Category Archives: Uncategorized

Release 15.2

Today we released version 15.2 of iXplain and iXplain Pro. This release contains a new feature for pausing the playback of the pencast while continuing recording the voice-over. This video tutorial will show some scenario’s of how to use the new feature.


The reason we introduced this feature, is that when doing a voice over, at some point you might want to explain or elaborate on something during your pencast while you want the playback of the pencast to pause. If you don’t know exactly beforehand how long you will actually need before continuing the playback, this new feature will allow you to pause and continue the playback during the recording of the voice-over.

This version also contains a number of bugfixes as described in the release notes . We re-engineered some core parts of the app related to the graphics engine which makes drawing of lines smoother. Exporting a pencast to an mp4 video will now take less time.

Hope this helps,
Ronald

Rename iXplain Business Edition to iXplain Pro

In December 2016 we introduced the app iXplain Business Edition in order for organizations to be able to use the Pro features by purchasing licenses through the Microsoft Store for Business and Education. Because this app is the free app iXplain plus the add-on Pro features and it does not have any additional features which are not available in iXplain, we decided to rename it to iXplain Pro, as it better represents the app.

We will rename the app when the next version is released, which is scheduled to be released in August 2017.

Hope this helps
Ronald

Changes to free version of iXplain

iXplain is a free app with the add-on ‘Pro’. In the current release one can use images or the camera on the phone without the add-on ‘Pro’. We decided that in the next release these features will only be available when you have purchased the add-on ‘Pro’. Other features which will not be available in the free version is being able to do a voice over pencast and choosing the resolution when exporting the pencast to an mp4 video file. In the free version one can still create a quick pencast, save the pencast, and export the pencast to an mp4 file. We think that the free features of iXplain is still useful for the occasional user, and to get familiar with pencasting and what is possible with iXplain.

The next release of iXplain is scheduled to be released on the short term. Because of limiting the free version of iXplain, the add-on ‘Pro’ will be available with a 20% discount for USD 4.99 until the end of March.

iXplain Business Edition available

As of today the new app iXplain Business Edition is available in the Windows Store and the Windows Store for Business. iXplain Business Edition is a paid app which is the same as the free version of iXplain including the add-on Pro Features.

We introduced iXplain Business Edition because organizations who use the Windows Store for Business to acquire and distribute apps, where not able to acquire the add-on Pro Features because the Windows Store for Business does not support the acquisition of add-ons. That is the reason we created a new app called iXplain Business Edition in order for organizations to be able to use iXplain with features like slides and images.

iXplain Business Edition is a paid app with a trial period of 7 days. The introduction price will be the same as the price of the add-on Pro Features of the free version of iXplain. The free version of iXplain is removed from the Windows Store for Business.

Hope this helps
Ronald

Release 15 available

We are happy to announce that release 15 is now available in the Windows Store. Some of the new features are the ability to use slides in a quick recording, to pause and continue a recording, and being able to quickly go forward and backward in the re-designed control palette. See our previous post for a more complete list of the new features. We think that this release will substantially increase your productivity in iXplain. We have been working for more than a year to implement the new features, but we used most of our time in re-engineering large parts of the app. Because of this we made good progress in increasing the stability of iXplain resulting in fewer crashes.

So if you didn’t have a look already, go to the Windows Store app and check for updates there. You can check the version of iXplain on your device by going to the Settings page in the start screen, and selecting the About option. Our current version is 15.0.45, but this number will increase if new updates are available.

So we hope that all the new features and improvements are useful. Let us now what you think of the new release. As always, we appreciate any feedback.

Hope this helps,
Ronald

iXplain Business Edition

iXplain is available in Windows Store for Business, which does not support in-app purchases. Because of that, users were not able to use the ‘Pro features’. In order to fix this we are going to introduce a new app called ‘iXplain Business Edition’ which will be available in the Windows Store for Business. iXplain Business Edition is the same as the free version of iXplain including the ‘Pro features’. Organizations, like schools and businesses, who use the Windows Store for Business to acquire and distribute apps, will be able to use iXplain with features like slides an images.

iXplain Business Edition will be a paid app with a trial period of 7 days. The introduction price will be the same as the price of the in-app purchase ‘Pro features’ of the free version of iXplain. We will release iXplain Business Edition shortly after the release 15.0 if iXplain, which is scheduled for this month. The free version of iXplain will then be removed from the business store.

