Sunday, March 23, 2014

Our first ever T-Shirt and Promo Code Giveaway!


Spring is finally here, and I don’t know about you, but I think we’ve earned it. What a winter!
With warmer days ahead, you may be thinking about breaking out the flip flops and short-sleeve t’s. We say, go for it! In fact, we’d like to jumpstart your wardrobe turnover with a cool t-shirt giveaway.
You may or may not be familiar with gWhiz and our plethora of amazing, effective, and fun-to-use educational apps designed for students of all ages and from all walks of life. Whether you’re in high school, college, grad school, seeking a professional certification or just want to learn something new, we have an app for you.
And, right now, we are working on an upgrade to PrepZilla, our engaging test prep game which allows you to study with your friends or on your own. Before we finalize the update, we want to get some user feedback to see what you like and what you think we could improve. So we’re offering a free PrepZilla t-shirt as well as a promo code for any of our paid iOS apps (we have lots!). Not to sound like a bad commercial, but this is a prize valued at up to $75.00.
And who wouldn’t love this t-shirt? backfrontPrepzilla.png


Entering the contest is easy. Just use the Rafflecopter Giveaway form below to earn your entries. You can earn entries by first liking us on Facebook, providing insightful comments to this blog post and/or tweeting about the contest. Whew. Lots of choices.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Official Rules
1.             NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Log on to Learning on the Go, the official gWhiz Blog at http://blog.gwhizmobile.com between 12:00:00 am EST on 3/24/2014 and 11:59:59 pm EST on 4/7/2014 (the "Promotion Period") and follow the instructions posted on the blog to enter via the Rafflecopter entry form.
2.             ENTRY DETAILS: An entrant may submit one (1) Rafflecopter entry form per email address. Each entrant will be required to 1) “Like” gWhiz on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/gwhizmobile). Additional entries may be earned by completing selected tasks through the Rafflecopter entry form on the Giveaway Page: Tweet about the Giveaway and post relevant comment on Blog Post regarding PrepZilla. Daily entries can be earned with the “Tweet about Giveaway” entry option.
3.             ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible to enter the Giveaway, an entrant must be sixteen (16) years of age or older, live in the continental US, and have a valid email address. Limit one (1) Rafflecopter entry form per eligible person. If more than one entry form is submitted per eligible person, all entries submitted by that entrant will be deemed invalid. All entries submitted by individuals younger than thirteen (16) years of age will be deemed invalid. If more or less information is submitted in the entry than what has been requested, an entry may be deemed invalid. All entries must be received during the promotion period to be eligible for a prize.
4.             PRIZE: Five (5) Winners will be selected via random drawing on or about 4/8/2014.
5.             GENERAL PRIZE CONDITIONS / PRIZE CLAIMS: The Winners will be notified via the email address submitted through their Rafflecopter entry following entry validation. If gWhiz is unable to contact the Winners from entry information within five (5) days of the giveaway end, the Winner forfeits his/her prize and another Winner will be selected via random drawing. The Winners will receive their prizes within four (4) weeks of the giveaway end. No substitution, assignment or transfer of any prizes will be permitted, except at the sole discretion of gWhiz, which reserves the right to substitute a prize or prize component with cash or another prize of comparable or greater value. If a prize is forfeited for any reason, gWhiz reserves the right to award the prize to an alternate potential winner from among the remaining eligible entries.
6.             RELEASE: This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Rafflecopter. All entrants are providing information to gWhiz. Participation in this promotion is subject to the Official Rules. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by fans on social media webpages do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of gWhiz. gWhiz is not in any way liable for fans’ words, submissions, or actions. gWhiz retains the exclusive right to, at its sole discretion, determine whether or not to publish, remove, or edit a posted response.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2013 Has Been Good to Us...


Some things never change.

The holidays come and go in a flash - here and gone before we know it. The new year is almost upon us, but before it arrives, we’d like to take the time to reflect. Because after all, taking the time to smell the roses, or candy canes as this season would have it, allows us to savor our victories in the year gone by.

Here at gWhiz, it goes without saying that we value our long-standing relationships with our publisher partners, many dating back to the company’s inception in 2008. The compelling, branded content available in many of our apps is just one reason for our continued success. With hundreds of educational apps developed in partnership with publishing powerhouses including McGraw-Hill Education, Wiley Publishing, Barron’s, Pearson, PPI, and more, we have garnered considerable market share and continue to grow.

In fact, just this year, we released two new apps with Barron’s - Hot Words for the SAT for iOS and EMT Exam Review for both Android and iOS. We have also expanded our offerings to include two brand new McGraw-Hill Education apps - EMT Certification Flashcards and Paramedic Certification Flashcards - both for iOS. We are gratified to see steady sales and consistently positive feedback for these apps in the marketplace.

Beyond leveraging our existing publisher partnerships to gain new content, this year we were thrilled to establish a new partnership with Wolters-Kluwer, publishers of the acclaimed Lippincott Illustrated Review series. Three titles are currently available in iTunes - Rubin’s Pathology, Anatomy & Embryology and Microbiology & Immunology - with more on the way. Whether their goal is self-assessment or board prep, medical students everywhere are finding our Lippincott apps to be an essential resource.

