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.
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!)
The number of useful references at the App Store is growing rapidly. Just months ago, was was no Enfour AHD4 or Deluxe Oxford nor had Amazon’s Kindle been released to provide competition for eReader and Stanza. Truly the iPhone as a platform is evolving: able to stand toe to toe in some applications with computers for its usefulness as a reference. What once was relegated to libraries because of size, weight, volume and expense can now be carried in one’s pocket. The Bible is a resource that I would like to be able to tote in a bag along with a dictionary but until now has been impossible. In the App Store, there are many free and commercial Bible apps that bump shoulders vying for your download or purchase. While many do their job commendably, it still is hard to separate the chaff from the wheat if your needs, beyond simple reading and devotions, demand resources other than the Bible itself.