Apps I Like
Japanese LS Touch
by Jan Bogner
This app is on a short list of those that enable you to study by writing kanji with a finger or iPhone stylus. I'm attracted to this study method because one of the best Japanese study apps I've ever owned utilized this approach--King Kanji for the old-school Windows mobile pocket PC platform (e.g. iPaq). Japanese LS unfortunately suffers from a fatal flaw. Although it's teaching you words (not single kanji characters), it only tests 1 character on the screen at once, which really interrupts my study groove. I find studying full words far more effective than single characters, and this app defeats that benefit by forcing you to pause after each character and go to the next screen.
Japanese My Way
Another app on a short list that tests kanji handwriting is JMW. Like Japanese LS, this one only allows you to write one character of a word at a time on the screen. I suppose what King Kanji achieved on stylus-based Windows mobile isn't easily implemented on finger-based iPhone. A cool feature is how it can give you hints (like what radicals are in the kanji); but I find navigating the app's convoluted menus rather confusing. Not bad, but not one of my favs. It might be cool if there was a handwriting app like this that required you to use a stylus. That way you might be able to study whole words at once.
by Unknown Genius Software
KanjiBox is a well-built flashcard-type app with optional add-on kanji writing features, but I just find Japanese Sensei Deluxe better. Lacking features like engaging sample sentences, studying with this app gets a bit dull after a while. Plus, how many flashcard apps do you really need? This app does get better and better after each update, so while it may not yet be my top fav, it certainly deserves an honorable mention.
Apps I Don't Like
by ThinkMac Software
This app is so frustrating to use it makes me want to throw my iPhone out the window. Maybe I'm not a typical student of Japanese, but I'm not the type of person to sit down and study single kanji characters along with all their pronunciations. That approach is so dry and monotonous, it leeches any and all fun out of Japanese for me. If you like studying in the most unimaginative possible way, then this app is for you.
MyWords - Learn Japanese Vocabulary
by Innovative Learning, LLC
Here are some words, now let's test you! Yeah, good luck with that. This app taught me 1 thing--I wasted my money.
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