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Hello, friends!

Today we are going to share one of the most pleasant news from the year for us!))) You know, that we develop our mobile guides for major mobile platforms: iOS, Android, Samsung bada, which is not easy: you have to develop, maintain and improve the survice for several platforms at the same time. And now all our acts were rewarded. On the last days of December 2012 Samsung Electronics, the biggest manufacturer of mobile phones has summarized popularity of mobile applications in Samsung Apps, which consolidates all the applications for smartphones and tablet devices, produced by Samsung. Mobile GPS audio guides Toozla became the app of the year with the highest rate of 5 stars from 5 available.  Together with Toozla the rating includes such popular apps as Angry
Birds Space and Opera mini with ratings of 3,5 and 4,5 stars respectively.


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Toozla - Travel Audio Guide to Everywhere

We are pleased with achieved result and are very grateful to you, friends, to our beloved users for the acknowledgment. Our application is available for both flagship models on Android platform and for Samsung bada smartphones. Thus the major quantity of Samsung users are able to use Toozla service. And moreover the existence of guides in 16 languages extend borders of the usage of the app. For example, our application is very popular in Spain and Italy, because of availability of the content over there and because of popularity of Samsung bada platform in these countries.

We have launched our service on Android platform in June 2010 and as early as November 2010 we have won grand-prix of Samsung bada developer challenge Russia. December 2010 has brought to our app the third place in the category in the global stage of to the Samsung bada developer challenge. Thus, Toozla has long and successful work experience with the auditory of Samsung.
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                         creation of photo notes

Hey guys! We are happy to share some news with you! On November 23 we have finished tests of a new version of Toozla application for iOS and Android.

Now you are able to make your own extended geotagged notes: photos together with audio. Likewise with audio notes, photos are being encored to the places, where they were taken, and any Toozla user, passing by this place, receive audio-story with photo. Self-generated Toozla guides now appeared to be much more informative. You can now feel yourself as a creator of the story of your native city!
Therefore a new essence of information has been created, located somewhere between video and photos  (between YouTube and Instagram) - photo-audio touristic journal. Using integration of new functions,we plan to give a new push for the development of our infosphere. Now all the information in Toozla can be divided into three big blocks: professional guides; guides, based on global info sources, like Wikipedia, Wikimapia, 2GIS, Google Places, and user-generated content.

We work hard on the possibility of using Toozla service for the development of personal guides. Some time ago our content-partners have received possibility to work with improved web-tool for the development of professional guides. But we haven’t offered any tools for our end users, excepting geotagged audio-notes. User-generated content can be as interesting, as professional guides, because it’s being generated exactly at the moment, when the user is really interested and impressed by something, so this stories have a great difference - non-trivial narration and lively emotions. Having analyzed these stories we’ve understood, that they definatly have a lack of photos. Now the user make a photo of interesting object and add audio description to it. We lay account with it function to increase seriously  the quality of our content and we also want to elevate your interest to our application.

Just imagine: you are walking in a sunny street of your native city, it's warm and pleasent, suddenly you see a street band, playing music, singing and dancing,  you take a picture of that band, record their music, push upload button and in a minute your story becomes a part of Toozla infosphere. And imagine more: time has passed, it snowing, it's rather cold and someone has a walk with Toozla. He passes the place, where you have recorded your story some months ago, he receives your photo of a sunny street band and hear their warm music and singing. It's like a time machine, like another layer of the information: the same place, but two super-different pictures to see)

Well, as usual, we hope, that you'll like our improvement, that you'll use it a lot and of course we hope to receive your feedback for our future improvements!
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     QR-code indoor navigation in action

Hello, friends! We are happy to share some news with you! A couple of weeks ago we've released an updated version our self-named app (for Android and iOS). As you know, we develop mobile audio guides in 16 languages all over the world. Our application provides users with various formats of  the content: textual, graphical and audio. One of our distinguishing feature is the wide guides coverage: currently Toozla infosphere is estimated for more than 50 million audio stories around the world.

Previously we weren’t able to provide users with indoor guides, because GPS does not work inside the buildings, and navigation through WiFi is not very stable. The issue of indoor navigation was partially solved by implementation of QR-code scanner. Museums have already started to supply exhibits with QR-codes with comprising stories. Now our users are able to receive excursions inside the museum through Toozla app: GPS navigation will be replaced by QR code navigation. An important advantage of using QR-navigation is position accuracy, which in theory can be up to 5 centimeters.

It may seem to you, that many apps have access to QR-codes, but integration of the scanner into Toozla is only the visible part of the work done.

First of all, Toozla portal for guides creation was also expanded with QR code generator (if you don't know, we have a special tool for content owners; they can create their own mobile guides in Toozla via Toozla MapTool). It allows to generate a short and clear readable code for any story, created for professional guide. Moreover, code can comprise stories in any supported language.

