It’s time for another installment of Palm Discovery’s wReview Wednesday!
There are times when you encounter a word that you have never heard of, or have heard it before but are not exactly sure of its meaning. Or perhaps someone has mentioned something to you or you’re reading something and you find a word that you don’t know the meaning of. What do you do? Of course, most of us don’t normally carry a dictionary with us everywhere we go, or do we? Well, if you have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad and do have that with you, all you need to look up a word is your device and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary app installed, of course.
Those days of being stumped or forced to guess words you don’t know or are familiar with are now gone. With the Merriam-Webster Dictionary app installed on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, looking up that word is as simple as turning on your device.
Simply launch the Merriam-Webster app on your device, enter the word and the program will provide you with a list of definitions, synonyms and antonyms, example sentences and much more. Or, you can also speak or pronounce the word and the program powered by Nuance’s speech recognition technology will provide a result. You can also improve and increase your vocabulary with the program’s Word of the Day which showcases a new word each day. And, even if you’re using the iPod Touch or iPad with wi-fi, the program will still work even if you’re offline. Do you know what’s even better about this app? It’s FREE!
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For those who want to skip over all the detailed review and just want a summary, you can jump to the review summary
The program is fairly simple to use and understand. Its clean interface with a search field bar at the top and the clearly indicated Voice Search button makes it very easy to figure out where to input your search. Plus, the Word of the Day is a nice addition, offering you a showcased word to help you increase your vocabulary. And looking up words you’ve previously searched for is a breeze. Simply tap on the Recent button at the bottom and you’re given a list of words you’ve previously looked up. What I like most about the program is its audio word pronunciation playback feature which will play an audio recording of the word. This is what I believe will be very helpful for those who are learning the English language. And, even if you’re not within an accessible wi-fi access point, the program will still be able to run and search for words offline! Wow! These features plus much more are all available for the amazing price of FREE! Yes! FREE! This app is supported by ads and so, it’s available for free.
More details of Merriam-Webster dictionary app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad (taken from Apple iTunes store)
The free Merriam-Webster app brings America’s most useful and respected dictionary to your iPhone.
#1 Free Reference App on the iTunes Store, 1/7/11
In addition to all the definitions from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, the app offers voice search – to let you look up a word without having to spell it – along with synonyms, antonyms, example sentences, Word of the Day, and more.
The app is free, and supported by ads.
* Voice Search
* Synonyms & Antonyms
* Example Sentences
* Audio Pronunciations
* Word of the Day
* Reader View – lets you hide navigation buttons to see text in full screen
* Recent History – lets you keep track of the words you’ve looked up
What’s New in Version 1.0.3
Fixed user-reported bugs and stability issues – thanks for ongoing feedback; changed copyright date
Slideshow of Merriam-Webster Dictionary for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad
Video of Merriam-Webster Dictionary for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad
Easy to use
The program seems very intuitive and easy to figure out how to use. There are field boxes for search entries and the voice search button with the microphone icon is very easy to figure out. The clean interface also makes it very pleasant to use
Originally, I thought that this program can only work with an internet connection and said so in the video but have since determined that it DOES work offline as well. I turned off the wi-fi on my iPod touch and proceeded with a search and the program offered a result. So, the program does support offline mode.
While typing a few letters, the program will automatically come up with a list of word suggestions so that you don’t need to type the entire word. Simply tap on the word you wish to look up and it will do so. Nice feature to limit the time and frustrations of typing the entire word.
Word of the day
A very handy feature to help you increase your vocabulary. There is a Word of the Day button on the bottom bar which showcases a word that you may not necessarily know. Basically, it’s simply providing a regular definitions entry of a word that is showcased as the word of the day.
Audio word playback
A very handy feature of this program is the audio word playback. If available, you can tap on the audio word playback button and you can hear an audio pronunciation of the word. This can be very useful and handy for those learning the English language and even for those who simply wish to hear the pronunciation of a word they may not be familiar with.
Along with a list of definitions for a word, there is also a thesaurus feature with a few synonyms and antonyms provided.
Previous word search history list
You can easily look up a word you’ve previously searched for in the Recent button at the bottom bar and the program will provide you with a list of words you’ve previously looked up. Simply tap on any one and it will display the definitions.
This the feature I personally LOVE. Rather than going through the tedious process of tapping on the virtual keyboard, I can simply say the word and the program will automatically search for it. I love that! To do a voice search, simply tap on the voice search icon at the top right corner and say the word. The program will take a brief moment to determine the word you said and search through its database before displaying the result. I love this feature a lot.
Landscape mode supported
This program also supports landscape mode, which allows a better and bigger rendering of text for those who wish to view programs in landscape mode.
Definition lookup upon tapping of a word
This is a feature that I found while using the program. While viewing the definition of a word, if I tap on any word, the program will automatically search and provide a definition of that particular word I tapped on. Very nice!
Along with the definition of a word, an example sentence or two will be provided for an entry, which helps you with the usage of the word in a sample sentence.
Should you wish to provide feedback to the developers, tapping on the About button at the bottom bar will take you to the About page. If you tap on the Contact Merriam-Webster button, it will automatically compose a new email with the necessary fields filled in. Simply enter your feedback and send off the email.
Definitions page supports pinch and zoom
For those who wish to view a bigger font, the program supports pinch and zoom. While on the definitions page, you can increase the magnification of the page simply by doing the pinch and zoom gesture.
Ad version only. No ad-free version available
This is my biggest dislike of the program. When many programs offer a free ad-supported version, they also offer an alternative paid ad-free version. However, with this program, it is only available in the free ad-based version. I would gladly pay for an ad-free version due to possible privacy concerns.
Word playback available for some words
As much as the program offers an audio word playback feature, I have found that this is only available for some and not all words. This is a slight annoyance as I would prefer that a feature be available for all words.
Pronunciation isn’t very accurate
I am referring to the written pronunciation of a word, you know, the ones that look funny and I personally don’t use myself. Anyway, I do find that for some words, they are missing some pronunciation of a few syllables. This is where I think that the developers need to go through the program to ensure that all entries support all features and not only for some.
No tutorial or write up of features
As much as the program is very simple and intuitive, I would have preferred to have been able to view or read a brief write up of features. For example, I didn’t know about its offline mode support or the auto definition upon tapping of a word support until I found out. I am curious if there are other features I have not found yet.
No bug submit feature
Although I have not experienced any crashes, I would still prefer if a program offers a bug submit feature so that if I experience any issues that I can easily send off a bug report and the developers can address it right away. Unfortunately, there is no such feature.
If you’re looking for a dictionary app for your iPhone or iPad, look no further than the official Merriam-Webster Dictionary for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. This app will provide you with a list of definitions on the search term, an audio playback of the word, antonyms and synonyms, a Word of the Day feature and much more! Plus, it will also work offline, meaning you can still look up a word even if you’re not online. And it’s available for FREE! What are you waiting for? Get the Merriam-Webster Dictionary for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad now and no longer wish you knew what that word meant.
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