This paper describes two mobile learning journeys in the zoo using either smartphones or tablets, and a mobile learning application SamEx, all designed and implemented as part of a research study in a Singapore primary school. Out-of-school semi-formal learning activities such as zoo trips present standard curricular topics where students go out of their schools in order to explore topics of interest in a semi-controlled designed environment. Typically, students observe and connect their observations with prior knowledge or further extend their knowledge on the go or later with their teacher in the classroom. The initial study in 2013 included the whole Primary 3 (P3) level of students, 305 of them, while the subsequent study in 2015 included 321 students. Between the years technology shift was inevitable - the participating school switched from smartphone devices to tablet computers, where each child has a tablet with the option to connect to both a WiFi network and to a mobile broadband network. Furthermore, the changes in the design of the mobile learning SamEx application were carried out in collaboration with the teachers, through a design-based research process. SamEx allows for the collection, organization and storage of media collected by students typically as responses to questions and prompts set up by their teachers. The initial design was oriented towards individual students, to support their individual in-class and homework learning tasks and assignments. The main features added to the application incorporated additional teachers' needs in carrying out curricular topics including inquiry learning and collaborative learning. The paper explores the evolution of both technology and the implementation of the application in the period, and problematizes the notion of inevitable technology change, constant software maintenance and enhancement and the effect of these changes on learning activities and outcomes. Copyright © 2015 IEEE.