Well, the changes recently announced by Livescribe coming for Echo and Pulse services sure sound good to us! A recent email sent out to Livescribe users notified users of an updated Livescribe Desktop application being released this fall called Echo Desktop.
Key Updates in Echo Desktop
- Improved support for the latest versions of Mac OS X and Windows
Livescribe Desktop software has stood relatively still since the release of the Sky Wifi and Livescribe 3 smartpen. However, computer operating systems have done anything but stand still! This is good news to know that Livescribe is still indeed making efforts to support the Pulse and Echo pens, as we still feel that these Livescribe models are the best solutions for education use.
- Better pencast compatibility with a wider range of devices, including iPhones & iPads
This one has been a long time coming! After Livescribe’s focus switched to the Sky Wifi and Livescribe 3 models, the ability for Pulse and Echo users to view pencasts on mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad was all but forgotten and then actually taken away. The app stopped working and was then totally removed from the App Store! While the Echo pen has the best feature set for use in education of any of the Livescribe pens, the inability to view pencasts on mobile devices was extremely limiting and really frustrating. I’m hoping they will do right by their customers with this one!
- More flexibility for sending and sharing smartpen content, using the new Livescribe PDF format
This new Livescribe PDF format got its start with the launch of the Livescribe 3. These files still open with any PDF reader, can easily be emailed or sent to any file sharing service, and can be played back using the Web-based Livescribe Player or the Livescribe+ app for iOS (as well as Echo Desktop, when it is released).
Livescribe Community To Be Phased Out This Winter
In addition to a new release of Livescribe Desktop (to be Echo Desktop in the future), an end is coming to the Livescribe Community. Since you might have invested a lot of time uploading and sharing pencasts here, Livescribe has created a way to convert your old pencasts to Livescribe PDF files.
If you don’t already have backups of your pencasts stored (or public pencasts that you really enjoy), you can start using the Converter tool to save pencasts to your computer.
Your Action Plan
To get ready for this change, here are some suggestions we have for making sure you are covered and that this is a positive change for you.
- BE OPTIMISTIC. First of all, if you are a heavy Pulse or Echo user or used to be before the software became neglected, buy some cupcakes and throw a small teachers’ lounge party! It sounds like thing are going to get better. We’re so excited (and optimistic) about the promise of better pencast compatibility with mobile devices.
- CONVERT AND BACK UP. Make sure that if you have uploaded pencasts to the Livescribe Community and don’t still have them backed up on your computer, to use the Convertor tool and save them to your computer. This way, you’ll have copies of your work when the Livescribe Community is phased out.
- CHECK YOUR LINKS. If you have links in any class resources to pencasts that are on the Livescribe Community, we would suggest starting to phase those out now and redirect those links to your converted pencasts stored in another location.
- BUSINESS AS USUAL. Continue to use Livescribe Desktop as usual. We’ll be sure to let you know when Echo Desktop is released. Sign up for our blog updates or our newsletter mailing list to get the latest updates.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about how this will effect your use of smartpens in your classroom