New Bunpro Mobile Apps! - v0.2.1+14

Hey Everyone!
We have just released official, in-house Android and iOS mobile apps! :partying_face:


Caveats :warning:

Before diving into the apps, there are just a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • The apps are in what we are considering an Open Alpha.
  • The Android app is currently “In Review”, but you can still get access upon request just DM me or mention that you would like access in the comments.
  • Not all of the site’s functionality is available yet.
  • We plan to continue to add more features and functionality on a weekly or biweekly basis.
  • Our long term goal is for the app to support everything the site does + some things it doesn’t
  • There isn’t an offline mode yet, but it is on the roadmap! :smiley:

Again, we want to iterate that it is early alpha, but that being said we think you will like what you see!


Getting Access :old_key:

Any Bunpro user can download and use the app.

  • For iOS users, you will need to have TestFlight installed and then you will be able to access and download the app via this link: https://testflight.apple.com/join/qWyvzy0e

  • For Android users, you can access the app via the Google Play Store here: https://play.google.com/apps/testing/bunpro.jp.bunpro_srs

    • To get access to the Android app, we need to add your Play Store email to an approved testers list. This will only be the case until it is approved. If you would like access, please reach out via DM or in the comments.

Once you have the app installed, you should see a login screen. You can use your Bunpro login details to log in.


Initial Post

:heart: Current Features & Functionality

Notifications

After logging in, you will prompted to allow the app to send notifications. The current notification we send is an opt in one that lets you set a daily review notification to remind you to study.

The app icon includes a badge (when enabled) to show you your current review count.

app_badge

We have a “New Reviews Due Now” notification that will also be opt in and will be released in a future update.


Dashboard

The first page you will see after login is your Dashboard. The Dashboard offers the following:

  • Your level & XP
  • Your grammar progress for each JLPT level
  • Your current study streak
  • Your last review session
    • Note: This is currently a placeholder.
  • Lesson and Review buttons
    • Note: These currently use a web view. However, we fully intend to implement native reviews in the near future.
  • Recent Community posts that open in your phone’s browser.
  • An SRS breakdown (not visible in the screenshot)

As you can see, I am slacking in my grammar study :sweat_smile:


Grammar Points

You can access all of Bunpro’s JLPT grammar points via the Grammar tab at the bottom of the app.

Once the page opens, you can conveniently swipe between N5, N4, N3, N2, N1. Alternatively, you can click directly on the filter options at the top to switch JLPT level.


Grammar Point Search

The third tab opens a search. The search is almost instant but searches within our metadata, and as a result may or may not return exactly what you are looking for (yet!).

We have plans to beef up the search with filters and wider search parameters to help you find what you are looking for.


Grammar Point Page

Clicking on any grammar structure will open that grammar point. There are three tabs, similar to what you see on the website (Meaning, Examples, Resources).

In the app bar at the top, there is a search icon and also a bookmark icon that will indicate whether the grammar point is bookmarked (red) or not (white border). You can tap it to bookmark or unbookmark that grammar point.

You can click on any tab, or swipe to move between them.

Here is some information about what each tab offers.

  • Meaning

    • Grammar meaning and caution
    • Structure info (with casual formal toggle where applicable)
    • The Bunpro grammar writeup (if the grammar point has one)
      • Within writeups, tapping on kanji will either show or hide the furigana.
    • Context information like word type, part of speech and register
    • Your notes, with the ability to edit them (if you have any) or
    • The ability to create a new note
    • Related grammar (which can be tapped to open)
    • Your review progress (if you have it) and
    • The ability to add a grammar point to your reviews, remove it, reset it or mark it known.

    More screenshots

    Writeups

    Context Info, Notes and Related Grammar

    Review Info & Controls


  • Examples

    • You can see all of the example sentences we have for each grammar point.
      • Within each sentence, tapping on kanji will either show or hide the furigana.
    • Where audio is available, you will be able to tap on the “Play” button and the media player will appear, playing the audio.
    • If you have your Hide English Translations setting on, you will see a “Show English” button that you can tap to show the English and Nuance.

  • Resources

    • Supplemental links that you can tap to open in a browser window.
    • Offline resource references you can use to quickly find grammar in certain books.
    • You can use the checkboxes to track which ones you have read.


Navigation

There is an app sidebar that you can access via the upper left hamburger menu or by swiping from the left when on the dashboard or grammar points page.

Here you can access things like reviews, community, terms of service and privacy pages.

