Suggestion: Duolingo (/TinyCards) for Wearables (Smartwatches)

As computers are getting faster and more powerful, they are also getting smaller. This has opened up the market of "wearables". The most notable type of wearable computer being the Smartwatch.

Smartwatches are growing more and more capable and are becoming quite advanced. The most well known and popular smartwatches are Android or Apple Watches.

These devices are making everyday processes easier and more efficient. However, there aren't many third-party apps for these devices as of yet, so it's hard to find ways to help your language learning endeavours. I think it would be a great way to improve a language as these devices are so quickly and easily accessible. It's learning at a glance.

Now, you may be asking yourself, "how could one possibly use Duolingo on such a small screen?" Obviously, that would be extremely difficult. But the watch face just so happens to be the perfect size for flashcards! In fact, I'd be much more likely to use flashcards on my Apple Watch than my iPhone.

The design and development would be very simple. You could tap on a card to show the other side and swipe to reveal the next card. A button could be available to mark a card as "learned" so it isn't shown again.

The most popular smartwatches are made for Android and Apple devices, devices that Duolingo and TinyCards already support. A simple update of these apps for smartwatch compatibility would be amazing.

Just food for thought, thanks for reading!


April 17, 2017


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I think that's a good idea...but I don't have an Apple watch. :(

April 17, 2017

Thanks! Hopefully, you'll get one soon. :)

I just hope the platform isn't overlooked just because not as many people have them yet.

Thanks for the info, I wasn't aware they had tried it before. However, it seems this was done around 2014. That's right when the modern smartwatches were just coming out. They have been greatly improved since then. There are many more smartwatch-users now. In fact, Apple is the number 2 watchmaker in the world, only beaten by Rolex.

I would love the app from the youtube video you've linked, I would probably use it every day. It's a shame it was removed, and the explanation given doesn't make that much sense to me. The size of the app was bigger. So it would only use more data when downloading the app for the first time, not when using the app. There are apps a lot bigger than Duolingo, much more than just a few MBs. Many people use their home WiFi networks when downloading larger files anyway.

Now what you've shared about the Google Glass is interesting. Though I personally think it would be less useful and convenient than a watch interface.

Also note, this all happened before TinyCards. With the introduction of TinyCards, we can see that Duolingo is showing interest in, and a lot of focus on flashcards. TinyCards also allows you to learn things other than languages, this means it would appeal to a larger audience.

I think it was the low number of active users that has put Duolingo off the idea.

Later in in the same AMA, he again quotes number of users, but this time in relation to wasted development effort. So number of users is the important bit. If smartwatches become ubiquitous, perhaps they will have another go.

I think that's exactly what it is. The smartwatch platform definitely does not have the same number of users as smartphones and web. So I understand why they would choose not to go the route from a business perspective. Though there's a lot more smartwatch users now in comparison to when Duo tested it, it's still a relatively low number.

They even talked about bringing Duo to the Amazon Echo once enough people have it. So I guess the only hope for a smartwatch app is, as you suggested when the number of smartwatch users grows to a substantial amount.

It would just be easier to do now that they have a standalone app dedicated to Flashcards, I can't imagine it would be too difficult to push flashcards to the watch from the app.

Mondly even has Apple Watch support, on which you can do exercises. And there are other flashcard apps for the watches, I just want to be able to access the sets on TinyCards without remaking all the cards in a different app.

I have Quizlet flash cards on my Pebble (but this is a discontinued brand now) watch.

But never use it because a mobile telephone is much more convenient and the watch version could not load large sets of Quizlet language data (e.g. 2000 words).

I'm somewhat familiar with the Pebble watches. I think we've come a long way in the smartwatch industry and the modern smartwatches are much more capable than the Pebble. It's cool you were able to use flashcards on your watch. I think on an Apple Watch or Android Wear it would not have any problems loading full datasets. These watches are quite advanced now.

If I were able to just swipe on my wrist and view a deck of flashcards from my TinyCards account, I'd review my vocab much more often. Be it on the bus, sofa or at a desk, if it's more convenient, I'm more likely to do it regularly. After all, that's what smartwatches are for, convenience. Quizlet doesn't currently offer an Apple Watch app either. If they eventually do, I may start using them.
  • The Pebble quizlet app was developed by a 3rd party developer:

so not from Quizlet itself.

  • Quizlet offers APIs though, so developers can use it.

E.g. as a side note the FlashcardsDeLuxe developer uses this Quizlet APIs to import cards into his iPhone and Android flash card app.

So if this is still valid, you have a solution there to your question. Because you can e.g. create or get Anki flash cards, e.g. import or get them from Duolingo courses or write the flash cards (e.g. using Comma Separated Value (CSV) files) yourself.

So for Android Wear (e.g. Samsung or Google...), download this app to your watch:

and here as a side note is the Anki website:

and as a side note here is the original Anki app for Android (e.g. to put on your mobile telephone:

One can further not export Duolingo TinyCard flash card sets automatically, so one has to use other sources or write it yourself into Anki.

So current conclusion, it looks like not only food for thought, but actually already existing.

I'm developing a TinyCards pebble app if you're interested. I started today, and its all C so I'll probably be done by the weekend depending on how much other work I have.

Please let us know when it is ready for testing. Thanks.

What it can do as of May 1st (not much).

Loads deck one of English -> Spanish tinycards Color/b support can browse up and down the cards. Middle button to flip card, also displays images.

This is a very very early prototype, it is really really unready, but if you want to contribute, I got a laundry list of To-Dos


Memory management! Havnt had to write production apps in C in a while, so I need to deal with that a whole lot better, including loading in different sized decks, or potentially offloading more to the javascript.

View to choose your deck, keeping track of chosen decks

Animations for side flips Quirky added in animations?

Testing to see how my heroku server does with different images, also adding autolevel and configuring dithering which in my tests seemed to make things better, also need to implement caching if scaling ever begins to be an issue. (using node.js and imagemagick but open to suggestions)

Other data types?

Testing mode/ multiple choice quiz mode Changing default side

Adding a options panel in general on pebble Log-in information to pull up your info Any other options

Getting it ready to be pebble store published

General UI/UX improvements

QA Testing and Unit Tests!!!

OK, great. Let us see how it goes.

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