Looking for a dictionary app

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by Mitchelino, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Mitchelino macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #1
    I searched the forums, but all I could find were outdated results, so I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations as to which dictionary app I should buy.

    Here's what it must have:
    • No ads
    • Fast at looking up words
    • English (UK, not US), as I'm Canadian
    Here's what I'd like it to have:
    • No internet required
    • Landscape view
    • Audio samples of words
    • iOS 4 multitasking
    • Good looking UI
    • Thesaurus
    • Display results as you type

    I'm under the assumption that such as app will not be free, so my budget is $0.99-2.99. I wouldn't be willing to pay more than $4.99 (unless it's super amazing).

    So far the best I can seem to find is this app: Advanced English Dictionary. The developers seem like crooks, though, as they have had their app on sale (90% off) for a few months now (supposed to be one week). So I'd rather my money go to more honest developers.
     
  2. Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #2
    I believe the Kindle app has a dictionary you could download and not require internet to use......
     
  3. Gokunama macrumors 6502a

    Gokunama

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    #3
    I have the [app]Oxford Deluxe[/app]. Expensive, and I don't think they've added multitasking support yet, but it is the best available now.
     
  4. Mitchelino thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #6
    Thanks everyone for your contributions. I've decided to give WordBook a try, and so far I'm liking it. It seems to be the only one that supports a lot of the stuff I asked for.

    Oh my is it expensive :p I'm sure it is the best as far as content goes, though. I'm not an English major or anything, so I don't need the best out there.

    Everything in the first link is way out of my budget. However, I had checked out the app in the second link yesterday. It looked neat, but I decided against it.
     
  5. JulianL macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    My requirements are the same as the OP except for one critical difference - I want to carry around one dictionary with me on my device, I want the best I can get, and I really don't care about price. Oxford Deluxe (OD) and Webster's unabridged (WUN) are my two front runners.

    I've actually used WUN before on my previous Windows mobile device so I know that it's incredibly comprehensive, probably more so than the OD, but then again OD has a thesaurus and some sound clips. Also OD is UK english which is also better for me but not essential.

    How do you find Oxford Deluxe? Are the sound clips for UK or US pronunciation? Is the lookup speed OK (on what device)? Do they push out content updates? How about feature updates, have you had one of those since you owned it?

    One frustration I have with the vast majority off these high end offline dictionaries is that they don't do universal (iPad and iPhone) versions. I know that a dictionary is a simple interface so it's not so bad running it on an iPad in compatibility mode but it would only be the viewer that they needed to update, not the dictionary content itself, and it would be nice to have a native iPad version for the sort of prices that they're charging.

    - Julian
     
  6. Gokunama macrumors 6502a

    Gokunama

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    #8
    I rely on the Oxford Deluxe pretty often. I teach English in Japan, and I find both the Dictionary and Thesaurus to be of great help in preparing to teach intermediate and advanced students. The sound clips are in British English, with a second clip sometimes added on with the American pronunciation. The look up speed was decent till I upgraded my 3G to iOS 4. Enfour is excellent with updating their content, you can see their record in AppShopper (scroll down a little, there's a small box titled App Activity on the right). There have been a few feature updates that were highly requested, none that I make use of though, so I can't really comment on those.

    Universal can be difficult to do, it depends on the app. Some apps can do universal with no noticeable difference in speed, others get sluggish. I have no idea whether Enfour plans on making the Oxford Deluxe universal. I could ask my contact at Enfour if you can contact her via email.
     
  7. JulianL macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    Thanks for the answers. I decided to go ahead and buy it anyhow.

    The general look and feel of the app is really good, and having the sound clips and thesaurus all in the same app is great, but I fear that I might end up buying Webster's Unabridged as well because that is a step up in terms of content. If Enfour wanted to at least move in that direction then, as a good step forward, it would really enhance their "best available" positioning of the product if they based it on the Shorter Oxford Dictionary (which peversely, despite the name, is the two volume distillation of the 20 volume original and has broader in coverage than the single volume distillation that the Enfour product is currently based on).

    One tip to anyone buying pretty much any dictionary; remember what you're doing! Don't do what I did and just buy it like any other app, i.e. browse the app store from your device, think "I'll buy it", and then buy it there and then. That's what I did but luckily I was at home on my WiFi network so, once the download had started and I realised my mistake, I was able to plug my phone into a mains charger and set autolock to "Never" so that the phone stayed alive long enough for the download to complete which was something like 45 minutes. Thank goodness that wasn't using my data allowance.

    - Julian
     
  8. Gokunama macrumors 6502a

    Gokunama

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    #10
    There are two Shorter Oxford Dictionaries in the AppStore, they're the same thing, just one has audio clips, the other doesn't. The reviews are decent for both. Read the reviews for the Unabridged Websters on the U.S. iTunes, you may want to give the pass on that dictionary after reading.
     
  9. WishIWasHere macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    #11
  10. Gokunama macrumors 6502a

    Gokunama

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    #12
    I had the American Heritage Desk, then the American Heritage 4th Edition, then the American Heritage Deluxe (American Heritage 4th Edition and Roget's Thesaurus) before getting the Oxford Deluxe, each an improvement over the last decent dictionary. The American Heritage 4th Edition is excellent.
     

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