Home Forums Tips, Hacks, & Ideas For Learning Japanese iPhone/iTouch: Which apps do you use to study on the go?

This topic contains 10 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Sumisuben 13 years ago.

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    Hi everyone,

    Having recently been sucked into the smartphone craze, I opted for an iPhone.. Embarassingly enough i’ve been forced to use no better than an iPhone 3G, as anything higher is detected by AT&T (which in turn means an unwanted data plan slapped on my account w/o my prior approval).

    Regardless, I have been flying through apps like a madman, looking for anything and everything to feast on (us Japanese students typically have a large arsenal of books and learning tools). As many others may have noticed, some apps are great, but others are lackluster and would be shameful for dedicated Japanese students to be caught dead with (like apps aimed at tourists).

    Of course there are the obvious ones, like AnkiMobile, Learning Japanese, and Nihongoup (which is now free, if I recall correctly), but what else is there?

    FYI: Learning Japanese is a digital textbook version of Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japnese. Also, AnkiMobile is unfortunately NOT free.. I believe it was $25, but for the ability to take your TextFugu decks on the go..? If using a data plan on your phone, AnkiWeb is free and is accessed through your browser.

    Now then, let’s get to recommending apps!

    If you’d like to recommend a silly or entertainment oriented app, please try to recommend a serious one with it.. But without further adeiu, here are my recommendations:

    Kana Strokes – This is like a portable version of TextFugu’s kana cheat sheets, complete with stroke order and origin of the kana. Simple, clean, and to the point. A well designed quick reference.

    Kotoba! – Based on Jim Breen’s JMdict. It’s a fairly straight forward dictionary, and has been useful when I wanted to convey a less common word to my Japanese friends with so-so English ability. I can’t comment on the “Multi-Radical” feature since I’m a bit new to kanji, but maybe someone else could do so for me.

    And Just for kicks…

    Make Out In Japanese Free – Free version, because well.. I’m not so sure I could commit to the full version. xD… But anyway, it’s basically a dating sim that has you speak on screen Japanese phrases. The girl you pick will like you more depending on how good your pronunciation is. Kinda dumb, but totally for the lolz.

    Now friends, it’s your turn! I ask of you.. What are your iPhone app treasures?!



    StudyArcade – you can download/sync everything with Anki, especially awesome when you’re going some where without internet. And its free which is great :)

    Hot Radio Japan: Free, it has top 10 radios etc. Bad internet connection makes the app really annoying ,_,.

    Tunein Radio Pro 0.79 euro, that’s like 0.99 dollars?. Lots of Japanese radio stations. What’s great about this is that “you can pause and rewind live radio just like your DVR”. It also shows which (japanese)song is playing, you have the option to record.


    Nobuko Brown

    Thanks for the Study Arcade tip, will look into that.

    I use some of the aforementioned, but also a simple, cheap app called ‘Kanji’ It has pre-made flashcards with a couple of examples as well as the Kanji Onyomi/Kunyomi. I tend to do a section of RTK then add that lesson on this app to learn the pronunciations.

    ‘Gengo cards’ were also really helpful at the beginning. They have core vocab nouns with picture and sound so you can associate the word with the object without thinking of the English first.



    Aside from Anki I also use the iKnow application in a similar way.

    For dictionaries I use:

    Japanese by codefromtokyo – Still my favourite EDict dictionary for layout and features.

    Midori – Another EDict dictionary. This one has custom Japanese handwriting recognition and I only use it when the default iPhone recognition fails me in other dictionary apps.

    EBPocket Pro – EPWING dictionary viewer which I have loaded with a variety of dictionaries.

    And for something a bit different:

    Ninja Words Adventure – A Kanji recognition game with light RPG elements. Fight strange enemies by earning and then using Kanji to damage them or heal yourself. Compounds are created to form more damaging attacks. Have fun while improving your Kanji recognition at the same time, what’s not to like?



    Android apps!

    日本ニュース – A decent Japanese news app

    クックパッド – Cookpad app, browse japanese recipes.

    漫画の新聞 – Manga News! Although my screen is smaller than the normal screen so it’s useless to me.

    • This reply was modified 13 years, 1 month ago by  Sheepy.
    • This reply was modified 13 years, 1 month ago by  Sheepy.
    • This reply was modified 13 years, 1 month ago by  Sheepy.


    On android, I recently discovered Obenkyo. I use it to study kanji stroke orders. It’s nice because you can draw the kanji. You can make personalized lists which is great, although as of now, not too convenient to make. It’s a little buggy but I’m sure if they keep working on it it will be amazing. :)
    You can also study kanas, and kanji in order of JLPT, and choose different quizzes like drawing or multiple choice. Coming soon is vocab also! I recommend it :) (it’s free!!)



    To follow up on zeldaskitten, if you are on Android, try JA Sensei. It’s free and offers similar features to Obenkyo.




    MediaU – is a radio app, and unlike a lot of the Japanese apps, will allow you to stream radio stations even if you live outside of Japan. The light version gives you the top 10 stations in every country I believe, which is usually enough. Full version is only a few dollars though.



    I am constantly using Kotoba!(which was mentioned above). I also use one called ShinKanji a lot – it allows you to draw kanji and gives you a list of possible matches.



    Actually ignore my last post for MediaU, TuneIn radio is easily the best app for listening to Japanese radio ^.^



    Hi all – good idea on using TuneIn radio to get Japanese radio stations. I had never thought of doing that. Anybody have recommendations for good stations?

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