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Ultralingua 1.4.1 for iOS
We want to thank all of you who provided feedback about the speed of our iPad apps. In response, we've released Ultralingua 1.4.1 for iOS (iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad), which greatly improves the speed of every Ultralingua dictionary on iPad.
This update improves our iPad apps so they'll look and feel faster than ever. We've also added a graphical spinner that appears when new data is being loaded, making the loading process more apparent. Ultralingua 1.4.1 for iOS makes it even easier to access our great dictionary data quickly and efficiently.
Apple's annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) is taking place this week, and a few of our Ultralingua developers (Ben, Shaun, and Jeff) are in attendance. The week kicked off with some big announcements from Apple regarding iOS, Mac OS, and cloud services, so we're going to summarize them and let you know what they mean for you if you're an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac user. This is by no means an exhaustive description, so if you're interested in learning more we recommend checking out Apple's website for details (links below).
Mac OS X Lion
This much-anticipated update to Mac OS will be available for download from the Mac App Store in July, for a surprisingly low $29.99 USD. It comes packed with 250 new features, 10 of which Apple demonstrated during Monday's keynote presentation.
Many of the features that come with Lion change the way you interact with apps (like your Ultralingua dictionaries) as well as how you access them in the first place. You'll be able to view everything running on your Mac with Mission Control, and use Launchpad to quickly access every app you have installed. Resume and auto-save features allow you to save your progress and re-enter apps where you left off, and full screen mode helps you focus and experience apps in a more complete way.
We are excited try some of these new OS features in future versions of our Mac apps.
Big changes are coming to iOS this fall with iOS 5, and those of you who use the iPhone 4 or 3GS, iPad 1 or 2, and iPod touch 3rd and 4th generation will have a chance to experience them for yourselves.
Some of our favorite features announced this week include:
Notification Center (quickly review and act on alerts)
Twitter integration (send pictures, links, and more directly to Twitter from other iOS apps)
Cable-free syncing (update your device without plugging it in)
Camera upgrades (take pictures from lock screen, enhanced editing, improved speed, and more)
iCloud makes it easy to sync your music, books, apps, and documents between all your devices, whether you use iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC. Your files are automatically stored on iCloud and loaded onto all your devices. Everyone gets 5 GB of space for free to back up your email, documents, and settings (music, apps, and books don't count toward your total). New and past iTunes purchases automatically sync to all your devices, too—so you don't need to plug each one in separately to access your music and other purchases.
Not quite sure what iCloud means for you? Even if you don't use many of these features, automated wireless syncing means that if you purchase an Ultralingua app on your iPhone, it will automatically appear on your iPad and iPod touch as well. We hope to use some of these features to make our apps even better for you in the future, so stay tuned for details to come.
*iTunes in the Cloud is available today in the US and requires iTunes 10.3 and iOS 4.3.3. Automatic download of apps and books is available today. Using iCloud with a PC requires Windows Vista or Windows 7; Outlook 2010 or 2007 is recommended for accessing contacts and calendars.
Spotlight: iPad Verb Conjugator
Ultralingua dictionaries appear on a wide range of operating systems, and many of our features—such as our popular verb conjugator—are available across all platforms. This month, we'd like to highlight the iPad verb conjugator and take a look at what makes it one of our most useful features.
Many of our readers may be most familiar with Ultralingua's dictionaries on the iPhone or iPod touch, which display verb conjugations and dictionary results on separate screens. Tapping a verb in the dictionary results presents you with the option to send it to the conjugation tool. A single tense is shown at a time, and other tenses may be chosen from the "Tenses" button.
iPhone verb conjugator
On Ultralingua for iPad, verb conjugation tables are shown in-line with dictionary results. No need to move to a different page—conjugation for any and every verb will show up right below the definition or translation.
iPad in-line conjugation table
The verb conjugator table shows the present tense by default, but other tenses are just a tap away! Tap once on the verb conjugation table to reveal a list of all tenses. Tapping a tense in the list will update the in-line conjugation table to the chosen tense.
