App vs Website; Duolingo
So I've been using Duolingo for android on my phone for a few months now. A few days ago, I got a laptop, and started using it online. I'm probably going to only use the app from now on, except for discussions and labs. There are a lot of futures on one, that is not on the other. For example, I could set my app to another language and go back and forth between English and the other language if I wanted to. On here it seems as if I'm only able to use it in English. On the app, I have access to my club, here, there is no way to even see it. Here, when doing a lesson, it presented pictures for a word I was learning, and asked for a translation, and there was no way to see the translation. (for example, it showed pictures of the ocean and asked for a translation of "the sea" but it was as if I was expected to look it up elsewhere. It was not conducive to actually learning it from this site at all.) However, here, I have access to labs, discussion, and a bank of all of the words I have learned.
Seems like you haven't found some of the features of the website. ;)
You can add other languages on here as well, just hover over your flag go to "add a new course" and then chose another base language via the "i speak" dropdown. After that you can change the language once you hover over the flag next to your profile picture. It doesn't work on the discussion page yet (the website recently had a rewrite and the forums are not done yet), but works everywhere else.
You can also see translations during exercises by hovering over the word in a sentence. With picture exercises though it won't get repeated if you learned it already according to the lessons you did. You can skip the exercise though and get the answer that way.
Clubs are really not on the web yet and I miss that feature and that's one reason for me to check the app, they are kind of motivating.
All in all I prefer the website though, because the exercises involve a lot more typing, so I actually need to remember the words and not just recognize them. I think it also helps getting a better grasp on grammar, the tips and notes sections also help. Maybe some can profit more by it, but to me the app teaches reading comprehension and the website reading and writing.
Personally, I think the best tact with Duolingo is to think of the website as the primary source of learning and the app as the secondary "on the road" source of learning. I say this because the (full) website gives the "hints and tips" notes, which I think are highly important. And you also have access to the full set of discussions. In the Android version of the app you cannot create or view discussions, only participate in existing discussions related to individual lessons.
I've noticed that since the recent website update that the discussion section disappears when in viewed on a mobile device but can be made to reappear if you request the full site. Which I find quite annoying to say the least.
I really wish Duolingo would get their various platforms better aligned; Android, iOS, Windows and of course the website itself. From reading other discussions on Duolingo, it obvious that there are different facilities available according to which platform you happen to access Duolingo on. And let's not even go down the "gems" route, that seems to be very unpopular indeed. I access Duolingo via the app on my Android tablet and Chrome on my smartphone and PC. And on all three devices, there are subtle differences. And if I compare to my friends iPhone, there are more differences again...
I agree it's frustrating that there's sort of 2 different versions of duo, and a seemingly confused and bloated roadmap, but it is what it is - for now it's best to use both the desktop and the app imho.
For example, on the app I was totally lost when I got to the Possessive skill for Norwegian as the three forms vary by gender and number. As the app doesn't have lesson notes, I was really confused until I got home and checked the desktop. When I'm first learning a skill I usually like the health system and the word matching of the app, then I practice it on the desktop.
So for me, I tend to read the lesson on the website, do the work on the phone then come back.
It's not a smooth workflow, but it's making the best of a bad situation for me. But, I mean, it is free, so can't complain too much - apps with far less cost like $90/yr!
See, I had noticed that I had lesson notes whenever I first started Spanish, but they eventually just disappeared. I thought that was pretty odd. I think maybe the developers are just unsure of what layout and features they really want with this project. However, it is still a very useful tool and I will definitely continue to use it for more languages in the future.