https://www.duolingo.com/BLRT2000

Health and Gems in Android

I opened my Duolingo app from my Android phone, only to find that my lingots had turned...blue?...and that the Health icon had been placed on the bottom of the screen (along with the clubs,lingot store,etc). It has happened, guys. This was bound to happen eventually but it's weird that we now can't be safe from it in the Android app. Does every Android user have Health and Gems now? If you do, what do you think about them? I have tried them before through a friend's iPhone and I obviously did not like these new features at all (I liked the bots though). It's kind of upsetting to see, but I'm trying really hard not to be negative about it. Health and Gems, huh... EDIT (September 1st 2017): I no longer have Health and Gems. I'm back to having lingots. It appears to have been a bug, which has now been fixed.

August 31, 2017

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Davesmason

My Android app switched to health a few days ago, without an update, then switched back, without an update. As of this morning, it has switched to health again.

Though the community seems split on this, the impression I get is that people either dislike it or they have learned to live with it.

Personally, I don't see any advantage in forcing people to learn in specific ways. The intention is probably to make sure people review their material and actually learn it, rather than rush through it. But forcibly locking away new content is not the way to achieve this. It should be fairly obvious to anyone actually intending to learn their content that they need to review, and many of us do already - by choice.

I hope the system is reverted, but given that gem values in the web store have been increased today, I assume that it will be spreading across all platforms. A shame.

August 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BLRT2000

Right? I would know if it was updated because I actually pulled an all nighter, and I was on my phone the whole time. Plus, I've arranged it so my apps can't update without my permission, so this is very odd.

I've seen people quit Duolingo because of this. I personally think it's limiting and quite counter-intuitive because duolingo kind of throws you into lessons and it teaches you X language mostly through trial and error. I do new lessons and review old ones afterwards almost immediately, but that's just the way I do things. Why should other people be punished for doing things differently?

They say that it's for our own good but I highly doubt that. Just seems like they're trying to get people to spend more money on the gems. I understand that they have to put business first and everything, but this just seems ridiculous. Well we do still have the web...for now at least.

August 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Davesmason

The lack of update was all very odd. It does give me hope that if a switch was flicked on Duo's end, it could be flicked back. But I suspect that this system is probably here to stay, given that some of the web Lingot store prices have started changing to levels more appropriate for the gem system.

The frustrating thing is that I agree with the intention - that is, encouraging people to actually learn and review material and discouraging people who want to race through trees as a game. But the implementation feels unnecessarily punishing to those who were learning and reviewing in their own way anyway.

I won't quit over it, but I will make some changes. There are user-created Memrise courses that follow the Duolingo skill trees - I am working through the German one at the same time as Duo's German tree. I'll likely complete that first and Duo second from now on, to work with the new system.

August 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/pentaan

> The lack of update was all very odd

It is not an update of the App. This kind of A/B tests are only in the people's account.

August 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BLRT2000

They keep pushing it despite the overwhelmingly negative response. I think that the feature being here to stay is definitely not an unlikely assumption to make.

But why is it mandatory to not race through the tree? Granted, I've never done it, nor do I intend to, and I think it's an ineffective way to learn a language, but that is just me. Plus, whoever is rushing through the tree probably isn't super serious about the language. Most trees are pretty short anyways. I've heard of people doing it just to give their brains some exercise.

That's saying something haha! Memrise can get extremely repetitive, but that's sometimes for the best. This still unresolved issue gets increasingly perplexing with time, especially since duo staff isn't really communicating with us or answering our questions.

August 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Davesmason

I can understand why they might want to prevent people from treating the language trees like a game that can be speed-ran, but it boils down to giving people choice. At the moment, people can treat them how they like, and with this new update, they can't. I completely agree that this is a shame.

Memrise can get repetitive, definitely. I tend to go through the vocab-heavy modules and use it as a way of reinforcing bulk amounts of vocabulary (and gender!) at once.

August 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BLRT2000

This morning, it switched back to lingots and the Health was gone. Who knows what's going on.

