[Android] Leap for WaniKani Demo (Native, Offline, No Web)

I would be very interested in an app like this. While I do use WaniKani on a laptop, I would be able to make more use of it on mobile. I’m only near a computer in the evenings/early morning, but being able to take a few minutes during breaks to use it would speed up my learning.

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My biggest issue with mobile reviews is input speed, so I would only use the app if there were options for Anki mode and Override


It’s great that you’re doing this, I would definitely like a way to do reviews quickly and easily as and when they appear. When I’ve toyed with the idea of writing something myself I’ve been thinking that a widget which constantly shows the next item to review (so you can just tap in and answer) would be great, and/or a persistent notification with the first available review item in it.

Personaly I’m less concerned about support for looking things up or even about lessons, reviews are 95% of what people are doing on WK. (Not including forum-based procrastionation, of course.)

Input speed is really key, I wonder if anyone’s already written a custom hiragana input component you can use?

On web WK I use an ignore button add-on to fix typos, so maybe add one of those. Or, use Levenshtein distance between romaji-fied input and answers to allow users a second chance if they’re slightly off. I do that with my cramming tool and it works well, no ignore button needed.

I’m also probably not alone in wanting some control over the order of reviews, though having a decent mobile app could make that less important. It changes the usage paradigm from once or twice a day to having a constant drip-feed of reviews.

Good luck! Don’t be afraid to do a review-only MVP first and get people using it (maybe initially with a confirmation step before submitting results back to the WK API, in case of problematic bugs - don’t want to mess up anyone’s data!)


  • Push notifications take you directly to your reviews when available will be a v1 feature

  • Doing a review from a notification’s “reply” field or a
    f home screen widget is an interesting idea, but out of scope for v1.

  • Input / typing should be very fast and accurate. I use the Google Japanese Input keyboard for Android in 12-key Kana mode and it supports QWERTY Romanji, too. Tofogu has a guide on how to install it:

  • There will be beta testing; probably with super users from this forum post.

No doubt this database is complicated! I know I’m in the right place when other users are casually talking about Levenshtein distance, though. Haha

Yeah, there was a lot of work done to ensure that the demo was high performance on mobile. You’re definitely right about there being a large database. Good luck on your project!

Excellent - “out of scope for V1” is wise for nearly anything anyone suggests at this point. :slight_smile:

In terms of keyboards, there’s a good argument that users should just install a Japanese one - and most probably already have… But switching keyboards on Android adds some friction, flipping between input modes constantly adds friction, it all slows down the overall experience. And proper keyboards really want to input kanji, too. I assume it’s one reason why WK uses Wanakana instead of requring an IME to be installed. Even if I’ve persuaded you, I suspect it’s out of scope for V1!

Lots of developers here, I think. If only I could learn Japanese as quickly and as well as I can learn programming languages.

This looks great so far! Honestly, as long as it’s more user friendly than the existing apps that use webview, I would be happy and consider using it.

The one feature I want more than any other is the ability to ignore incorrect answers. This is an essential plugin I use on the web version, because it makes reviewing so much less stressful!


I’m currently using WK for Wanikani on my Android and I’m quite content with it even though it’s not perfect. I like the option to ignore the wrong answer as I suck at typing on my phone (still not used to the 6 inch screen I ended up with).

But the offline support would be a real game changer as I sometimes end up in places with no mobile signal where I would love to do WK reviews if I could. Keep up the good work! If you’re going to need people to test the app I’m up for it :slightly_smiling_face:

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Just adding a +1 on number of people familiar with Levenshtein distance here =D Since I implemented it for something at work a decade ago, seeing it in conversation here didn’t even stand out to me as uncommon.

I’ve never done Android development, but I’ll have a good idea of whether a feature I’d like is easy to implement or impractical. For now, though, the only one I’ve seen mentioned that I’d say is a “must” for v1 is the ability to undo. I imagine you’ll save all answers given essentially as a list of responses that get synced up to the site later, so after a response is given and shown as wrong, if the user selects “undo” you can remove it from the list (or not add it to begin with) and clear out the answer field for a “try again”.

