I’m sure every school kid knows what it’s like to sit at home on the couch and study vocabulary for an upcoming test. Not only is it boring, annoying, but it also takes a really long time.
I’ve been looking for a good app for vocab training to help keep up with my college classes. The Vocabulary Trainer for GDocs looked promising so I decided to give it a try.
Features & Use
The app itself doesn’t allow you to add vocabulary lists. You have to import the data via Google Docs – which means that you have to export them from your vocabulary program in advance. Personally, I use VTrain (Vocabulary Trainer) 5.0. On my PC, I exported my entire vocabulary list as a .CSV file, created a new spreadsheet with Google Docs, imported my vocabulary – and bingo!
Unfortunately, the app isn’t really easy to figure out at start-up. Things start out with a short intro that’s more confusing than helpful because it’s hard to figure out how to get to the main menu. The secret is: press the Back button!
After that you have to enter your Google account information in the Settings. That really bothered me! I’m not comfortable with sharing my personal Google password with any random app.
Finally, it’s time to import the most important information: your vocabulary lists. Tap “Import new trainer”. The app takes a while to load your vocabulary charts from Google Docs. After that, you can select which specific spreadsheet you would like to open.
A clear and easy-to-use assistant helps you import the correct vocab content. After completing the assistant, you get redirected to the main menu. All the imported flashcards are displayed in a list.
Once you select a flashcard, the following options pop-up:
- Start trainer
- Start with switched sides
- Power Learning
- List-view training
- Status / Progress
- Update from Google Docs
- Trainer Settings
- Delete Trainer
Getting started couldn’t be any simple – just press Start Trainer. The app displays the front of the first flashcard. If your flashcards are for studying a language, you can’t type in a translation to guess the right answer. I actually thought that this made sense because a lot of languages require special keyboards that aren’t available (i.e. Chinese, French accents, Russian). The important thing here is to guess the right answer quickly in your head.
By swiping from right to left uncovers the correct answer on the backside of the flashcard. If you guessed correctly, the card is placed at the bottom of the pile. If you get it wrong, the same flashcard will come again at the top.
Selecting “Start with switched sides” simply switches the front and backsides of your flashcards.
Power Learning means that you have to get a flashcard correct several times in order to make it to the next level.
In all three learning modes, you can activate the auto mode, which allows you to automatically go through all the flashcards. You can adjust the time interval between each card.
In List-view training you can see all your flashcards in a single list.
You can also keep up with how you’re doing by selecting Status/Progress. Here you can see how many flashcards you’ve successfully memorized and adjust the time limits for your study session.
If you want to export your training status, it’s import to do so before refreshing your Google Docs. Otherwise your level status gets wiped – no questions asked!
In Tex-to-Speech you can adjust the language for listening to your flashcards out loud. The app uses whatever TTS is on your phone, which is usually the standard Google version.
Using the Search section, you can look for specific flashcards/vocabulary.
In Preferences you can adjust individual settings for each vocabulary list/training session.
In the General Preferences, you can allow importation of pictures from Picasa to help you with your study cards.
Vocabulary Trainer for GDocs is useful and boasts lots of helpful features. Not the most beautiful apple of the bunch, but definitely worth a look for obsessive studiers.
Screen & Controls
Nothing fancy is an understatement when it comes to Vocabulary Trainer for GDocs – the app is really hideous and boring. Black, white and grey are all the colors you’ll see with this app. Not only is the app depressing to look at, but it stuns your drive and motivation to study for school. You can adjust the colors in the settings, but doesn’t the overall dreary look of the app.
Last but not least: the app is extremely confusing for the average user.
Speed & Stability
Vocabulary Trainer for GDocs runs quickly and reliably. I didn’t experience any speed and performance-related problems.
Vocabulary Trainer for GDocs can be downloaded for free from the AndroidPIT App Center and the Android Market.