Online all the time?

I’ve been following the mobile tech news including the new android and iPhone with interest. It certainly seems like a lot of exciting stuff is happening and many areas could offer innovations in learning languages. In particular, voice recognition could potentially allow a program to check your pronunciation and text-to-speech could read out any Japanese text. Definitely, Android seems to have a lot more innovative stuff that could be potentially leveraged for language acquisition. And we already have touch screens all over the place so I’m hoping it’s only a matter of time before you can look up kanji online by writing it with your finger. Still, I haven’t bought a smart phone of my own, so I can’t test anything myself. I’m just not keen on being online all the time and certainly not by paying $100 every month. I already pay over $40 dollars for broadband. I’m not even on the road that much and have access to a computer most of the time.

Do you have a smartphone and is it worth the money?

17 thoughts on “Online all the time?

  1. I’m still using my first smartphone – nokia n79. Somewhat dated by today’s standards but I can do a lot more with it than my old razr. I would have said its worth the money if the os wasn’t so bad (s60v3). Laggy, inconsistent, closed and unstable. Next time I’m getting something with maemo since it officially supports rooting, and is essentially debian so I can run anything I run on my desktop.

    As for the plan, no data. I don’t need it nearly enough to actually bother paying a somewhat reasonable $10 a month (only 2g).


  2. This iPhone/iPad app is the nicest Japanese dictionary I’ve ever used, and its kanji handwriting input is the best I’ve ever seen.

    I currently run it on my iPod Touch and it’s one of the most important language tools I own. I just reserved an iPad, so for about $30 a month I’ll have total Internet access wherever I go, plus my dictionaries and access to all my electronic documents.

    • This dictionary is great, thanks! I just bought it for my ipod touch and love it. Anymore suggestions for Japanese apps?

  3. I do have a smartphone, a Motorola Milestone/Droid, running Android OS. There are a bunch of dictionary applications, some with online, some with offline databases. I currently mostly use aedict for Japanese word searches, and it also supports Kanji handwriting. And it’s free. πŸ™‚
    Overall, I’m quite satisfied with my smartphone. It’s a tad bit expensive, but there are also quite cheap android devices in the wild, but of course their hardware is not as great.
    I have a data plan that costs me about 12$ per month, I get 250MB traffic per month with UMTS speed and for the rest of the month I still have GSM/edge speed.

  4. With the ShinKanji app for my iPhone I can already look up kanji by writing it. The various Japanese learning apps alone make my iPhone very well worth it to me.

  5. iPhone 3G, Telekom in Germany. Very happy with the device. Not happy with the tariff plan (almost 50 EUR, and you get only 200 MB data plan – I use it within 4 days).
    For Japanese – used a little bit
    And online
    There is a bunch of others I probably could use as well. Before that, I have to start studying Japanese a little bit more actively πŸ˜‰

    I got a Nettop – Sony VPCX11SE and a telephone card with 5 GB data plan with HSDPA connection (after 5 GB is EDGE speed. Data plan – 10 EUR per month). I do all the computer/mobile stuff on it now if I am not at home. iPhone only for calling and calendar now (and music).
    Sony’s X series notebook – If you take into account its form and weight factor – you can live with its slow Atom processor – it’s a great product.

  6. I have a blackberry tour. Its kind of worthless, and I think an iPhone is probably better. The few things I like about it are that there are buttons, because touch screen typing just isnt for me yet, I can check email and get email alerts flawlessly, and its relatively easy to use. The GPS/navigation program on it sucks, and I feel like I could just as easily stick with a regular cell phone. I’m able to read japanese on it thank god, but not type in it unfortunately.

  7. >>I’m hoping it’s only a matter of time before you can look up kanji online by writing it with your finger.

    You have been able to do this with the iPhone for a long time!

  8. I’m with you Tae on this one. Although I can see the coolness factor of having a smartphone (and I’ve kept up with all the latest news also and surrounded by people with them), I have not jumped on the smartphone bandwagon simply because the price of the plans are too expensive, and not really justifiable for what I would use it for (and I don’t NEED it). I’m always online at home or at work, and when I’m out, I want to spend time with my family or friends, not poking around online on my phone. I’ve even thought about simply an iPod Touch and how it could be useful for a Japanese dictionary/resource tool, and a quick way to check mail on my home Wi-Fi without needing to power on my laptop, but I still find it hard to justify to put down money for it. It’s still like a toy and not something I really need. The iPhone 4 looks pretty neat, and I’mthinking about getting an iPod Touch version if it becomes one, but will probably have second thoughts later. hehe.

  9. I’ve never owned a cellphone, and I’m glad. Do Not Want.

    It’s bad enough we have a land-line phone in the house. You can’t DO anything on the main floor of the house (where the phones are), especially in the evening, because if you’re there the phone interrupts you constantly. If you want to focus on something, anything, you have to go to the second floor or the basement, where there are no phones.

    A portable internet-enabled device that’s not a phone (basically, a PDA with internet capability) would be okay. That would let me use my SRS when I don’t happen to be at a computer. There must be at least twenty minutes a year when I’m standing around with nothing important to do and not within arm’s reach of a computer.

    But if it comes built into a phone, I don’t want it.

  10. I remember not too long ago when the typical non-touchscreen flip phone with basic mobile html capabilities was deemed a smartphone. As in the generic Japanese keitai stuff even as far down as the very lowest end of the modern market: that infamous Softbank non-flip no-lowercase-romaji junkpile with YES and NO reversed on the English interface.

    I couldn’t live in Japan without a basic phone now I feel. Its a sanity saver on the Yamanote in winter. Having said that, Im glad I don’t have an iphone or the like because I think Id waste too much time on it (although Google Earth and GPS makes it tempting for hiking). The limitations of the “basic mobile web” kept me from overusing it. On the language learning front, its a crying shame the old faithful iKnow mobile function got cut this year just to sell a few more copies of the $2 iPhone app…

  11. I use an iPhone 3G and I downloaded the Japanese app for Β£9.99. Absolutely fantastic, I’ve been using it along with this guide.

  12. For those with Android phones, you should look into Aedict. It’s a great application that uses EDICT, Tanaka, and Kanjidic dictionaries. Works with Romaji or kana inputs, and will search for Kanji that you draw in, but it has to have the right stroke order.

    • It is the best dictionary ever i have found. I am using it in my Samsung Galaxy Spica. It saved me from giving up my japanese study..Thanx AEDICT..

  13. Still for Android phones, there is JED. Similar to Aedict, but is much faster and has a much more intuitive interface.

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