How to Use Nintendo DS Kanji Sonomama DS Rakubiki Jiten

JohtoKen wrote an excellent blog post on the 漢字そのままDS楽引辞典 DS software at TJP.  It is called, “In-depth Tour on 漢字そのままDS楽引辞典 – Introductory Fundamentals and Looking Up Words” and “In-depth” it is.

If you have this software and would like to get the most out of it, I would highly recommend reading his post.

If you don’t have this software but have a DS, checkout our Learn Japanese with your DS article at TJP.

Japanese Phrases & Lessons 2.0 iPhone app Video

Last night, I finished a demo video on the 2.0 upgrade.  For some reason I went to bed forgetting to upload it to Youtube.  Having cleared my head, it is up this morning.

I tried something new this time.  I used my wife’s iPhone to record the video while I played the app on my iPhone.  I was surprised that the video was pretty good quality (of course Youtube reduces it some).  It worked and it was much easier than setting up a tripod and extracting the video from my video camera.

Please let me know what you think of the video or the app!

iTunes Connect — Downtime and Trouble

iTunes Connect is where iPhone developers go to upload their apps, descriptions, and images to the Apple iPhone App Store.  For the past two or three days iTunes Connect has been extremely slow if not downright unresponsive.  To get a feel for how this has affected people, run a search for “iTunes Connect” on Twitter.  One poor guy had his payment deposited in a wrong bank because he couldn’t log in to change the account information in time.

Thankfully, it seems to be back up and faster than ever.  iTunes Connect has always been excruciatingly slow; this new youthful speed is quite welcomed.


I uploaded (speedily, I might add) new icons for two of my apps and… now both apps show broken images in the App Store.  I logged back into iTunes Connect, repeated the upload, clicked on the preview image, and was greeted with:

Not Found

The requested URL /Purple/32/00/ab/mzl.xfpdvdni.512×512-75.jpg was not found on this server.

Apple has fixed one issue while breaking something else.  Sounds like my three year old–only without the fixing part.

UPDATE: I probably spoke too soon.  I got in touch with a nice guy at Apple involved with the fix.  He told me he could see the images and suggested the problem was cached.  Sure enough after a few hours the images showed up for me too.  So… never mind.  🙂

McAlister's, a Japanese Restaurant

Today we enjoyed a meal at McAlister’s Deli restaurant.  The food was excellent but I noticed two things:

1) The serving size was small*
2) The price was high

Because of this, I concluded McAlister’s served 和食 washoku (Japanese style food!)

* As with many restaurants in Japan, the serving size is really just about about right by the end of the meal.  No over eating; just right.

Japanese Phrases iPhone App 2.0 Released

This is a major moment for us–a kind of Let’s Pat Ourselves On Our Backs During Our Group Hug Session:

Our original iPhone / iPod Touch application, Japanese Phrases for Beginners, has been given a major upgrade.  It is now Japanese Phrases AND Lessons.  We spent months and thousands of dollars making this the best app it can be (until we discover the next best thing!).  If you have the app, PLEASE email or call me if you have any comments, suggestions, or spot any errors.  (2.0.1 is being uploaded today with a few of those bug fixes!)

We launched 1.0 in February, 2009 with about 800 phrases.  Through versions 1.1 to 1.4 we inched up the phrases to about 1,100.  This single upgrade doubles the phrases to over 2,200 all with audio recorded by a native speaker.

The biggest addition is the 250 or so lesson pages.  2.0 ships with Hiragana Lessons, Katakana Lessons, 100 mini-grammar lessons, and several other more in-depth grammar lessons.  Every page has several example sentences all with audio at the tap of a finger.  We will be adding new lessons in the next few weeks.


Japanese Phrases App

Japanese Phrases App

We added a random feature for those who like to gamble.

For the detail oriented, we added a search feature.

The Study Bank allows the user to save or “favorite” phrases to study later or to email the entire list to print out.  You can also email any phrase from that phrase’s study page.

Lesson Pages — over 250 pages of lessons now; more on the way

Enhanced graphics — Lots of new eye-candy

Double the sound files — now over 2,200!  We also remastered most of the older audio files.

Click here to open iTunes and learn more!

Adding Reviews for iPhone / iPod Touch apps in iTunes

We’ve been developing iPhone apps now for almost a year.  Our first app came out in February 2009 and we waited breathlessly for the first review.  I’m sure one thing all developers have in common is the insatiable hunger for new  reviews–especially tasty ones.

I have added several new features to our apps because of ideas drawn from reviews.  Positive reviews make my day, constructive criticism makes me work harder, but I don’t think anyone likes “This app sux!”

Unfortunately the easiest way  (and some may think the only way) to leave a review is when deleting an app.  Now, if you are deleting an app from your iPhone, you probably don’t want it on your iPhone anymore.  And if you don’t want it on your iPhone anymore, it probably means you don’t have a high regard for it.  It seems natural for reviews to be tilted to the negative.

How do you rate and review an app you like without deleting?  Easy: go to the page in iTunes.

  1. Open iTunes
  2. Search for the app by name or keyword
  3. Scroll down to “Write a Review” and if you own the app, you can write a review

Japanese Phrases iPhone app screenshot

If you have downloaded any of our apps, we would LOVE it if you would take the time to write a review.  In addition to making Clay’s day, reviews help others make informed decisions about whether to download or not.

Just to help, (hehe) here are links to all of our apps:

Japanese Phrases FREE — 450 phrases with Audio
Japanese Phrases — 2,200 phrases with Audio, Lessons, Search, Random Phrase, Study Bank, and more
Japanese 101: Giongo & Gitaigo — Learn common sound words in Japanese on your iPhone or iPod Touch
Japanese 101: Idioms — 101 common and super useful Japanese idioms explored
Japanese 101: Proverbs — 25 lessons covering 25 of the most used Proverbs in Japanese
Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level 4 Vocabulary — Beginner level Vocabulary for the JLPT
Japanese 101: Kansai-ben — Learn about the dialect used in the Osaka area
Japanese Karate Vocabulary
— Words and phrases heard in the dojo!
Toddler Vocabulary — 150+ common household words for your Toddler in Japanese, Spanish, and English
Founding Fathers Quotations — Hundreds of quotes by Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, and many more
Founding Fathers Quotations FREE — 123 quotes by Washington, Franklin, and Hamilton showing off what the full version is about.