New features in Skimcast 1.1

Version 1.1 of the Skimcast mobile app comes with several new features to help you read and study. These new features are in addition to the features available in the previous version of Skimcast. We have some short tutorials to help you get started using Skimcast quickly.

1. Skim more document formats

In addition to skimming PDF documents, web pages (HTML), and text pasted from the clipboard, you can also skim .docx, .pptx, and .txt files. This allows you to share presentations with Skimcast or documents from a word processor.

How to create a skim in Skimcast

2. Skim more than one document at once

When you launch a new Skim, the app returns to the My Skims list, freeing you up to do other things. You can view another Skim while you wait or begin a new Skim. This feature is convenient when skimming multiple chapters from a book. You can begin scanning the next chapter while the previous chapter is skimming. Note that your local Internet bandwidth may place a limit on the number of documents you can upload at one time.

3. Receive a notification when your Skim is ready

Skimcast creates your Skims in the cloud. While Skimcast is working, you can do other things on your device without interrupting the Skim. When your Skim is complete and ready to be opened, Skimcast will send a notification to your mobile device. Touching the notification will open the Skimcast app and display your Skim. If you are not ready to open your skim, then you can ignore the Notification and it will go away.  Note that notifications must be turned on within your mobile device in order to receive notifications from Skimcast. You can turn off Skimcast notifications at any time in the settings options for your device.

4. Organize Skims with categories and subcategories

By touching “My Skims” you can see a list of all of your current Skims in the order of the time when the Skims were created (with the most recent Skim being first in the list). You can organize your Skims into categories and subcategories so that you can build a library of documents that are easy to find.

How to use categories in Skimcast

5. Assign custom titles to Skims

By default, titles are assigned to your Skims automatically. If the Skim came from a web page then the title of the web page is used. Otherwise, the title assigned to your Skim will be the first line of text found in the document. You can add your own custom titles to your Skims, making your Skims easier to find quickly.

6. Search a Skim for a particular word or phrase

When viewing a Skim, you can search the text of the Skim for any word or phrase. If your search phrase occurs in the text multiple times then you can jump to the next (or the previous) occurrence in the text.

7. View PDF documents

If you skim a PDF document, you can view the original PDF without leaving Skimcast. This feature also allows you to view the original photos from documents scanned in Skimcast using the camera on your mobile device. This can be useful for viewing figures or illustrations from the original document or for checking text in the document that may not have converted accurately in the OCR process (such as tables).

8. Use Bluetooth devices with Skimcast

Many features in Skimcast can be controlled using Bluetooth devices. For example, Bluetooth audio systems can be used to navigate the read-aloud feature of Skimcast. There are also several keyboard shortcuts for use with Bluetooth keyboards.

How to use Bluetooth devices with Skimcast

9. Begin reading aloud automatically

Skimcast will read text out loud when you touch the play button or press a play button on a Bluetooth device. You can also turn on the option to have Skimcast begin reading the text of a Skim automatically when you open the Skim. This is useful when you want to step away from your phone while Skimcast is creating your Skim. When your Skim is complete, you can start listening to it without returning to your phone. This can also be useful when listening to Skims in the car.

10. Navigate speech with the audio progress bar

Whenever Skimcast starts reading text aloud, a progress bar will appear at the bottom of the screen allowing you to jump around the document by moving the marker on the bar. You can hide the progress bar by pressing the X next to it. If the progress bar is hidden while text is being read aloud, then you can unhide the bar by pressing the  arrow next to it. Note that the audio progress bar is only visible while the audio is playing.

11. Track the progress of a new skim

Once you request a new Skim to be created, an entry for the Skim will be added to the My Skims list. Underneath the title, there will be a progress bar allowing you to see how much is left in completing your Skim.