Meet Yukari, my new baby. Well, Yukari 3.0, to be exact. Yukari 1.0 was my Sony Ericsson clamshell phone and 2.0 was my iPhone 3gs.
I got Yukari 3.0 out of sheer need, I wasn’t planning to get a new gadget this year. But Yukari 2.0 died on me last week after a very fruitful 3 years.
So last week I made an unscheduled iPhone hunting trip to the mall. I went in and out of several stores but was unsuccessful in finding a black 64gb open line unit. Until finally one store offered to get me one from their warehouse if I can wait for one hour. I was desperate for a new phone and I needed one asap so I waited.
And wow, the wait was so worth it. It is so much lighter and slimmer than my 3gs. The screen has a better resolution. The performance is much faster. Basically, everything is bigger, better, faster on the iphone 5. I am very satisfied with my purchase.
Since I already have loads of space, I went on an app downloading spree and here are my latest ones – all downloaded for FREE:
1. imiwa? – I cannot say thank you enough to Pierre-Philippe di Costanzo for making this Japanese-English dictionary app for iPhone. It’s so good I even stopped using my Canon Wordtank and my Nintendo DS dictionary. Btw, the name isn’t a typo – there really is a question mark at the end, since you’re supposed to say with a rising intonation, as if asking “and the meaning is?” 🙂
I was previously using AEDICT for Android but I feel that the content in imiwa is bigger.
Some features I love:
– Romaji and kana dictionary input
– definitions in languages other than English (I have enabled French, Italian and German – just because!)
– Kanji lists, especially the ones grouped by JLPT level
– Kanji compounds
– a huge database of sample sentences
– functionality to create your own word lists
– Animated Kanji writing display
Now I know how to say “outsourcing” and “Immaculate Conception” and “pyramid scam” in Japanese, with proper kanji and everything. Ha! It is so great that it’s hard to believe it’s free!!
2. Norikae Annai – this is a Japanese-only app that shows the schedules and fares of trains in Japan. This is so useful in a country with such an extensive rail system. Just key in the station where you are coming from, your destination, the rail line, the date and time of your trip, and the app will show you how to get there, how much and how long it will take. It even includes line transfers and allowances for walking time. Pretty neat, huh? Here is a sample of a route from Shinjuku going to Odaiba.
I will be visiting Japan in a few months, and this app will surely be a big help. There is an English version now but it costs over USD10.
3. Google Translate – for really quick translations of larger chunks of words and you can’t be bothered with looking up every single word in your other dictionary app. It works only when you are connected to the net. Also, just a caveat, Google Translate is not 100% reliable. Still, quite useful to have.
4. Chatwork – I use this free instant communication tool to chat with my clients in Japan. I can access all my chats via the Chatwork website but I got the app as well for when I am on the go. So convenient!
5. Ifart – of course I have to download something really silly and useless. I got the idea from one episode in the Big Bang theory. Don’t you just love the names? I am Fartacus, really. The paid app version comes with even more kinds of farts. I really love my mobile whoopee cushion. A handy practical joke prop. 😀
There you have it – a quick app review. More to come in the future as soon as I download some more 🙂