I want to use Anki on my iPhone and iPad – Should I buy Anki?

$25 for an App? WTF?!

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Should I Buy Anki?

It’s true that $25 is a lot for an app – even worse in some regions due to currency conversions. But there are a few reasons why you should consider buying it.

Today I’m going to answer the question “Should I Buy Anki?”, and I’m also going to tell you why, in my opinion, it will be the best damn $25 you’ve ever spent (please excuse my French!)


AnkiWeb – You Don’t Need to Pay

Should I Buy Anki
AnkiWeb – Sign Up for Free!

I’ll start off by saying you don’t NEED to pay to use Anki. All you need to do is create a free account here and you’ll have access to the Anki desktop application (for both Windows and OSX), as well as AnkiWeb (the web client for Anki).

With the Anki desktop application, you’ll be able to create as many decks and cards as you want. Of course, you can review your cards in this app, but you can also review on any device’s browser using AnkiWeb.

What’s great is that your reviews get synced between the Anki desktop application and AnkiWeb!

Android users can get AnkiDroid for free. All you need to do is sign in with your AnkiWeb account and you’ll be able to sync and review from your Android device as well!


Okay… then why pay $25?

This is what gets a lot of people – if you can use Anki, AnkiWeb and AnkiDroid for free, why pay $25 for the iOS app?

There are two main reasons – convenience and features.

Convenience – unlike AnkiWeb, you can use AnkiMobile to review your cards offline, and the native iOS interface is much smoother than using AnkiWeb through a mobile browser.

Features – I spent a lot of time looking for a Spaced Repetition Software that gave me full control over my cards. In the end, Anki was the best for me. Unlike a lot of similar apps, you can customise your cards and decks to suit your exact study needs – I think this is the true power of Anki!


Invest In Your Education

The thing that separates serious students from casual students is how much they are willing to invest in their own education.

If you’re a serious student of Japanese, then you’ve probably spent quite a bit on your education. Take a bit of time to think about how much you’ve spent so far.

Here’s my approximate breakdown:

  • Textbooks and workbooks ~$500
  • Video and audio courses ~$100
  • Online classes ~$300
  • Private tutors ~$1000
  • Stationery (TOO much too count…)

Looking back, $25 isn’t much compared to what I spent overall – about 1-2%!

Furthermore, AnkiMobile has given me so much value in return. During my first year after buying it, I spent 5-10 minutes every day reviewing cards. Recently, that’s changed to every second or third day.

That was 6 years ago – even if you think about one year’s worth of study that’s amazing value for time spent!


So, Should I Buy Anki?

If you’re serious about learning Japanese then you should invest in Anki. It’s such a great tool with lots of features that you can use to cater to your precise learning needs.

In the grand scheme of things, $25 is not that much compared to a good textbook – and it will still be invaluable to you long after you’ve finished that textbook too!

At the very least, use the free AnkiWeb and the Anki desktop application for a bit and see how it improves your Japanese!

Eventually, you’ll see that paying for AnkiMobile isn’t so crazy after all.

Related Reading

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My Top 7 Study Tips to Ace the JLPT