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis

Health and gems were added to Android a while ago as a small test with only new users. The conversion(s) you experienced was due to a bug, which ironically was introduced when we deployed code to stop converting older users on iOS to health and gems. This bug has since been fixed, so you should be back to only having lingots.

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BLRT2000

Yes. I uninstalled and reinstalled the app just to be safe. I now no longer have Health and Gems, and I'm back to lingots. I apologize if I overreacted, but it happened so suddenly that I felt the need to hear feedback from other people.

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rhabarberbarbara

I don't have it (yet). Hopefully it stays like that for a while longer.

August 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3

Which "version" of Health do you have?

Over time I have seen at least three (not sure if they are all still out there or not):

  1. Can only regain health (barring purchase or waiting) by doing the review lesson assigned through the Health interface; can lose health in any lesson (as opposed to review), even those completed previously
  2. Can regain health (barring purchase or waiting) by doing any review lesson you've unlocked; can lose health in any lesson (as opposed to review), even those completed previously
  3. Can regain health (barring purchase or waiting) by doing any review lesson you've unlocked; do not lose health when redoing lessons completed previously

At last check I have version 3. Obviously, it's a much less obtrusive experience than version 1 (the change to version 2 was probably the bigger step forward, although I personally happen to be a heavy re-doer of lessons), which I had at first.

August 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BLRT2000

I appear to have had version two. I had to uninstall the app for the night, but when i reinstalled in and logged in, the health feature was totally gone. I now have lingots and Health is nowhere to be seen. Weird.

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3

It seems weird things have been afoot of late. I had streak freezes costing 200 lingots (yes lingots, not gems) and wasn't able to follow anybody new for most of yesterday. Both things have now reverted to prior functionality.

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BLRT2000

I heard of that. I have special skills costing 100. Well, if they're testing stuff to figure out what works, I think that's a good sign. I recently heard of an A/B test in which some people were able to compose their own comments in clubs, and some weren't.

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Qiunnn

I don't mind it personally, it is very easy to just go through the tree in a few days and not learn anything at all but this kind of forces me to go back a review the stuff so I know that I am actually at the level shown on the tree

August 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BLRT2000

I guess it does prevent those kind of people who go down a tree as fast as they can from doing that exact thing so that they can retain the knowledge, but...should it? I mean, why can't they just go down a tree asap, just to get the gist of a language? Most of them aren't in it to actually learn a new language anyways. It seems a bit limiting is all I'm saying. And the lingot to gem conversion isn't that good(I don't even think it's converted). Granted, I don't need over 250 lingots but it's so reassuring to have them there just in case I KNOW I will miss a day or a week or even a month. Whereas I only have 600 gems, and a single streak freeze is 200 gems. I could buy 3 streak freezes now, but before I could buy around 25. I'll be using the web version for that now, but it's still concerning.

August 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Qiunnn

I guess but you get like 80 gems for finishing a skill so you would only need to do 3 skills and you can get more for reaching the daily goal. I get bored of the lingots because I have almost 2000 now its literally nothing to do with them , atleast on the gems I feel like I have something to work towards that I can actually use

August 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/FionaC12

Came as a total surprise to me today. Never heard of it before! Not sure about it yet.

August 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/FionaC12

So, like many others it seems, the health thing and the gems have disappeared from my app. It's all a mystery to me!

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/satishvc

Are the gems still transferable between users? I hope not, just so it will put an end to the stupid lingot-begging idiots on here.

August 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Chilari

I don't want to open my app now. I heard about this earlier today and decided to use the desktop version to practice today. I know lingots aren't really useful for anything, but I like seeing the number tick up; it's another way to track progress. I don't want to convert months' worth of lingots into a number of gems that can be earned in a week or two and can't buy much if I wanted to.

August 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Davesmason

In all fairness to Duo, you do earn the new gems in exactly the same way, and at a rate that's adjusted to the new prices. The issue that most people have is to do with the health bars limiting their access to new content.

August 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BLRT2000

It switched back to lingots for me. Maybe my account is just weird and glitchy like that. Did you hear of other people experiencing this?

September 1, 2017
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