Japanese Phrases and Lessons iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile App

Ever since the launch of our first iPhone app, Japanese Phrases, we have had requests for other platforms.  I’m happy to say, we are simultaneously working on an Android and Windows Mobile version.  Blackberry will come soon after these are completed.  It will still be about four weeks before the projects are complete, but it is exciting!

Here are a few reviews from the past few days in the iPhone App Sotre:

No person studying Japanese should be without this app. Very impressed with the huge amount of new content. The lessons are a very welcome addition.  10 stars for the grammar section- I haven’t seen anything like this before in any other Japanese education app – very, very useful !!

I’ve been learning Japanese for two years and have found the application very useful and one of the best on the AppStore. I love the lessons!

And from the free version (which has about 500 sound files compared to the 2,200 found in the full version):

I used this app to learn phrases while holidaying in Japan. Now that I’m actually studying Japanese, this app now provides a means of doing my revision wherever I am. The recent update was stellar in turning the app from a humble phrasebook to respectable study tool.

While this can’t take the place of a instructor led class it gives those with no Japanese language experience some useful phrases to get started with and those of us who have had some classroom experience a refresher. Kudos to the team that put this together you have made what I believe is the finest educational app to date.

We’ve received a lot of requests for enhancements and please keep them coming!  The next update (already submitted to Apple for review) will add Mass favoriting (and unfavoriting) and an option to hide the romaji.

Orlando Japan Festival 2009

Yesterday morning we loaded up the minivan and headed south for… the annual Orlando Japan Festival.  This was the third year we’ve gone and every year it gets bigger and bigger.  There were a ton of people–many more than last year, I think.

orlando japan fest 2

We were planning to get a booth, but decided to be a sponsor instead.  We were listed as “Japan Shop.” (Mentally write a “www.THE” before and a “.com” after)

orlando japan fest

Release Date now only for New Releases in iTunes App Store

Well, Apple has gone and made things worse for developers I think.  In a recent post titled Apple-is-smarter-than-this-itunes-app-store-release-date-madness, I tried to summerize a few problems for developers trying to get their apps in the Released Date front page. 

Up until now, both new apps and newly released updates appeared in the center screen “Release Date” section.  This almost guarantees a nice boost in sales for obvious reasons.  Unfortunately, it looks like Apple is only showing truely new releases there now. 

As a consumer, you may think this is a good thing so as to not clutter up that area.  But it isn’t.  It creates an incentive for developers to spend all their time making throw away apps (because only new apps appear in the spotlight) instead of polishing and making old apps better. 

Maybe Apple is just tweaking the Release Date area and will allow updates to appear too, but if not, expect to see many more new apps with fewer updates and of less quality.

If there is no boost-in-sales incentive to update, why would developers bother?

(This being said, we have several updates almost ready to be uploaded 🙂 )

UPDATE: Iliya Yordanov from Cramzy.com has this to say: http://cramzy.com/news.php

Interestingly, the post (or rant) suggests the number of iPhone apps will actually dramatically decrease within a year due to the fact developers will be less likely to renew their $99 contract.

I really hope Apple isn’t going in this direction.  I can’t see how this would benefit Apple, developers, or certainly the consumers.

Some Things for Sale: DS Japanese Games; Casio Dictionary CD

Cleaning up around here, I created a stack of stuff that someone can use, but I don’t really want to make a product page for it at TheJapanShop.  If something interests you, I’m willing to negotiate 🙂  Also email me or call 1-386-965-8774 if you have any questions or would like a photo of anything. (or you could use Google to find out more about these too!)

Nintendo DS Games (will work on ANY DS device)

1) Kanji Dragon 必殺カンフー漢字ドラゴン (game for learning kanji) – never opened; still in shrinkwrap. $25
2) Kanken DS 2 漢検DS2+常用漢字字典 (kanji training software for the Kanji Test) – never opened; still in shrinkwrap. $38

J-Pop Music CD

1) Puffy – Jet CD – This is opened, but the CD is fine; no scratches $5


1) Kanji Learner’s Dictionary CD for several Casio electronic dictionaries including the XD-GP9700.  $38 (It should work with all Casio dictionary models starting with SW, GW, SP, GP, SF, GF)

Here is what Casio writes about it:


講談社 漢英学習字典 収録数:親字2,230字/熟語約31,000語
©Jack Halpern 1999
画期的な「字形式検字法(SKIP search)」により迅速に検字でき、中心義により各字の基本的な概念を即座に把握できる初級、中級日本語学習者のニーズに応える学習字典。常用漢字筆順図解つき。
* Speedy lookup using SKIP Search based on the revolutionary System of Kanji Indexing by Patterns.
* The core meaning, a concise keyword, enables instant grasp of the central concept represented by of each character.
*Serves as a powerful tool for beginning and intermediate learners.


If anyone is interested, please call or email me.