Applications for the iPod Touch and iPhone
Today is iPhone mania day so I’ll jump on the bandwagon too.
I don’t have a Touch or an iPhone but the new applications and Japanese support may just sway me before the year is out. The App Store opened on iTunes last night and there are some interesting applications for the Japanese learner.
Flash My Brain
I was excited about this and even bought the online / standalone -ish version. However I was a bit taken aback when I got access to their forums with the complete lack of customer support. The admin / developer seems to have no presence since February. It’d be nice to think they are too busy with the iPhone release but it’s very bad business.
This is unfortunate as the program has a lot of potential. However something at this level and that relies on user contributions (flashcard stacks) needs to at least comment on user concerns and problems.
The other flashcard program currently in the App Store. No Japanese support, although the issue would seem to be with sharing on their servers rather than usage on the Touch.
Several free manga are available at the Japanese store.
ケロロ軍曹 looks fun. I like the anime.
There are also some other cheap manga listed in the store but I couldn’t access them for some reason.
WISDOM English-Japanese, Japanese-English Dictionary
This seems to be a reasonably comprehensive dictionary. It seems to be a version of a dictionary compiled by Sanseido. Of course it is meant for Japanese speakers not English speakers, so the entries might not be as simple as you might hope. It would be nice if you could click on words to jump to their entry in a manner similar to Leopard’s dictionaries but until I can see it hands on I won’t know what features it has.
I have this for the iPod and it’s reasonably good. This looks like the same audio but a much easier to use front end.
A mix between Flashcards and a phrasebook. It looks nice!
I used their little phrasebook while in Japan. If this has the same content it’d be quite useful.
Not specifically for Japanese. It must need to be online to work in order to access a translation engine. As with all translation tools it will probably come up with very strange phrasings.
This allows you to read documents in several formats on your Touch. It can cope with UTF8 encoding so Japanese shouldn’t be a problem. Usable off-line.
Japanese Postal Code Lookup. free. Might be useful if you’re in Japan.
Seems to be Japans train timetables and a fare calculator. I suspect it needs online access.
I can only hope that more interesting and useful applications will appear in the App Store. Hopefully some ingenious Japanese developers will work on the platform.
For me the killer application will be a good stand alone dictionary reader. I’d like to use ALC and Edict dictionaries.
A good flashcard program is a must too. I’m looking forward to seeing what Loopware (the maker of iFlash) will come up with.