Verb conjugation tense selector
Unique to Ultralingua for iPad is the ability to see all tenses for a chosen verb at once. Simply double-tap on any conjugation table to see a full list of tenses and conjugations. Being able to see all forms of a verb at once makes it easier to find just the word you're looking for.
*Verb conjugation is not yet available for Esperanto, Norwegian, or Latin. Esperanto and Norwegian dictionaries are not available on iOS.
More on Bilingual Benefits
This past December, we wrote about the growing body of evidence suggesting that learning a second language has benefits beyond the realm of the verbal. This month, we would like to draw your attention to a New York Times interview with cognitive neuroscientist Ellen Bialystock, who has been at the forefront of research on bilingualism.
Dr. Bialystock confirms the findings we talked about back in December: bilingualism improves the brain's executive control system, which makes for better multitasking and a more robust ability to block out distractions. But she also discusses something we only hinted at last time: the effect of bilingualism on aging and Alzheimer's disease. According to Dr. Bialystock, bilinguals appear to lose cognitive function at a slower rate than people who only speak one language, and bilinguals who display Alzheimer's symptoms do so on average five years later than their monolingual counterparts.
It's not too late to get in on the advantages of speaking multiple languages. But, as Dr. Bialystock notes, "you won't get the bilingual benefit from occasional use." It takes practice! And that's where Ultralingua comes in. Not only will our language reference tools help you expand your vocabulary and improve your grammar in a second tongue, they might just help strengthen your mind, too.
Featured Partner: Performance Assessment Network
We're back with Ultralingua Solutions and another Ultralingua Featured Partner. Last month, we featured netTrekker, a leader in education technology and content for the classroom. This month we're looking at a business client that's busy putting people back to work. Performance Assessment Network, or simply pan, is well-known as the leading web-based system for the distribution, administration, and analysis of professional assessments, tests, and surveys.
If you have ever applied for a job and had to take a test as part of your application, chances are that it was developed by pan. These tests require a lot of preparation and support, and getting the language right isn't just an option, it's a necessity. For proper grammar and spelling, pan relies on the Grammatica API to do the job.
The Grammatica API excels at honing in on grammatical and spelling errors, and offers helpful suggestions when a mistake is found. For businesses, Grammatica can be installed and operated on almost any server, and it can run as a web application across a network or even across the Internet. This powerful tool helps to keep your employees operating efficiently and effectively, focusing on their work instead of worrying about typos.
We are pleased to be partnered with pan and it gives us pride to know that Grammatica is working hard to help others get back to work.
Ultralingua Solutions are positioned at the intersection of technology and language. Our mission is to break through language barriers and meet the challenges of an increasingly interconnected world. We accomplish our mission by partnering with innovative companies and organizations that are set to leverage Ultralingua technology and linguistic expertise in exciting new ways. For more information about Ultralingua Solutions and to find out what Ultralingua could do for you, visit our Solutions page, or contact us directly at email@example.com.
Tools to Try: Forvo
Picture this: today is your friend Maximilian's birthday. You'd like to wish him a happy birthday in his native German. You open up your German-English Dictionary by Ultralingua to find a translation, but soon realize that you don't quite know how to pronounce "Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag!" Don't worry; you can simply check Forvo.
Forvo is an online pronunciation guide with a simple goal: "All the words in the world. Pronounced." While they might not have every word in the world quite yet, their database is nonetheless impressive: from 268 languages, Forvo currently has over a million pronunciations for over 950,000 words—with hundreds more being uploaded every day.
Pronunciations on Forvo are provided by users from around the world, giving you the chance to hear words in various accents from native speakers. Simply search for a word and you'll see a list of pronunciations, along with each speaker's gender and country. Listening to pronunciations is easy; no account is required to listen, and pronunciations are played in-browser without the need to install any software. You can also contribute to Forvo yourself: creating an account is free and allows you to pronounce words yourself and even request new pronunciations.
Forvo is an excellent tool for learning to pronounce words in almost every human language—a huge asset for language lovers and learners alike. Wish Maximilian that Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag today. A whole world of language awaits at Forvo.
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