There is additionally a logout option and a gear icon to access your settings.

Finally, at the very bottom there is a version and build number indicator.
This is currently version 0.2.0.

This can be very useful for us when/if you provide feedback, and for you, to make sure you have the latest version installed.


Settings

Accessed via the gear icon in the sidebar navigation, here you have a variety of options to choose from.

Note on Settings:
The settings were redesigned for the app, they won’t exactly match what you see on Bunpro, but they will still have the same impact.

The settings that are currently available are ones that either impact the app, impact the app and reviews or only impact reviews. Here are some examples:

  • Daily Review Notification (Only App)
  • Default Register (Both App and Reviews)
  • Furigana Settings (Hide or Show by default works in both reviews and in the app, Wanikani only works in the app)
  • Font Size (Reviews only)

Some of the settings that give you fine grained control over how you use Bunpro aren’t yet present within the app, but we plan on adding them in the near future. One example would be the listening mode option that hides Japanese for example sentences.


:spiral_notepad: General Notes

Open Alpha
We want to reiterate that the app is in an open alpha. This doesn’t mean it is riddled with bugs (although we do know there are going to be a couple) but rather that the functionality of the app is still in the early stages of development.

That being said, our goal with this alpha release was to make it so that this new app makes using Bunpro on your phone a smooth and seamless experience.

Why Now?
As many of you probably noticed, over the past nine months Bunpro has grown and expanded, in terms of both the team, as well as the types of content we offer.

During this period, our rate of change and growth was a huge factor in not being able to develop an app sooner. We wanted to wait until we had made certain core adjustments and had settled into a firmer outline of exactly what “Bunpro” is before developing the mobile apps.

Why in-house?
To date, the community has created some really great apps (especially when considering that the developers had to make due with the rudimentary APIs we were able to put together at the time).

One of the the primary reasons that we chose to do an inhouse app is that our general philosophy is to put things out there for you guys to use as early as possible. We absolutely value your feedback and input, primarily because that feedback and input allows us to create a better tool to which ultimately helps everyone else learn better.

At the end of the day, we want to be able to release sitewide updates as well as app wide updates at the same time, and then update and improve upon both in tandem, as soon as possible and without having to rely on anything but our own efforts.

Ultimately, we want you to be able to access new features and content via the app, as fast as you could access them via the website.

:mega: Feedback
To everyone who wants to download and start trying the app, we would love to receive any and all feedback you are willing to give!

In general, we are looking for:

  • Bugs
  • Usability issues (both visual and also those related to the ease of use of the app)
  • Suggested features that you would like to see,
  • Suggested changes to the app roadmap to prioritize certain features (see below)
  • and of course just generally your thoughts about the app!

:world_map: Roadmap

This is a tentative, and incomplete roadmap of what we have planned for the app. I have put it in rough chronological and priority order.

  • Next Release

    • Fixes for existing incompatibilities (summary, hide English etc)
    • Improved settings (making more settings available in the app, specifically listening mode and a few others)
    • Review notifications
    • Support for font-size scaling and color blind mode
    • Notifications (similar to those you receive on the site under the bell icon - related to announcements and badges)
  • End of April

    • Dashboard improvements (including charts)
    • Male audio support
    • Better search
    • Reading Passages
    • Improved settings (making more settings available in the app)
    • Vocab + vocab search
  • End of May

    • Vocab and grammar popout on click
    • Tentatively, native reviews (this is very optimistic :joy: )
    • Tentatively, native study for new content (this is also very optimistic :joy: )
  • June and on

    • Decks (pending additional functionally and changes we will be testing in the on site open beta soon)
  • Long-Term

    • Full support for all settings
    • Full support for all features and content on Bunpro
    • Opportunistic loading of content to support offline/low data usage (specifically audio)
    • Offline support for audio, reviews, study etc

As always, our goal is to make your Japanese learning journey a little less painful (and dare I say, a little more fun?). As Bunpro continues to grow and expand in terms of content and functionality, we want the new features and learning materials we offer to be available to you in real time, on whatever device you enjoy using.

Learning Japanese is a long road, and for many, a road that weaves its way into our lives during the brief moments that can be found within ‘regular life’.

When imagining what a future education tool should look like, we believe that a large part of it would be something that supports and utilizes those brief moments.

It’s not about optimizing every minute of the day, but rather about creating even more opportunities to engage in something you’re passionate about, without having to worry about where you are/if you have a connection available.