Also new in 2013 is our soon-to-be-released first cookbook app - Weeknight Dinners by Betty Crocker. Based on the Big Book of Weeknight Dinners published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, this app makes planning, shopping for, and preparing simple and delicious meals a joy. With so much to offer including the ability to search by meal category or key word, a full color recipe slideshow, shopping list, social media sharing capabilities and more, this app belongs in every kitchen.

Bringing new apps to life is a particularly rewarding part of our work here at gWhiz but we also pay close attention to the apps already in our portfolio. Staying at technology’s forefront, we make sure that each app is the best it can be. To this end, some of our proudest moments in 2013 involved the updates we made to our flagship flashcard app, gFlash+, and our multi-player test prep game, PrepZilla. Fully optimized for iOS7, the latest version of gFlash+ is jam-packed with new features including a Matching Game study mode and improved user interface. And we made PrepZilla even more fun by adding a brand new gaming option entitled Zombies! in the self-study mode.

At gWhiz, we’re thankful for many things - some big like our families and friends…and some small like eggnog and mistletoe. But what we are most thankful for is the unwavering support of our loyal users who, through their downloads, keep this company chugging along.

So, thank you, all of you.

And Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

gFlash+ Stands Out in a Crowd...



We are proud to report that our popular mobile flash card app, gFlash+, is a candidate for a Bammy Award in 2013.  Not familiar with the Bammy’s?  It’s an effort put forth by the BAM Radio network to identify and recognize leaders in the educational field - from teachers to researchers to educational technologists and beyond.  The good folks at BAM Radio believe in the value of education as an avenue to life-long learning.  

Here at gWhiz, we could not agree more. 

Our educational apps are designed to allow users to integrate learning into their already busy lives.  By offering powerful and collaborative learning tools that are eminently portable, our users can make educational choices that fit into their schedules neatly.  And isn’t providing students of all ages greater access to education something worth celebrating?  We think so, and so does BAM. 

This year’s Bammy Awards will be held at the Arena Stage at the Mead Center in Washington, D.C., on September 21(st).  We look forward to a night honoring the best in education!  Stay tuned to find out if gFlash+ is a winner...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Some Advice for Summer Study Slacking...




It happens every year.  Students have their noses to the grindstone until mid-June (or in the case of spring fever sufferers - mid April) and then sail through summer without cracking open a book.  

We’d like to say it ain’t so but, for the vast majority, it sadly is.  In fact according to the latest Rand report, “by the end of summer, students perform, on average, one month behind where they left off in the spring.”

In an effort to stem this slow ebb of knowledge, here are some common-sense moves concerned parents can make.

1)  Advocate reading - here, there, and everywhere

It makes no difference to me what my kids read as long as it is age appropriate.  So, I am happy to see them reading chapter books, graphic novels, newspapers, magazines and the like, on whatever medium they enjoy.  Reading is reading, simple as that.

Although I must admit that I am less happy about the reading they do associated with incessant text messaging which leads me to my second point.

2)  Limit social media

Gone are the days when children frolicked outside for hours until the call for dinner drew them inside.  Today’s kids (especially tweens and teens) are more likely to be found huddled over a glowing screen than anywhere else.  Whether it’s Instagram, Vine, Twitter, or any other social site, it’s a siren call to young adults everywhere, not to mention a huge time drain.  

But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

3) Be technologically savvy

Not all screen time is mindless, however.  Mobile software has made learning on the go an easy and, dare I say it, enjoyable task.  There are many educational websites and mobile apps designed to get kids thinking outside the classroom.  At gWhiz, we believe education should be accessible no matter where life takes you.  With a combination of premium content, dynamic easy to use features, and unparalleled portability, our flashcard and test prep apps are the perfect antidote to summer slacking.  After all, shouldn’t learning be fun, all year long?

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Look Back at 2012...


Tis the season to reflect back on the year gone by.  And here at gWhiz, it’s been another good year.  We have realized solid growth in overall sales of our engaging mobile educational apps - no small feat given the political and economic uncertainties we all faced in 2012.  We expect continued gains in market share in 2013 as the mobile apps currently under development are released and our newer existing products take hold.  

One of our latest and most exciting innovations this past year was PrepZilla, our multi-player test-prep mobile gaming app.  In the spirit of the popular Words With Friends app, PrepZilla allows for asynchronous game play, turning test prep into a social experience.  With downloadable premium content from major educational publishers including McGraw-Hill, Barron’s, FLVS, and CCI, PrepZilla appeals to a wide audience.  Available on iOS, PrepZilla
is like no other study tool on the market today.  But the innovation didn’t stop there.  

User feedback has always been important to us, and our flagship flashcard app gFlash led the way in 2012 with user-driven upgrades.  This year we rolled out a much-requested new version of gFlash+ for Android with features previously available only in our iOS version of gFlash.  Now Android users can enjoy complete integration with Google Spreadsheets, a premium library of high-value publisher content, flashcard boxes, image flashcard support, embedded HTML and much more.  gFlash+ for iOS also received some major updates this year including the premium library, integrating pictures and audio with the flashcard editor, email sharing of flashcard sets, and the ability to sync purchases via iCloud.  Genius, we know.  

