Viewing supports on iPad Safari

As more and more people begin using Symbly (which we love!), I’m constantly amazed at the new ways people end up using the service that I never would have considered. For example, we’ve noticed a pattern where many of our users are browsing the Symbly site on the iPad Safari mobile browser. I don’t know why it never occurred to us that people would want to do this, but it didn’t! One of the major roadblocks that these users kept running into was the fact that we didn’t allow even viewing supports on mobile browsers. We anticipated that anyone who wanted to view a support with a mobile device would use the Symbly Go iPad App. What we didn’t consider, though, was that you can only browse your own supports on the Symbly Go app. So, if you wanted to view public supports, or a support that someone sent you via a sharing link, you would have to log into a desktop computer, copy the support, and then view it on your iPad. How annoying!

I’m pleased to report that we’ve corrected this major oversight. Starting today, you can browse the entire Symbly site optimized for iPad. And if you go to view a support, you’ll be able to! The one thing you can’t do right now is edit supports on the iPad (or other mobile browsers). While we could enable it, it just doesn’t work very well. The interface is designed around using a keyboard and mouse, not fingers! We’re working hard to re-design a new version of the editor with multi-touch tablets (like the iPad) in mind, though, so stay tuned!

So where does the Symbly Go app fit into all of this? The Symbly Go app is designed to keep an offline library of your supports so you can take them anywhere. It’s still the best way to view supports on your iPad that you use all the time. It’s also the only option we offer right now that lets you use text-to-speech with your supports. But, now you have the added option of accessing all of your supports (even those you aren’t syncing to Symbly Go) and public supports whenever you have an Internet connection available.

Thanks for all the great feedback from our users, and let us know how this new feature helps you make even better use of Symbly!


Introducing Symbly Go for iPad

We’re very excited today to introduce Symbly Go, the companion app to Symbly available now for the iPad on the Apple App Store. We’ve had a vision for a long time of Symbly as a “complete package”, and the Symbly Go app is the last major piece to that puzzle.

Symbly Go does one simple thing: it seamlessly allows you to have access to your library of visual supports wherever you need them. It’s completely uncomplicated to set up and use. Just log in with your Symbly account and it takes care of the rest, downloading your supports in the background whenever you have an active Internet connection. After the initial download, you can go anywhere, even where there isn’t an Internet connection via Wifi or 3G, and you’ll still be able to access and use your supports. As you make changes to your supports on the Symbly website, those supports are downloaded whenever an Internet connection is available to your iPad. And if you’re really looking for real-time updates, the Symbly Go app supports our innovative real-time collaboration technology, allowing you to see updates come through to your iPad immediately.

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Symbly Go is Now Available on the App Store

Update Feburary 2nd: The Symbly Go App is available on the App Store! You can access it by searching for “symbly”, or following this link directly. Thanks for your patience!

While Symbly has officially launched to the public, unfortunately the Symbly Go iPad app has not yet been approved for listing in the Apple App Store. Due to Apple’s process, we currently have no firm date on when it will be available, but we are hopeful that it will be listed within the next few business days.

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Symbly’s real-time collaboration — work with others, from anywhere

This post is part of a series examining a few of the great features of Symbly as we approach our public launch. Symbly launches on January 28!

One of the greatest advantages of web-based software is the ability to use it from anywhere. You don’t have to worry about carrying around installation CD’s, and there are no fears of going over your “activation limit” for a serial number. You just enter a URL into the browser on any computer and login to your account. But beyond that basic ease of use, Symbly takes it one step further by giving you the option to collaborate with other users in real-time.

Real-time collaboration means that two (or five, or ten, or more!) Symbly users can have the same support open at the same time. As one edits, the other other sees those changes happening right away. It enables our users to collaborate in real-time across any distance.

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Symbly Teams — Because it’s always better to work together

This post is part of a series highlighting a few of Symbly’s great features as we approach launch day. Symbly launches to the public on January 28!

In the philosophy behind Symbly, one of our strongest tenets is the belief that the special education community needs to be empowered to work together. That’s why, from the very beginning, we’ve always known that Symbly should include sharing as a primary feature. However, sometimes you want to be a bit more focused in your sharing, rather that sharing a support with the entire world. Perhaps you have a group of colleagues that need to collaborate on a student’s team. Or, you want to create a team that all Symbly users can join centered around a broader topic, such as “Supports for Elementary Students”. The Symbly teams feature allows you to do just that.

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A New Perspective

We’re always trying to figure out the best way to get the word out about Symbly, and of course the first place we always try to improve is our own website. In that spirit, we’re pleased to present our new Symbly Tour page. The Tour gives (hopefully) a great overview about all the amazing benefits that Symbly can offer you. There’s a lot to cover, but we tried to make it as straightforward and graphical as possible.

In addition to the Tour, we’re also proud to allow quick access to the Symbly Editor for testing purposes via our new Symbly Editor Demo. The demo is a fully fledged Symbly Editor that you can use to your heart’s content. However, you can only edit the demo support, your changes aren’t saved, and you can’t print. While the demo isn’t so great for use on a regular basis (or for getting much “real” work done), it’s a great way to get a feel for Symbly yourself, make sure that it’s compatible with your computer, and hopefully convince you (when the time comes) to sign up for a free trial.

Enjoy these two new perspectives on Symbly, and we look forward to welcoming you to our community in January when we launch to the public!


Beta Approaches, New Demo Video!

As we near the start of our closed beta and our eventual launch, things are really starting to come together in the world of Symbly development. The website is up and running, and has all the great social features that we know our users are going to want: sharing supports, commenting, rating, searching, and tagging. Our online editor is ready, with more advanced features being added every day. And finally, our iPad app is currently in the queue to be approved by Apple, hopefully within the next week. We’re very excited about all this great progress, and look forward to the day (very soon!) when we’ll be able to open our doors and share Symbly with the rest of the world.

In the meantime, we have a new demo video up on the front page of the site, which gives a brief overview of what Symbly is and what it can do. You can also check it out below:

We hope that you are as excited about Symbly as we are, and if you’re interested in becoming a beta tester, don’t forget to drop us a line and let us know.