Marble Math Apps Available For Android!

Tue, Feb. 24 2015

Hello Android users! It's taken a while, but we're pleased to finally share our award-winning family of Marble Math apps with you.

" of the most fun, customizable, and effective math games available for elementary school-age kids" - Common Sense Media

You can download the apps for your tablets and phones today.

Marble Math and Marble Math Junior debut at $2.99 each, and Marble Math Lite: Multiplication is free to download on the Google Play and Amazon app stores.

And I'll let you in on a little secret - you can also play Marble Math Lite: Multiplication on your Android phone (iOS is iPad-only).


Digital Kids and NY Toy Fair 2015

Wed, Feb. 18 2015

It's cold in New York folks, and I can tell you that the icy epicenter is the one block I had to walk from the parking garage to the Javits Convention Center, where I spent the last few days attending the Digital Kids Conference and Toy Fair.

If you haven't witnessed the North American International Toy Fair, it is an absolute behemoth - two floors and over four hundred thousand square feet of toys. I first experienced the Toy Fair many years ago when I was developing new products for a national school fundraising company. This year I was just passing through on my way to the Digital Kids Conference which was nestled in a warm and cozy corner of the enormous Javits Center.

Fortunately, my daily route took me past the action figures.

The conference featured some of the industry's best, brightest and most successful app makers in a series of panel discussions covering a range of topics including: STEM toys and apps, privacy and data collection, international market research trends, and family tech time.

I saw some old friends and made some new ones. One guy, a Russian app developer, eyed my badge and said (with a heavy accent) "President? You must be important," and went on to share an interesting cultural/business insight - that social marketing in his part of the world is extremely difficult because people tend to share very little online compared to what we're used to seeing in the West. (And we thought we had it tough!)

We also heard from the Brazilian founder of PlayKids, the #1 app for kids under five in more than 30 countries, who urged us to fail fast, and often, to get to the one gem worth making.

Recognize the PlayKids icon? I always thought it was a bunny, but turns out Lupi, the mascot, is a dog!

We also learned that personal drones and super-sized “all-in-one” tablets that you can use as a TV, computer, or lay flat for a multiplayer gaming "table" experience, are coming.

I could go on and on, but I need to parse my blur of dictation notes first. I just wanted to share this before I take off with my family for a long snowboarding weekend. Next year, we may have our own personal drone following us down the mountain shooting flyover videos.

Marble Math (Finally) Coming To Android

Wed, Feb. 11 2015

This month we’ll release our award-winning Marble Math apps for Android. It’s been two years since we launched Marble Math, Marble Math Junior and Marble Math Lite: Multiplication for iOS, and our only Android release, Shake-a-Phrase, has been a firm and loud faceplant - selling less than 5% of the iOS app. All of the developers I talk to say the same thing - Android is only worth it if you can do it fast and cheap because the dollars just don’t add up. So why Marble Math, and why now?

Our latest foray into Android development actually started last spring when we were making Drive About: Number Neighborhood. Drive About was going to be a dual platform app, and we were using Apportable to make it happen. It was all going quite swimmingly until we hit a big pothole on the Android side that pretty much killed the essential side-scrolling animation. We even talked to the technical team at Apportable, but after spending many hours with them over a period of weeks, it became clear that they didn’t have a solution so we had to pull the plug on the Android version.

We were pretty busy with client projects over the summer and the fall brought a blitz of iOS 8 updates and other enhancements to our existing apps, and by the time we were done with that, the bitter taste of our Android setback had faded just enough to consider another approach. We’ve also seen Google make significant moves in the education space over the last year, and we think it may be time to catch the wave. We decided that if we were going to do it, we were going to go big, and our three Marble Math apps would make the biggest splash.

We know from user feedback and our iOS education sales data that teachers and kids like to use Marble Math in the classroom. The novelty of tilting your device to roll your marble through a math maze may wear off pretty quickly (and, if you’re like me, you’ll just switch to dragging the marble around with your finger), but there is no question that it is an effective and incredibly flexible, math drills app that can be customized for each user. We like Marble Math for Android because it appeals to educators as a classroom tool.

We also really wanted to make a deep dive into Unity as a multi-platform development tool. I will say the development of our Marble Math apps for Android has been neither fast, nor cheap, but in this case the experience is the reward. We think Unity is a solid platform that will only help to make us better developers for iOS and Android and it certainly doesn’t hurt the client business when you can offer more platform development options.

So here we are, in the final weeks of testing and we can see a realistic launch date at the end of the month.

Stay tuned - the Marble Math family is coming to Android.