これからも、よろしくお願い致します。 :bowing_man:


Latest: Version 0.2.0+10

Reviews Due Notification

  • You can now opt into receiving notifications when you have review due. This will only be triggered when you current stack of reviews gets to zero and then more become due.

Notification Messages

  • There is a bell icon with a dropdown menu of recent review notifications, similar to those one the Bunpro website.

Changes

  • Change community posts to use a better method of showing time ago.
  • Add indicator of which grammar points are studied in Grammar and in Search
  • Add support for listening mode
  • Add support for more settings (font size, color blind assistance) still a work in progress.

Bug Fixes

  • search → Dashboard, weird colors
  • Hide Show English issues
  • Last Session data is filler data

Styling

  • Changed size of play buttons and show English buttons.

Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback so far. The app is very much still a work in progress but we have lofty goals for what it can be capable of.

As you continue to use it, any and all feedback you have would be greatly appreciated it :bowing_man:

TL;DR

can-be-better

  1. Get the new app here:
  2. Use your Bunpro login details.
  3. Do your reviews!
  4. ???
  5. Master Japanese!
60 Likes

Looking good! We’ve been waiting forever for this :rofl:
I just became one of your first downloaders. I’ll send feedback as and when, and keep using it as much as possible. Cheers!

3 Likes

お待たせしました :bowing_man:

5 Likes

Is it going to yell at you all the time like the stupid duolingo duck? >:c

Also, warning I am very dumb, I tried clicking the link on my phone and it takes me to google store thing but it just shows me a sleeping satellite and says try again. So I don’t think I can download it until it comes out of review

6 Likes

No ducks, but we could put some in there if you’d like :joy:

I can add your email to our internal testing list and that would give you access to the same build. I honestly don’t know how long it will take google to approve it. :man_shrugging:

5 Likes

Nope! Good things come to those who wait

3 Likes

Is this distinct from the current beta app? Is this a separate built than the one I am currently under?

2 Likes

Yeah, it is completely different.

It has similar-ish, but expanded functionality to the existing apps.

6 Likes

Understood, will start testing ASAP

3 Likes

Just downloaded it on iOS (iPhone 7).

What happens after the 88 days?

3 Likes

can I get the url for the android version?

The links shows not found.

4 Likes

Builds distributed by TestFlight are only valid for 90 days, so before then another build would have to be uploaded for us all to download.

(I’m an iOS developer)

5 Likes

@evandcs Send me or Jake your Google Play Store email through a DM so that we can add you to the Tester list! Right now it’s not yet publicly available, that’s why the link isn’t working.

5 Likes

Some design notes on this release:

Translating our website into an app is a very interesting and fun challenge. There are some use cases unique to a mobile app that our website can’t solve. (Yet!)

One of those use cases is what I like to call the “On-The-Go Grammar Dictionary”. I believe being able to search and quickly remember/study/add to your reviews any grammar you find in the wild is a super powerful aspect of Bunpro, allowing for less time grinding and more time learning. We wanted this design to reflect that, that’s why Search is one of the main parts of the navigation.

Building the app from scratch provides a fresh place to rethink what’s already in Bunpro, and test new ideas to make it better. For example, our approach to our (for lack of a better term) unkempt Settings and their clarity, how to best approach the Content menu and Decks in the future, our new styling born from our time with the landing page, to name a few. Also, by allowing us to make a truly mobile-first experience, we can forego lots of the growing pains of responsive design.

I hope this alpha period allows all of us to create polish the app into something that will truly help us simplify Japanese grammar. Like always, please let us know your thoughts!

7 Likes

I am a bit confused. There already is an official BunPro App for android that I have been using for a couple months. Will this replace the old one?

5 Likes

@Fabi02 Yes! That app was developed a long time ago, and its codebase didn’t allow us to expand on it easily. It’ll still be available for a while, but the idea is to replace that app with the new one.

10 Likes

Nice to see the app out. I doubt i will use it much untill there is the ability to do offline review but ill download it when its been reviewed by google and hopefully it will suprise me. Keep up the good work :grinning:

4 Likes

Could I get access to the Android app? @Jake

My play store email is the same as the one on file here.

4 Likes

@Jake @Daru Can I get access to the android version please?

Now that I started working again it would be extremely handy, and as always I’d love to betatest new features.

Thanks in advance.

5 Likes

Thanks, first time using Test Flight.

5 Likes