Manabi Reader v3: native iOS/macOS reading app with browser UI, auto sentence mining, Anki

I’ve quit my job and rewritten Manabi Reader over the past year to add some major functionality including Anki integration (tap words while you read to look up and save flashcards with original sentence intact), RSS feeds, user scripts, readability mode, Instapaper-like ‘save for later’, offline support, and native macOS app with redesigned native iPhone and iPad UIs.

UPDATE: Now live for iOS & macOS in App Store: Manabi Reader v3: native iOS/macOS reading app with browser UI, auto sentence mining, Anki - #12 by aehlke

Screenshots previewing different features of macOS, iPhone, iPad respectively:





I will make a note to myself to try this on my iPad sometime this coming weekend.

(If you need testers to look at it on MacOS also, I could probably do that too)

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Appreciate it! I’m working on updates to both that I hope to have out today or tomorrow, hopefully release candidates so if you find anything wrong please LMK here or via in-app testflight feedback.

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I remember at some points two Reading apps were often recommended : Satori Reader and Manabi Reader. Satori Reader has really took off but somehow Manabi Reader has been completely forgotten. I’m glad you’re back (even though I’ve never and will probably never use your app :slight_smile: due to OS incompatibility)

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Thanks for your welcome.

I got very busy with work for a couple years, learned a lot but realized I can put everything into doing this fulltime. I did also chip away at bigger changes that are a long time coming. Last year I rewrote most of the app entirely in SwiftUI with three completely distinct frontends for all platforms, and a more thoroughly offline-oriented architecture which also makes it easier to be privacy-friendly (which I will be pushing further, also with distributed publishing capabilities for users and other big stuff in the works with some friends that will also extend the Manabi ecosystem). Now I have a powerful foundation to more rapidly add new work and functionality. So please stay tuned, much more to come once this is out.

Re: platforms, Arc is starting to put out open source for running SwiftUI-alike Swift apps on Windows with their work to port their swift browser to that platform. I will adopt that as it is available. I’m also investing more in cutting edge web tech, wasm, etc for running much more within web tech. So my apps will have more of their core enginers in JS/WASM, and have native frontends (SwiftUI for apple, or whatever for Windows, or web itself). I’m partnering with a friend on doing much more with web to solve that excellently. We have an AutoGPT-ish app coming next that will extend Manabi capabilities thru cross-app extensions (new Apple tech) and we’ll be able to more quickly go cross-platform without abandoning Swift or native SwiftUI/Apple stuff at all. We need to in order to expand, I will turn Manabi into more of an edtech platform (w/ focus on open source, CC, rather than private IP, and distributed self hosting of content and live interaction), and into a general purpose web browser (think Arc but WebKit / more consistent across platforms and more native feeling) with features for knowledge acquisition, and much more AR/realtime stuff. Lots more ideas and plans. This launch kickstarts the rest.

My pricing strategy is/will be to make sure that what my competitors offer for pay, I have for free (or more than that). I’m able to do that now/soon by having offline-oriented architecture (don’t have to pay for servers or deal with user generated content liability at scale) which also makes my apps typically superior for privacy. So as I get more advanced optional premium features out, I can also make more of the base platform free. I’m also experimenting with pay what you like models. I have an inclusivity oriented mission and accessible pricing and platform availability are important aspects of that.

After the AI app and bringing that back to Manabi Reader, I’ll also also relaunch the flashcards app, which will be fully free for Apple platforms and I might have a for pay web version. I’ll also be integrating WaniKani (free reviews for vocab/kanji cards from your wanikani account, and reader integration for vocab knowledge), deeper Anki integration. And hopefully I can figure out how to make that cross plat bit by bit, whether doing more of it in web tech or porting more of my swift to web.


I totally spaced out on testing the 3.0 beta - I didn’t see it in the app store - are you still looking for beta testers?

Yes! Here’s the link however ‘mark as read’ is currently broken/crashes. I will share a new beta in a day or so you can also wait for.


My Manabi Reader subscription is set to renew soon. Will that include v. 3 when available?

Absolutely. Thank you!

Btw, I’m also opening up the student discount to anyone that can’t afford the full price


3.0 is live in the iOS App Store! macOS later today hopefully.

Packed with free features. Scan text with your camera to look it up. Japanese/English dict. Native Japanese web dicts. Look up kanji by drawing. Expanded JLPT levels. RSS. Web browser UI. Save links from other apps. Works offline. Readability mode. Tap words to look them up. Furigana depending on your familiarity with each word.

The new premium feature is Anki integration on iOS and macOS. Fully native and modernized (99% SwiftUI).

Please let me know if you have any feedback and I’ll be able to update soon with anything valuable that needs to be changed. If you like it, please leave a review in the App Store ideally with text not just stars even if just one sentence - search ranks depend positive reviews, not just relevancy or quality. Thank you


Quick update - 3.0.4 is now live with various fixes for crashes and flashcard creation.

Bigger update - macOS now live!

If anyone’s given it a spin, what do you think? I’m just getting started so please let me know what it’s missing for you, or what it does well that you’d like to see more of. Thanks!

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Update - refreshed the Manabi Flashcards codebase and newly released it to macOS (M1/M2+)!

I’m now focused on shipping a GPT playground / programmatic sandbox app that I’ll use for extending Manabi next with new ML functionality.

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almost have epub support ready, and with RTL! stay tuned.

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I’ve released 3.1 today for iOS and macOS. It fixes a bunch of bugs and optimizes overall app performance substantially.

Now continuing work on wrapping on EPUB mode. After that, I’ll be adding Wiktionary dictionaries to make Manabi Reader multi-lingual and to add the Japanese 国語 dictionary from Wiktionary.

I’ve also built a free AI app with BYOK OpenAI API integration as well as local LLMs. I’ll be adding this into Manabi Reader too for things like article/paragraph summarization, “chat with article” Q&A, language chat bots, etc. I intend to offer the AI functionality for free in Manabi Reader too.


EPUB mode is here! Included in the 3.2 update for iOS, macOS shortly: ‎Manabi Reader – Read Japanese on the App Store

EPUB mode is a free feature.


This looks very interesting. It must have been so much work. Thanks so much for your time and effort. I’ll download the app now and check everything out :pray:

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Thanks, I hope it serves you well.

It’s been a lot of work because I had to rewrite a lot of the backend and improve performance significantly, since it loads a lot more text at once. There’s still more to do - such as preloading content before you even open it, caching to disk, other performance improvements. And lots more functionality to add to ebook mode, like highlights and search.

Currently I’m working on adding a kanji/vocab grid (colored by learning status), and a YouTube mode with clickable captions/lyrics and adblock. Maybe a movie player and podcast mode soon too if YouTube goes well.

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Absolutely amazing. I’ll be keeping my eyes open :star_struck:

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I’ve released an iOS update today with bugfixes, performance improvements, and an import/export feature so that you can import your vocab and kanji progress from other places such as Wanikani. (I’ll add Wanikani-specialized import later - for now you must copy/paste text)

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Super excited about this app!!!

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