Comments on the new iOS app

Dear LingQHQ

I know you guys have more important bussiness at the moment, so I don’t expect any kind of reply.

So I downloaded the update for the iOS app last night and just gave it a quick test. I really liked the old app and used it quite a bit, and even read two full books on it. However, the update with the ability to see new words marked in blue, and to be able to create LingQs was obviously necessary in the long term, so well done for this and thanks for the new app.

My first impression when I opened the app was that the new ability to see courses instead of just a list of recently opened lessons was excellent. The old system worked well, but was still quite awkward at times. The new system is a big advance. From what I can tell, I can even search the library from the app, which is brilliant. When I opened the first lesson, it looked excellent. The difference between the blue and yellow words is really clear and it looks very much like reading on the website. Creating LingQs using the user hints also seems to work really well. The feature where one can go through the text one sentence at a time seems a bit strange to me, but maybe when I get used to it, I will like it. Probably I will just ignore it.

Those are all the positive things I have to say about it. There is one massive negative that makes the new app basically unusable for me. Every time I press on a word, the dashboard comes from the right of the screen and covers a third, or a little more, of the text. It extends from the top to the bottom of the screen. Amazingly, it will even cover the word I am looking up if that word is on the right third of the screen. Maybe this is ok for really short beginners texts, but anything substantial, and it makes the text unreadable.

In general, I would say that the text is the sacred part of any reading interface and should never be covered. In the case of this app, this is of course not possible. Even the old app covered some of the text with the little box that came up when you looked up a word. However, here is the most important point, this box never covered any of the line that the word being looked up was on. One could quickly press a yellow word to see the hint, and continue scanning their eyes across the line while getting rid of the box by the time they get to the next line. Once one has gotten used to it, this does not really disturb the reading at all. In the new app, this is not possible. Looking up the word means stopping and waiting, and god forbid the word is on the right side of the screen and you can’t even see the word in context while looking up the definition.

Anyway, that’s my review. I look forward to what other people have to say.

@ColinJohnstone - Thanks for your feedback on the new app!

I assume you’re on the iPad? You can swipe away the yellow popup or even tap back on the lesson text portion (i.e. blank space or unhighlighted word) to get the popup to disappear. We’re not done with the app yet, and have plans to improve some elements further. Continue to send us your feedback as you keep using the app!

Thanks for the response. I am using the iPad. Getting rid of the popup (or should I say slide-out) is easy enough, but that’s not the problem. The problem is that by the time it is gone, it is already too late. I will already have had to stop reading the line because a third of it is covered. You can make it disappear quicker, but I doubt it will ever be quick enough. My eyes move across the screen much faster than my hand can press the screen. Also, that will not help when the word is on the right side of the screen and is automatically covered by the slide-out thing.

What I was expecting, and think would be a better idea, would be for it all to be done in little bubbles like in the older version. This works well on the website when the dashboard is closed. The slide-out thing can then appear maybe when one wants to look a word up in the dictionary.

Also, I noticed all my playlists were lost when I updated the app. It’s a shame, but not a problem for me. If this is not meant to happen, then it’s probably something to look into.

@ColinJohnstone - Good feedback, thanks! We do have some additional plans on how to improve the flow on the iPad, but they were a little bit too development heavy to make it in this preliminary version.

Playlists aren’t saved from the old version to the new one, as they are handled a bit differently in the new version, but they should be saved from this version on.

By the way, we had to pull the app because there was a significant bug that didn’t show up in testing which caused the app to be essentially unusable for most users. We’ve since fixed the bug and will reintroduce the app as soon as it is approved.

Is this new update available for Droid MINI? I don’t get blue words and also no translations (from the resourses tab). Also, the Droid app doesn’t have all my lessons. I have to go online to the website, going into the Import area (where I brought that lesson in) and do a Save As. Only then does it show up in the LingQ app.

And thank you!


@scoreperfect - The new app is currently only available for iOS. We’re working on an Android version as well but it’s not quite ready yet. We’ll do our best to have the Android version out soon as well!

The app looks great, but I can’t find it in the Finnish app store. No update option for the existing app is shown. Is it still rolling out? Very much looking forward to this!

As alex said above, they took the app down from the store because of some error. I just happened to download it in the short time that it was still in the store.

Ah, thanks! I’ll wait for the update. Screenshots look promising!

