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Recommendations for iTouch/iPhone Apps

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distefam
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Re: Recommendations for iTouch/iPhone Apps

Postby distefam » August 12th, 2013 3:01 am

After trying nearly everything out there and never finding something that was quite what I wanted I decided to make my own app. It's been in the works for two years but we finally released it last week. Introducing...Goi - Japanese vocabulary, made just for you, an iOS app (iOS 6+) for learning and reviewing Japanese vocabulary.

Goi uses your existing knowledge to help you learn new words. Each person will be taken on their own unique path to learning vocabulary.

Goi also features a brand new way to study -- we call it Contextual Spacing. Instead of spacing reviews over time like traditional flashcard programs or SRS, we take advantage of relationships between words to help you learn them in context. Say you're learning the word "water". At first you might see it next to the word "ocean" -- this helps you learn it faster. As you learn it better though, you'll see it with less related words (like "laugh"!) to solidify your mastery.

For more details on Contextual Spacing and other features, check out our website.

Here are some more features of Goi:

    • No levels: intelligently customized to you on the fly
    • Contextual Spacing: beyond SRS, we space both time and context
    • Advanced learning algorithm: learn new words when they will stick best
    • Passive and Active review: powerfully combined to take advantage of both
    • Professionally recorded native audio
    • Furigana hiding: test both meaning and reading, gradually
    • Beautiful overview statistics: automatically check your progress as you study
    • Detailed statistics: view and track your long term progress
    • Built-in Japanese dictionary with over 8,000 JLPT words (and growing!)
    • Personal word library: keep track of the words you know

For more information on what sets Goi apart check out Why we made Goi.

We just released Goi and are actively working to improve it. We would love to hear your feedback!

videovillain
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Re: Recommendations for iTouch/iPhone Apps

Postby videovillain » August 12th, 2013 4:20 am

distefam wrote:We just released Goi and are actively working to improve it. We would love to hear your feedback!

EDIT: *Be warned before downloading that this app will not teach you the 'kana' and it's sole purpose is to increase your vocabulary the following review was written without my knowledge of this and I am currently trying the app again to give it a proper review*

EDIT AGAIN: It is clear that I've misjudged this app after only using it for 2 days and finally understanding what it is trying to accomplish. In order to understand it better before trying to review it, I'm going to use it for at least two weeks first, then I'll try and review it again.

Please bare in mind that my old review is not accurate in many aspects (though some are accurate still) and I'm not changing it here because it really is my original feedback having not known much about this product except for the description on the app store, so take that for what you will:

***Begin old review***

First, if you are starting from scratch, you won't be able to read/write hirigana or katakana and this app doesn't teach them at all so you are basically thrown into the deep end without a float. You said you'd tried many, that must mean you know quite a bit of Japanese by now, maybe you forgot your audience doesn't know any? You should really let your paying audience know that they won't be learning these basics and that it is required to know them before it is even remotely useful.

5 minutes after downloading it I was wishing I was allowed to draw on the screen when learning the words. It says 'everywhere' that writing it helps memorize it; yet it never lets you write (it doesn't have to analyze my writing, just let me draw on the screen to practice.)

While on the subject of drawing, it'd be nice to see some stroke orders. The screens showing the new words have so much white space that is just unused. It could be used for writing, stroke orders, example sentences, other kanji compounds the kanji is found it, etc.

Example sentences and/or kanji compounds would go a long way to help solidify the learning of the words and meanings. ESPECIALLY IN THE LIBRARY! The library is basically devoid of anything useful besides the one single interpretation given of the words chosen to teach.

Why am I allowed to skip forward and not self-grade myself on any item, and then I'm unable to go back because the cute little owl won't let me? This effectively gives me a fail for all 5 items during review... maybe you shouldn't allow me to go to the next page until I grade myself properly (obviously it's possible to not know them all, so maybe a 'check' or an 'X' would be best and I can only progress after making my selections.

Speaking of reviews, how is it that I start from scratch and get 5 words, then I've got to review 10 before learning new ones... that doesn't make sense.

I started out with a bug at one point. Business Suit came up in learn, but then it didn't show up in the summary or review, instead, play came up.

Also, it doesn't seam to make any difference if I choose to start with the knowledge I have vs. starting from scratch.