Hope this helps

Ronald

 

Release 15, the Productivity release

We are excited to finally share some news on iXplain. It has been a while since our last main release more than a year ago. So we are happy to be able to let you know that we are in the last phase of releasing a new version of iXplain.

It contains a lot of features which substantially increases the productivity in iXplain. Internally we call it the ‘Productivity Release’. We had to re-engineer large parts of the app in order to implement those features, but also to create a solid base, ready for the future. So although you haven’t heard from us for a long time, we have put a lot of effort in iXplain. The features are not yet available, but will be available on the short term.

We will give you a peek of the new features you can expect.

Windows 10 and the Universal App Platform

Microsoft introduced the Universal App Platform with Windows 10. The next version of iXplain will be a Universal app. This means that iXplain can run on any device running Windows 10,  including Windows 10 Mobile. As an introduction feature, we decided that if you are using iXplain on a mobile, you can use an image without having to purchase ‘Pro Features’.

Basic Windows functionality

We redesigned the app in order to be in line with the Windows 10 style. The startpage is redesigned in particular. It is now possible to pin recordings in the startpage. The startpage contains a recent list of recording where the most recent used recordings are listed first. iXplain now supports basic features you would expect of any application running on a Windows device and which will enhance your productivity. For example you can organize your recordings by saving them to any folder on your system. You can double-click iXplain files in order to open them. If you have purchased the ‘Pro Features’, you can right-click an image and start explaining immediately.

Pause and continue

One of the most requested features was the possibility to pause and continue a recording. In fact any recording can be continued, also if the recording is opened from a file which was send to you by someone else. This creates possibilities of working together on a recording with multiple users. When a recording is paused, but still in recording mode, obviously the voice is not recorded. But when paused, one can still draw on the canvas.

Slides

Another feature which was requested frequently, was the possibility to create slides in a quick recording. The slide list is a list of thumbnail of all the slides, which lets you easily switch between slides while recording. This enables the scenario where you want to go on a side track while explaining something, but being able to return to a previous drawing. The slides feature is now only available when you have purchased the ‘Pro Features’.

Control palette redesign

The control palette in which you start and stop a recording, or start or stop playing back a recording is redesigned slightly. The pausing and continuing of a recording, discussed before is done with a new button in the control palette. This button also lets you easily go back- and forward in a recording, by rotating it around the control palette. This going back- and forward is not just available in a base recording, but also in a quick recording. And not just while pausing a recording, but also while recording your voice. This allows for even more freedom while explaining something.

Limiting the free version

We decided to limit the free functionality of iXplain. In previous releases it was possible to use images even when the user had no ‘Pro Features’ license. The exported video would contain the text ‘Preview’. In the next release it is not possible to use images at all without a ‘Pro Features’ license. This is the same for slides in a base recording. We still think that the free functionality is useful for the occasional user, and to get an idea of what is possible with iXplain.

Pricing

With the introduction of the new release, we will also be increase the in-app purchase ‘Pro Features’ to USD5.99 or the equivalence in your country. We are planning to release the new version on the short term. Hopefully, if all goes according plan, somewhere mid-december.

Insider program

With this release we also introduce an insider program, which lets users get access to the latest bits. If you are interested, please let us know.

Hope this helps,

Ronald

 

 

 

Release 14.3

Release 14.3 is a release containing only 1 but important bugfix. When saving a base recording containg text, the recording could not be opened. iXplain does not read the recording file correctly which results in an error message. The recording data in the file itself is not corrupt. This means that existing recordings containing text and saved with a previous release of iXplain, can be opened.

