Monthly Archives: May 2014

Brazilian States

What do you know about Brazil? The football (soccer) World Cup, the Rio carnival, the Amazon river but it’s unlikely that you know names of the Brazilian States, unless you lived in Brazil. Nevertheless, Brazil is a growing market and a significant percentage of my revenue comes from Brazilian users. Upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games (Rio 2016) would attract the world’s attention to this country and my decision to create an app about its region is not very surprising. I plan it as a touchstone that will show me if this kind of apps is worth making. Of course, it is localized into Portuguese and I expect at least 75% of overall installs and revenue from Brazil itself. But it is a great opportunity for all of us to learn more about “B” in BRICS.

The English description of the game is the following:

Learn all 26 States of Brazil (+ a Federal District):
* names
* maps
* capitals
* flags

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Both Brazilian States and Australia and Oceania apps experienced some problems with appearing on the App Store. It took them more than 24 hours to appear in the listing after they were Ready for Sale. The reason is unknown, but I’m happy that they are finally here for you to enjoy and learn.

Acknowledgements:
icons for buttons were downloaded from iconmonstr or were created with Font Awesome.

Thanks!

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Australia and Oceania

Today I finish my series of apps about the World geography. Australia and Oceania is the last region with independent countries. Please check my apps about European Countries, American Countries, Asian Countries, and African Countries.

The English description of the game is the following:

This app combines 2 important geographic topics:
– 6 States and 2 Territories of Australia and
– 14 independent countries and islands in Oceania, including New Zealand, Fiji and many others.
Learn them all!
* flags
* capitals
* maps

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Countries of Oceania is an obscure topic. Besides Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, they are tiny islands and people know very little about them. And there are not so many of them, just 14 independent states, so I added States of Australia as the second mode. Thus this app is also a contribution to my new series about administrative division of major countries.

Acknowledgements:
icons for buttons were downloaded from iconmonstr or were created with Font Awesome.

Thanks!

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Canadian Provinces

Since the good topics in the international geography ran out, I stepped down from the global to the regional level. My new app is about Canadian Provinces and Terrritories. There are just 10 provinces and 3 territories in Canada, not many to create a big quiz with a great number of questions. And yes, I’m well aware that apps like this may be popular in just one country. But Canada itself is quite a large audience, and even if this app is not successful, it was easy for me to prepare and I learned a lot of new info myself.

The English description of the game is the following:

This app tests your knowledge and helps you learn the names, the maps, the capitals, and the flags of all 10 Canadian provinces and 3 territories.

Can you find the British Columbia on the map of Canada? You will be able to after downloading this app!

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Acknowledgements:
icons for buttons were downloaded from iconmonstr or were created with Font Awesome.

Thanks!

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Irregular Verbs

The Irregular Verbs app appeared on the App Store several days ago. It took almost 2 weeks for me to prepare it – the longest among all other quizzes. The reason is the vast database: there are 206 distinct verbs in the app and for each verb, I had to find an English definition and a translation to 8 languages. The topic itself is competitive, there are dozens of apps about irregular verbs on the App Store, but none of them use the “letter quiz” approach and after the first days, my app shows promising figures.

The English description of the game is the following:

Begin – began – begun…
The app contains all important English irregular verbs (more than 200 verbs overall). Please choose the learning method that suits you the best.
* Learn by spelling three verb forms: infinitive, past simple, and past participle
* Guess the verb from its definition
* Learn verbs with the help of flashcards

It is an essential app for everyone learning the English language!

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There are 3 modes in the app: 1) the first one is universal for all languages; the infinitive (“the first form”) of an irregular verb is given and the user has to spell the two other forms: past simple and past participle. In this mode, I excluded some longer verbs (such as understand/understood) and the verbs for which alternative spellings of inflected forms exist.
2) The second mode depends on the language settings of the device. If the language is English or any language I don’t localize to, the mode is called “Guess the verb” and a short definition of a verb is given, the user has to spell the infinitive form. If the user’s language is Russian, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, or Dutch, the question is not a definition but a translation of an English verb into that language. The answer is still an English infinitive, even the order of the answer is the same. This type of question may not be directly related to the verb irregularity. It is a separate tool for language learning, I can code any word in such a way. The knowledge that the answer is an irregular verb is just an additional hint.
3) Finally, there are flashcards that show all the above info for all 206 verbs that I decided to include in the first version of the app.

I estimate that there are about 150 basic irregular verbs in the English language. Several of them are archaic, and I don’t use them myself and don’t encounter in the texts I read (“lade”, “beget”). Then there are about 30 verbs which are often conjugated as regular (“shave”, “learn”). In many cases, the frequency of the usage of regular vs irregular form varies between British English and American English. And using prefixes, one can create multiple derived verbs that are also considered irregular (“overtake”, “babysit”). The longest list of irregular verbs I’ve seen had 470 words.

Acknowledgements:
icons for buttons were downloaded from iconmonstr or were created with Font Awesome.

Thanks!

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50 US States v. 1.2

The second update for 50 US States adds a lot of new content – two new modes.
1. State flags
2. Challenge – a multiple-choice quiz on maps, capitals and flags of all 50 states.

Among smaller additions: Dutch localization and a link to the US Presidents app.

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African Countries

A new addition to my geography collection is the app about African Countries. Do you know that there are 54 independent states in Africa? This quiz is hard comparing with European Countries, for example. I consider myself good in geography but I don’t know a half of African capitals and flags.

The English description of the game is the following:

Learn all 54 independent African countries, including South Sudan:
* All flags
* All capitals
* All maps
* African Challenge
* Time Game

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The lion’s head for the app icon was taken from the coat of arms of Burundi.
After it was approved, the app had the status “Processing for App Store” for 1.5 days. Usually, it takes no longer than 30 min. I don’t have good explanation why it was so delayed this time.

Acknowledgements:
icons for buttons were downloaded from iconmonstr or were created with Font Awesome.

Thanks!

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