Spanish Flashcard Android App Review September 29, 2012Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Brilliant words.
I plan to review as many Spanish language flashcard programs as are offered for FREE on GooglePlay. If they all suck, I will make a pay version myself and sell it for US$0.99. Yeah, sure. What are the odds I can do better with nearly no knowledge of Spanish and with severely limited Java/Android skills (I already made one, but I would have to re-write it for JAVA)?
4001 Spanish Verbs by firstname.lastname@example.org is not really a flashcard program; it is a FREE conjugated listing of 4001 verbs (like it says), right down to the pluperfect subjunctive. Gods, I can barely remember what that means, let alone find the time to require myself to memorize it (again). Very nice, but a little ahead of my needs. Seems very functional enough, though. I will use it later, when I actually have mastered a bit more Spanish (quite a bit).
Spanish Vocabulary by Robert Muth is a very nice package with rather more sophistication than I expect from a FREE program. It is divided into topics, remembers your ability to remember each word/phrase, alternates between Spanish first and English first and provides example sentences for context. Very slick. Seems pretty functional to me. I presume there is a pay version, but it’s unobtrusive, so far. The advertising that supports this FREE version is unobtrusive, appearing only on the selection page (Adjectives, Everything, Top 100 and Verbs. The pay version probably has more categories, if there is a pay version). This one is pretty nice. I’ll use it as well.
LangLearner Spanish by langlearner.com starts by downloading (over the air!) 250MB of Spanish lessons, over and above the installed application. Turns out to be pictures and audio to illustrate the phrase. Pretty, but the photos don’t add anything to the experience, although the pronunciation by a native speaker is certainly useful. There are thirty-two categories and they are pretty well illustrated, but only the first six are in the FREE category; I am not reviewing the paid application (until it’s provided to me FREE).
All in all, not bad; the pictures might help, too, now that I think about it. Who knows how the memory of any one person works to recall particular phrases?
Spanish Flashcards Free by RFX Labs is also a preview app, offering a paid version with 1000 words (sound familiar?) in 22 categories. And it displays ads even in the FREE version with not many words…skip this one, I think.
Spanish Flashcards by Bradley G Hohn is a much better bet, with 3500 words and phrases, text to speech support etc. however, the reviews on the GooglePlay site are kind of unkind, mostly about the translations. I can imagine that people’s interpretations may differ, but without being able to evaluate the reviewers’ skills in Spanish, I can’t tell much more—remember, I’m a complete novice.
Spanish Flashcards by movinapp.com was free, and the first forty cards looked [gods, it’s hard to type one-handed while petting demanding cats] right and I knew their translations were more or less correct. Very nice. The translator’s computer voice was pretty good, too, using the Android engine (which it downloaded as soon as I hit the first “play the phrase” key). I will continue with this one for a few days and see where I get with it, treating it like I would any other app I was debugging. Wish me luck.
In my first session I noticed that the synthesized voice, which had received some negative reviews was actually pretty pleasant. It may be that I have a very nice new Android 4.1 system to operate it on, however. I am told that the speed of the synthesizer can be adjusted, but I haven’t had the need. The translations were also knocked in the reviews, but I can’t see anything that isn’t more or less correct, so I give that a pass as well. The cards are grouped in categories: Basic Expressions,Greetings, Courtesy, Phone, Time, Dates, Chat, Shopping, Airport, Help, Directions, The Weather, Health, Number and Internet; as many as seventy or as few as a dozen. One thing I notice when perusing the categories is that the application offers to download the speech synthesis module for Spanish each time I switch a category. You can back out of the screen easily enough, but you shouldn’t have to do that, since the application apparently knows (or the download screen knows) that you have done that already. Not terribly polished I admit, but if that’s the only bug I find I will consider this FREE application a very nice package, indeed.
All in all, I think this flashcard package is pretty sweet. The largest drawback might be the small advertising area in the lower right area of the screen, which is always updating itself. This could be a drain on someone with a limited data plan. This is, of course, how this program can be FREE–the authors are selling your eyes to the Internet, just like any commercial webpage does. I like this app and will use it for a while.
The best of all, however, is AnkiDroid, which is free. It keeps track of the things you are memorizing so well that you will be reminded things you are on the edge of forgetting. It is, however, a crowd-source sort of thing; you have to go out and find sets of Spanish-language stuff to memorize from the Anki website through the AnkiDroid application. Fortunately, this isn’t all that hard; you just keep on looking. Of course, since AnkiDroid is a one-size-fits-all flashcard program, there are lots of other things to memorize, like other languages, flora, fauna etc.
You could get lost in there.
Anyway, the best one is AnkiDroid. Use it, customize it for your best use, and be content. It’s so good I plan to copy parts of it for my own little app when I make it. Plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.