Arduino BT (Bluetooth) board and completed my first “app” that controlled a very simple robot within about a month of starting – I suppose I put in about 20 to 30 hours to reach this point. Since then I have developed more capability and am now able to write simple apps that use a variety of buttons and sliders (Android widgets) to turn things on and off (eg motors and LED’s) and control servos as well as gather information from the Arduino inputs. I am continuing to reflect on this experience which was a revelation to me. Due to my age and background I have been “trained” that one must be taught principles first and then use them and yet my experience with “apps” seemed to be the opposite, I didn’t know Java, phones, BlueTooth or Arduino and yet cobbled together something that worked using internet resources only vaguely understanding what I was doing (although I have a pretty good background in microcontrollers and specific kinds of programming paradigms). With subsequent practice I feel I am beginning to understand what I did at first but am a long way away from the kind of facility needed for professional “app” development. I have found the whole thing really interesting and am still trying to figure out what it all means for education!