WordBook’s iPhone dictionary the standard for reference apps

Sep 18, 2009
Tech

Print edition dictionaries may have started their decent into uselessness a while ago, but the iPhone’s WordBook English Dictionary & Thesaurus reference app officially sealed the coffin, then gave me 50 synonyms for the phrase “kicked the bucket” as I poured on the dirt. First consider the numbers: 150,000 entries with more than 220,000 definitions, […]

Print edition dictionaries may have started their decent into uselessness a while ago, but the iPhone’s WordBook English Dictionary & Thesaurus reference app officially sealed the coffin, then gave me 50 synonyms for the phrase “kicked the bucket” as I poured on the dirt.

First consider the numbers: 150,000 entries with more than 220,000 definitions, etymologies for 23,000 words, 70,000 usage examples, and 120,000 pronunciation guides to let you choose your favorite notation style. Wordbook downloads straight to your iPhone or iPod touch, requiring no Internet connection and features enough content to fill an entire 1,800-page book, according to the developer’s description.

But it’s not just its size that hoisted WordBook among the top selling paid apps last year, as many other heavyweight dictionary apps have proved just as expansive, if not larger.

More impressive is the $1.99 price tag coupled with the way WordBook integrates its additional features so flawlessly that you’ll easily take them for granted, unlike other reference apps that can quickly become overwhelming.

The app is easily navigated, yet jammed with add-ons like studio-recorded audio pronunciations with multiple voice options and a “Words of the Day” page complete with both useful and pretentious vocab that refreshes when you shake your phone. 

For those with an Internet connection, the WordBook will search five other website dictionaries of your choice for additional definitions, not to mention the ability to link any search to Wikipedia’s insights.

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Plus there’s always the “Word Finder” function to help you with all your anagram searching needs—you know, just in case.

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