Hope this helps,
Ronald

Release 14.2

On a regular base users of iXplain experienced crashes when starting the iXplain app or when saving a recording. The root cause is still not clear as it happened only on a small percentage of devices where the app is installed. Default iXplain saves the recordings and videos in the subfolders of the standard ‘Videos’ folder of the user. In the file explorer one can see the ‘iXplain videos’ subfolder in the ‘Videos’ folder, where the videos are saved. The ‘iXplain videos’ folder has a ‘Recordings’ subfolder where the recordings are saved. The crash happens when the ‘Videos’ folder for some unknown reason is not accessible anymore.

Release 14.2 gives the user a simple workaround, by giving the opportunity to change the location of where the recordings or videos are saved. When iXplain can not access the default location in the ‘Videos’ folder, the user is presented a dialog where the user can select a folder for both recordings and videos. iXplain uses different locations for both the recordings and videos, so the user has to pick a folder twice. For example one could choose a OneDrive folder in order to have your recordings and videos automatically backed up.

Off course the user can also change the locations through an option in the ‘Recording Library’ page and ‘Video Library’ page. When swiping from the bottom, there is the button in the appbar to set the folder. When choosing this option all recordings and videos are copied to the new location.

Hope this helps,
Ronald

Release 14.0

This week release 14.0 is available in the Windows Store. It is a major release with many new features like an infinite canvas, background and foreground images, drag ‘n drop of images, moving of foreground images, better pen support, custom folders for recordings and videos. It is a major release because core parts of the app had to be redesigned and rebuild from the ground up in order to build some of the new features. For example an infinite canvas was practically impossible based on the old design. Because of this redesign, it took us some time to complete it all since our last release in September last year. But we are very happy with the result, and this opens up a lot of new possibilities for the future.

One of the features a lot of users requested is the support for an infinite canvas. When using a pen, one can use 1 finger for panning a slide. By being able to pan, it means you have an infinite canvas at your disposal. For devices that do not support a pen, one finger is used for drawing and two fingers for panning.

Release 14.0 has better support for using a pen. For example if the pen has an eraser button, like a Surface pen, one can erase lines with the pen. In both a quick and base recording, the erasing is recorded. When playing back the recording, you can see the eraser doing its work. This is unlike the undo action in a base recording. Because when undoing the drawing of a line in base recording, the line will not be part of the recording anymore. For devices that do not support a pen there is an erase mode, which can be selected in the command pallet, where you can erase by using one finger.

One other major new feature is the ability to add images as a background or a foreground image. The main distinction between them is that a background image is locked to the slide and a foreground image can be moved around. The movement of the foreground image is recorded. In case the device has pen support, touching a foreground image by one finger, you can drag the image around without moving the slide. When touching and moving a background image, the whole slide is panning. A good scenario to illustrate the difference, is to explain a checkers game, where an image of the board is added to the recording as a background image and the checkers as foreground images. For devices that do not support a pen, there is a selection mode (now also available in a quick recording) which can be selected in the command pallet. In this mode you can move a foreground image by using one finger.

In a quick recording, images have to be picked and added to an image list before the actual recording starts. In order to add an image from the list to the slide while recording, you had to tap on the image to add it to the slide. It would be placed on the slide according to the position and size of the image, when the image was added to the list. Now it is also possible to drag an image from the list and drop it on the slide at the position you would like it to appear. This is a much more intuitive and direct way of adding an image.

When doing a quick recording, there is the phase where you set up the recording before you actually are recording. For example the images have to be selected in a list before doing the voice recording. One can now also add images to the slide and drawing lines before the voice recording starts. The recording including the image list and drawing, can then be saved and used as a starting point for future quick recordings. This provides a template functionality for quick recordings in order to create recordings even more quickly.

It is now possible to set a custom folder for saving recordings and videos. For example when setting them to a OneDrive folder, they are automatically backed up to OneDrive.

Undo/redo functionality is improved because it now supports every action that is done in a recording. For example undo/redo now supports adding an image, slide panning, changing the playback speed of a base recording, or changing the pause before the drawing of a line.

As you can see, there is a ton of new features in this release. Try them out and let us know what you think of it.

Hope this helps,

Ronald