First Gift: The Language Coach and Virtual Shop arrive on iOS
As many of you have noted, we just released a new version of our iPhone and iPad app with two exciting new features.
First, in the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, we’re introducing a brand new feature specially designed to help you meet your goals… beyond January. Players, meet your Coach.
Here’s how it works: You choose a difficulty level or “track,” and each day the Coach tells you how many points you’ll need to earn in order to stay on that track. Once you’ve completed those requirements for the day, the Coach will let you rest until the following day, when you’ll be able to see a brand new goal.
You can also build up a safety buffer for yourself, meaning that if you practice a little extra every day during the week, you can take the whole weekend off and still be on track! As long as you follow the Coach’s daily goals, you’ll reliably make your way through the course at the pace you choose.
Second, we’re introducing the Shop and our virtual currency, Lingots, to iOS. As with the Web version, you earn Lingots by doing awesomely in your language learning journey.
Not all store items will be immediately available on the app, but the exciting news is that we’re launching new items that will exist exclusively for iOS for now. For example, you’ll be able to buy special new outfits for Duo — turns out our designers moonlight as stylists. ; )
Download the latest version of Duolingo for iOS here: https://itunes.apple.com/app/duolingo-learn-languages-for/id570060128
Even though this gift is for our iOS users, we will have an Android-exclusive gift next week!
We've read the feedback about the removal of global practice when all skills are golden. We've just submitted a new release to Apple that fixes this issue, which should be available early next week. Additionally, due to popular demand, this next release will have skill practice back when the skill is at full strength.
Many people have asked what happens to their streak when turning on the coach: the answer is that the streak remains intact, except it's not as prominently shown in the app anymore.
I only use Duolingo on my laptop, so this doesn't affect me at all huh? Bummer :(
awesome! then it will better for people who practice on desktop and laptop as well!
Good news, I'm sure I will enjoy these new developments. Suits are great !
Really? I mean, I've been waiting for the cool costumes, but nothing after 6 MONTHS, so I'm beginning to wonder...
Yeah, I don't know why they wouldn't include this on all versions (web, android, and iOS). Why does there need to be any difference for one operating system? Just my opinion, but I always thought creating exclusives for one system over another was just annoying. It does nothing but play mindgames with people and manipulate them into subtly "wanting" whatever the other system is, or reinforcing them that they bought one of that system. No doubt Apple pays devs to create exclusive content for their OS. Since DuoLingo is free, I suppose it's admissable, but still...just my two cents.
I completely agree. I honestly don't understand why there are exclusives between versions. Why don't all users on all platforms get the same features? Personally I don't care about costumes but the coach seems like a very useful training tool which we don't get. It's like saying "Hey everyone else, we created a tool that will help you learn better but you don't get it".
Surely it takes more work to create different apps for each platform. Would it not be easier to make one app that is the same on all platforms?
As much as I'm aware, being an analyst on the mobile team of some company, creating the same app for different platforms is impossible. It is just like saying why the same program doesn't easily work both on Mac and Windows.
It's not about what's easier. It's about what yields good results. If you want a slow, choppy app that has no real animations and is 200MB in size, then making one codebase that compiles into all the operating systems is the way to go. Unfortunately, we're perfectionists at Duolingo so we won't be doing that any time soon.
It's not exactly like that. I am closely following a hobby project that has been ported to everything from pre-windows nokias to amiga-os to the ipad, and it is all the same codebase at its heart. What ties it all together is the glue of the programming language, C++, and third party code libraries that are already cross platform and generic. But you can also build on top of things that are only created for one platform, for example Microsoft invented DirectX just to bully people into only targeting their OS. Or if you wanted to use flash, Apple policy would keep you off their portables. It's all a bit petty in my opinion.
In other important news, I need to get out more.
Then why are some apps that I've seem on my friend's iPhone the same on my Android? Yes, I know that they can't make it look identical and that some things might be specific to iOS but that's only due to platform restrictions. I don't know of any reason why Android can't have the coach. And they can easily implement the same features across platforms. You're basically trying to tell me that a feature such as the coach can only work on iOS. You kind of missed my point. My point wasn't even to have an identical app. It was that there is no reason why some features need to be excluded on one device.
