Professor Drill: iPhone App Video Review
No matter how you slice it, learning a new language is tough going. Between having to navigate complex verb forms, understanding vocabulary, and drilling pronunciation like there’s no tomorrow, it’s just not a simple task to master a second tongue. However, the good folks out at JungJan have certainly done their best to streamline the process with Professor Drill, a simple, efficient, and endlessly customizable way to practice your second language from your iPhone or iPad. For our full thoughts on this Rosetta Stone-killer for iOS, check below beyond the break!
Concept and Functionality
Rather than giving users a preset list of videos, lessons, and vocabulary to memorize, Professor Drill takes a slightly different approach, putting more of the power in the user’s hands. Certainly, the app does come stock with a multitude of preset lessons, but rather than leaving it at that, the title instead allows users to create, manage, and share their own personalized language lists. These lists can be created in almost every language imaginable, and as they rely on the user to get the job done, there’s no direct need for an Internet connection. Lists, quizzes, and practices can be created in a number of formats, including straight transcription from one language to another, or multiple choice questionnaires. Users are also free to take advantage of their creations in either one language, or both at once, providing a comprehensive way to integrate both tongues in the student’s studies.
Even better, each and every list can also be backed up and synced to either an FTP server of choice, or the user’s DropBox account. This makes it simple and efficient to store—and even share—created media with friends or family. In the long run, this adds a pleasant amount of socialization to the process, increasing the incentive to learn a language fluently.
Design and Layout
As much as we loved the app’s functionality, though, we do wish it came with a slightly better design. Navigating menus felt clunky, and the clip art style illustrations didn’t help our eye-candy desires much. Likewise, we found the flow of the app to be somewhat distressing: For example, completing all of the fields in a menu and pressing “Done” does not return the user to the previous screen. This must be completed by first tapping in your completion, and then hitting the back button. These sort of design flaws aren’t deal breakers by any means, but they certainly don’t streamline the experience.
However, considering Professor Drill costs only $4.99 in the App Store (far cheaper than any other language learning software we could name) we can hardly knock its sheer bargain value. If you’re looking for a simple and impressive way to create your own studying lists from your iPhone or iPad, there’s really no better option, even with the graphical limitations. All in all, Professor Drill still earns a solid four stars, as well as our recommendation.
Professor Drill requires iOS 4.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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