This month, the roundup covers three changes that chip away some features to make way for an overall improved product and learning experience. Sometimes, less is more. Let’s get to it.
We’ve recently been reviewing some of our official courses. When it was time to go through Arabic, we acknowledged the courses are not quite on par with the other languages we offer. They include literal translations, high-quality audio and video clips recorded by native speakers and, most importantly, teach words and phrases that people really use in daily life. The Arabic courses don't quite yet fit that bill, so, we’ve made the decision of unlisting them. This doesn’t mean we’re deleting them - if you are learning one of them, don’t worry. We’re just limiting access for now. You can go here for more details.
Lip-syncing no more
The iOS app’s Pronunciation sessions included a bonus “round” where you could lip-sync your voice to match a native speaker video clip. Sounds cool, right? Thing is, it wasn’t clear it wasn’t a test, just something fun to do. And we need to do some work on making it actually fun to use. So, we’ve taken it out until we find a better way of giving you that same feeling of sounding like a local.
Red notification badges can be really useful, and they can also make you well, see red. We believe that constant practice is key to success in language learning, which is why we have features like learning reminders. We also had one of those red badges that stick to the corner of apps, letting you know there’s something new for you. We’ve recently removed it in the iOS app - we realise that it can both prompt you to come back or make you feel really stressed about not coming back. Tricky one, right? We’re thinking about how to improve this part.