There are many other things I'd like to suggest about this app, but I think I'll wait till the next iteration before using it again to be honest. For the price, this app is majorly lacking in content and usability. I don't mean to sound harsh, but its tough love I guess. KanjiBox, Japanese, StickyStudy, Scribe Origins, Anki, and Human Japanese are all far superior

I really like your idea here, but the execution needs work, keep at it!
Last edited by videovillain on August 13th, 2013 9:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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distefam
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Re: Recommendations for iTouch/iPhone Apps

Postby distefam » August 12th, 2013 5:03 am

Thank you for your feedback.

videovillain wrote:First, if you are starting from scratch, you won't be able to read/write hirigana or katakana and this app doesn't teach them at all so you are basically thrown into the deep end without a float. You said you'd tried many, that must mean you know quite a bit of Japanese by now, maybe you forgot your audience doesn't know any? You should really let your paying audience know that they won't be learning these basics and that it is required to know them before it is even remotely useful.


You're right. Goi does not teach Hiragana or Katakana. The Kana is quite easy to learn and very many methods advocate learning it first rather than rely on Romaji (there are many critiques of learning with Romaji so I will not list them here). You're right though, we should be more transparent about that. We just assumed that every serious student of Japanese would already know the Kana. I'll be sure to incorporate the fact that we don't teach Kana on the site and in the app store description. For us, "no Romaji" was a feature, not a detriment :lol:

videovillain wrote:5 minutes after downloading it I was wishing I was allowed to draw on the screen when learning the words. It says 'everywhere' that writing it helps memorize it; yet it never lets you write (it doesn't have to analyze my writing, just let me draw on the screen to practice.)


When we say writing it helps to memorize it we meant writing on paper while using the phone. This is what I and many of our users do. Writing on the phone just isn't that enjoyable and its utility is questionable. However, this is something we'll consider if we receive a lot of requests for it.

videovillain wrote:While on the subject of drawing, it'd be nice to see some stroke orders. The screens showing the new words have so much white space that is just unused. It could be used for writing, stroke orders, example sentences, other kanji compounds the kanji is found it, etc.


We are definitely working on implementing stroke order into the app. We prioritized developing and testing our algorithm and coming up with a unique and powerful way to learn rather than building in bells and whistles early on. This has been a very appreciate approach for many of our (admittedly, a bit more advanced) users.

videovillain wrote:Example sentences and/or kanji compounds would go a long way to help solidify the learning of the words and meanings. ESPECIALLY IN THE LIBRARY! The library is basically devoid of anything useful besides the one single interpretation given of the words chosen to teach.


The above response regarding stroke order also applies here. The goal of Goi is not to be a replacement for other methodologies of learning Japanese. It's sole purpose is to teach vocabulary. We want to help build users' vocabulary so that they can interact with native materials as quickly as possible. We're not teaching grammar, usage, or anything else, just vocabulary. By focusing on vocabulary and not diluting the app with other concepts we feel we've created the absolutely most effective tool for learning vocabulary. It's not the best approach to use any one tool when learning any subject and Japanese is no exception. Goi is simply one tool in a language learner's toolset, and in our opinion the best one for learning vocabulary out there.

To be fair, we do not mention anywhere that Goi includes sample sentences. Instead, we repeatedly state that Goi is for vocabulary.

videovillain wrote:Why am I allowed to skip forward and not self-grade myself on any item, and them I'm unable to go back because the cute little owl won't let me? This effectively gives me a fail for all 5 items during review... maybe you shouldn't allow me to go to the next page until I grade myself properly (obviously it's possible to not now them all, so maybe a 'check' or an 'X' would be best and I can only progress after making my selections.


Point taken. However, I don't know how this equates to an automatic fail unless you've forgotten to grade yourself. The intro clearly explains that you check the items that you do know.

videovillain wrote:Speaking of reviews, how is it that I start from scratch and get 5 words, then I've got to review 10 before learning new ones... that doesn't make sense.


If you start by telling Goi that you're new to Japanese your first Review Mode should only contain those words you just learned. If, however, you took the pre-flight check and Goi determines that you know some Japanese it will use that knowledge to introduce you to new words and also to help you review the ones you do know. Are you sure this happened after saying you're completely new to Japanese?

We tested Goi extensively (with beta testers as well) and didn't encounter this problem. We'll be sure to look into it though! We already submitted one fix to Apple, which is still in review. As I said, we're actively working on fixing issues and it's crucial for our users to point them out so we can fix them.

videovillain wrote:I started out with a bug at one point. Business Suit came up in learn, but then it didn't show up in the summary or review, instead, play came up.