Secondly, all existing codes in museums are also available for scanning, their content is automatically converting into Toozla format. The visitor of the museum approach camera to the code of exhibit and the application starts to play one audio piece that was attached to the exhibit before.

But how the things were going, why did we decided to make this update? Well, some time ago, our company has faced with the problem of indoor navigation: many tourists plan to visit museums and galleries, they are not just walking through the streets. We have chosen QR-code navigation among the possible solutions for indoor navigation, because this technology is developing very extensively, it is understandable and accessible for the users: QR-codes were printed in Kazan for all the objects of the Kazan Kremlin, Moscow Darwin Museum is on the way of implementation of this technology, historical buildings of Tverskaya Street in Moscow have also received signs with QR-codes, etc. Now our users receive access not only to the guides of Toozla, but also to the information, created by QR-code adepts for many attractions and museum exhibits. By adding this functionality to the application, we hope to make the product even more complete and comprehensive. After implementation of QR-code scanner we estimate our infosphere at least in 75 million audio tracks.

And we hope, you'll put value of the new version of Toozla. And as usually we ask you to test our app and to send us as many feedback, as possible for we can make all the improvements, taking into account your opinion!





старая Тверская
There was a time when Tverskaya looked like this and the biggest innovation in the street was a horse cart)))))

Hello, friends! Today we want to tell you about Toozla improvement, which is very important for us! As you know, we strive to develop Toozla as a product that fully meets the needs of modern man in mobile guides. And it's not only about tech development, but it's also about the information coverage of Toozla. We have several sources of information: some global sources, such as: Wikipedia, Wikimapia and others, and some professional guides in different cities of Russia, Europe and the USA.

And some time ago the following idea began to pursue us relentlessly: our company is originally from Moscow, which means, that we have to maintain our reputation here more, than anywhere (just some kind of patriotism:)) in order to take the place of the primary main mobile guide in the minds of our Moscow users. We have analyzed the issue of information coverage of Moscow and the following problem caught our eye: Tverskaya, one of the central Moscow streets, strongly suffers from a lack of content.

Moreover, there is a lack not only of professional guides, it’s also difficult to find  information about  buildings and monuments of Tverskaya Street in the Internet, and the content, that you can dig up, would not be better found at all). This was the first and  the most important observation.

The second thought that came in upon our mind was the following: Toozla has a number of professional guides in Moscow for the central part of the city, namely: the Boulevard Ring, the Kuznetsky bridge and the Kremlin, so we have three routes which are not connected to each other, but they are located close. So, as you see, the universe was almost shouting about the need of creating our own guide for Tverskaya)).

And this autumn, we have finally made ​​this important step: we have created the first GPS mobile guide from Belorussky Railway Station Square to the Red Square.
Our new guide has a total time of about an hour. It includes stories about all key sites of the street, such as: hotel "National", the Central Telegraph Office, the State Central Museum of Contemporary History of Russia and many others. From October 1, Toozla users received an opportunity to try our free guide for the main Moscow street. We are satisfied with executed work and we hope that wonderful, proud and monumental buildings of Tverskaya Street won't remain faceless  for numerous passers-by any more. We also hope, that now any pupil will be able to show where Lenin, Dzerzhinsky and Trotsky were living after the Revolution, where previously situated Noble University board etc.

This adding also made it possible for our Russian-speaking users to plan a variety of walks in the center of Moscow, because this guide has connected our routes for the Boulevard Ring with our routes for Kremlin, where we have already 3 professional guides. Now you are able to walk for hours, listening to the city, without any brakes. For example, you can walk from The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, after that you can turn right on Pushkin Square and go to the Kremlin. And do not forget about our guide "The history of Moscow lanes". It will tell you about the buildings inside the Garden Ring in constructivism and baroque styles.
So, taking into account all the above named guides, we can easily say that the central part of the city is covered by our guides fully, and it is time now to run Toozla and to go for a walk, discovering the capital again, cause each stone in the city has a story to tell!
As usual summer slipped away very quickly, and nobody wanted to waste last warm days, sitting in the house. It's always the same: you peacefully spend June and July, it seems to you that summer will last long, but then in August you start warring over each rainy day and strive to catch every ray of sunshine!

With just such a concern of the slipping summer our Tomcat traveler hotfooted to Yaroslavl to wallow in the warmth and the beauty of the Golden Ring, in a magical architecture of eighty churches and temples scattered around Yaroslavl, so different and close to each other, that looking at the panorama of the city, you can not help recalling a box of chocolates "Assorted" :)

Yaroslavl turned out to be not so small, but nevertheless very soul-stirring town! In the center architecture of 16-19 centuries preserved almost completely. These low-rise gingerbread houses elicited a smile and made our cat to hike loads of kilometers. You should walk by foot in Yaroslavl!

