Blog Archive

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Skritter for Android Beta Release

The wait is over, and Skritter for Android is finally here! The app has come a long way since the alpha version released late last year, and now after several several weeks of internal testing, we have decided that the time to release this as a public beta has arrived.

This is a beta, so we need your help!

What we release today is a beta version, which means that even though there are still many kinks to work out and features to implement, we would rather make the app available today so that users with Android devices can finally get their hands on the app and help us make Skritter the perfect learning tool. Since we can't test the app on all available devices, by using it you provide us with valuable information so that we can continue to update and improve it. If things are not currently up to your ideal expectations, don't fret, as these updates will come often!

Devices that can run the app

The app is targeted for all devices with Android 4+, and we've tested Skritter using the following:

  • Samsung Galaxy S3 & S4
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 2, 3, and 10.1
  • Nexus 5, 7, 10
With tons of devices (5461) using Google Play, it might take some time to increase support for everything, especially older device models. If you run into problems, please mention the device you're using in your feedback. We are pushing the boundaries of what HTML5 can do with educational apps, and this relies on a fair amount of third party support, so sometimes we have to wait for other parties to implement fixes to their own technologies before we can keep advancing toward uncharted waters! 


Enough-- now tell me how to get the app!

Follow these instructions to install the app on your Android device. It's important that you follow these steps carefully and make sure you complete each step before going to the next!
  1. Join the public Skritter Beta Testers Google community with the account you have linked with the Google Play Store.

  2. Become a beta tester by visiting the link corresponding to the language you are studying:

    Chinese (click “Become a Tester”)
    Japanese (click “Become a Tester”)
     
  3. Either click "Download Skritter from the Play Store" from the testing agreement, or use the links below:

    Download Skritter Chinese
    Download Skritter Japanese


    Note: You can’t find the app by searching the Play Store yet, so must use the methods mentioned above to download it successfully.
     
  4. Start the app, sign in using your Skritter username, and enjoy! Finally, Android users are no longer tied to their computers-- go forth and Skritter away anytime and anywhere! Please note that the first time you login your entire account will be downloaded, which can take some time, but you only have to do this once!

  5. If you're new to Skritter and want to try out the Android version, you can create a new account from within the app.
     
  6. Report feedback in the Skritter Beta Testers Google community you joined in step one. The more information you provide, the easier it will be for us to fix the problem!
     
  7. Keep an eye out for updates. We will update the app often based on the feedback we receive and each update will be announced in the Google community. If there is an update available, it will show up in Play Store > My Apps > Installed.

What's new?

The Android version isn't meant to be identical to either the online flash version or the iOS app, but it's of course meant to help you learn Chinese and Japanese equally as well. Here are some new features in the Android app:
  • Guided learning mode for new character writings.
  • Support for Bopomofo (注音符號).
  • Focused learning with hidden study timer and due counter.
  • Landscape mode for tablets and larger devices.

Android? HTML5? Cross-platform? Open source?

The Android app is directly related to the current open-source HTML5 project. It is built on top the powerful Skritter API for data interactions and uses CocoonJS to help accelerate canvas drawing. By pushing the envelope with HTML5, we strongly believe that it will allow us to better expand and add features in the future. If you're a developer and ever wanted to see how Skritter works (or perhaps even contribute), we warmly welcome you to check out the GitHub project!
 
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