Offline courses / course downloads
Please can you improve your app by enabling users to download lessons for offline use?
In countries like Cuba, where Internet access is difficult to get, this app is rendered useless. I recommended this app to my partner to improve his German prior to moving to Germany, but he cannot use it.
Only occasionally he can get access to one of the very few expensive government-run WiFi hotspots, and ideally he would like to be able to download the courses, as it is too expensive to remain online to use the app.
I have also wanted to use it during business trips on aeroplanes, or on trains with no internet access, and cannot. It is incredibly frustrating.
Lee A Burton BSc MBCS CEO / Founder SmokinMedia.com
I think offline support would be great as well, it would be great for people with tablets (or phones that don't have a data plan) too.
Which app are you refering to? Most of the Duo apps have a limited off line capability. The lessons in a skill or a row of skills are automatically downloaded. When this is done then you can move away from your WiFi connection and do the lessons. However, you will need to connect to the internet for your lesson results to synchronise with the Duo servers. You should be able to use this on planes as long as the skill/skills are in memory before boarding the plane.
There is no way to download a complete course as there would be too much data (you would have to download not just the answers but all possible answers for each sentence.
For me the iPhone app, and for him Android.
That's the problem, the downloading is too limited. I think he was able to download one lesson, but once he completed it offline, he needed to reconnect to the Internet to download the next part of the lesson.
This is just not feasible in countries such as Cuba, and it's countries such as this that can benefit more from Duolingo
Better would be if you could multiselect which lessons to download for offline use, then download them all at once (and remove others that are no longer needed, to save storage space). Maybe the amount of lessons that can be downloaded could be limited based on the device's storage capacity? I have no idea how much data we are talking, but there has to be a better solution...
Memrise has offline capability, but new users now need to pay for a Pro subscription to use it.
Also the new courses they have created are quite good and video is being added to them slowly (only Spanish and French so far, but German video is coming).
As a comparison, I am currently paying for Memrise Pro. It is great to have offline support, however, keep the following in mind if you're considering swapping apps.
Offline mode in Memrise does not provide all content. For example, video data is not downloaded and Memrise have no future plans to include it.
As a result of missing content, if you are using mobile data, the video content will then download when you are progressing through a course. Using a mobile data connection will still also sync your status and other content about the course. If you have a slow mobile data connection, this makes the app very slow to launch even if it is already downloaded for offline use.
For me this is quite costly on mobile data. Memrise Support openly state that you should put your phone in flight mode in order to ensure you are not burning through mobile data. Some people may not find this an acceptable solution.
- There are issues downloading courses depending on internet connections and also what phone you have. The downloads are incredibly flakey and can take many many retries before the download is successful. I have attempted to download my next French course at least 50 times already. (This is not an exaggeration here. The larger the course, the more unstable the download is I have found). Its failed 4 times in the time I've taken to write this. It is incredibly frustrating.
I am a massive fan of Duolingo, however in my specific case of commuting over 4 hours a day with poor signal, this means I stopped studying languages. At least with Memrise I am back on the languages for many of those hours. Memrise has its issues for sure, but at least when it works, it works brilliantly. If Duolingo offered complete offline support, I'd be back in a heart beat. I've seen comments that offline content would simply be too big. I question those statements for the simple fact that if Memrise can do it, why can't others? Internal storage on phones these days is huge so I don't consider large downloads to be a problem.
Offline downloads are now available with a Duolingo Plus subscription. However, only uncompleted lessons can be downloaded. There is no way to practice completed lessons or practice weak words offline.
A step in the right direction, but I think that even completed courses should be available offline. DuoLingo should let the users decide what they want to download, and not dictate how they should use the app.
Plus, I also do not think it is great that they’re charging to have this functionality. I understand that DuoLingo want to make profit out of the app somehow, but you are really making it difficult for people in developing countries to improve their education. In some countries, they struggle to put food on the table, and paying for DuoLingo Plus would likely be unaffordable or not on their priority list.
Education should be free for all.
Agreed, that completed courses should be available for download with the paid subscription. Having chosen to be a Plus subscriber, I thought that is what I would be getting. It appears I assumed incorrectly.
As one who has taught for a living and studies human behavior, I disagree with the concept that education should be free. Yes, the opportunity needs to be there but having someone demand that I provide my services to them without them needing to compensate me with more than a smile is absurd. Smiles don't buy food nor pay the rent. Also, by investing something that matters to you, and since money is what our society often uses to represent the time we have spent performing our tasks, then we should provide money.
One could easily suggest that those who think education should be free value education very little. The phrase "put your money where your mouth is" is one I apply as I decide where and when I will and will not spend my earnings. Something that matters a lot to me deserves more consideration, time, and likely money.
And, again, yes, if we are paying for a service that offers offline use, then we should get offline use. Anything less is deception in advertising.
IT IS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY IN CAPITALIST AMERICA...I TOO WAS ONCE POOR AND OFTEN IT IS HARD TO SEE WHY WE ARE MERCENARY AND IT IS NOT EASY WHILE BEING POOR. DEMAND YOUR GOVERNMENT PAY IT FOR YOU, GOOD COMMUNIST PLANNING CANNOT CREATE MORE FREE THINGS. EVER! DEMAND CAPITALISM! NOW!