Quite happy to say that the next installment of Skritter‘s iOS presence is here! The Japanese app is finally available in the app store. You can read more in their official announcement post. Now let’s take a look and see if the Japanese app stacks up to the Chinese app.
After seeing the above welcome screen, I knew was in for a treat. The app definitely feels polished, and the syncing issues I mentioned before have been taken care of (in the Chinese app as well). I could actually look at that scene all day just to relax, but then I’d never get any Skrittering done!
The study interface is, more or less, the exact same as the Chinese version. For kana-only entries, from what I have observed thus far, you will get cards providing the English definition and asking for the phrase, or you will get the Japanese phrase and have to provide the English translation. At the very least, it isn’t limited to kanji-only and seems it can also be used for kana-based entries, though to what extent I am still not clear.
Another feature that I love–while, perhaps, not entirely refined yet–is the ability to add to lists on the fly from within the app. I find this extremely useful in the Chinese app, and am happy to see it just as useful in the Japanese one as well. I’ve been able to add words from Japanese restaurants I’ve gone to in Taiwan, and be fully prepared to read the kanji on the next visit. I’ve also used it was (currently) my primary source of Japanese. It’s been very handy, and surprisingly helpful when reading through books or articles. Still, grammar and example sentences you’ll have to look for elsewhere.
The app itself is gorgeous and suffers from very few bugs. It’s definitely recommended if you’re a Skritter user already, though if you’re not yet, definitely take advantage of the trial period to see if it is for you.
If anything, the Japanese portion of Skritter may seem to suffer from a lack of attention; that is, it seems to pale in comparison to the Chinese portion. Not surprising, as Skritter was initially envisioned for Chinese. However, the one great thing about Skritter is that it is also community run–so, if you think Skritter is perfect for learning kanji, though feel the Japanese is lacking, can use more content, etc., then there’s also the opportunity to add content yourself and share it with others. (I’m a big proponent of community based learning if you can’t tell :P).
Anyway, if you’re learning Japanese, give it a shot!