However once our Tomcat used the bus. But even the bus in Yaroslavl appeared to be some kind of oldy with beautiful tickets, which were in wide use a lot of years ago))


Before Yaroslavl our Tomcat had a short stop in Alexandrov, where you can also find a lot of things and places to look at, such as the chapel of St. Seraphim of Sarov, located right next to the train station.

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But of course before the walk there was a hotel and a short rest. Short, because time was running inexorably, and the sun was calling out to the streets of the old city.

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You should observe Yaroslavl not a day or two, because even to have a look at all churches, temples and chapels you'll need more than one day! And in addition in Yaroslavl there's also a children's railway, the museum-reserve of famous Russian writer Nekrasov "Karabikha" and all sorts of funny museums, such as the Museum of the hamster.

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The first goal was the Holy Transfiguration Monastery - the oldest of the extant point of interest of Yaroslavl. Local residents call the monastery Kremlin, but this is not entirely accurate. In ancient times, the Kremlin was a kind of earthworks (the shaft and the moat) and located closer to Volga. Now the monastery became the Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve of  Yaroslavl. In troubled times, the monastery walls withstood the siege of the Polish forces. And from this place in 16th century the army of Minin and Pozharsky went to release the capital.

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Stairs to the bell tower

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The Church of Yaroslavl thaumaturges

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And moreover in the Saviour - Transfiguration monastery there are funny stones and cartoon apples)))


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In a large area of the monastery among giant apples suddenly crept into the territoty some small monasteries and churches, just of the caliber of our Tomcat - traveler. That's really not a Museum-Reserve, but the real rabbit hole with all the increases and decreases of the surrounding objects))

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After walking around the Saviour - Transfiguration monastery, Tomcat went in the direction of the Spit - the place where two rivers, Kotorosl and Volga, converge. And on his way churches were followed by churches...

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...but not only by churches!

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At the stadium, for example, was flying an aerostat and if someone wanted, he could do some fly on it.

And here is finally the Spit, well groomed, beautiful, with a lovely view and a musical fountain.

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At the Spit opens up beautiful view not only from above, but also from below, when from behind of burning gold domes of the Holy Assumption Cathedral of Yaroslavl by a bright blue sky gray-white clouds are floating at you.

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On the spit there is a monument of millennium of Yaroslavl - 18-meter obelisk topped with gilded double-headed eagle. They say that during the construction of the monument in Yaroslavl there were a lot of controversies and disgruntled, but the monument, though, has been erected.

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Not far from Yaroslavl on the left bank of the Volga the is a stunning Vvedensky Tolga convent.
The Old monastery was founded in 1314. It is very beautiful and well maintained. The monastery is surrounded by flowers, they are everywhere: on the grass, hanged in front of the churches, and they even surround a small pond with ducks in the center of the monastery.

  




  



  





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Flower-power)))

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LOVEly place with LOVEly flowers)))

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Vvedensky Cathedral is the main cathedral of the monastery. Ironically, the cathedral is summery, and in winter the mass is carried out in a warm Holy Cross church.

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Another attraction of the Vvedensky Tolga convent is the cedar grove in the south-eastern part the monastery. Unfortunately, the grove has been closed for visitors when Tomcat came there, so he wasn't able to walk among the ancient cedars. But even without this walk Vvedensky monastery left very warm and kind feeling of beauty and tranquility.

In the evening, hungry Tomcat Toozla came across Ukrainian restaurant with a sleepy fellow...

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...and welcoming hostess
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In general, evening strolls in Yaroslavl give no less fun than trips to it's monasteries.

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The Chapel of Alexander Nevsky

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The Church of the Epiphany

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Rocks bar with marvelous grandmothers on the walls)))
Full of experience our Tomcat was returning home, in a deserted railcar with a thoughtful conductor and pleasant feeling that even 2 days of traveling are able to be so interesting and full of events!


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And of course Tomcat Toozla is happy to tell all his stories about the marvelous old Yaroslavl  through his application - Toozla mobile guide.

Download it and start exploring cities! And don't forget, that each stone in your city has a story to tell!
As you remember, our company in honor of Earth Hour 2012 was helding a drawing contest.
On this day in different Russian cities and towns were held bicycle races and we decided to put our cat-traveler on the bike)

Participants of the competition had to draw our Tomcat Toozla as a rider, Arctic explorer, who is a friend of polar bears and walruses, who may be riding around the world with Panda and so on... We did not set any boundaries, all that was necessary -to combine in picture 3 topics: mobile guides, ecology, and bicycles. And that's what we got as a result:




This picture has won first prise in our competition of paintings.
Author comment: "My name is Obodnikov Juriy, Moscow. Cat and I are happy to participate in competition:)We are greeting upcoming summer and driving far away from the city!"





