App Reviews are Falling
In case you didn't notice, Duo's ratings have fallen. You seem to want to lose some or all of the 1.5 million people who used to love Duolingo. Too bad. In reviewing the threads and reviews it seems the biggest complaint is the "health" system, followed closely by the money grab via "gems." Most don't appear to mind the ads, especially if they remain click-through. I also suspect that longtime Duolingo users (like me) are missing the Translation business which is what got us hooked on Duo to begin with and was Duo's primary purpose. It also seems that your new system unfairly punishes mobile Apple users because the Android and web community are less affected. Please fix your system and reduce costs before you lose the the very purpose that your started Duolingo for. For myself, I am discouraged currently from using Duolingo to learn new material. I am only hanging on now, in hopes that the program will be updated quickly to fix all the inconsistencies and bugs that started with health and gems. Good luck.
You say you're discouraged: here's some encouragement.
If you use the web version, there are lots of useful grammar and cultural tips and notes before each lesson which aren't present on the app. The lessons also feature a lot more translation than useless 'rearrange the word' puzzles. Give it a go- it's far superior to the app.
And of course, no health or gems. :)
"the Translation business which is what got us hooked on Duo to begin with and was Duo's primary purpose"
Duo's primary purpose remains the same- to teach languages. Immersion was originally intended as a means of making money through crowdsourced translations in order to keep the language learning free.
That's not what I recall from the TED talk. The crowd-sourced translation was what got me interested and it's been a blast. It is still a decent program, don't get me wrong, but the recent changes are horrible and we want them to hear us and fix them. Know all about the web version and like it, but we can't always browse. That's why we have the app. The idea is to create good habits by learning every day. My hope is that Luis will see the complaints and get the iOS app fixed pronto. Thus, this thread.
Whatever big change is done, people will initially dislike it. People are change averse.
Even if the change is for the good, there will still be complaints.
It also seems that your new system unfairly punishes mobile Apple users because the Android and web community are less affected.
They always first launch on Apple... I didn't hear you complain about releasing other things on iOS first. Thus the "unfairly punishes" is BS.
I haven't been exposed to the gems and health system thus I can't say all too much about it's quality. I do like the underlying idea. But the biggest gripe I'd have with it is that they didn't include an improved reviewing system and that they didn't immediately include some new, valuable uses of gems. If it had immediately included some additional features for gems people might recognize it's value more easily, now the gems seem like a change without any value. While I'm confident that in the future new features will be added to be bought with gems.
Okay so maybe you dint get the memo: all your lingots go away.
I could have renamed the discussion thread "iOS app or iTunes app reviews are falling". The whole reason I posted this thread is that the duo folks don't seem to be paying attention to the issues posted by iOS app users who a very disgusted with the downgrades to the program. If you have not been exposed to "health" and "gems" please stay off the thread.
We too want (and have suggested) better uses for the rewards we "earn" but this newer iOS app experiment is very bad. Let's see a better update. How about more Immersion?
And Duolingo will be able to tell this from usage data, not complaints in the forum or protests in the app reviews.
If people actually stop using Duolingo (and I don't mean moving to the web) then they will probably reconsider, otherwise they may well just ignore all the noise.
I'd be really curious about how many of those 150 million accounts have an hour of use every week. I suspect it's less than a quarter of that number. Granted that's still a lot but I think it's momentum from what Duo was not gains from the new Duo. Time will tell. I'm certainly glad Duo did iOS health first because when it reaches my Android I'm done. I'd like to see level 25 in my reverse tree but I'm not doing health.
Based on the comments, I should be more clear: This is an open letter/discussion about the iOS app to Luis and the Duolingo team. Seems they are not getting the message that the "health" and "gems" experiment on iOS is not well received. Some of us will continue to use the app b/c we don't want to lose our streak (or we have friendly competitions going on). However, I wanted it clear that we would like to have immersions and other features, not the track they currently are pushing. Okay, folks: help me ask for what we want!
I agree the glitches on gems and the penalties for wrong answers which negatively impact your "health" Are frustrating. I had to take a break from working on my languages and was so sad, that immersion was gone when I came back. I first heard about Duolingo, also from the TED radio hour. I Recall from that program that Duolingo's "mission" was actually to translate the Web, using big data techniques to facilitate better accuracy. I understand if the mission has changed, but then it' no longer, to me, has that special difference of not just learning or increasing language skills, but helping on a group project.