App of The Week: Dictionary.com
It’s back to school time, and as expected the app store has been flooded with a litany of student-friendly apps to turn your smart phone into your study buddy.
This week, App Of The Week is going back in time, to an app that has been a staple on my iPhone and iPad for a few years now – Dictionary.com.
Dictionary.com features everything you would have expect from a dictionary app, including built in thesaurus, voice to text and text to voice for pronunciation.
The word of the day (in both English and Spanish) makes for some great daily learning, and gives you an opportunity to impress your friends by throwing in the occasional piece of off the cuff Espanola (disclaimer: may not impress so much as annoy).
The inbuilt Hot Word blog explores language and history and, by fitting vaguely into the category of educational, it is a guilt-free way to procrastinate from actual studying. The tone of voice is highly engaging and they do a great job of tying the blog to something topical, making it a handy little read for a train or tram ride.
The most interesting feature of dictionary.com is the social aspects, which gives you a chance to see the most searched words on Dictionary.com recently (at the time of writing, the most popular word was ‘Visigoth’ – a French/Spanish order of Goths between the years 577-711 – if anyone can explain why, please leave a comment). The app also allows you to see all time popular words and the words that have been searched by people nearby, again, a wonderful procrastination device.
Dictionary.com also downloads the entire dictionary to your phone, so although you’ll need to have a wi-fi connection to download it, it means most features will work offline.
For all of these features, the most you’ll pay is $2.99 – can you spell bargain?