Duolingo, the free language learning service with a wonderfully simply, but brilliant premise, has finally optimized their iOS app to be fully functional on the iPad. And they haven’t just made the previous iOS app bigger – they’ve added a new sidebar that makes learning languages on the iPad a more immersive experience.
With the new iPad app, Duolingo says that “you’ll have more screen space to browse your skill tree, see friends, and type in answers.” Along with this update, you can now use Duolingo in landscape mode. The coolest new feature for the iPad comes in the form of a new sidebar, however. When accessed, the sidebar will show you all your stats – your points, words learned, and consecutive days used. It’ll also show you the social leaderboard where you can see how you stack up against others in terms of your language learning progress.
After a lengthy beta period, Duolingo first opened to the public back in June of 2012. It’s a deceptively simple process – Duolingo feeds you words and phrases and lets you improve your language skills by translating them back and forth between the new language you’re trying to learn and your native language. Each time you use Duolingo, you are participating in a giant crowdsourced translation of the web.
“Duolingo leverages the brain power of millions of people who are currently learning a new language to help translate the web,” said Luis von Ahn, co-founder of Duolingo at launch. “So much of the web is partitioned off by language barriers. With more than a billion people on the planet learning a new language, I knew this was the ultimate opportunity to not only provide accessible education resources, but also make the internet a truly world wide web.”
Von Ahn told TechCrunch that Duolingo can now boast over 5 million active users and 20% of the app’s traffic came from people using the old iPhone-only app on their iPads – so it was high time that they developed a dedicated iPad app.