@chilvence - That's exactly what I was thinking.
@ShawnG12, I like how often people here use the word "easily" underestimating how much effort something takes.
There'll be more gifts on the way this month. If there are none in store for PC/Mac, I'd be shocked. :P
Finally, the official announcement! Thank you for explanations and THANK YOU for bringing the skill practice back - I believe for many users this will be a very valuable Christmas gift. I'm sorry if we made too much fuss in discussions today, but at the same time I'm glad we have been loud enough to be heard :-)
I wonder how far the differences between mobile versions will go. Hope they will be mostly about graphics than about functionality.
I'm fine with keeping my streak, but I'll definitely try the Coach as soon as the practice button returns :-)
Thanks for the words. To push your question further: If you work with the coach, advance a lot to take the whole weekend off and still be on track - are you going to keep the streak? I mean streaks are currently my main source for lingots ;)
No you won't. You will be on track those days but you won't be extending your streak since you have not practiced in a whole day. Easy logics.
I somehow image you saying this with the voice of sheldon cooper. Anyhow, I think being on track will somehow replace being in a streak for mobile users. There is no option to buy a streak freezer in the app, just the heart refill is available. If we get a happy coach, instead of the flame as a badge for the discussions and some lingot candy, I might take some day off some weekend.
First of all:
- I love the new design!
- I love the cumulative visualisation of the weekly progress, rather than the coin stack
- I bought a coat, but am not sure when to see it ... Can I impress my non-iOS friends with it ? Can I make Facebook-Posts in the suit, telling them, what an awesome language learner I am. I'll find out.
Could you rename the coach levels from minutes to points? It would be a little bit easier to understand, what you have to archive each day. E.g. if you not succeed with a lecture you still spend some minutes, but receive zero points. So it might depend on the user what average point per minute ratio one has. Currently you call the four levels 5 - 30 minutes, but you are still checking the points ...
- Please let us report non-perfect/false translations... There are still some out there in the lower part of the tree (or is it the upper part)
- Please give us access to the discussion threads, especially the discussions of the sentences sentences (the general discussion I access from the web)
- Please show us our mistakes at the end of our lectures. Show us statistics, which sentences we have failed multiple times. Which grammatical structures we are failing on and what we should learn (not just the weak words)
@fer84, I think you have a good point with the distinction between minutes and points. It's possible the coach levels were designed to prevent gaming the system. I would rather have 5 - 30 minutes of "successful" practice everyday, rather than being able to put in random answers to get my daily time.
This is absolutely fantastic! Thank you for answering/explaining the popular questions, and I can't wait to see the other gifts in store!
Obviously, the first thing I did was unlock the Hefner jacket and the monocle. This is very serious business.
Are there any predictions on an Android update with these exact features or will the Android update be completely diverse?
The Duolingo coach costume just gave me an idea, what if you hold a contest to see who can come up with the best idea for Duo's (the coach) costumes, and this could include their own drawings of Duo's costume.
The idea is that either the community votes or Duolingo's staff chooses the best idea/drawing. This could then be added to the official costumes, and the victor could be awarded with some special trophy (or maybe something else) on their profile.
"Even though this gift is for our iOS users, we will have an Android-exclusive gift next week!"
I like the gift, really. But I'm not an Apple user, so I wonder if these improvements are going to get included in other platforms later (even if it is after a few months or so). I would love the couch on my android device or my webapp.
If not, then I really don't understand why you would make platform specific improvements. :$
after all the harsh criticism about the coach, it actually sounds pretty cool and a really efficient way to progress through the course. Will this feature ever be available for regular computer use? I think I'd start using it right away.
I think you should make this available for laptop users as well to make people wanna use Duolingo more. This looks so fun and I love learning Spanish with fun things. I don't think only people with the app should get it. It should be available for everybody because we are all trying to learn. Just sayin'
Kind of a side question but I am still interested: do you guys have more people using duo on ios or android? I personally use android so I am just curious who makes up the majority of your mobile users.
It will change as soon as we have Asian languages (including Russian) available.
I love it! You guys did a great job with the new app - I'm super happy to have lingots when I practice on iOS.
