So since I did a review of Anki, it seems only fair that I revisit it now that Anki 2 is out. I’ve been using it for the past few weeks and my overall impression is that things have improved significantly.
Overall, the look and usability have been greatly improved. There is no longer a popup per deck, which is great because popups SUCK. Though browsing a deck is still a popup, it’s not as annoying as Anki 1. AnkiDroid is much better as well in that it’s actually usable now. Before, it would crash on my phone at least once basically every time I’ve used it. In addition, Synch can now actually SYNCH (ie “synchronize” not just whack one set of changes with another).
I would highly recommend upgrading though the upgrade process hosed all my old decks (don’t know if this is just me or a common issue). It’s much better once you get everything setup. However, I must warn you that getting setup initially is very confusing. The UI can still use a lot of improvement in that regard.
- No menu option to login. You do this by synching for the first time, which also doesn’t have a menu option. You have to use the icon on the top-right. Not very obvious.
- Do not use the Default deck! It disappears when you add another deck. As you can see, the Default deck is nowhere in the desktop app even though it appears in AnkiDroid.
- “Full synch” is a misnomer. What it means is basically, scrap everything I have locally, and replace it with what’s online. This caused me to lose my changes several times before I realized what was going on. This should be called “Reset”.
Once you get over the initial confusion and get all your decks setup and ready to go, it’s not too bad.
You may be wondering, didn’t I recommend against using SRS? Well, while I still think it’s an inferior way to memorize things, I have to admit, it’s nice to have something to study when I’m waiting in line at the grocery story or whatever. I don’t have much time nowadays to sit down with a book or watch a show so it’s a convenient way to review something when I have a few minutes to spare. Also, I was previously using iGoogle, which is going away, so it’s also a convenient way to store interesting words to share on twitter or facebook later.
By the way, my main deck had only one side and it completely failed to migrate over to Anki 2. Obviously, I’m not using it like most people. 🙂