iOS Native Self Study App

I’m currently working on an iOS native self study application that will be ready for beta testing soon. Everyone learns differently, and sometimes I want to keep studying even after I have completed my reviews or lessons. I wanted reach out to you all and gauge the level of interest in an app like this. I also wanted to ask everyone what features they would like to see most.

The app currently allows you to select from various “decks”. There are quick access deck links for the most common use cases.
By Level - current level, previous level, or custom selection
By SRS Distribution - Apprentice, Guru, or a custom selection
By Percent Correct - w/ adjustable threshold

When building this, I also wanted to get away from the embedded web view UX (web browser inside of a native app). I wanted a quick and responsive UI which the WebView lacks, so I built out a completely native study session page, including inline romaji->kana conversion.

There are a couple features I didn’t implement on the study session view because I rarely use them, but I’d like to hear how often other people use them.

  • The hiragana table
  • The last few correctly answered questions
  • The “wrap up” button

How often do you guys use these features? And although they might have place in WaniKani’s SRS study sessions, do you think they are useful for self study sessions?

I have my own TODO list of features I would like to add into this app (JLPT progression, fully customizable decks, etc.), but I think hearing from you all will help me prioritize things more easily .

Looking forward to your input!


I would be very interested in a self study app where it lets me review by SRS distribution… but only if it is separate from by Wanikani reviews (Offline possibly?).

So pretty much take my API key, filter all my (SRS level) items, and let me get a quick review between Wanikani reviews.
I would use it mostly for apprentice items and burned items.
Once I have finished a Wanikani review, load the app, force an item set refresh and I’d be ready to review new apprentice items I learned or got incorrect in my last review.
If this app ties into my Wanikani review, I can probably just use the AlliCrab app and sort items by SRS distribution. I can’t yet, but I know it’s coming. When it comes, I wouldn’t need another Wanikani app.

I like the idea of (By Level) so people at the lower levels can review their (Level+n) items instead of complaining there is nothing to do or that “I already know the first 200 kanji!”.
Apps like Anki don’t have a wrap up button and so I don’t think there would be a need for it if you’re only using a subset of your items. Just load from last state or start randomly. If this app just fetches your items, then there would be no need for a wrap up because it wouldn’t effect your Wanikani stats.

I would like the idea of the last few INcorrect items. I’m not sure if it’s possible, but I would like a list of incorrect items in the last day/review so I can write it out again on paper. This is my current way of practicing my mistakes.

Edit: Don’t use < in posts or it wont show up.

Does the API expose search functionality? I think allowing search in the native app would be helpful for when you want to review a single item rather than a set of items. Though in the single item case it’d be better to include the entire description and user notes for the item rather than doing a quiz.

Please consider an Apple Watch complication. I’ve had a few ideas rolling around in my head, just haven’t had a chance to code one up myself!

I would be definitely interested. I always do a review of new items right after I learn them, but the website layout or the apps around are not really optimized for self-study so that’s something I would definitely use.

Thanks for attempting this! As for:

-The hiragana table

  • The last few correctly answered questions
  • The “wrap up” button

I don’t use them, so I wouldn’t miss not having access.

For me, as sudoyulo mentioned here, having access to the reviews offline would be great. During some of my study time I don’t have access to either WiFi or Cell service.

Thanks for the input guys.

@sudoyulo, The reviews will be separate from WaniKani reviews. If you load the data once, It will remain available to you offline. Currently, there is no way to tell if your last review session questions were answered correctly or not. only the current percent correct and stats around reading/meaning correct/incorrect.

@seanblue The API doesn’t expose search functionality, but I’m caching the returned API data which can be made searchable. I’d like to add the ability create custom decks, allowing you to search for specific review items.

@richcatalano What kind of ideas did you have for apple watch? You are pretty limited on what you can do on the watch. maybe you can just choose a deck which just cycles through to the answer, then the next item on tap (you just answer in your head).

@Timbo As mentioned above, offline studying will be available.

Reading/meaning in/correct seem like a good place to filter.
What if you filtered (meaning_current_streak OR reading_current_streak =0)?
The items with streak 0 means you got it incorrect in the last review right?

The Apple Watch app that just cycles sounds like a good idea.
I wonder if it would be possible to cycle between item>answer>item2>answer2>…
But then you’d have to create a ‘face’ for twice the number of all items which is A LOT of items.

Seems like a lot of work in making an app.
Good luck. It sounds good so far, keep this thread updated on any changes to ideas!

While the API does not explicitly offer search functionality, it is implementable without it.

I think the key to a useful WatchOS app is to keep interaction to a minimum. So my first idea has no interaction at all: a complication that shows a critical item. That’s it, at least to start. Maybe it could cycle through the list if there are multiple. It doesn’t have to test my knowledge or do much of anything. Just show me what I’m struggling with on my watch face every time I glance at it.

Version 2: If you tap the complication, it could open the watch app and show the reading/meaning/whatever for that item. Again, keep it simple.

I could probably code something like this up for you this weekend if I have time. Unfortunately my employer forbids me from distributing my own apps on the store.

Just an update for anyone who had interest in this app, I’ve had to put this project on hold for real work. I’m hoping to resume work again soon!