[iOS] Mobile AlliCrab for WaniKani

This looks pretty awesome in comparison with the previous iOS app (which I still use, but it is no longer available), so I’ve dropped you an email!

Sent email. Looks great from the screenshots!


kfdm said... Are you fetching each level individually or using
https://www.wanikani.com/api/user//{radicals,kanji,vocabulary}/
without a level to fetch everything. Fetching without a level (to get the whole list) worked fine for me for a while, but once I got around 35 or so, the vocabulary query would timeout fairly often.
I am fetching the whole lot at once as I was trying to minimise the number of hits to the API.  Will split this into multiple requests for the next version (and hope this fixes the crash that pushindawood is seeing).


Yeah I didn't have too much issue with the radicals and kanji queries but the vocab queries ended up timing out quite frequently. I tried to do a bit of logic that above a certain level, it would split the vocab query into a few buckets to minimize timeouts. Another thought I had with my own stuff, is that if you route things through your own server, you can cache some of the requests to help avoid repeated queries.

Great job. As an author of similar app, I’m impressed.


I found one small glitch.



Setting .zPosition of spinner to -1 should do the trick. 

cplaverty said...
pushindawood said... Works great!I really like the interface and upcoming review timeline (really neat idea).  The ignore button has already proven a handy accessory and something I have longed for.  However, if I do not go straight into reviews or lessons the app crashes trying to load/download/parse my vocab/kanji/radical data.   I am not sure if this is due to my level or some things that still need to be ironed out.  Nonetheless, great app.  Keep up the good work.
I'll have a look at the crash report to see what's going on.  Once you've done reviews and return to the dashboard, does the app still crash?  Or does the data load okay?  Hopefully I'll have a crash report when I get home, so will take a look tonight.

 It downloads and parses the radicals and kanji just fine, it's when it gets to the vocabulary (Downloading Vocabulary / Connecting...) that it crashes.  This is after clearing out my reviews and killing/refreshing the app.  

I would love to try it! sglinert@aol.com

haawa said... Great job. As an author of similar app, I'm impressed.


I found one small glitch.


Setting .zPosition of spinner to -1 should do the trick. 
 Chapeau for helping out another developer.

Wow, that seems nice, will send the email c:

Here is some feedback:

  • It took me a few minutes to find out how to actually review. I saw “Next Review: Now” and I assumed I should be clicking there. I didn’t realize to look at the Currently Available section at the top.
  • Not sure what the bottom bar means - "Download Vocabulary… Connecting… Parsing Vocabulary…"
  • There’s a lot of information overload on the first page. The first thing I want to know when I go into the app is - do I have any reviews? If not, when is the next one?
  • Things like SRS Item Distribution is secondary information, if not tertiary information - I don’t even look at the distribution using the web app often.
  • Badge icon doesn’t go away - still says 24 reviews remaining even though I have left the app. Even if I close the app, and re-open it.
  • I also don’t understand what I see when I click Next Review. Under Currently Available, it says 488 with 120 Radicals, 134 Kanji, 234 Vocabulary. I’m not sure what this means.
Hope this is helpful!
haawa said...Setting .zPosition of spinner to -1 should do the trick. 
Thanks for your suggestion.  I had pulled the zPosition forward because it was initially sitting behind (and completely obscured) by the tableview background view.  Will have to play about with the z-order so that it still stays in front of the tableview background view but behind the table sections.  I might see if I can push the tableview background view back instead of pulling the refresh control forward.


pushindawood said... It downloads and parses the radicals and kanji just fine, it's when it gets to the vocabulary (Downloading Vocabulary / Connecting...) that it crashes.  This is after clearing out my reviews and killing/refreshing the app.  
Yeah that sounds like it's a problem that will be fixed by batching, as suggested by kfdm.  Will fix this for the next release.

klistwan said... Here is some feedback:
<snip>
It took me a few minutes to find out how to actually review. I saw "Next Review: Now" and I assumed I should be clicking there. I didn't realize to look at the Currently Available section at the top.
There's a lot of information overload on the first page. The first thing I want to know when I go into the app is - do I have any reviews? If not, when is the next one?

