[Android] Flaming Durtles - Android app with offline support

Version 2.1.0, 2020-07-28:

  • Android 11 compatibility

  • A few small layout fixes

  • Add an option to star subjects for search filters and self-study.

  • The SRS breakdown boxes on the dashboard are now clickable and will take you to a search result page for that box’s category. Same for the level progression chart below that.

  • Timestamps on the timeline bar chart and on the widget will now use a 12-hour clock or a 24-hour clock depending on device settings. 12-hour clock timestamps are in short form, i.e. “1pm” or “1.30am” rather than the full “1 p.m.” or “1.30 a.m.”.

  • Add an option to adjust notification updates to happen only for new reviews, once per hour, or continuously whenever the data for the notifications changes.

  • Improve alarm robustness, making it more likely that notification updates, widget updates and background syncs happen reliably every hour, hopefully even when the app is subject to aggressive battery optimization. If you’re very careful about battery lifetime, and you have in the past excluded FD from battery optimization, you may want to try re-enabling it for FD. Updates should now happen properly even with battery optimization enabled, although it will still depend on the specific modifications made by each device manufacturer. Unfortunately, misbehaving apps have resulted in Android imposing more and more draconian restrictions that shouldn’t be necessary. The current implementation is probably the best I can do without FD becoming a massive battery hog.

  • Add a mute option to the menu. If enabled, no vocab audio is played at all, under any circumstances.

  • FD now requests audio focus when playing vocab audio. This means that if another app (such as a music player) is playing audio at the same time, then FD will request that the other app temporarily gives up its audio focus and that it pauses or lowers its volume. And when the audio is finished playing, the temporary audio focus is given back. If FD can’t get audio focus for some reason, the vocab audio is not played. If you don’t play music or other media while using FD, this should make no difference. Audio focus can be disabled in settings.

  • Star ratings and search presets can be imported and exported with a new action in the settings menu.

  • Anki mode colours can now be customized in theme customization as well.

  • Added a session log option to the menu. When a session is active, this can be used to get an overview of items in the session, their status, and all events related to the session: submitted answers, undos, etc. By default, much of the information on incomplete items is hidden, but can be unlocked from advanced settings.


I hadn’t used FD since the beginning of lockdown back in March, but yesterday I did my reviews while at work and OMG IT HAS IMPROVED SO MUCH!
I already thought it was the best app for WK out there, but now it has every option I could have wished for and more. Love the visibility of items int their new boxes, that you can blur readings in vocabulary lessons, and that dashboard elements are clickable! Seeing which items are in the apprentice SRS at a glance is going to be incredibly useful.

So just came here to say (once more) thank you @ejplugge for such an amazing app!!

1 Like

The app is really awesome!

But I would love if you would add the keyword search functionality to the self study quiz. (while using the other advanced filter options as well…)

It would help me to set up a quiz for 日 and 月 to help me get rid of my confusion of when I have to use にち/じつ and がつ/げつ.

The keyword search and the advanced search filters are kind of annoying in how they work and interact (won’t annoy you with the technical details), so for now they are deliberately separate. I have it on my to-do list to combine them in some way, but my first attempts at it have been… less than stellar.

In the mean time, one thing you can do if you don’t have a lot of these types of queries, is to use the new star rating system (enable it in Settings → Other). You can, for example, do a search that will give you the 日-related subjects, and then assign them to a 1-star rating, and then you can search for subjects with a 1-star rating combined with other filters to get what you want. That breaks apart if you want to use the rating system for something else or when you have more than 5 of such queries, but it’s something that works now.

Hey there, I’ve been using Flaming Durtles for the longest time now.
Just wanted to show my support and tell you just how much of a good app it is. I’m not jealous of Apple users who aren’t able to use this gem at all. To me it’s actually far mor comfortable than doing my reviews and lessons on desktop even.

Also: I don’t think the design is hideous at all? Dark mode looks slick!

Thanks for the quick reply.

Hmm weird that those filters are hard to combine…

But anyways I probably will (ab)use the star rating system whenever I want to setup a more specific quiz. Thanks!

Another really important feature request would be a donation button. :slight_smile:

Things have improved a lot since the ugly release 1.0.0… it was much worse then.

The design isn’t really hideous, certainly not in my opinion. It’s just that a lot of people have strong opinions on what a mobile app should look like these days, and a few of those people even know what they’re talking about, and FD just ignores all of that and does its own thing. The result is that FD, in places, looks old-fashioned or clunky or rough around the edges, or something like that. When I wrote the introduction, I just wanted to make sure people understood that that’s just the way things are, and that if they really care about those issues, FD may not be a good app for them.

Glad to know it’s working out well for you, though! :wink:

They’re not particularly hard to combine, what’s hard is to combine them and still get useful search results out of it.

