The iphone update is terrible.
I've been faithfully using duolingo daily for 90 days now, in the past i have used it on and off for 2 years. I am thoroughly disappointed in the iphone update. The "gem" system is so awful and I hate it. Duolingo is all "Forever Free", then they monetize the app in the most disgusting horrible way. The people responsible have compromised the founding values of the app and website and are deserving of condemnation.
Because they cite binging as the reason instead of treating us like adults. I don't object to ads. I'd pay for a recognized evaluation of my Language skills. But don't treat me like an idiot and expect me to thank you for it. I recommend scoring the app as a one in apple store with a note about health. Then only using the mobile website
"Monetized" and yet, learning language on it is still completely free, it doesn't cost you a dime.
EDIT: I should mention that this service costs them $60,000 a day and it is growing and they still don't charge you for it. They instead offer superfluous things that you can pay for if and only if you want to. I don't see why people demonize them for trying to keep the bills paid so that they can continue providing completely free language education.
They barely show ads and it's not required to buy gems. They have to make money somehow you should be grateful that the actual learning part is free. They could have charged money like Rosetta Stone but they don't. Gems aren't required to learn the target language if you hate the iOS version just use the PC version.
I read the most interesting article, on the web, on another topic, just now.
The article from 19 May this year says (on "Making news valuable for its own sake") that "Once Google had acquired AdSense and Facebook figured out advertising, ... Prices collapsed to the point that today about 80 per cent of advertising dollars end up with Google and Facebook. On some indicators, notably the local Standard Media Index, newspaper advertising, already much diminished, has fallen off a cliff in recent months."
I'm thinking it could be the same on this site, that advertisers suddenly and inexplicably have dried up in recent months and that Duolingo hence need to quickly re-invent themselves in order to keep the current business model buoyant. This could explain the "gem" and "health" innovation which would make the learners want to contribute more themselves to the funding of the site, whilst previously it was enough that the main contributors might have been the advertisers themselves.
My take is that Duolingo either already is or soon will be hosted onto Facebook or Google, (or Wechat etc.) and it's clear -- from Googling! :o) -- that the two giants have by now more or less swallowed the advertising market. Fortune (the magazine) says: "So is the future for media companies simply one of deciding which of two giant walled gardens they wish to build a majority of their business on, or pay rent to? For the moment, at least, that appears to be the case."
So, whether we like it or not, my prediction is that the "health" and "gem" will stay, the old site with the 'lingots' soon to be discontinued, and even sooner we'll notice how we will suddenly feel it's better for us to start using the features of Duolingo as an app inside Facebook (Google, Wechat, etc.) as it is there in all likelihood that all development will take place, probably, whether we like it or not. This is clear from just reading a few articles on how media advertising is going at the moment, "the way the wind blows" so to speak.
Hey my wife had the same problem. The iPhone app was udpated and is now practically un-usable.
But the good news. If you want your old iphone experience back (mostly) with lingots instead of gems, with discussion threads/comments on lessons, and with none of this BS 'health' meter. Open the web browser on your iphone and log into duolingo.com.
And if you really want to show the iOS devs how unhappy these updates make you, rate them 1 star in the app store and uninstall the iphone app, and just do your duo in the browser, and get back to learning non stop.