iOS has a built-in dictionary. It’s not the best, but it’s always there. Just highlight the word, hit Define, and you get the definition. You can even search the word in Wikipedia if you like. But as it’s a default function in iOS, it doesn’t do much more. For instance, you can’t retrieve a list of all the words you’ve looked up, which would be a useful learning/vocabulary tool.
On Android, there isn’t even a built-in dictionary. Google Play Books has one, but it’s restricted to the app. A few years back an app called WordLookup showed up (it hasn’t been updated since October 2013, bad sign). It was a poor hack where you needed to highlight and share the word to the app and you’d get a floating notification that would disappear in 10 seconds.
Once you’ve enabled “snitching”, the app will keep an eye on your clipboard. Just select any word, hit the copy button and you’ll see a popup with one line of definition. This will stay there till you touch any other part of the screen. Tap the Globe icon to search the word on Google.
Word Snitch’s implementation is better and works almost anywhere in Android. Anywhere you can copy a word that is. And you can do that even in eBook readers like Moon+. If you read a lot of eBooks on Android, your life just got a little better.
Improving Your Vocabulary with Word Snitch
Of course, the dictionary lookup is only a part of the app. The app will also keep a log of every word you look up. You can also manually add words to the log.
You can view all your snitched words from the app. What’s great is you can even edit them. There’s a section called Examples where you can type in sentences to remember the word by.
The app also supports Wordlists for creating different lists for different subjects. It also has an exam mode where it will present national exam level words that you can add to your list and work on.
Biscuit is a similar app, but it focuses more on a cross-language dictionary. So for instance, when you copy a word, you don’t get the definition of it in the popup, you get the translated word in the language you’ve selected.
I think overall, Word Snitch is a much better app than Biscuit.
But there’s room for improvement. The dictionary, for instance, can be made a lot better. I hope they improve their sourcing. Also, they can add flash cards, with random alerts every now and then through notifications. This would help a lot in learning.
Note to developer: The app has random fullscreen pop ads. That’s the worst kind of ad from a user perspective. It would be great if you could provide an option to pay a couple of dollars to remove these ads.
If you’re not a native English speaker or if you’re a student, try out Word Snitch. It’s going to be worth it.
How do you improve your grammar and vocabulary? Share with us in the comments below.