Health Meter? Why?
I finally convinced my husband to give Duolingo a try for his upcoming trip to France, and when he downloaded it, he got an app version with this horrible, demotivating health meter that sapped his enjoyment and led him to just download an offline translator and FORGET ABOUT LEARNING FRENCH.
So I head to the forums to see what's up. All I see is angry posts from a year ago, and then a few saying Duolingo is "finally listening to users and phasing it out". So why is it still there? What in the world good does this do on a learning game? This isn't grow a dragon or some other juvenile diversion, this is enriching, life changing learning. My kid's algebra game doesn't kick him out for wrong answers. Obvious. Jeez.
I'm so very disappointed.
I agree with the health meter being a real enjoyment killer. It doesn't make any sense to kick you out of a lesson when you are trying to learn what the lesson is trying to teach you. How else are you supposed to improve if you aren't allowed to learn from your mistakes? A better model may be to allow users to at least finish the level they are having problems with but then not marking that level as complete. At least in this way they could let the level sink in a bit more instead of just throwing them out of the level before they have a chance to learn.
I don't believe this affects all new accounts, so make an account on the web (it is not necessary to enter a real e-mail address), then log in on the app to see if it has health. If it does, rinse and repeat. Once you have an account without health you can edit the e-mail address to a real one and verify it.
Also, make sure you have the latest version of the app. I have heard Android is significantly different than iOS too. I never use the app - they don't even have Latin on it. Just open a browser on your device and use the platform.