Enfour’s Oxford Deluxe in Review: Redefining ‘The Best’

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Though there are many concise versions of the Oxford English Dictionary, only a couple versions of the Oxford Dictionary of English have hit the shelves of the App Store. Likewise, our Oxford reviews have focused on the many flavours of the Concise versions. This week however, we sample the taste and culmination of research, programming and foresight that Enfour have employed to bring the entire ODE & OTE Oxford to the App Store.

From Enfour’s Oxford Deluxe iTunes Page:
The entire Oxford Dictionary of English, Second Edition (ODE) and the Oxford Thesaurus of English, Second Edition (OTE) –over $110 value in hardcopy.
That includes the extensive reading and reference material over and above plain searching.
Plus 44,000 pre-recorded sound files from the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.

Application Features:
* full content of the unabridged texts
* complete appendicies and front matter
* unique three-way cross-referencing search
* real-time progressing look-up
* wildcard searches for unknown spellings and quizzes
* hyperlinking between dictionary & thesaurus plus to appendices
* unique support for round-trip search from other applications
* bookmarks with editable notations
* automatic history
* complete offline use – no internet connection is required

Features
Enfour simply are masters of software and the Oxford Deluxe is testament enough to fasten that claim as fact. Their American Heritage dictionaries stand head and shoulders above other dictionary submissions due to easy to use designs that pack quantity with quality with great pricing. The Oxford continues on the successes of the AHD4 but betters it with content that is exhaustingly deep. This is largest single volume Oxford Dictionary of English which will not comfortably fit into a backpack – in your pocket. It has appendices and indexes that no other dictionary can fathom and excellent usage examples littered throughout the text.

Because it shares the nearly the same interface as AHD4, Oxford Deluxe is powerful. Fast, reliable and stable, Enfour’s second full-fledged dictionary and thesaurus literally sets the standard for dictionary applications. In fact, the dictionary and thesaurus combination is the best reason to never tough through a purchase by another dictionary company. A simple keyword touch will from nearly anywhere in either text will bring up either definitions (dictionary) or similar words (thesaurus) and from there, a click on the title word switches between dictionary and thesaurus. To make navigation even easier, Enfour have robed the two in different colours to visually denote which text you are researching.

Searching is a joy – Oxford Deluxe’s indexing and searching engines are fast and easy to use and their hundreds of thousands of entries can easily be browsed by the swipe of a finger. Since the Oxford boasts the largest catalogue of words of any printed single volume English Dictionary, simply typing ‘ap’ into the search field will immediately render a tiresome list of spell-matched entries. Just like the ADH4, you can use the side-bound alphabetical scroll bar to search from A-Z to help find a particular word or to uncover new ones.

Naturally, all of the instantly available bookmarking and history functions from AHD4 have made it to the Oxford Deluxe. In a bookmark, you can add your own notes using the same GUI you have grown used to with Safari and other Apple apps and unlike Prelude’s amnesiac history, Enfour’s is immediate and will remain in the app even after you close it.

The Oxford Deluxe betters AHD4 in several areas but is not as complete in one: voices. AHD4 features 64 000 pre-recorded audio files by the same tireless voice-actor while The Oxford makes do with only 44 000 words spoken in a schizophrenic performance by three actors. My personal vocabulary is – I will not lie – a bit lower than 44 000, but many of our readers boast vocabs in the hundreds of thousands if not more – to them, I must apologise for this version’s durst. Also, the AHD4 is in some instances, more accessible as a dictionary for learners of English. The Oxford is at heart, a scholars reference – its appendix even lists the prime ministers of Canada, New Zealand, Australia, England and the Presidents of the USA. There are entire usage guides for ‘good english’, remarks on ‘proofreading’, etc. – it is indefatigable. The Oxford Dictionary of English functions partly as a dictionary and partly as an encyclopedia for those who need fast facts – but it is all reference and sometimes, may be daunting for the person who just wants to know what the definition of ‘is’ is.

Misses
Enfour’s simple and elegant approach to dictionaries is their best selling point. The fact that this platform drives two excellent dictionaries is only adding to their credit. However, no production is without some misses. The Oxford is easy to to use and is deep but is not the best resource for English learners, nor is it a great lexicon for those who want to compare English to American or other localisations. As I mentioned before, the simple Oxford implementation in OSX links immediately to both spellings in one search, no matter which words was entered into the search field.

Important Features

History
Search
Index
Book Mark
Digitised Pronunciation44,000
History
Search
Font SelectionN/A
Font Size Adjustment
Web ContentN/A
Idioms
Etymology
Contentover 300 000?
Usage Notes
Pronunciation Guide
ImagesN/A

Conclusion
Enfour’s Oxford Deluxe is one of the most expensive apps in the App Store and vies for most expensive Dictionary with Freeverse’s Oxford dictionary, but it is well priced, cheap even considering its usefulness. For basic use ergonomics, its only competition is from its sibling, the AHD4 and content likely from Freeverse. Despite its 200MB+ size, the Deluxe Oxford runs smooth from searching to scrolling and when switching from dictionary to Thesuarus. In short, there is nothing to complain about when considering Enfour’s implementation of the greatest English dictionary in the world. Rather, the Oxford corpus itself is both this apps best resume and at times its only disadvantage; at its base, the Oxford is a scholarly work like no other and because of this fact, may at times prove difficult to navigate. Nonetheless, there is nothing like it among English dictionaries and likewise, in the App Store.

Enfour’s Oxford Deluxe gets Kissed by TouchMyApps. Follow the link for our other Oxford reviews.

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App Summary
Title:Oxford Deluxe – ODE & OTE with Audio V.2.0Developer:Enfour
Price:$59.99App Size:210 MB
  • Full ODE and OTE text
  • Simple and elegant interface
  • Complete appendix with helpful resources
  • Good audio pronunciations
  • Good price
  • Great history and bookmarking with notes
  • No need for a desk – your iPhone fits the 2KG book in your pocket!
  • The Oxford, while the best dictionary of its kind, is at times inaccessible to learners of English

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  • http://iphone.appspatrol.com iPhone app reviews

    I will be quite curious to see the types of professionals who buy this app -will it be lawyers, writers, journalists and those with everyday research to do? Or will the typical college student find a need for the $60 online dictionary. The only impressive features I see are interactive indexing and bookmarking to create a history of familiar pages. But is this app really worth $60 to anyone? I for one and quite eager to find out.

  • Thib

    I don’t think it is a negative point that the ODE is not entirely accessible to learner’s of English. Dictionaries cannot be everything at once. An English learner is going to need a different kind of dictionary than a native or fluent speaker of English. The two needs are different. Likewise, a native or fluent speak of English is going to need a different kind of dictionary than say a scholar of the English language would need.

    This is not a negative deduction towards ODE and rather the nature of the inability to be all things at once for everyone.

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  • IamNotACrook

    I just read a story on pocketables indicating that this product asks for access to your twitter account and, if granted, blasts out a message claiming (erroneously in the case of the author, at least) you are a software pirate. Evidently they are now offering a free upgrade but with no explanation about what happened. I guess they are hoping to get to any suckers before the suckers realize they could probably sue the bejazus out of Enfour!

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