An app claiming to be "a better way to learn the Japanese language" popped up for iOS this month, called Kanso (簡素), meaning "simplicity."
The app is definitely simple. It teaches a few basics, like hiragana, katakana, and some vocabulary. The teaching style is similar to Duolingo and LingoDeer, but it lacks any pronunciation audio. The keyboard automatically switches between Japanese and English based on what it's asking, which is nice. But there is considerable lag when waiting for answers to be accepted. If you go too fast, like I did, then it throws a bunch of "correct" messages at the top of the main page for a while.
The app is definitely simple. It teaches a few basics, like hiragana, katakana, and some vocabulary. The teaching style is similar to Duolingo and LingoDeer, but it lacks any pronunciation audio.
There is no indication as to when you've finished a lesson, how well you did, or even that you completed it. And everything beyond hiragana and a few greetings is blocked behind a paywall of $1.99 a month.
Another issue I noticed, other than the attempted cash grab, is that there are spaces between Japanese words, which is a huge no-no.
Kanso lives up to its name, at least. This app is extremely simple and it doesn't have much to offer yet.
Again, this is a very new app so there's room for improvement. The first, much-needed improvement is teaching something meaningful before asking for payment. That way, users can get a sense of what Kanso offers before getting locked into a monthly bill.
There also seems to be more work put into the documentation that protects Kanso's rights than there is on the quality of teaching, which is disheartening.