It’s been a while since the last proper dev update, but we have been busy. Today I want to share some good news and new updates with you all.
First up, we haven’t released a mobile beta update for a few months, but as we’ve recently teased, a new update is coming soon. We took to heart a lot of recurring feedback and a few months ago decided to abandon our unified client route in order to make a new mobile-centric client that runs on iOS and Android. That took a lot of time to do, and while the current build still lacks some polish and details, we feel it is a vast improvement over what we were able to deliver before. We started this mobile project with goals of a robust offline mode, performant writing canvas, and an overall more modern and native feel. So far we believe we have achieved these goals. Our tentative plans are to release a build of the new beta later this month.
Secondly, while this was technically added in the last release, we also want to highlight our new practice pad, which is the 2.0 version of the legacy scratchpad for those familiar with it. It’s a project we fully intend to expand more in the future. If you ever wanted to show someone how to write a character or quickly or linearly review a few words, this is a great way to accomplish that. Here are a couple links to try out:
ZH (simplified): https://skritter.com/practice/zh/上,中国
ZH (traditional): https://skritter.com/practice/zh/上,中國
Right now we don’t have a UI yet to help you build up the links, but the pattern goes:
https://skritter.com/practice/(language code: “zh”|“ja”)/(words or characters you want to study separated by a comma)
2.3.8 updates and improvements
We spent some time addressing some Japanese-only issues, especially around vocabulary creation, and additionally made some detailed improvements to smooth out some workflows while studying and using the site.
- Fix Chinese character font not displaying correctly
- JA: prevent romaji/latin-character only entries
- JA: generally improve vocab creation and guidelines, add more examples when there is an error
- ZH: prevent vocabulary being added without tone markers (remember to use 5 for the neutral tone!)
- Update website reading prompts to re-focus input after completion to better allow for corrections after submission
- Practice Pad mobile improvements and text updates
- Fix touch events sometimes not working on some prompts on the website
- Add more informative daily auto-add target reached popup for the website. This popup can be hidden by clicking “Don’t show again” rather than clicking continue. A less-intrusive toast-style popup will replace it.
- Increase initial add rate of items for new users so they have more to study initially on the first day
- Minor UI and copy updates
Future short-term goals
In our next website update, we are planning our most massive improvement to the queue review order on 2.0 we’ve ever done. Our goal at the end of next month is not just to eliminate some bugs and common complaints about the order, but to make 2.0’s review order feel better than any previous Skritter clients have.
Additionally, for both the website and the mobile betas, we will be deploying new curated graded sentences for HSK 1-3 vocab for Chinese and JLPT 5 vocab for Japanese. Here’s an example:
HSK 1: 的
The books in the library can only be borrowed using an identify card.
This is my book.
HSK 3: 为/為
Shanghai is referred to as the Paris of the East.
The mother made meals for the children.
JLPT 5: 一緒
I’d like to go with you but I can’t afford the plane fare.
Shall we go together?
We’ve taken care to make sure HSK 1 words use HSK 1-level vocabulary and the HSK 3 sentences use HSK 3-level vocabulary, etc. This is an ongoing project that we plan to expand to include more vocabulary. Also, all the new curated sentences have native speaker audio
Let us know what you think, study hard, and keep skrittering!