Community Feedback – Create Native 4K / UHD Lessons, and Pen Speed Improvements
Thanks again to everyone who has been in touch with us with their latest feedback and requests.
With 4K / UHD flatpanels now being sold over 1080p / FHD flatpanels, we get a lot of users asking us about 4K support. We actually added in native 4K support last year, so when you run OKTOPUS on a 4K flatpanel, it means:
- OKTOPUS runs in native 4K out-of-the-box – no additional config required
- 4K content is fully supported – ie images and video
- The OKTOPUS user interface is perfectly sized – every icon and button looks as it should
- The OKTOPUS canvas (drawing area) is native 4K – you can use every pixel available
- There is no pixelation – everything is sharp
However, there is one sticking point for our 4K users. The current hardware requirements to run OKTOPUS in 4K – which a lot of users simply don’t have – means that a lot of users experience a slow pen. We are committed to fixing this and giving the best 4K performance we can, even with integrated graphics cards such as the entry-level Intel HD520.
In fact, our recent development tests have shown that on a standard OPS module (i5 processor, 8GB RAM, Intel HD520 and a traditional hard drive), OKTOPUS deals with the pen in 4K effortlessly!
We can’t wait to get this new version out the door – keep your eyes peeled!
Community Feedback – Notebook Import Improvements and Periodic Table Update
Our Smart Notebook import functionality has been well received and we have been hearing about some missing functionality that people would love to see.
These include: better shape import support, background colours and images, ordered and unordered lists, adding .notebook files to the “open recent” area, and reading in the filename as the OKTOPUS project name. We’ve got all of these on our to-do list for the next update, so please keep an eye out for that.
We’ve also received valuable feedback from a chemistry teacher who let us know that the element “Gallium” should be listed as a solid at STP. Thanks for the info, we’ll get that one updated!
In addition, we’re planning to add a touch-friendly Presentation Setup window for our polling and collaboration, and we’ve got loads of other improvements and bug fixes on the way.
Community Feedback – New Shapes and Significant Figures for Sums
We have some exciting new changes to OKTOPUS which we will be able to share more of once released, but we also have some new feature requests from our community which we’d like to talk about here.
Our users have asked for new shapes, so we will added a plethora of new shapes to choose from. Right now you can draw a rectangle/square, a circle, a triangle, or a freehand shape. But we’ll be adding in stars, shapes, and a bunch of random shapes too! All of these shapes can be edited to change their line colour, fill colour, and opacity.
For our maths teachers among you, we have added in the ability to set the number of significant figures when creating OKTOPUS sums. This will be set through the Preferences screen under the Settings cog. By default, it will be set to 3.
We’ll be getting both of these in for the next update, so keep an eye out!
Also coming for the next update is a brand new audio playback tool design for a better audio experience within OKTOPUS.
Community Feedback – Smart Notebook Import
As soon as we had implemented IWB import support, we continued to get requests for direct import of Smart Notebook files from our user community.
We are happy to say that we are now working on adding in this functionality to our software! We understand that a lot of schools are moving away from Smart Notebook for various reasons, and are now using OKTOPUS as a direct replacement, so we want to ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible.
Our next release will import Smart Notebook files to the same level as our IWB import support, which includes annotations, shapes, lines, images, and text.
Stay tuned for an update!
Community Feedback – New Backgrounds
OKTOPUS comes with several options for lined paper and graph paper backgrounds, as well as different effects and colours.
We’ve had teachers from nursery/kindergarten right up to university lecturers asking for more background options – specifically lined and graphing paper.
We think this is a great idea and will help to further embellish your OKTOPUS lessons, so please keep an eye out for the next version of OKTOPUS with these backgrounds implemented.
We’ll also have the usual round of improvements and bug fixes!
Community Feedback – Handwriting Recognition Improvement
Primarily for our global users outside of English-speaking countries, getting handwriting recognition to work using Microsoft Windows’ built-in recogniser doesn’t always work out of the box.
So, we’re going to make this easier by improving our process. Right now we’re auto-detecting the language you’re using in Windows and trying to match that in OKTOPUS. Often, this isn’t working as expected for some users who have multiple languages installed on their system.
Going forward, we’re going to use the same handwriting engine within Windows to match the currently selected language in OKTOPUS. So if you are using OKTOPUS in French, we will attempt to use the French handwriting recognition engine. This means you will have to ensure that the handwriting pack is installed for the language you want to use OKTOPUS in. For the majority of our users with this feedback, that’s not a problem.
And if the language pack doesn’t exist, we’ll use to your system’s default handwriting recognition engine!
Expect the update soon!
Community Feedback – Clear Screen Options and Text Box Controls
We’ve received some excellent feedback and new ideas for our “clear screen” functionality.
Currently, we have one button to clear the screen, but we are going to add two more options as our users have requested:
- A way to clear annotations only
- A way to set the slide back to how it originally opened
As well as this, we have had users requesting for better text controls. So, we’re going to:
- Move the textbox controls to the bottom of the screen
- Implement textbox rotation
- Implement textbox scroll bars
Stay tuned for the update!
Community Feedback – Ability to Hide Toolsets
As you are probably aware, OKTOPUS has several toolsets available to choose from:
Standard Tools, Maths, Literacy, Geography, Science, and Polling.
But in secondary and grammar schools, a lot of teachers just need one or two of these toolsets to be available. So, for our next update, as well as some planned bug fixes and general improvements, we’ll be adding a way to hide the unnecessary toolsets by clicking the toolset title name in Aerial View.
Community Feedback – Primary-Friendly Fonts
Recently we received a really important piece of feedback about our software, which is our choice of font. It is generally well received as it is clear and easy to read, but there are two areas where it doesn’t make sense for primary school teachers: our numbers tool and the sentence builder tool.
The number 4 and various letters are not displayed in a primary-friendly way, so we will be addressing this with a new type font very soon.
We’ve also got some of our own exciting plans for UHD/4K support in our upcoming release!
Community Feedback – Open Recent, Split-Screen, and more
Welcome to 2016! We would like to extend our sincere thanks to our community who have taken OKTOPUS in their stride on our first year together. It’s not easy to move away from whiteboard software (especially if it’s all you’ve known) but we hope that we’ve done our part to make it as easy as it possibly can be.
Since our last release we’ve had an influx of feature requests and ideas for improving our software. And we say keep ’em coming!
There are so many great ideas, and we want to get them all in. So far we’ve had feature requests for an “open recent” function, a split-screen function (to deal with the Windows split-screen feature), shape, image, and text-box locking.
For usability we’ve had really great info from school admins about how their network locations work for AppData purposes, so we’ve changed how OKTOPUS works to deal with that. Another great feedback request is to tap anywhere once to go back to cursor mode when drawing a shape. Also worth mentioning is a request for the Word Vault to load on a per-slide basis, rather than on a per-lesson basis.
Thanks also to the users reporting bugs to us, we will do our best to address these and get them fixed for the next release.