Coach forcefully activated - not nice
Until now I had purposely avoided turning on the coach. I don't need it and I don't want it. After installing Duo on a new Android phone, it forced me to choose a goal before using the app. But unlike the iOS version that I was previously using, this setting carries onto the web interface too. So now I'm stuck with this nasty clippy look-alike. I know I can turn it down to 1xp per day - but just as easily the developers could allow us to disable it. They just don't want to. Why they won't do this is beyond me.
Just a warning in case you intend to install Duo on an Android phone and hate the thing as much as I do.
"But just as easily the developers could allow us to disable it. They just don't want to. Why they won't do this is beyond me."
As you mentioned, you can turn it down to 1x and it's nearly the same as it was before. I understand the frustration at the change: there were parts I wasn't crazy about, too.
But you're incorrect to say that the developers could "just as easily" give you the choice and that "they just don't want to."
Supporting multiple interfaces, sets of features, etc. for users to choose between takes a lot more time than just supporting one. That's 2x (or more) opportunities for bugs, 2x (or more) places that you have to update when something has to change, and 2x (or more) places that need to be supported when new languages come on board.
And now think about all the changes that Duolingo has made that some people liked and some people didn't. Most people eventually got used to these changes. If Duolingo decided they were going to give users the choice between the old and the new forever you've got 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 .... different variations. Responding to a bug report would be near impossible!
So, yeah, I agree with you that there are some improvements Duolingo can make with the new interface, but I disagree that they could just let us have an option to keep the old one. Doing that would keep them from giving us new features that are really useful.
The thing with the coach is, they already support two interfaces and will continue to do so until everyone is forced to choose a goal or the coach is removed entirely. Coach isn't like the hearts where it's one-for-all. It is (for whatever reason) a one-way-optional feature, you can choose to use it (as long as you don't use the Android app) but you can't choose to stop using it.
They already have the option implemented for not showing the coach unless it is enabled. They just have to add an option to allow the user to revert it to its previous state. They already have to support users with the non-coach interface.
That's what makes it more difficult to understand - if there was a single, unified interface for all users. But there isn't. You can happily live without the coach unless you turn it on by mistake. Then there's no turning back.
So, let me rephrase: "they don't want to" = "it is a design decision". I'm sorry, but this is what it looks like to me.
I completely agree. I have noticed over the last two, or so, years that I've been doing DL that they will force "improvements" on us only to roll them back when there's enough negative feedback. At one point the started giving less that 10XP for lessons the algorithm didn't think you needed to do. That seems to have been rolled back, since I haven't gotten less that 10XP for a lesson in quite a while. Then they decided to stop giving lingots for 10x streak milestones, some nonsense about "lingot inflation", they walked that one back pretty quickly. Unfortunately they seem to be holding hard on this one. I was just forced to enable the coach yesterday, 31Dec15, when I loaded the app onto my new android phone. Maybe if we keep up the negative noise about the vile thing . . .
There is a way to disable it by changing a setting in a script. I read about it in a thread somewhere. Sorry I don't remember which thread. I would have paid more attention but as I never activated it it didn't directly concern me. Thanks for the warning about the app though. I had been considering putting the android app on my kindle to get the newer languages as the kindle app doesn't have them.