How to use iPad with Chinese?
I just had an iPad land in my hands unexpectedly. I am wondering if any of you have any thoughts about how to use it for learning Mandarin or even teaching Mandarin? I am wondering if it is even Mandarin friendly, i.e. can one compose Chinese texts easily on it?
Any thoughts would be appreciated. I am a complete newbie in this tablet realm!
gaojianMay 22, 2012, 10:53 PM
Lots of textbooks and apps are heading in the direction integrating technology into the learning/ teaching experience. This month, Integrated Chinese (Book 1) launched their first iBook version. I haven't gotten my hands on it yet for a full review, but there is something to be said about having text, audio, images, and everything else all in one place.
The nice thing about tablet computing (or smart phones) is the ability to use your finger or a tablet pen to write Chinese characters instead of typing them out, which in my opinion causes a large disconnect for students first learning to write Chinese.
Skritter is making full use of tablet technology, and the new iOS app (out soon) will have an iPad version, which will immerse learners in the chracter writing process.
I think the large question is how teachers and developers will make use of the technology to provide students new ways of looking at or processing information. Students should be able to interact with much of what they are seeing on the screen, looking up individual characters, hear character level and sentence level pronunciation, decompositions etc. Cultural points or pictures should be filled with hotlinks and videos rather than just a short paragraph of information.
The wonderful thing about the iPad is that with a few general settings you can start composing messages in Chinese right away (using a variety of input methods).
Enjoy your new learning tool! I hope that helped answer a some of your question.
Hey, thanks a lot! I agree about students learning the characters better if they have to write them. I am wondering if the iPad has some sort of pinyin inputting system though. Is that what you meant by "using a variety of input methods"?
The iPad has both pinyin and hanzi character recognition character input supporting simplified and traditional characters.
I run Pleco on both my iPod Touch and iPad using Pleco's character input on the iPod, but only the native input methods on the iPad. It works really well either way.
"and the new iOS app (out soon) will have an iPad version"
...hey that's great news gaojian. Any approximate time frame on that? What will it cost?
"Skritter is making full use of tablet technology"
...any chance you could elaborate on that?
soon, the app is going through final approval with Apple right now.
There will be a sale when it first drops with the pricing as follows:
$9.99 for 1 month,
$39.99 for 6 months
$69.99 for 12 months
$119.99 for 24 months
What I meant by making use of technology is that Skritter goes beyond simply tracing characters, instead you use your finger as a brush and actually write characters giving full stroke level feedback; you are truly making full use of touch-screen technology. The app is linked to Pleco/ ChinesePod making studying on the go easier than ever (even lets you study when you are not connected to wi-fi or a 3G network).
Skritter also provides the ability to edit mnemonics, write your own definitions, and look up character level decompositions... basically lots of tools students really need to effectively learn how to write Chinese characters.
The iOS app will not have a native iPad version at launch, but tweaks and development will be taking place shortly thereafter.
Oh, and full disclosure, I work for Skritter on the academic side, and blog for them. But I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't full support the idea of this thing revolutionizing the way we study character writing.
Thanks heaps gaojian.
When you say:
"The iOS app will not have a native iPad version at launch"
..does that imply that it will be an iphone app or an ipod app that happens to work on the ipad but not specfically tailored to ipad? and the shortly thereafter comment means there will be one more specifically for ipad?
Thanks for the pricing. Can you explain a bit more how that works in practice. That is, I've only ever seen apps that are either free, or you make a one off payment for them. Also, I'm already subscribed to the online version I use on my desktop. Is there an option to switch my subscription to the app when it comes out. And if I want to use it on both, do I need to pay double, or is there a discount? Also, can you put your subscription on hold if you need to?
Most of the info is on the launch site. As a web user you just need to login to the app and it will automatically sink your data (awesome!). Subscriptions are handled much like on the web, where you can review everything for free.
The iPhone/ iPod touch is starting with a native version, where the iPad can run also run the app. The plan is to also design a version specifically for the iPad.
awesome! thanks for letting us know gaojian. Have just downloaded and installed. Wish I could work out how to just study one list [or part of a list] at a time. I haven't used in a long time and have over 3000 words to review, hehe. I haven't read everything yet, but can't seem to intuitively work it out. I"ve gone onto the list section, but that seems to just tell you what to add and the if I select just one list I still have over 3000 to study. On the skritter website it was easy...there's a button right under the study button to study a single vocab list. Can't see that in the study section of the app...
oh, ok, read the blog now which partly answers my question:
"then we’ll develop the full iPad layout and single-list study for the Skritter Chinese iOS app"
...so looks like there is no single-list study option for the app yet [no wonder I couldn't find it]. Any idea when it might be up and running?
Otherwise, great job guys. Looks like an enormous amount of work has gone into this. This is such a bonus for chinese learners everywhere. Cutting edge stuff. Jiayou ! :)
Should be in version 1.2 or 1.3, we are working on that plus being able to study starred words, (updated) sample sentences etc.
Thanks for the support bababardwan, hope you enjoy the app as much as we do.
And sorry CPod for jacking this thread!
I got the Skritter app today. It's great! And you should not have to apologize; Skritter is a great way to leverage a CPod subscription making it that much more valuable (and "sticky"). Its great that CPod and Skritter have partnered. (Maybe I should surf over to the Skritter Forum now and talk up CPod! ;)
cassiMay 25, 2012, 04:09 PM
I just got an iPad this year and absolutely love it. I used to run Pleco on the HP iPaq but I find that the iPad is much nicer simply because of all of the apps you can use. I just discovered uPad which is an app you can use to take notes. I take Chinese classes online and my teacher uses PDF files . You can use this app to take notes on the PDF files using your iPad. What I like about it is that you can make drawings, type text and even add pictures to the PDF file. When you're finished you can save it as a new PDF file. This app also allows you to take notes in a variety of different formats. Before getting the iPad I was hoping to find a way to make all of my notes electronic so I could search through all of them more easily. I've finally found it!