We haven't seen this happen at all in testing but I'll be sure to look into it.

videovillain wrote:Also, it doesn't seam to make any difference if I choose to start with the knowledge I have vs. starting from scratch.


It makes quite a large difference. When you tell Goi that you already know some Japanese a pre-flight check is given and Goi learns from what you know. Your existing knowledge is then used for review purposes but also to help you learn new things. This is one of the majorly different things about Goi, it's like Pandora radio in that it takes some time for the algorithm to learn from you. The more you use it, the smarter it gets.

videovillain wrote:There are many other things I'd like to suggest about this app, but I think I'll wait till the next iteration before using it again to be honest. For the price, this app is majorly lacking in content and usability. I don't mean to sound harsh, but its tough love I guess. KanjiBox, Japanese, StickyStudy, Scribe Origins, Anki, and Human Japanese are all far superior


All of the apps you mention are very good. Goi is not another app that simply teaches Japanese. It is an app for teaching you Japanese vocabulary in the most effective way possible. It's for taking your Japanese to the next level. After you've studied Japanese for a few months or so you will realize that your biggest weakness is vocabulary. Goi was made to fill this void. It was never meant as a tool to take you from 0-60 in Japanese. For absolute beginners, there are plenty of other tools out there. For serious students who wish to improve their vocabulary quickly and effectively so that they can start enjoying native materials (where one really learns a lot) we really feel that it's the best thing out there.

Having said that, Goi is very unique. Like Pandora radio and any other system that utilizes Artificial Intelligence it takes some time for the system to learn from you. Thus, it takes a few days of use for you to really see Goi shine. I hope that you're open to giving Goi more of a chance.

Thank you again for your feedback. I'm sorry if we weren't more clear about what Goi is and, more importantly, isn't. I'll work on improving the description on the site and app store. If you judge Goi for what it is and not for what you would like it to be, however, I think you'll come away with a far different impression.

videovillain
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Re: Recommendations for iTouch/iPhone Apps

Postby videovillain » August 12th, 2013 11:11 am

distefam wrote:Thank you for your feedback.
You're right though, we should be more transparent about that. We just assumed that every serious student of Japanese would already know the Kana. I'll be sure to incorporate the fact that we don't teach Kana on the site and in the app store description. For us, "no Romaji" was a feature, not a detriment :lol:

I can understand the want to cater towards higher level students and assuming they will know a certain amount already. So I'm glad you'll try to make it more apparent in your description.

distefam wrote:When we say writing it helps to memorize it we meant writing on paper while using the phone. This is what I and many of our users do. Writing on the phone just isn't that enjoyable and its utility is questionable. However, this is something we'll consider if we receive a lot of requests for it.

Mobile users on the go won't usually have a pen/notepad readily available and will rely on your app to provide some sort of substitute... I'm just saying, you've got a LOT of screen real estate that is being used poorly in my opinion and could quickly and easily be turned into a "notepad" of sorts. If I was going to look-up vocab and write it down on paper, I'd be using my computer or a book and sitting at home. If I'm on a packed train for an hour to work and an hour back everyday I've got one hand on the bar to steady myself so I can't be writing anything... that's why I get a mobile solution. Again, it really seems like you are wasting your screen real estate. Regardless of if you add a notepad or not, I'd suggest reworking your layout.

distefam wrote:We are definitely working on implementing stroke order into the app. We prioritized developing and testing our algorithm and coming up with a unique and powerful way to learn rather than building in bells and whistles early on. This has been a very appreciate approach for many of our (admittedly, a bit more advanced) users.

Good to hear.

distefam wrote:The above response regarding stroke order also applies here. The goal of Goi is not to be a replacement for other methodologies of learning Japanese. It's sole purpose is to teach vocabulary. We want to help build users' vocabulary so that they can interact with native materials as quickly as possible. We're not teaching grammar, usage, or anything else, just vocabulary. By focusing on vocabulary and not diluting the app with other concepts we feel we've created the absolutely most effective tool for learning vocabulary. It's not the best approach to use any one tool when learning any subject and Japanese is no exception. Goi is simply one tool in a language learner's toolset, and in our opinion the best one for learning vocabulary out there.