I have thought myself on a few occasions that having "Now" in the "Next Review" section can be confusing, and have thought people may tap on that expecting to be taken to their reviews and not the review timeline.  I've left it how it is because I just haven't come up with a better idea.  The priorities listed in your third point are precisely why the dashboard is ordered the way it is.  The top section ("Available Now") is basically "is there any work for me to do?".  The next section is "when is there work for me to do?".  Thinking about it now, what I could do is change the layout of the "Available Now" section so that, if there are no reviews to do, rather than showing a zero in that cell I show the time remaining to the next review.  Then change "Next Review" to "Upcoming Reviews" for the link to the Review Timeline.  Would that be less confusing? I'm open to other suggestions.

Not sure what the bottom bar means - "Download Vocabulary... Connecting... Parsing Vocabulary..."
This shows background activity the app is doing, downloading data from WaniKani.

Things like SRS Item Distribution is secondary information, if not tertiary information - I don't even look at the distribution using the web app often.
I agree this information isn't primary information, but that's why it's at the very bottom. It's there mainly because I find it useful, and it was something I was missing from kiko's app.

Badge icon doesn't go away - still says 24 reviews remaining even though I have left the app. Even if I close the app, and re-open it.
This is a definite bug.  I'll have a look into why this isn't updating.

I also don't understand what I see when I click Next Review. Under Currently Available, it says 488 with 120 Radicals, 134 Kanji, 234 Vocabulary. I'm not sure what this means.
This view is the Review Timeline.  It's a chronological list of all reviews coming up in the future.  Unfortunately it suffers from a bug whereby it doesn't filter the burned items out and shows them all as available now.  This will be fixed in the next version.

Hope this is helpful!
Thank you for your feedback!  :)

I’ve pushed out a new version (1.0 build 16) that will hopefully fix the crash on loading vocabulary that some experienced, and removes burned items from the review timeline.

Just a tip for testing/distribution: testfairy is an awesome and free tool.
It can auto update new versions if configured so, and you can also setup a public/private beta community, so you don’t have to collect e-mails.
It includes a chrash reporter, and it also makes videos about the test sessions, so you can easily find the bugs later.

cplaverty said...
pushindawood said... It downloads and parses the radicals and kanji just fine, it's when it gets to the vocabulary (Downloading Vocabulary / Connecting...) that it crashes.  This is after clearing out my reviews and killing/refreshing the app.  
Yeah that sounds like it's a problem that will be fixed by batching, as suggested by kfdm.  Will fix this for the next release.
 Fixed!No more crashing for me.

cplaverty said...Badge icon doesn't go away - still says 24 reviews remaining even though I have left the app. Even if I close the app, and re-open it.
This is a definite bug.  I'll have a look into why this isn't updating.
Refresh rate for how many lessons/reviews are remaining have improved considerably and now reflect the correct count.

One thing about the keyboard.  It's a bit jumpy when doing reviews (not a huge deal, but I think it could be cleaned up?).  When doing lesson quizzes the keyboard does not automatically pop up like it does in reviews.  You must tap the field for it to appear (again, not a big deal, but it would be nice if the quizzes functioned like the reviews).

Thanks again for making this!

Awesome! Could you send it to me? I’d love to try your app.

micdude793@live.com

tomboy said... Just a tip for testing/distribution: testfairy is an awesome and free tool.
It can auto update new versions if configured so, and you can also setup a public/private beta community, so you don't have to collect e-mails.
It includes a chrash reporter, and it also makes videos about the test sessions, so you can easily find the bugs later.
Thanks for bringing this to my attention.  I'll take a look into it.  This is my first iOS app so I'm still learning the ecosystem.


pushindawood said...
cplaverty said...
pushindawood said... It downloads and parses the radicals and kanji just fine, it's when it gets to the vocabulary (Downloading Vocabulary / Connecting...) that it crashes.  This is after clearing out my reviews and killing/refreshing the app.  
Yeah that sounds like it's a problem that will be fixed by batching, as suggested by kfdm.  Will fix this for the next release.
 Fixed!No more crashing for me.
Excellent!  

cplaverty said...Badge icon doesn't go away - still says 24 reviews remaining even though I have left the app. Even if I close the app, and re-open it.
This is a definite bug.  I'll have a look into why this isn't updating.
Refresh rate for how many lessons/reviews are remaining have improved considerably and now reflect the correct count.
Great.  I'd made a change that I thought would help but wasn't entirely sure would fix it entirely.  I'll give it a few days before I consider the issue closed.  If you or anyone sees the badge count not updating properly, let me know.