But lest you think we have focused solely on our internally developed mobile apps, we would like to point out the exciting new partnerships we have forged with leading educational publishers.  In 2012, we contracted with Pearson to develop a dynamic application for teacher candidates entitled Teacher Prep, to be released in early 2013.  We also began work on The Official GRE Guide mobile app from ETS, the creators of the GRE exam.  And our current relationship with McGraw-Hill continues with several new titles in 2012 including MCAT Exam Prep, PreTest Self-Assessment and Review, Lange Medical Flash Cards, and College 101 Exam Prep Questions.  We are grateful for the continued support of these and all of our publisher partners.   

Of course, what would the point be of all these achievements if no one knew about them?  We asked ourselves the same question.  So, this year, we have expanded our presence across numerous social media sites.  You can friend us on Facebook, tweet us on Twitter, pin us on Pinterest, stumble across us on StumbleUpon, link to us on LinkedIn and follow us on YouTube.  Our apps have even been showcased in a few network TV spots.  In a word, we are EVERYWHERE.  

As you can see, a lot of good has come our way this year.  So, we’d like to take a break from all the hustling and bustling, tree trimming, and holiday shopping to say “thank you”.  Our success has depended upon many things - user loyalty, solid relationships with our publisher partners and dedicated employees.  But the key to our steady climb has been the steadfast support of our family and friends.  And for all of this, we are grateful.  

Happy Holidays.  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dogs are People Too...


Okay, well not technically.


But they are considered part of the family, aren’t they?  And along with that family status comes responsibility.  Dogs need to be fed, bathed, trained, walked, hugged, and generally loved over the course of their entire lives.  No small task, right?  

Until now. 

gWhiz has made dog ownership a little easier with its new Dog Basics For Dummies iOS app.  We have teamed up with the experts at John Wiley & Sons, Inc to develop a one-stop shop for dog owners.  By combining vital reference material from the popular For Dummies series with valuable tools such as a scrapbook, reminders, locator, and clicker, we have a created a single resource for all things “dog”.  It’s dog ownership made simple.
 
As questions arise during the course of your pet’s life from puppyhood to adulthood to senior citizenship, Dog Basics For Dummies will be your lifeline.  Users can keep track of important health-related information about their dog as well as details about its daily routine, photos, and more, right on their i-device.  

Need to know when your pooch’s last immunizations were?  Or, heaven forbid, do you need to make an urgent call to your vet?  Pull up this information in seconds with just the touch of a fingertip.  And with the Google-based locator map, users can find the closest dog park, pet store, or veterinarian in a jiffy.  

Just like kids, puppies grow up fast.  With our app, users can record major milestones and photos of their pet using the scrapbook feature.  Pretty neat, eh?  Or maybe you’re busy training your puppy or teaching an old dog new tricks?  The virtual clicker included in this app will certainly come in handy.

Download of the app is FREE as are many of its features including the reminders, locator map and search engine, scrapbook, clicker, and personality profile tool.  Access to the reference material provided by Wiley is available through in-app purchase on the device itself. Downloadable titles include Puppy Basics For Dummies, Dog Training For Dummies, Dog Trick Basics For Dummies, Dog Adoption Basics For Dummies, and Dog Nutrition & Health Basics For Dummies.

Whether you’re new to dog ownership or a seasoned pro, our Dog Basics For Dummies app will have you barking up the right tree in no time.  

Woof.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thoughts from a Test Prep App Developer

One of the more interesting things about my job as gWhiz's product architect is that I see a lot of test prep content from a variety of different sources.  ASVAB, SAT, GRE, NCLEX-RN, CNOR, MBR, ACT, EMT, LSAT,  and more.  You name it, we've seen it.

Here are a few of my observations:
  • People studying to be doctors are flat-out phenomenal.  The width and breadth of things that you need to know to pass the USMLE and MCAT are just incredible.  It's a huge amount of material.

  • The high school students taking AP (advanced placement) tests aren't far behind.  I have great admiration for those kids (and their parents) that work so hard on that material - it's really difficult!

  • I personally enjoy working on the Cliffs Notes study guides.  While they're not typical Q&A test prep, they've inspired me to read some of the classics.  (I didn't know that Frankenstein's monster was so articulate - I just thought he was green and groaned a lot)

  • The publishers we work with are perfectionists (in a good way) and care a great deal about the accuracy and presentation of their content.  Do you know the difference between an em-dash and an n-dash?  They do and now so do I (the em-dash is longer).  We often go thru multiple review cycles to ensure the quality of the Q&A.

  • Occasionally, questions and options are kind of funny. There's one in the PrepZilla iPhone screenshot (I think it's part of the McGraw-Hill Lange Internal Medicine set):
    Question: What is the golden rule that could be used to broadly define all ethical behaviors with regards to patient treatment?

    (Wrong) Answer: Be nice only to the patients who are nice to you.
    That would be the one I'd pick everytime.

    Here's another from the Official Guide for GMAT Review grammar review, examples:
    Correct: I walk to the store
    Incorrect: I walks to the store.

You gotta laughs at that.