What happens in the following scenario? 1) I sync the app to the site. 2) I do reviews on the web site. 3) I do the same reviews on the app. 4) I sync the app to the site.

This is a great point that I totally overlooked. Whether the user configures a keyboard or it is done automatically, we don’t want it to auto-complete right kanji answers.

It looks like there is a 5-year-old Java port of Wanakana. I’ll explore the options.

+1 Crabigator point for you.

NLP FTW. :nerd_face:

While we don’t need to get bogged down in the finer details of how the app syncs with WaniKani services, we’ll make sure that the user gets the expected results or the app fails gracefully in weird situations like this.

It sounds like the the top requests are:

  • Offline reviews + notifications
  • Fast hiragana input keyboard
  • “Undo” button

These are all do-able for v1. It was helpful to get community feedback for sure.

I’ll let this post gather some more steam and we’ll see where we go from here. Before this is released, I’ll probably need to get some feedback on the API terms from WaniKani. And considering the remaining development work, I just want to be sure that there is a high demand.

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I worked around this by doing it essentially the same way as the WK web site does: I don’t try to change the IME for inputting the answer, I just implemented the same kind of pseudo-IME that the site uses, and then declared the EditText for the answer as “no suggestions” and “visible password”. With that, Android will not pop up any suggestions, and not store any edit history for the input field. And as long as the user doesn’t manually switch to a Japanese IME, nothing inappropriate pops up.

Thanks, I’ll try it out.

Do you know if the IOS beta was compatible with the IOS 9 (Ipad Retina 3)? Thanks.

As many have already said, having a way of dealing with typo’s is essential. It’s borderline impossible to review quickly on moving transport without making them, and since my screen cracked and I had to get a replacement (of poorer digitiser quality) the problem has gotten so bad I can’t bring myself to use the mobile app very often.

Based on the gifs above it looks promising! Is there a release people can test yet?

It goes without saying, but if it’s better, I’ll use it. If it helps any, the user-scripts/features which I consider essential for mobile are:

  • Ignore button
  • Lightning mode (Hit enter once to submit, skip to next question if answer is correct, don’t open expanded info)
  • Disable suggestions when entering English and Japanese words
  • Able to mute review sounds without affecting music playback (the app I use doesn’t do this correctly)

Edit: Accidentally replied to Chopped but intended this for OP.

I have no idea but it seems unlikely since that’s three years behind.

If you add the features that the app “WK for Wanikani” has, I’d use it for sure! There are two main things:

  • 1 mode: ask the reading then the reading of the same kanji/vocab, with no shuffles
  • retype: after i see the answer, allow me to cancel the first result and retype it. there are cases where Wanikani accepts the answer when it shouldn’t and it doesn’t when it should so i need to be able to retype the answer

good luck!

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Yes, we’ll definitely prioritize a solid keyboard and input UX in a v1 release. I have a few ideas in terms of using Android’s keyboard and some material design elements to support fast-paced reviews with the option to “undo”. I’m onboard with the community feedback and this will be the main goal of the first release along with offline syncing. It’s my personal primary use case, too.

Currently, I’m waiting to hear back from WaniKani on some of the finer details of the API terms. This demo already has the foundation for everything we discussed, so I’ll keep everyone posted. I would expect something like testing to be in the Fall at the earliest, though.


I’d likely use it if there is an undo answer function (I use it for dealing with typos an synonyms). The offline feature would be great as I spend some of my commute time underground where data connections fail.


I’m currently using WK for Wanikani to study on the commute but my train has a lot of tunnels so the offline support would mean the world to me (and probably to my husband, who knows he is only allowed to talk to me on the train when I don’t have signal :zipper_mouth_face:).

So yeah, basically as soon as this is good to go I will be downloading it.