Feature Request: Apple Watch Flashcards

divergio

Member
I think this feature request is mostly self-explanatory.

The dictionary itself is probably too complicated to enable a good interface for a watch. How would you enter words? Maybe you could use voice input. That might work but I don't have much intuition about whether or not it would be a good idea. Bark a word into your watch, wait a moment, the definition appears? Actually, on second thought, that sounds alright.

Flashcards, though, seem like a no-brainer. Make a "Glance" that shows your Flashcard progress (to fulfill Apple's rules) and then launches straight into a flashcard session with one tap.

This would make flashcards that much more immediately accessible. The amount of "slack time" needed to study flashcards would drop from on the order of minutes to on the order of seconds.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
I'm waiting on WWDC to make any decisions about the Apple Watch - want to see what the native SDK for the watch looks like first, I'd hate to go to the trouble of developing a watch extension only to find out we could have done what we wanted in a much better way with the full SDK.

There's actually potential for quite a bit more than flashcards with a native watch app, I think - the screen seems like it might be big enough for handwriting input, the 42mm watch's screen is almost exactly the same height (33mm) as the handwriting area in the iOS system Chinese handwriting keyboard, and the 38mm only a few mm shorter.
 

divergio

Member
I'm glad to hear you're thinking about it. I'm pessimistic about release of the native SDK so early, but I totally understand waiting a few months.

For English-Chinese, voice entry could work.

For Chinese-English, you're not the only one to notice that the watch screen is about the size of the system entry area. A native watch app, with an onboard dictionary, would be amazing. That would really be a piece of future technology, though it would be more suited for Chinese people who want to do a quick dictionary lookup. Maybe my handwriting skills would improve! :)

Either way, I don't think there is a limit to the number of watch kit extensions one app can have. It would probably make sense to split flash card and dictionary functionality into separate extensions.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Fair enough, but it's not clear yet what sorts of capabilities might be exclusive to native Watch apps - we want to make sure that if and when we do Watch flashcards we do it in the way that allows for the most enhancement potential going forward. So given the amount of other stuff we have on our to-do list, waiting for WWDC seems like no great loss.
 

etm001

状元
Flashcards, though, seem like a no-brainer.
At least for me, if I was going to spend time - even just a few minutes - drilling on flashcards, I'd want to use my phone. Holding up my wrist and tapping correct/incorrect with my other hand seems more awkward/uncomfortable than using my phone (which I can use in a single handed). A test that makes more sense to be would be an audio-only flashcard review, because that in theory could require no interaction with the watch (i.e., Pleco cycles through the cards every few seconds). Else, an audio-only test might work, whereby a single tap on the screen (or a press of a headset control) indicates "incorrect", and the absence of input from the user indicates "correct".

Honestly, I'm ambivalent about flashcard testing on the Apple Watch, just as I'm ambivalent about the watch itself (when Apple puts GPS into the watch, then I'll consider buying it). Given other functionality I'd like to see Pleco incorporate, Apple Watch would be low on my list.

Bark a word into your watch, wait a moment, the definition appears? Actually, on second thought, that sounds alright.
I actually thought of this too, and it's one function that could elegantly work on the watch, depending on the API. There are plenty of times when I'm outside and I see characters that I know, but I am not sure of the word's meaning. Or, I don't know the characters but I can take a pretty good guess at their pronunciation. If I could quickly and easily speak the character/word into the watch and have a reasonably fast result, then that might be better than pulling out my phone.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Yeah, after using the watch a bit my feeling is that native Watch flashcards are likely to be problematic - the Watch would make an excellent controller for audio-only flashcards, though (could flag or mark entries incorrect, or go back to review one you missed), and it might have some word lookup potential too depending on the sorts of words you want to look up. (can't exactly enumerate all the various and sundry uses of 打 on a watch screen)
 

Ahmad

Member
A watch app would be great, especially if it were a native watch app. I think being able to draw by your finger a certain character on the screen and look it up is great or dictating some words to the watch using siri to look up its meaning is also great. Maybe get a daily sentence with an explanation for educational purpose is also great. Would any of these features be valid for consideration? thank you for your attention.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
watchOS 2 doesn't include support for capturing finger gestures, sadly - we're hoping they add it in watchOS 3. Some interesting possibilities with the new audio capture support, though.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Lots of work and not much demand as yet - I've experimented with it a bit on my own watch and don't find it comfortable to use for more than a few cards.
 

DavidMars

举人
I was playing with the new iPhone OS 16 and in the Watch app I saw an option to add "Pleco" as a complication to my Apple Watch face. As an experiment, I added it and tried to run it, it just takes me to a variety of shortcuts, most unrelated to Pleco, and none of the Pleco shortcuts 'do anything' on the Watch, which is fair enough as they were designed to do lookups on my iPad & iPhone. Maybe this "Pleco" option turned up as it was the first named Shortcut in my set of Shortcuts on my iPhone and it isn't an indication that Pleco has special Apple Watch 'features'. Does Pleco have the ability to ask Siri on my Watch to translate, e.g. "ship" from English to Chinese? Does anyone have Pleco-based Shortcuts to share that are useful on the Apple Watch?
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Still next to zero demand for this, honestly.

We've actually done some work with audio playback controls for auto-advance flashcards which may ship in a somewhat experimental form in a future update to see if they prove popular - we mostly imagined people would use them in cars (pause / skip / repeat via the audio controls on your steering wheel) but I suppose in theory you could use those to control flashcards from a Watch too since it's the same API.
 
Top