New Block Hunt AR Game

Block Hunt AR Game

We’ve wanted to add a new game to Super Speller for quite some time, but none of ideas felt quite right. Until now. Apple’s relatively new augmented reality technology, also known as ARKit, has matured to the point that we decided to see how we might use it in Super Speller.  This technology allows you to project objects into the real world and we wondered if we could build a game using alphabet blocks which fall all around you. You’d then look for the blocks you need to spell each of your words. The result is our new Block Hunt game.

As you look around, the game recognizes surfaces like floors, tables, desks, and even walls, which allows the blocks to land or bounce off of these surfaces. When you tap a block, it zooms towards you and turns green or red depending on whether or not the letter is needed to spell your word. It’s a lot of fun to play and we’re so excited to finally make it available to you today.

Block Hunt is available in Super Speller version 5.1 for all devices which support Apple’s ARKit.

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Super Speller 5 is Here!

It’s been a quite a journey to get here but we’re proud to announce the release of Super Speller 5 this morning!

As promised, Super Speller 5 is a complete rewrite of the app using the latests technologies available from Apple. We believe Super Speller is improved in almost every category: iCloud support and 3rd party sharing, user interface consistency, stability, and of course, 100% more confetti in the balloons. We’ve also added two new themes: Comic Book and a Plain theme for maximum contrast and clarity.

For a bit more on the technical side of this update, keep reading. Or if you’d rather you can skip all that and start exploring the update on the App Store. We’re anxious to learn what people think of it!

Now, excuse us while we nerd out for a moment.

Our primary goals with Super Speller 5 were to lay the groundwork for new features and allow Super Speller to be run seamlessly on all the varied screen sizes and orientations that Apple devices now support. This was quite a challenge! For example supporting each of the currently shipping Apple devices could require as many as seven different backgrounds for every theme. When you add Split View into the mix that number jumps to over twenty! Using the old approach was increasingly impractical.

We began working on a solution to this problem over two years ago and after many false starts and challenges we finally created a solution that we’re happy with. In Super Speller 5 most of the user interface is created by the app which means we no longer have to worry about making backgrounds for all the various screen sizes. And we no longer have to create variations for all of our buttons every time a new theme is added. The app automatically determines the best layout for any size screen. The benefit to us is a big decrease in the effort it takes to support new devices from Apple. The benefit to users is a support for any orientation, multitasking, and a big reduction in the size of the app. Super Speller is nearly half the size of previous versions!

We’re very excited about all the changes in Super Speller 5 and we hope you are too!

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An Update on Our Update

It seems like it wasn’t so very long ago that we last wrote about how it seems like it wasn’t so long ago we’d last updated Super Speller. It has, in fact, been nearly 10 months since our last post mentioning it had been nearly 2 years since our last significant Super Speller update!

Well we’re happy to say that we are entering the home stretch with Super Speller 5 which is now in beta testing. That’s the good news. Unfortunately it turns out that this new version will require iOS 11. Among our options was creating a new app which would require everyone to re-purchase the app, or pushing back the release (again) to explore ways to preserve support for those running older versions of iOS, or requiring iOS 11. Neither of the first two options was appealing and so we opted for the latter.

Not to worry if you’re running an older version of iOS, Super Speller 4.1.1 will continue to work just fine for you and the new version will be waiting for you when you make the jump to iOS 11.

Testing is going well so far and we’re anxious to release Super Speller 5 sometime in the next few weeks.

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Goalposts 1.5.2

Another update this morning. This time we have an update to Goalposts and Goalposts Lite. These updates focus on improving compatibility and correcting other minor issues. Goalposts and Goalposts Lite are both available on the App Store.

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Super Speller 4.1.1

A minor update to Super Speller is out this morning. This adds some compatibility and iCloud improvements. You can download it now from the App Store!

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