iPhone screen shots

We are pleased to announce our new iPhone App, available now in the Apple App Store.

Our new app packs a few major changes:

  1. Traditional character support!! This has been our most-requested feature. Simplified is still supported too, of course. You can enable traditional characters in expand-out menu under Settings.
  2. A new audio player that underlies text while you listen (see video below).
  3. An entirely new text adventure game interface.

There's one important qualification:

At it's release the app only supports the text adventure games.

We will be adding other activities as we make progress on adding support for traditional characters to those activities.

As I mentioned above, our app has a new audio player that will underline the characters as they are read. This makes it much easier to follow along with the audio if you're not super comfortable with the characters.

Here's a little movie of what that looks like:

Other important changes include a built-in dictionary that doesn't overlay what you're reading, and the ability to restore any text game (not just your most recent one). We are also laying the groundwork for richer progress tracking.

Why a new app?

We have wanted to make WordSwing a more cohesive learning experience rather than the somewhat eclectic activities present in on our website. We decided to use the iOS app as a place to experiment with doing this while at the same time solving a number of longstanding issues, such as lacking support for traditional characters and a suboptimal experience on small screens.

The iOS app is built using the same underlying web-oriented technologies as our web app and so this will make it easy to both bring over some of the other activities and features, as well as bring some of the new design over to the web app. You can expect the iOS app and web site to grow closer together going forward. This will also make it possible for us to offer an Android app in the near future.

You are free to use both the web app and the iOS app; your learn stage ratings and other data are shared between them. And whether you subscribe through the app or through the website, your subscription will be valid both places.

Want to give it a go?

If you play our text adventure games and you use iOS, we encourage you to try out the new app. You can find it in the app store by searching for "wordswing".

After you give it a go, please consider rating the app. This will help other people find it in the app store and it will help us know that our students like the app and want us to continue developing it.

Also, don't forget to tell us what you think. Many aspects of the design of this app have been informed by input from our students. Your voices matter and we listen and try and incorporate suggestions.