Can't get this candy on the original iPad, because it doesn't support iOS versions higher than 5.1. And this Duolingo update requires at least iOS 6.
Please note that the iPad 1 isn't even supported by Apple anymore, it's so obsolete... But to answer your question, about 99% of iOS users have iOS 6 or above, so that isn't really what I would be worried about if I were them.
It is not very environment friendly to throw all the old electronic devices away, because they are obsolete. But that's a problem caused by Apple, not the Duolingo Team.
Just two questions for it: Why can't i exercise when i "No weak work" in single lesson ; and where is my "Lesson Practice"button:(
I'm sure it will. And besides, Luis said, "Even though this gift is for our iOS users, we will have an Android-exclusive gift next week!"
"Even though this gift is for our iOS users, we will have an Android-exclusive gift next week!"
so latest next week
The execution of these updates and application have been amazing. Awesome job, this looks great. Can't wait until Android gift. By the way, loving the gold track suit, definitely pimpin lol.
Can't wait for the present for the web-based users! You guys are doing a great job ;)
Guys thank you for this great app. Keep good work, and thank you for letting us to learn and develope new languages.
I like the new coach function, but I desperately need the Lesson Practice function which I use everyday on the go. When will be this function be back on iphone app ?
Usually I use a lot of time on strengthening words. Also after having done the categories Duolingo has marked for me that needs strengthening. If I don't do this, then suddenly too many categories will need strengthening.
With this update you removed the permanently showing "Stregthen..." button. Why?
Wow, this is great! Fantastic update. But does this mean that the different apps (web/apple/android) will all become wildly different from each other in the future?
This is so exciting. The coach is more than I could've asked for since streaks don't motivate me (and we can dress him up, so cute~) Thank you, Duolingo! :D
Why only for iOS ? ... I feel this is discrimination with Android user... too bad duolingo... it'd be fair with a simultaneous release for all the operating system...
Dude, he said that Android would get it's own gift... Also, being a developer myself, I've found that designing on Android has a few... challenges, let's say, that iOS doesn't have. I'm surprised they're even giving Android something exclusive... although I have to say I respect them for it.
Thanks, Luis! I am currently learning French, and I love using my IPhone 4s to use Duolingo! Such a wonderful resource!
Really? The iOS app is only for iOS 6.0 and up? That won't work for my iPad, cause it's the first one, and cannot update to iOS 6. Please make it compatible for iOS 5!
:-( I was just trying to convince a friend of mine yesterday that Duolingo makes learning a language fun. He tried downloading it on his iPad to see for himself if he would like it, but he couldn't because of this. I was surprised that it wasn't supported, and he's decided that that was a sign he should just continue being monolingual. I'm so disappointed.
Unfortunately, it is just how technology progresses. But a tablet can access the full web-browser version, so you aren't really losing that much I hope.
I tried that, but it kept glitching out. Every time I tried to type in a translation in a lesson, right after I tapped a letter key, the keyboard slid down, and at the end of a lesson, it would dump me right back to the home page. (It also loaded kinda slowly, but i thought that was because of our WiFi.)
Thank you so much for this gift and the ones to come :) Y'all are doing great.
Has anyone else noticed an issue with time zones with this? I just practiced on Saturday but noticed the counter going up for Friday?!
When's the next gift? I'm so excited for all of these features... They're so much better and innovative than all my predictions! Thanks for all the great work Duo staff!
Looking forward to getting the Duo coach! We need this for web version asap!
Darn, I just lost my entire streak and wager on the computer version -_-
Can I get a lingot refund? On day 1 I bought the "Champagne Tracksuit" for 20 lingots. I'm pretty sure I'll never use Coach. I still have my receipt :-)
Well this sucks I want to dress up my owl but cant because I don't have an apple product?!
I just bought Duo a champagne tracksuit, but it hasn't changed his appearance on the web version, and as far as I can tell, Duo does not appear on my Android app.. What's the go with that?
I can;t get the app and I really want my owl to be wearing a tux and then I could right a fan fic about him being a crime fighter by night and a bank accountent by day. Don't judge.
I honestly started this so that when i study french in school i can feel smarer then everyone else because i suck at learning languages