Language Learning App Review: Drops

If you've been in the app store lately you might have seen the app Drops. The app icon is very pleasing to the eye, so naturally, I gave the app a click to see what it was all about. For IOS users, you can download the app hereThis is my referral link, so I do get extra minutes if you download the app through me, just wanted to be clear! 

 The app itself is very faithful to the color scheme in the icon, and I recently expressed that I wanted to start buckling down and studying Chinese on a consistent basis. With that in mind, I've been using this app for a week now and I wanted to share some of the best and worst features of Drops!

On their homepage, Drops boasts 'effortless, visual language learning'. With over 28 languages to choose from, Drops offers a relatively simple way to learn a language: with simple white graphics that you associate with new vocabulary. The concept isn't new, but it is tried and tested to work if you're consistent. 

Drops has a lot of different languages. To name a few: Korean, Chinese, Japanese, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Esperanto, Hindi, Swedish, etc! Not only can you learn different languages, but this app is amazing for those who are not native speakers of English who want a bomb language learning app! Drops is available in 29 languages, including some you don't see very often like Icelandic and Punjabi!

Drops approaches language learning with color, simple graphics, and floating text. The learning games are simple yet fun, mostly consisting of drag and drop bubbles that correspond to their word or meaning. I think this is pretty unique because there is 0 use of the keyboard. It can be intimidating to type in another language, and Drops eliminates the use of the Keyboard by offering letters in drag-able bubbles onscreen!

There are two modes: Beginner and Intermediate. You can adjust the difficulty in the settings, along with changing your native language.

The first stage is memorizing the new word, where you drag and drop the word into the persons head at the bottom. If you know the word, you can drag it up and choose not to 'learn' it, but it will still come up on tests regardless.

 Here's an example of one of the tests. This is part of the Chinese radical chapter, as you can see from my progress at the bottom. My only issue with these tests is that, if you get something wrong, it sets you back a pretty steep amount. I was at 99% and then misclicked an answer, so I got pushed back to 90. I'm not sure what number exactly, but I think once you've completed 70% of the course, you unlock the next lesson. Since I've only been using this app for a week, I can't say how many lessons they offer before asking for payment, but I'll keep this post updated with that information.

 These are two other common tests. You can drag the word to the meaning, or vice versa. 

Why Drops Works for Me:

I actually like that Drops only gives free users 5 minutes a day to use the app. In the beginning, I found this so frustrating because I was absorbing information quickly. I was itching for more minutes so I could study more, so I completed some minor tasks to help me get more time.

If you rate the game or share it with your friends, you get extra minutes. If someone downloads the game using your code, that time is permanent.  I learned that if you logged on consistently you were likely to get some form of time bonus. 

However, I really like the fact that I only have 5 minutes every day to study on Drops. Due to the limited amount of time I have, I feel motivated to study harder. I also feel as though the time limit stops me from learning too much and not retaining it for the next day. 5 minutes is a bite-sized lesson, so I don't feel overwhelmed when I get the notification that it's time to study. Other language learning apps would add up to a lot of work as you progressed, which in turn made me less likely to log on and do my daily reviews. I love the free version of Drops because it's consistent and juuuuuust enough time!

All that being said, Drops has a few paid features that you can see below.

This is the middle of the road package. I think this one is worth it if you're someone who only wants to study one specific language and focus that intensely. I personally wouldn't subscribe to the yearly or monthly subscriptions, especially right now when I'm being offered Lifetime at a much more affordable rate.

If you consistently use this app for more than 4 days, you'll be given a 55% discount towards a Lifetime membership.

This option is for those who aren't ready to lay out $50 on an app. At an approachable $17.99, you still get most of the good features, minus the Tough Word Dojo, and you keep a certain time limit. I'll explain a little later why it might be better to NOT have unlimited time.

This is the most expensive option, but not by much. For only $2 more than Genius price you get access to 28 different languages! For serious language learners who LOVE this app, I would say the Polyglot package is the best deal. While I personally don't like the idea of unlimited time, I think the offline access to 28 languages is a good trade-off for $50. The Chinese language track alone has 98 lessons, so assuming the other languages follow suit, that's over 2700 different lessons you can possibly unlock.
I don't think Drops realizes the value of having a time limit, but I can't deny that their content is consistent, fun and simple for a Chinese beginner like me. $50 is a lot to shell out for an app, so choose your subscriptions wisely. 

I truly don't feel like you need to pay for this app, so don't let these dollar signs scare you off!

I hope you give this app a try, they offer so many different languages and I truly believe it's an effective tool for beginner to intermediate language learners!