I can understand this. Focusing on one part is definitely better than providing a weak version of many things. So I'm glad you are dedicated to one aspect.

distefam wrote:To be fair, we do not mention anywhere that Goi includes sample sentences. Instead, we repeatedly state that Goi is for vocabulary.

No, you don't state it repeatedly and, to be unfair, nor do you state specifically that it is only for vocabulary. In your app description you say, "Custom Language Learning for Everyone" which indicates to me you are going to teach me about a language, not just vocabulary. Then you say, "completely reinvent the way we learn foreign language vocabulary," and this is the only time 'vocabulary' is even mentioned; making me believe not only will i learn about the language, but that you've improved the 'vocabulary' section of learning a language.

distefam wrote:Point taken. However, I don't know how this equates to an automatic fail unless you've forgotten to grade yourself. The intro clearly explains that you check the items that you do know.

The point was that you can accidentally send yourself to the next screen while trying to 'check' something you know, effectively ruining the algorithm as you might have wanted to check all five but instead, because people make mistakes and swipes are not always accurate, you've given yourself a fail on all items. If your app is to rely so heavily on this amazing algorithm you've created, you'd better be sure simple user error or the slip of a finger doesn't ruin all that hard work! :D You have a lot of space to use, as I've previously indicated, and during the "Review" sections, maybe the check area could be bigger, and further from the edge of the screen, which often misinterprets touches with swipes, more than the center area does. Also, I'd highly suggest making the 'unchecked boxes' more visible...

distefam wrote:If you start by telling Goi that you're new to Japanese your first Review Mode should only contain those words you just learned. If, however, you took the pre-flight check and Goi determines that you know some Japanese it will use that knowledge to introduce you to new words and also to help you review the ones you do know. Are you sure this happened after saying you're completely new to Japanese?

I'm sure, I tested it a few times.

distefam wrote:We tested Goi extensively (with beta testers as well) and didn't encounter this problem. We'll be sure to look into it though! We already submitted one fix to Apple, which is still in review. As I said, we're actively working on fixing issues and it's crucial for our users to point them out so we can fix them.

We haven't seen this happen at all in testing but I'll be sure to look into it.

Are you sure you tested it so extensively? Even one single test should have displayed this behavior... I'll do an example right now, I've just reset Goi. I selected "I'm New" and I've just gotten the words: 掃除、まずい、昼ご飯、なな、はし。Now, after looking over them for a short while to memorize (I only needed to memorize the kanji for "ご" which is actually hardly ever written out in kanji) I moved to review. My review words are as follows: 交番、こえ、ケーキ、静か、まずい。 Only one of those words is from the previous list given... So something is definitely not working properly.

distefam wrote:It makes quite a large difference. When you tell Goi that you already know some Japanese a pre-flight check is given and Goi learns from what you know. Your existing knowledge is then used for review purposes but also to help you learn new things. This is one of the majorly different things about Goi, it's like Pandora radio in that it takes some time for the algorithm to learn from you. The more you use it, the smarter it gets.

I started and restarted about 15 times so far using "I'm New" roughly half the time. Each time, I get a basically randomly chosen, it seems, set of words. I've done the pre-flight and ended up with words like 'Business Suit' and I've started from "I'm New" and gotten 'Business Suit'. I've done the pre-flight and started with '6' and I've started from "I'm New" and begun with '6'. I've many more examples of this. I realize it must take a while for the algorithm to start working, but it doesn't seem to make a difference in the beginning.

distefam wrote:All of the apps you mention are very good. Goi is not another app that simply teaches Japanese. It is an app for teaching you Japanese vocabulary in the most effective way possible. It's for taking your Japanese to the next level. After you've studied Japanese for a few months or so you will realize that your biggest weakness is vocabulary. Goi was made to fill this void. It was never meant as a tool to take you from 0-60 in Japanese. For absolute beginners, there are plenty of other tools out there. For serious students who wish to improve their vocabulary quickly and effectively so that they can start enjoying native materials (where one really learns a lot) we really feel that it's the best thing out there.

You are correct, I came into this app expecting something completely different (that's a communication problem between you and your customers, so It's half my fault and half yours I'd say). My perspective definitely shaped my view points at the onset. Regardless, many of the points I brought up, especially the bugs, are not related to my perception of what your product was intending to provide.

distefam wrote:Having said that, Goi is very unique. Like Pandora radio and any other system that utilizes Artificial Intelligence it takes some time for the system to learn from you. Thus, it takes a few days of use for you to really see Goi shine. I hope that you're open to giving Goi more of a chance.