Juriy won the main prize- smartphone.
Second prize went to Volzhina Mary from Rostov-on-Don

Mary won a functional backpack for more convenient and comfortable bicycle trips)


Third place went to a pencil drawing of Lydia Filina from Moscow.



Other pictures did not taken prizes, but they also will become Toozla avatar for a month.



Larisa Ivanova
Udmurt Republic, Izhevsk




Zorapetyan Nelia





Ilya Fenchenko
Leningrad region, Kingisepp

Author's comment: "Tomcat Toozla and Panda, travel all over the world on the bicycle, using mobile travel guides with joy and happyness!"






Bakaeva Tatiana, Moscow. Cat - environmentalist struggles with rubbish





Pozhilichkina Uliana, Moscow





This picture came to us too late to take part in the contest, but like the others, it will become our avatar for a month!
Author - an eight-year old girl Darena.
Hundreds of millions of people, businesses and governments around the world unite each year to support the largest environmental event in history - Earth Hour. 6 525 cities and towns in 150 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2012, sending a powerful message for action on climate change.

Our company also took part in Earth Hour in Russia.  The main goal of Earth Hour in Russia was to gather 100,000 signatures of petition on the new law about the protection of the seas. The goal was successfully reached!

Our company, of course signed the petition, we also did our best to help WWF to promote the idea of Earth Hour, but the main thing we've made for this day was special GPS mobile guide. In different Russian cities and towns on March 31 were held bicycle races. The idea was in attracting people's attention to ecological transport instead of cars. We've made guides in three Russian cities: Moscow, Sankt-Petersburg and Sochi. Guides were located on their traffic routes. These guides consisted of two blocs of stories: the first one was about WWF and Earth Hour, the second one consisted of stories and facts about surrounding objects, it was a classic tourist guide.

In this post we want to share photos from bicycle race in Moscow, where our cat traveler Toozla took part.


 
Tomcat Toozla made friends with participants of bicycle race "Velosvetlyachki" 2012, timed to coincide with Earth Hour





Tomcat Toozla with Japanese journalist, giving coverage of Earth Hour in Moscow


   

  

  

With the most experienced participant of the bicycle race


  

 

Ecological issues each year attracts more and more attention of various people. So this bicycle ride was supported by both watchers of bicycle sport and it's young members)) So in this race of cyclists this small cute rider also took part with grown ups:


And, of course, Earth Hour could not pass without a symbol of WWF - Panda. In fact, in Moscow there were even two pandas, one on the Sparrow Hills, and the other one rode a bicycle along with the rest participants of bicycle race.
 

And when our cat finally reached the finish line on the Sparrow Hills ...
 

...he acquired one more friend - the director of development of WWF Russia, after all, it is much easier to take care of environment  and ecology together!))


New iPhone - new Toozla!




Hooray!

Dear Friends! We are finally pleased to share news with you about a new version of Toozla for iOS! On January 25, 2012 it became available for free in AppStore.

Application for iPhone was released long ago, and time for a new version has come! For example, in previous version there was no map.
Toozla for Samsung bada, Nokia Symbian and MeeGo has received a map long time, so it’s necessity has been confirmed in practice. The application for iOS now uses Google map.

We also wanted Toozla for iPhone to be not only functional but beautiful either, so we have planned redesign for this version of the application. After all, handsome phone deserves truly beautiful apps:)

As a result, we didn't make ​​changes, we've done completely redesign.

Here, check it by yourselves:

         

                  used to be                                                      now :)

Current update is the most significant over the past two years. The application received: a fundamentally new design, modification of algorithms of work with content, more convenient access to stories and a map for navigation in an unfamiliar city. The map is not only convenient to walk with around the city, it also allows users to see the location of important objects and choose the direction of movement toward the highest concentration of audio guides. It is worth recalling that the system contains over 2 million audio tracks in 16 languages.

iPhone the swimmer)))))

At first it was scary)))












With onset of winter and in expectation of cold weather, we decided to warm our hearts, working at development of guides for a warm part of our blue ball  :)

You remember, that starting from this summer, we’ve  launched work upon increasing of languages in our system. Thanks to what we produced guides for users in Russia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Czech, Poland and even for the users, who speak Arabian language.

We have made the next step in this direction on November 28, when we have activated three new languages: Turkish, Greek and Portuguese. After producing guides in these languages, we have seriously advanced our infosphere: Toozla wikistream guide was expanded with more than 125 thousand stories from Wikipedia. The largest volume of stories is in Portuguese - about 114 thousand stories, guides in Greek and Turkish languages have provided Toozla with 12 thousand stories.

So, friends, study languages and let's roll to warm parts of the globe  to walk and learn interesting, useful and cool stuff with our mobile guides! :)

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