One thing about the keyboard.  It's a bit jumpy when doing reviews (not a huge deal, but I think it could be cleaned up?).  When doing lesson quizzes the keyboard does not automatically pop up like it does in reviews.  You must tap the field for it to appear (again, not a big deal, but it would be nice if the quizzes functioned like the reviews).

Thanks again for making this!
I'll add this to my list.  Thanks! 

The screenshots look nice.  I’ve emailed to see if I can also be a tester.  Good work so far though!

What a fantastic little app, I haven’t experienced any bugs whatsoever. Excellent work so far!

I’d be interested to know how much data it’s actually pulling down each time it syncs, especially for those with smaller data plans. I can’t imagine it would be a lot, but it soon mounts up. Maybe a manual sync option could be included at some point?

The only minor annoyance, which I also found with the previous app (and the website itself, ofc), is that the reviews don’t scale very well on smaller mobile screens. I mean, it’s not terrible by any stretch, but the kanji are too small by default and there’s occasionally a few issues fitting the kanji, text box and keyboard on the screen at the same time, which forces a scroll.

It’s probably out of scope for this specific app as it’s just calling up the website, but I hope one day they’ll develop an official app that makes the review process more mobile friendly.

sigh I haven’t updated my operating system for ages (can never make the space for the update! My nephew is just too damn cute!), so I can’t use it yet.
I will try to get rid of some photos and videos and trial it soon. Just wanted to say thanks for the invite!

wholehole said...I'd be interested to know how much data it's actually pulling down each time it syncs, especially for those with smaller data plans. I can't imagine it would be a lot, but it soon mounts up. Maybe a manual sync option could be included at some point?
You can see the data usage of this (and any) app in the iOS settings. For me, it's in Settings -> Mobile Data (though I think the name of this changes for each locale). Toward the bottom is a list of every app and how much data it's used since the statistics have last been reset. (The button to reset statistics is at the very bottom.) I'm fairly low level, but I use the app pretty regularly for doing my lessons and reviews (with auto-play audio enabled) and it's used a little over 27MB in the last two weeks. There is also a switch to enable or disable mobile data usage on an app-by-app basis. So if you find my app using too much data you can slide the switch over and it'll only sync over WiFi. Please let me know if the app is using excessive data!

The only minor annoyance, which I also found with the previous app (and the website itself, ofc), is that the reviews don't scale very well on smaller mobile screens. I mean, it's not terrible by any stretch, but the kanji are too small by default and there's occasionally a few issues fitting the kanji, text box and keyboard on the screen at the same time, which forces a scroll.

It's probably out of scope for this specific app as it's just calling up the website, but I hope one day they'll develop an official app that makes the review process more mobile friendly.
Yeah I am just showing the unchanged website, so it should look the same as it does in Safari. I would like to try and make it better formatted for iOS devices, but it's a pretty low priority task for me. I would love if they added API support for me to do a completely native interface, but this seems unlikely to me. 

By the way, you can hide the browser interface to make more room on the screen by swiping up on the web page. Similarly, swiping the page down shows the browser interface again. Makes reviewing on a 4s a little nicer. 
EskimoJo said... *sigh* I haven't updated my operating system for ages (can never make the space for the update! My nephew is just too damn cute!), so I can't use it yet.
I will try to get rid of some photos and videos and trial it soon. Just wanted to say thanks for the invite!
Ah, that's a shame.  It's a fair amount of work for me to support < iOS 8 so I'm unlikely to add support for older versions unless there was pretty substantial interest. Thanks for your interest in testing the app though.