Before submitting the recent updates to DianHua Dictionary to the App Store, I managed to squeeze in a couple more new features. The most significant is the ability to draw on the zoomed view of Traditional and Simplified characters. This should allow those interested in learning to write Chinese characters a good opportunity to learn the shapes and practice. I’m still just a beginner, but I find the size of Apple’s character drawing keyboard challenging on the more complicated characters. This will give you a significant portion of the iPhone screen to work with until you’re comfortable with the character.
The other major change you’ll notice above is the “en” badge was removed from the first Search item in the navigation toolbar. After reviewing the reviews from around the world this week, it became clear that everyone wanted to be able to search for anything from one search screen. I’m still playing with other ideas for layout and processing from a single screen, but for now, you can search English, Pin1 Yin1, Simplified, and Traditional characters from the first search screen. The only thing you can’t do is search for toneless Pinyin. The “cn” search option remains for toneless Pinyin and for those who like having both screens available. If there’s strong demand to do so, I can remove it.
The release notes for v1.4.2 submitted to the App Store this evening are as follows:
- Search now performs an exact match by default. If the exact match does not yield the desired results, you can access the exhaustive search by touching “More”. This change cuts search times in half on average.
- The English search page is no longer labeled “en” as it will now accept English, toned Mandarin Pinyin, Simplified, and Traditional characters. The Chinese search page can still be used for all Chinese searches including toneless Pinyin.
- The magnified character view includes a drawing function to allow you to practice writing characters using the magnified view as a template.
- The Number reference includes the enhanced number converter developed for our Number Practice application, LianXiShuZi. You can use it to convert numbers from digits to Pinyin, Traditional characters, Simplified characters, and the Anti-fraud/Banking equivalents.
- Audio pronunciation of arbitrary numbers is included with the Number reference. Touch the speaker to hear any number pronounced.