Jules Moorhouse

iOS developer

Speaking Times Tables

05 Oct 2015
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The history behind the app

About ten years ago we created Speak Times Tables Tutor for the PC. The idea was to create something which would help kids learn their times tables interactively.

Speech technology had finally become available on desktop computers. We thought it was an awesome opportunity to create a learning tool that kids would find extremely useful.

The program used windows speech technology and was a good alternative to learning times tables “parrot fashion” (also known as reading and repeating from a book) of course kids love computers and fun, adding speech into the mix for the first time was really exciting.

The program had a lot of similarities to the universal version today.

Primarily sold on eBay on CD, the program proved very popular. We often got feedback from happy parents whose children had done well at school in times tables tests.

At the time CD was the only real method to get educational software, broadband was only starting to become popular and dial up was the only alternative. Kids were able to use it at home to help with their times table.

In 2010 we then decided to bring the concept to iPhone, but with better speech. Having an app that was fun and could be used anywhere (in the car / on the bus) was another huge step forward in technology.

We made voice recordings from members of our team for all the numbers required and played these sounds to form the sums in the app.

Again, the app has a lot in common with the universal version.

After listening to reviews and feedback we decided we could make a good iPad version. The iPad was the obvious next step / technological leap forward for kids’ educational software.