App of the Week - Review of the Dictionary.com App (05-04-2012)
Recently we have seen an emergence of the Apps market. In the third quarter of 2011, more than 2.4 Billion Apps were downloaded. However are any of them any good?
This is your weekly guide to the innovative, creative and productive Apps on the Android Marketplace.
You’re either reading the newspaper or talking to a friend when you come across a word you don't understand. When your parents were young they had to look through a thick dictionary when searching for a word. During the last decade we have been able to search by using a computer. With this App you can conveniently look it up in seconds using your mobile phone. This App provides you access to over 395,000 definitions. It also has a thesaurus for times when you are in search of the perfect word.
Generally the definitions are brief and straight to the point. Unlike other dictionaries, it tells you the amount of detail required for you to understand the meaning of the word. After all, a dictionary is not good if it ends up confusing you even more. For times when you know the word but you’re not sure how it’s spelt, you can simply speak the word and the App will search it for you. In cases when you know how to spell the word but don't have a clue how to pronounce it, the App will also speak the word out to you – no more confused looks when you pronounce a word wrong!
The thesaurus is a handy feature within itself and operates in the same way as the dictionary. It doesn't matter if you’re writing an essay or writing a report for the government. The words suggested seem appropriate for everyone to use in almost all contexts.
The App also comes with some additional features which can keep you occupied when you have a couple of minutes to spare. There is a “word of the day” feature too. You may notice a few months of using the App, you have a wider grasp of the English language. Other additional features on the App include a “question of the day”. This gives you the opportunity to say to yourself that you have learnt something new today. There is also a “Spanish word of the day” - ideal for those who want to improve their foreign language skills. Why Spanish? Not sure. I’m sure there are more widely spoken languages out there. I guess the only thing the App can be criticized of, is for only offering one foreign language for this option.
The layout of the App is very simple and clear. In seconds you can search for a word by simply speaking or writing it into the search bar. You can also easily switch between the dictionary and thesaurus functions. Nearly all of the features of the dictionary.com App require an internet connection. However, the App doesn't use much data at all. After conducting a small test, I came to a conclusion that you are highly unlikely to use more than 1mb to look up a word. Nevertheless, it is essential to close the App after using it as otherwise it will remain running in the background.
Overall, the dictionary.com App is worth having. It is very useful and convenient at times when it’s needed. On the Android marketplace there is plenty of competition but this App is a lot better than the others because of the speed in which it looks up words. Its ability to quickly switch between the dictionary and thesaurus proves to be a handy feature. I would give this App a rating of 8 out of 10. I definitely recommend this!
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