With the advent of real-life newspeak, the Oxford Dictionaries are keeping pace with every agglutinated or truncated word that seems to emerge out of the current clash of paradigms, both political and cultural. You no longer need to go to KnowYourMeme to find words like "youthquake" or expressions like "post-truth."
The Oxford Dictionary of English app is limited to the English Language, but let's face it: English is the magic unicorn of the current year. The app itself is speedy to search for terms. As soon as you begin typing, the app will turn out partial results, so you don't even need to finish what you started! What I noticed though, is that the algorithm sometimes returns less relevant results first so that the full word is situated further down in the list. However, that's only a minor inconvenience.
What twists my noodle more are the video ads. I've become accustomed to small ad banners on the top or bottom of the screen. I can even live with voluntary triggered video ads. However, Oxford Dictionary slaps a video-ad on the screen whenever you search the database, which is, essentially THE MOST USED FEATURE. It's true that you can dismiss the ad in a couple of seconds of it starting, but it's still a somewhat dirty model of advertising. It's annoying and lacks taste.
On another note, I was surprised to discover two features that I wasn't expecting. By now it's standard practice to save favorite words, but the Oxford Dictionary also lets you create folders to organize your glossary in whichever way you want.
The app also features a decent optical character recognition system. You can use the Oxford Dictionary with the device camera and point to street signs or leaflets. The engine will begin generating results as soon as it detects the written content. It sometimes seems like it's having trouble with all caps though.
The free version of the Oxford Dictionary of English is as basic as it gets, with the added possibility of saving favorites and then organizing them into folders. Purchasing the full version will remove the ads, enable audio narration, enable picking up words from other apps, and finally, it will let you access the phrase database even when offline.
- Full access to Oxford Dictionary's listed explanations
- Internal word check-up
- Organize favorites into folders
- OCR via the device's camera
- Ads are disabled (no more video ads, yay)
- Offline access to the database
- External word check-up (select and search for words from where you found them)
- Audio pronunciation of words
I enjoy this app's clear design and I revel in Oxford Dictionary's concise and thorough explanations of words. If it weren't for the automatic video ads, this would be my dictionary app of choice. But the fact is that I find the full version being a little bit too expensive.