Difference between health/gems?
Four of us are using duolingo on our iPhones/ipods. Two of us have health which gets lost if you make a mistake, and two of us don't. Why is that? All our apps are up to date.
Welcome to DuoLingo's A/B testing.
You have to know Katherine, that IOS (app) is their favourite testing playground.
If you want consistency with learning, stop using the app and start using the website. You get a better learning experience, no health, and grammar notes.
On-top you get with the more powerful web portal Italian audio for right hand translations from English (EN-IT) or German (DE-IT) and multiple choice, even for normal forward trees.
You just have to install Camilo's user script "DuoLingo tree enhancer".
Not sure if it applies to your case, but certain language courses on the app remain within the old user interface that doesn't have the health bars, and still shows lingots instead of gems in the Lingot Shop. I know that Japanese and Korean (which are still in beta phase) are two such courses, but I don't know about other languages, and I'm not sure if it has to do with the course being in beta.
Duolingo is constantly doing so-called A/B tests in the learners' accounts. Duolingo's staff is testing "which teaching method gives the best result in the App"
- the punishing "Health/gems" method
- or the "learning by making many mistakes" method.
Two of you are in the A-group and the other two in the B-group.
However, Duolingo's web version (www.duolingo.com):
has a much better teaching method than the App
("mostly typing words" versus "mostly tapping on predefined words")
has (in many of the courses) grammar "Tips and notes" on the bottom of the lessons web page of each skill, that introduces new grammar IF your browser is set in "Desktop mode".
Personally, I prefer to use:
the App for the "speaking exercises in the microphone".
Because Duolingo's web version has many issues using the microphone in a browser.
www.duolingo.com in the Firefox or Chrome browser of a phone or tablet for exercising my writing skills, when I have a rather good Wifi (or LTE/4G in an internet bundle)
You can set these browsers in "Desktop mode" via the three dots in the upper right corner of the browser.
Note: In some iPhones with a small screen this is not possible.