Some time ago I was looking for a developer for an application I was designing. The guys at Underlined decided to help me out with development, and so the Kana Master story began. This weekend the app got approved on the App Store (after 10 days… jeez… compare that to deploying a website update). You can watch the demo video to see how it works:
The goal of the app is to provide a quick reference for both Japanese scripts. In daily life I found myself often forgetting a character and there was no quick way to look it up. This app serves me well in these situations. Next to that there is a quiz which provides you with a way to test your knowledge.
Most applications test you with multiple-choice quizzes but I find this to be a teaching method where you don’t really remember. You don’t have to recall, you just have to recognize. The idea behind the quiz is purely recall: you type the romaji (roman version) of the kana that is shown at the moment.
We first tried to work with Ionic framework. The promise of a cross platform app using web technology was promising but it was hard to get the result we wanted. The developers then decided to make it a native iOS app. I didn’t fully agree at first because I believe it is possible to make a good cross-platform experience using web technology. However, seeing the end result, I am kind of glad with it. Sorry for the Android and Windows Phone users out there. We might make an Android or Windows Phone version when the app proves to be popular.
The current application is free. We are planning to add in-app purchases in the future for newer features. One feature I would like to add is to show how to write the characters, more specifically the stroke order. Check it out!