The iDevice is an excellent platform for language acquisition apps. Languages which use especially benefit from the svelte touch screen and multimedia slant. iKana touch is an exquisite app for students of Japanese to learn both official syllabaries: hiragana and katakana.
I spend more time reading than tending to important life matters. My wife has even threatened to leave me and my books on several occasions. But not to matter; I’ve found an alternative to the hand-torch and a pillow to hide in the filth of literature: the iDevice. Stanza and eReader Pro have supplied most of my needs till now, but when I feel adventurous, or simply can’t find a great read in English, I turn to Japanese texts. One of the problems however, is that Japanese texts don’t read as naturally when displayed horizontally. i文庫 (iBunko) is a Japanese reader which doesn’t compete directly compete with my favourites. Rather, it exists alongside both apps as a great alternative reader for the highly literate Japanese market and for those who are interested in reading Japanese texts.
Like PC Dr. Momo, The Long Pencil is a digital book that features both Japanese and English text. But unlike Dr. Momo, it has a complete audio narration in both languages, and for fun, a lively musical track that fits the children’s literature genre very well.
Previously, I reviewed one of Nihon IR‘s other popular English Language study tools, 出る順. Dr. コーパス is similar in its approach in that it isolates vocabulary and allows students to select from different review methods. Both apps are geared for English study, but as I hope to show, are excellent tools for learning Japanese. While this review will be short, it will focus on how and/or if Nihon IR have managed to create a good study formula.
In my formal review of QuickOffice 1.0, I questioned whether a software suite that missed too many features was worth 20$. QuickOffice 1.2.0 fixes many of the problems by adding features that should have been present in the first release and adding a couple of undocumented requests.
I can safely raise my own evaluation of QuickOffice to a Grab, but QuickOffice is still perhaps not up to the standards needed by people who use mobile Office products on a regular basis. Most of the upgrades, especially predictive text input, auto-capitalisation and double-space for a full stop (period) balance the app suite, but are overshadowed slightly by some strange behaviour in the text editing window. For instance, if you want to go up to the furthest left space and input text, you will be apt to click the ‘back’ button rather than successfully move the cursor to the top. The zoom tool works well, but navigating to any extremity of the screen is still a chore.
Quickoffice, Quickoffice® Mobile Office Suite, 19.99$, 6.9 MB
Join the long list of people waiting for a proper Microsoft Office editing suite. Take a number. Have a seat. And maybe a coffee. Several good options have made appearance at the App Store but none are quite ready to be dubbed true Office Editors.
QuickOffice, a suite a suite comprised of Word and Excel editors, takes charge of a few great features of the iDevice and makes Office editing possible along with file sharing and creation. To attest the fact, this review has entirely been written on my iPod touch.
Nihon IR, maker of PC Dr. Momo, along with the Japan Times, have an ace up their sleeves; 出る順 is an excellent Japanese-English study tool as well as a great reference for learners of Japanese. It is a set of true language study implements that are geared toward the Japanese learner of English, but also serves as an excellent Japanese learning reference.
To become acquainted with 出る順, you have to be willing to experiment if your Japanese is stuck at difficult kanji. However, as it is a reference for Japanese learners of English, the main bulk of users should be comfortable with all aspects of text, layout and differing modes of study. (By the way, this review was written on QuickOffice for the iPhone!)
Project Momo have broken their first ground in the App Store with PC Dr. Momo. That is not ‘PC’ Politically Correct’ or President’s Choice’. It probably stands for PeeCee or PC or Personal Computer. Dr., meanwhile is probably short for doctor – and momo? I should have asked. Anyway, PC Dr. Momo rides a fine line between dross and distinction. It is not a game nor is it really a reader app. It is a reading app tech demo with the potential that could launch a genre. However, it has a long long way to go before it reaches the popularity it needs to pull the purse strings of App Store shoppers.