Try searching for ‘day’ for example. You’ll get nearly 1000 hits, most of which have nothing to do with ‘day’ in the sense of a 24 hour period, but they’re still valid hits for the search term ‘day’. And the only reason the search result is even remotely useful is that, after the searching, I do a bunch of extra work to rank the results and throw away the sort order (except for grouping by type). It’s that part that is hard to combine with the advanced search filter, since the filters rely on sort order to be useful, and they do their ranking in a different way.

It’s still possible, but with all the different things I’m constantly working on I just haven’t managed to figure out a sensible compromise yet, and doing so is not a super-high priority for me.

Don’t think of using the star rating system like this as abusing it though. It’s exactly the kind of thing it was meant for, I just set it up in a way where it can be easily used in many different ways without making it too complex. Just think of it as five different tags you can hang on a subject, and the tags can mean exactly what you want them to mean. They can represent the numbers 1-5 if you want, but that’s not needed if you don’t want to think of it like that.

Not gonna happen :slight_smile: . One of the terms of service of the WaniKani API is that apps using the API can not be monetized, so I am deliberately not asking for donations. If you really want to donate, my PayPal address is rmc@dds.nl , just keep in mind that donations are not expected or required, and I don’t want your money if you can’t really afford to spend it.

Ah okay you’re doing more stuff with the keyword search. My main concern was just removing the locked results (maybe add an option).

Oh wasn’t aware of that clause in the API… and you might not want money, but people might think that you still deserve some (slight) compensation for your work. :slight_smile:

FD is just a hobby for me, and now during the Corona-crisis it’s also a distraction to keep me semi-sane while the Covidiots around me seem intent on murdering me.

The biggest compensation I get from FD is my sanity and a sliver of mental health, and to see it be useful to so many people (over 10,000 users and over 13,000 installs on active devices, which is both amazing and a little scary). I understand that people like to express their appreciation in a tangible way, but money is absolutely not why I am doing this.

Recent donations are actually going to be used to improve the app, however. I want to put some kana training in the app. I don’t know how yet, but I know I want pronunciation audio for kana in the app, and it’s hard to find decent-quality free pronunciation audio useful for beginner kana training. So I’m currently paying a pair of professional voice performers (native Japanese of course) to do the soul-crushingly boring task of reciting あいうえお and so on in a calm, clear voice :wink: . That recording work is getting (partly) funded by kind donations from users.



I love the app and it has become my default method to do my lessons and reviews.

One small request though: I see that many users request the swipe functionality during lessons, which was implemented. Is there a way to switch it off though? The problem that I encounter is when I’m clicking to reveal the translation of example sentences during lessons, sometimes it will read it as a swipe and take me to the next item. It’s only a small annoyance if there are more items, but if it’s the last one it will take me to the quiz, and I can’t return to the lessons. Does this make sense?

Audio clips have started randomly being truncated for me in reviews, possibly since the update on July 28th. They seem to always play fully in Browse mode.

I’ll have a look at it. I try to avoid adding settings for minor customizations since the app is already drowning in an overload of settings. But in this case, maybe I should turn down the swipe sensitivity a little so a larger gesture is required before it is recognized as a swipe. What kind of device are you using? The swipe sensitivity depends to some degree on your screen resolution.

Hm, that shouldn’t happen. I specifically wait for the playback to finish before cutting off the media player object. What surprises me more is that it happens during reviews but not during browse…

I’ll investigate and put in some kind of fix/workaround for the next update.

Great, thank you! If adding the option to switch the swipe off is not good, maybe just the possibility of going back to lessons once inside the quiz would sort the problem? Having said that, it does feel like the sensitivity is quite high for me.

I’m using a Honour Play phone, by Huawei. Not sure what the screen resolution is though…

Actually, sorry, I can reproduce it in the browse mode too, and it seems to happen more often if I go into a menu, come back and press play.

I’ll look at that, too.

No problem, I can always look that up. It has 1080 pixels horizontally, which is very common, although most 1080-wide phones these days have slightly larger screens than yours I think. So the pixel density is fairly high, which can be an issue for swipe sensitivity.

Ah, that’s good to know. That suggests it may be related to memory pressure and garbage collection, although I already take some measures to avoid that… regardless, I should be able to work around this in some way.

I begin to struggle with similar kanji.
Could this user script be integrated? I’ve looked the example from the thread on the app and it is quite different.

The info for visually similar kanji that is shown now is the info that is supplied by the API. Which is pretty limited in its scope. That userscript contains a much more comprehensive database.

I could add more, but it depends on the availability of the data. The databases in that userscript and in the semantic-phonetic composition script by the same author are covered by the GPL, which means that I can only include them in the app if I relicense the entire app under the GPL, and I don’t want to do that.

Both scripts are on my list to adapt for FD, but the license restriction on the databases is an issue I’ll need to deal with first, so I can use the data legally. So it’s on the list, but not with very high priority.

1 Like

Understood, thanks. :slight_smile:

Whenever I do selfstudy and select “incorrect answer less than… hours ago”… No matter what I fill in, it doesn’t work.
Thanks for the great app btw!!