Wednesday, February 16, 2011

ntask - leaner and faster.

It still sports its simple good looks, but it's now faster. That means that by keeping track of your to-do list with ntask, you have even more time to do the things that need doing. We've heard that there are ongoing sync issues with Exchange 2003 and we're continuing to investigate while we make sure that functionality for more recent services remains up to date.

With the latest updates, we're happy to be able to offer enhanced synchronisation for Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Sharepoint 2007, and Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Sharepoint 2010. We've also fixed the feature that required you to enter a due date for your tasks. Due dates are no longer needed in order to register a task.

You asked, and we delivered (a better ntask).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Collaborative learning with Make Words for iPad.

Created for one or two player interaction, the new nsquared Make Words for iPad helps learners with object recognition, recall and spelling skill development. We love that learners can play this game by themselves, with a parent, or with their siblings. We especially like that it encourages collaboration in a fun, competitive environment.

Collaborative learning is something that we're happy to see being highlighted more and more in the design of classroom learning experiences. To us, collaboration is a natural part of life and, not to put too blunt a point on it, has been one of the reasons that we humans have come to survive as a species as well as we have. We're also competitive animals. Sometimes it's purely for fun and often it's for survival:- plain and simple.

The bottom line is that we instinctively know that we're generally stronger when we band together to meet challenges, than if we go it alone. Collaboration allows us to share skills, knowledge and experience in order to take advantage of shared opportunities. It forces us to develop our communication skills and to be creative, which eventually increases the knowledge and approach of each and every one of the individuals in the group.

This is one of the reasons we loved Microsoft Surface so much when we were first introduced (and still do). It provides opportunities for un-interrrupted face to face learning and encourages collaboration. The dialogues that are part of the interactions never fail to surprise us in terms of content and complexity. Classroom learning has traditionally discouraged conversation, so it's great to see the change in focus.

iPad, with its generous screen size, touch screen interface, and ability to display and work in both landscape and portrait layouts, presents some similar opportunities, so we've been enjoying creating our apps for this clever interface. Our latest app, nsquared Make Words for iPad, has recently been released for download from the App Store and we couldn't be prouder. We've loved watching the interactions of our beta testers and we know that it will be a loved part of everyone's iPad app library. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Windows Phone 7 - Welcome back

Most of you will know that we've loved mobile for many, many, years and that we've been actively involved for just as long. You'll probably also have noticed that while we were once very active in the Windows Mobile smartphone space, our focus has shifted to iPhone over the last couple of years. The launch of Windows Phone 7 now sees us back, dipping our toes in some relatively familiar waters. The scenery has changed, and we're excited to have a reason to come back!

To celebrate, we've launched Locus for Windows Phone 7. It's the Windows Phone version of our popular iPhone app, Locus, the original private posting app. It lets you control who you post your location to: - you can choose to post only to your Locus buddies, and even then only to selected people if that's what works, or you can add your location post to Facebook as well. It's completely up to you.

It's a great way to keep in touch with friends all over the world, without having to tell the whole world!

It's great for organising impromptu catch-ups with friends in the same town; and it's great for letting the people who care for you know where you are. There are plenty of benefits, most of which we didn't think of until we had the app up and running, but we're glad for them anyway.

So, for all of you running on the sparkly new Microsoft Windows Phone 7, you can now team up with your iPhone buddies who have Locus!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

iPad learning and fun with nsquared sticker book

While the debates around whether or not iPad will become widely adopted as a standard piece of every educational tool kit, governments, universities and independents schools are voting with their wallets. Some are doing it on a small scale in order to trial and assess the benefits, and others are reported to be engaging in widespread adoption plans.

The case seems clear to us, and whether or not iPads become the newest technology to be incorporated into formal education settings, we're continuing to create and deliver educational apps for the market. We truly believe that touch, integrated with collaborative and competitive learning experiences, highly influences learning retention. While most of the population sees touch as a new innovation, and some see it as a gimmick, I think we're forgetting that touch and physical interaction with our learning environments is not only completely natural, it's also been a part of of our formal and informal learning processes for many years. Even if you take out foundational learning which requires looking at, picking up and manipulating physical objects e.g. basic building blocks, Duplo and Lego; it remains part of our formal learning experiences and information exchange to the highest levels when we use hand writing to record notes, annotate diagrams, sketch out ideas, and even use a keyboard to express ourselves. A note on keyboards and handwriting here - research has shown that learning is better when we use hand writing rather than a keyboard, so it seems we're on the right track with bringing touch back to learning. Our latest touch app to hit the iTunes iPad app store. nsquared sticker book is designed to develop numeracy, pattern matching and object recognition skills. Designed for one or two players, sticker book needs each player to collect the correct numbers of each sticker and place them into their own sticker book. In its initial release, the app ships with 7 themed activities. There are more coming soon, and we're looking forward to sharing them with you and finding out what you think of it.