I definitely will, now that I know it is solely for learning vocab, I'll give it a go for a while and see how it turns out.

distefam wrote:Thank you again for your feedback. I'm sorry if we weren't more clear about what Goi is and, more importantly, isn't. I'll work on improving the description on the site and app store. If you judge Goi for what it is and not for what you would like it to be, however, I think you'll come away with a far different impression.

Thanks for clarifying! I'll take a nice long look at it and rewrite my review!

oliverrose
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Nice online/mobile games for learning kanji!!

Postby oliverrose » September 10th, 2013 1:57 am

The http://www.kanjigames.com has online versions of two mobile apps, 'Kanji Connect' and 'Lex Flashcard Game for Quizlet'.

Kanji Connect is a game like Boggle but the target word is cued with kanji or hiragana and meaning, and you need to spell out the word in the grid. Great thinking game to get to know kanji readings and meanings and learn new vocabulary - it also tracks progress and has reference flashcards.

Try the 'Lex Flashcard Game for Quizlet' app to use quizlet sets in a fun boggle/mahjong/crossword-style game. No other apps feature this kind of game plus pedagogical tracking/review

Soon coming is also the KanjiMatch3 app, great new game for focused learning of radicals and onyomi.

Both games are also iphone apps available on the app store.

Enjoy! :D

Oliver

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Re: Recommendations for iTouch/iPhone Apps

Postby community.japanese » September 17th, 2013 7:45 pm

Oliver-san,
thank you very much for sharing an interesting info with us!! :D

Natsuko (奈津子),
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adelholtz_499460
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Re: Recommendations for iTouch/iPhone Apps

Postby adelholtz_499460 » December 31st, 2014 11:40 pm

Hi

i started using (StickyStudy) http://www.stickystudy.com/kanji.html a while ago and really like it. I have tried a few different Kanji learning apps, and i personally find this one to be the best.
Theres also a free Version of this app available (without ads), it however only covers JPLT N5 Kanji and Vocab, but its good to test out the program for yourself.

This App is only available for Ipad/Iphone.

Theres also a Flashcard app from the same developer -> http://www.stickystudy.com/flash.html.
You can buy both apps in a bundle for 10.99 Euros, dont know how the pricing would be in Dollar but its probably the same ($10.99) considering the apple pricing philosophy.

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Re: Recommendations for iTouch/iPhone Apps

Postby community.japanese » January 2nd, 2015 6:18 pm

Adelholtz san,
Thank you for sharing the information.

Yuki 由紀
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howellpeebles5410
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Re: Recommendations for iTouch/iPhone Apps

Postby howellpeebles5410 » September 17th, 2015 8:19 am

Hello!

I made an app for the iPhone, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/learn-japanese!-hiragana-katakana/id1014955564?mt=8 I work for a Japanese company and I am currently studying for JLPT N1 and couldn't find a good app that teaches not only Kanji and Vocabulary but grammar also. So I made an app and have been adding new lessons as often as possible. I am not fluent yet but I have a Japanese co-worker that helps me create the lessons. If you try my app please let me know what you think at . I would really appreciate any feedback to help me make this a great learning tool for Japanese.

Thanks!
James Howell Peebles

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Re: Recommendations for iTouch/iPhone Apps

Postby community.japanese » September 17th, 2015 3:20 pm

James Howell Peebles san,
Konnichiwa. :)
Thank you for sharing the information.
I hope many people could use that app and improve their Japanese.
Yuki 由紀
Team JapanesePod101.com

krichousay_514993
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Re: Recommendations for iTouch/iPhone Apps

Postby krichousay_514993 » January 10th, 2017 5:13 pm

Hey all,
I spend a lot of time on the phone so I decided to make it useful...
I got this game called "Study! Language Word Game" to study Japanese.. it was like 240Y but quite worth it
it s a game like Tetris and Scrabble and you can play in different languages (like French, Jap, Eng and others)
Pretty hard in Japanese I would say but quite fun.. hmmm let me find the link
Here it is:
https://appsto.re/fr/R5shcb.i

check it out, works for me as I like pixel art too ^^

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Re: Recommendations for iTouch/iPhone Apps

Postby community.japanese » February 1st, 2017 7:46 pm

san,
Konnichiwa.
Thank you for the information.
It looks fun. :P
Yuki 由紀
Team JapanesePod101.com


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