Just as a warning, once you have updated, you can’t go back as far as I know, which is what I want to do. I find the new app basically unusable for the reason I describe in my earlier post. Maybe you will like it. Here are screenshots of how it looks when you look up a word

Oops. Those links don’t seem to be working. Here they are in working form

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@ColinJohnstone - By the way, the app tends to work better in landscape view, as it takes advantage of the full width that the iPad offers. The popup is also less intrusive, since it takes up less space vertically.

@ alex

Are you talking about this view?

Show this to one of the guys who make the Kindle app and they will wake up in the middle of the night screaming.

@ColinJohnstone - That’s the one :slight_smile:

What I find is that using the app in Landscape mode is easier as everything is a little closer together. I don’t have to look so far up the screen to see the hint, or so far down to see the status bar and audio player.

Now that the new app is live, we’ll have plenty of time to collect feedback as we continue to improve it. Oh, and I guess I was wrong about you liking the new app… :stuck_out_tongue:

I like a lot about the new app, but the new dashboard bar makes it unusable to me and I wish I never updated. I will give it another try soon, but I can’t imagine I will use it again while this feature still exists. Others may not care so much about this thing. We will see.

By the way, I noticed something else when starting up the app.

Is there a word missing there?

@ColinJohnstone - “The Future of Language” is the slogan on our business cards and banners. We thought we’d bring it to the app as well with this new update.

Thanks for your feedback on the app. We’ll be looking to hear more feedback from our members as we continue tweaking and refining the app further!

I love the new app, but I do agree with Colin about the little side bar. I always use it I landscape so I have the list of my courses on the left, but when I hit a word the sidebar comes up on the right. It would be better (for me, at least) if the side bar covered the lesson list rather than the actual text. Am I missing some option to change which side the dashboard appears on, or which side the lesson list is on?

Apart from that it is great, finally I can get away from the pc!

Hi Alex and all, thanks for updating the app, the look is very fresh and clean and I like the new features. The most frustrating thing about the old version for me was that it didn’t count times listened and read properly (especially while offline or on 3G), or load (previously opened) lessons properly while offline or on 3G, so I hope that this new app does those things better. I use three different devices for LingQ (iPhone for listening, iPad for reading and computer for making lingQs), so all I ask for is good coordination between the three :slight_smile:

Some other comments:

  1. Regarding Colin’s issue … in the iPad version, when you open a lesson there is still a left side bar frame containing all the lessons in the course, even while you’re reading. I would say that it’s not really necessary to have that there while you’re in a lesson. So what about this: when you click on a blue or yellow or underlined word, instead of a side bar coming in from the right and obscuring some text, why can’t it come from the left and obscure the lesson list while keeping all the text? I know that we are accustomed to having definitions etc on the right rather than the left because that’s how the website works, but that could still be a potential solution, couldn’t it?

  2. Being able to make lingQs on the app is something we all wanted, so it’s great that this is now available, but after a very quick look it seems to me that there are still two things you can’t do: a) make a lingQ for a word that is not highlighted in blue (i.e. maybe a word you marked as known or ignored previously but now want to create a lingQ for), and b) create lingQs for a multi-word phrase. Am I right with these two observations? If so, I’ll probably keep using the computer for making lingQs (besides, I have a MacBook Air that I love so I don’t need to ‘get away from the pc’ like wato!)

  3. I find that the top 25 flashcards available on the website are more useful to study than the daily lingQs, so it would be great if these could be available on the app as well as (or instead of) the daily lingQs. Does anyone else feel this way?

  4. My playlists have also disappeared but to be honest, I mostly used them to access lessons that had dropped out of the most recently opened list. Now that all lessons are displayed, I don’t think I’ll use playlists much anymore, but we’ll see.

  5. It would still be nice to have some kind of ‘recently studied’ tab where you can quickly access the lessons you’re working on at the moment. If you have a course/provider with many lessons (e.g. Italian LingQ), it seems hard now to find the one you want, given that all lessons are displayed.

  6. I can already see that one lesson I have studied is listed in the course list on the new app on the iPad as having one new word. This means it doesn’t show times listened and read in the list, I have to tap the settings icon to know that. But there are no blue words in the lesson and on the computer it says there are no new words.

OK, that’s it for now after a very quick look through. Thanks again for all the hard work to improve the site and the app!


@LingQ Works awesome on the iPhone!


Love it :slight_smile: