Brought to you by the people who made Duolingo (the ever popular language source taught to you by a green space owl), comes Tinycards. They're flashcards for your phone (or other iOS device). When opening the app you are immediately prompted to sign in with your Duolingo account, so if you already have one of those it saves you some sign-up time. You get to choose if you are a student, teacher, or neither. Then a few flashcard makers to follow: Duolingo, TinyHistory, TinyGeo, Chineasy, and TinyScience. Are you a polyglot? Then this is definitely the flashcard app for you.
For the rest of us Japan-centric learners, Duolingo has a single set of cards made for Japanese learners that teaches Hiragana. You're presented with a few cards, which you can tap to flip over and swipe to move on. Then you're presented with a small multiple choice quiz that prompts you with a happy face and soft "good job" blip when you do so correctly. As you learn more, they change how quizzes are presented. Type in the answer and choose the hiragana, as opposed to the English equivalent. Each subsequent correct answer rewards you with a happier card face, color, and sound. It's pretty satisfying. The incorrect color/sound isn't overtly negative either – it's a simple greyed-out shake (which will be nice for those of you who have negative reactions to equally negative feedback loops).
Each subsequent correct answer rewards you with you a happier card face…It's pretty satisfying.
You can look at cards ahead of time, practice before starting anything new, and download hundreds of other card decks made by users. Though the hiragana cards are the only official set made by Duolingo, they're simple and easy. The other sets are hit or miss and content creators could do with a bit of editing (remember, flashcards teach best with small, manageable amounts of content). As long as you take the community-curated content with a grain of salt, this is a nice, cute app to study from or to pass the time.