Tangoristo app to shut down

Hey all

There was recently a post on reddit from the guy who made Tangoristo, the NHK reading app. He will be stopping support and shutting down the servers by EOM May.

It’s a fabulous app and I’ll be sad to see it go!


Aww, such a shame! I used to use this app all the time, and still do every now and then. :frowning:


WHAT?! I loved tangoristo and used it for years! It’s truly a wonderful app. Is there any other tangoristo type apps?


Oh… I just started using it few days ago… Sad. But there is almost similar IOS app called Manabi reader.
But I love Tangoristo more…
update: I will open source the client and server code in Github after the app is shutdown. I’ll also try to put together some thoughts for people that may be interested in building on top of this.


I should maybe post a new topic to ask about this, but I saw quite a few people in the comments of that post recommending Jareads - has anybody tried it?

I need to remove TangoRisto from the Reading Resources thread :cry: but it would be nice if there was something similar to add in its place. I already know of Manabi Reader and LingQ, but I’d never heard anybody on these forums even mention Jareads.


I am recommend TODAI: Easy japanese app, it has Android, iOS and web versions,
It has many features to read japanese easier: dictionary, translate of the articles, JLPT prepare, video,…

Great to finally hear about Jareads !!! I enjoy using it to read Japanese news everyday and i think my reading skill is improving. Latest version even included learning with flashcard feature which i also like very much. Hope more people know about Jareads, it’s free and really nice app :slight_smile:

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I have been using the TODAI: Easy Japanese app also since Tangoristo shut down. Actually, I think it is better in that the translations are more accurate. Also, there is some limited grammar explanation as well.

Hi there, I’m the creator of Manabi Reader. If you have any feedback I’d love to hear it. I continue to have big plans for the app.

@ncuh I’m actively working on improving the app - could you please let me know what you preferred about Tangoristo?


Hello. Nice to see you there looking for feedback. After comparison side by side, I should say I was wrong. They are pretty similar and Manabi actually has more features.
P.S. Well, as a WK user it would be nice to use these tools together:

  1. Be able to add known WK kanji as known in Manabi(I guess it’s possible)
  2. I’m not a subscruber, so I’m not sure is that realised in subscruber version or not, but. Would be nice to see % of known words in a article, before open it.(I’m not sure this is possible)
  3. Would be nice to have smth like a “recommended” article in every topic according to percentage of known words.(I’m not sure this is possible)
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Nowadays, it would be nice if it is open source, and can be re-hosted.

But indeed, IMO, open sourcing too early is indeed a risk to the business…

I m a ts /js sernior backend dev if you need some help :wink:

I’m developing Japanese Reading and could definitely use a hand, you’ll find me at david@greycastle.se

Hi everyone! I’ve been using Wanikani for years now but I always found it tricky to find good content to practice actual reading. I live in Japan now so my good colleagues here give me more than enough practice but I figured I wanted to help others get bitesize content to practice on so I created JReader (it’s on iOS as well).

I just got an email asking if I couldn’t make it look more like Tangoristo which is how I ended up here. I’m surprised to hear it is going to close down. If you have any ideas or requests I’m happy to hear about it, maybe there is a gap I can close with my app now.

I’m reachable directly on david@greycastle.se or Japapps

See you around!

It’s sleek and all but somehow I find it clattered and stopped using it.
It’s a great app though. congratulations

Hey, good to have you here!

I can give you some feedback indeed - this morning I decided to give Manabi Reader a try. I got some popup information about tracking my Kanji progress, so I went to that page to see how it works. There was a big red button “Unlock Kanji Progress Tracking” so I clicked it. I was asked to create an account. Usually I’m really wary about creating accounts and giving away my data, and more often than not, I’d prefer to not create an account despite missing out on some functionality.
But here I thought, well, fair enough, they probably need a place to store my Kanji progress in. So I created the account. Only to discover then that I need to pay for the tracking! So I gave you my data and in return got nothing.

My standard reflex at that point would be to just delete the app and not come back again.

I’m still there :sweat_smile: and I’m even telling you this story. This was my very first interaction with the app, and I found it to be really unpleasant. Maybe I’ll get to the app again tomorrow… let’s see.


Hi NicoleRauch - thank you so much for leaving this feedback! I definitely don’t want to cause off-putting experiences.

I’m thinking about alternatives to this experience. The primary reason auth comes before the payment screen is in order to check if the user already has a subscription before they are asked to pay for one. But there are a couple ways to make this interaction less jarring that I’m thinking about.

A) Change the Unlock button text to make it clearer - like including language like “Start your free trial” so that it’s not a surprise.

B) Show the payment screen first, but add something like “Already have a subscription? Sign in” with a login button on that page. This could be best. Then when you tap to start your trial via the payment page it would then ask you to sign up first, and then present the payment button again somehow. This flow is a little confusing tho since it oscillates between payment auth and payment.

C) Add something to the auth screen that appears first in this scenario which makes it clear that this is a step in order to view the payment screen. Sounds annoying.

I feel like there might be other options. Thinking about this. Maybe it’s not super necessary to check first if people can rely on Restore Purchases instead. And then go with a variant of option B.

I also may need to make it clearer how much of the app is free to use without payment. Payment unlocks additional advanced features but isn’t necessary to get good value out of the app.

I can also improve the sign up page to show what benefit you get from signup.

How do any of these sound to you?

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly! Also thanks for the possible scenarios. I’ve thought about them, and I think the information that would be most important for me before creating an account is to know the actual pricing model and what benefits I get from them. E.g. if you place a link right below the big red button that says “Learn about our pricing” or something like that, which then opens a new page that presents the information (just like the actual subscription page, but of course without being able to select anything), that would be fine for me. This way you can keep your current workflow of sign in-then-subscribe and you can keep it straightforward, while the user can get the information they need. (And you can probably build the two pages off of the same code so not even much extra work for you.)

Re A): I would not take a free trial if I cannot see in advance what I need to pay afterwards.

Or to put it the other way around, in order to convince me to pay, I would need to clearly see the benefits. Right now I believe that I will only get Kanji progress recording… If there is more that I will get, why keep it a secret?

I’ve thought up another option where I can allow purchasing before signing up or logging in. After purchase, the user would be required to sign up or log in to associate the purchase with an account. This is more complex to implement but I think you’re right that it will provide a better user experience.

I have a rotating carousel of benefits on the purchasing page. Was this not visible or clear? (Or maybe you’re saying that should have come earlier during signup?)

I’ve added this to my todo list!

This is difficult to implement because it requires downloading the full articles before it can process this. I’ve been thinking about how to implement it.

Great idea but similar feedback as the last one.