WordGlide, developed by Ori Regev, is a unique cross between a free-form dictionary and a Zen-like meditation app. The experience of using WordGlide is like lying on your back and watching clouds – and words – float by. Some words stop and provide you with the definition and an opportunity to hear them pronounced and others just float by. With a bank of 150,000 words, you could stare at WordGlide for hours and never see the same word twice.
WordGlide is a fabulous way to increase your vocabulary. People learning English will definitely benefit from it, as will native English speakers. As I watched the words glide by I was both stimulated and calmed. You can interact as much as like – you can watch the words fly by and read any description that comes up or you can tap a word causing the definition to pop up. Clouds, birds and butterflies fly by too. And it doesn’t come across as juvenile or childish – somehow it just makes sense within the app.
You can control the speed of the words as they float by. I experimented with this, thinking I wanted it to be faster, but found that I liked the original configuration. You can also change the font size to allow for bigger – or smaller fonts. You can mark a word as a favorite and it will appear more often. There is an option to change these features within the app or on the iPhone settings page. There is a really nice video available if you want to see WordGlide in action before you buy. As a suggested improvement, I would like to be able to create my own favorite list and not just choose them as they go by.
As a parent, I could imagine sitting with my children and reading and sounding out the words. We could also discuss the definitions of our selected words and talk about how we could use the words in sentences. The randomness of the words would help anyone learning English. We don’t learn or use words in defined categories like most language apps. Words come at us in an organic way – just like in WordGlide.
I liked WordGlide and I can imagine opening it and watching the words go by as a combination learning tool and moment of calm. In the app world, an app that sells for $1.99 needs to deliver something substantial. Is that too high a price considering the value of learning and increasing your vocabulary? The more words you know the faster you can read and the more articulate you will sound when speaking to others. WordGlide won’t transform your English abilities overnight – but for just $1.99, it’s a great start.
WordGlide is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch and requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.