Audio Flashcards - iOS app - handsfree, eyes-free, driving-friendly

date-created:: 2023-10-16

I drive solo for court interpreting assignments regularly. Every time I drive, the round-trip travel varies from 1 to 2.5 hours depending on location and traffic. It adds up. Time spent driving, or worse, time stuck in traffic, is time wasted. Beside mindlessly listening to radio news, I prefer to engage my brain more by actively recalling bilingual vocab and expressions that I have gathered in Anki, my go-to flashcard app. Unfortunately Anki does not offer a handsfree, eyes-free, driving-friendly mode of learning. What if there's an app designed just for that?


I chanced upon this gem of an app two weeks ago. A day later, having had only a cursory impression of its features and limits, I contacted the developer giving him praise but not without expressing my wishes:


I found your iOS app for audio flashcards. The handsfree nature of the design is something I’ve been searching for for a long time. I am glad I found it. But I do have some questions: does the app support bulk import and export of audio fronts and backs in audio file formats (.mp3 for example)? Creating such audio cards one by one is time-consuming. I already have tons of them in Anki, but Anki doesn’t have your app’s handsfree configuration. I hope to leverage the best of both worlds by importing existing Anki decks of audio cards into your app for handsfree practice.

If the app does not yet support bulk imports of audio files, I really hope you’ll consider adding this feature. I am sure many users will welcome it and find it extremely useful. If this feature becomes available, people will pay a fee to use the app!

The developer's almost immediate reply:

I’m glad you’re enjoying the app. At the moment you can only import individual audio files to a card. Have you just using the Anki iOS app to create cards?

My follow-up response:

Thanks for the quick response. I have used Anki for years and learned how to bulk import audio cards (or mixed text + audio cards) into Anki through a plain text file or a spreadsheet (in tab-separated value or comma-separated value). The process is straightforward. Anki recognizes the presence of an embedded audio media file in running text. For example, [sound:abc.m4a] (square brackets enclosing the keyword "sound:" followed by the audio file name) refers to the audio file placed under each Anki profile's "media" folder. Several audio formats are supported. The key is being able to bulk import many cards at once through some mechanism. That'll be extremely useful and efficient. I hope this answered your question. Let me know if you need me to clarify anything.

Quick verdict: 4 stars



User reviews



A useful review

Great minds think alike? 😆 This other user had requested the same feature: bulk importing.

Code3x6, 08/02/2023

Good tool for learning languages

It’s really been handy the only down side I’ve run into it the lack of a way to automate uploading audio files. Maybe Apple shortcuts support would be nice.

Developer Response:

Thank you for your review. I am interested to hear your opinion, contact me to discuss this feature request.

Another useful review

FlyingEar, 01/06/2023

Glad this exists but…

First, when I was thinking this would be a great way to prep for stuff, I was surprised that there weren’t more options and, at the same time, very glad there was this app which had most of what I wanted. While I wish I could type in or import stuff so that a generated voice could read it, the fact that it will play both the prompt and the answer with a definable pause as well as continue playing without any user interaction makes it perfect for use while driving. I also appreciate the ability to make edits even if it’s basically re-recording then trimming/deleting the first version. In addition, I like being able to have nested folders that all play if the parent is chosen for review. The biggest downside to this app is lack of documentation (new explanations for some things but could use more) and behavior (why does it think I’m done reviewing for the day after one pass through and which of the other methods will mimic normal review?). It would be great to just keep the whole stack on repeat with a random order; perhaps, using the microphone, it could be set to determine if you gave the wrong answer and prioritize those. I’d also like the ability to review with the screen off and/or in the background while doing other stuff on my device. Finally, while I appreciate the fact that it can be used hands free, you can also hold it and mark your successes and failures. Unfortunately, if you mark a success before the playback is complete (or mostly), it’ll count it as skipped then going back takes a little more effort than you’d think plus you still have to listen again rather than simply marking it as complete. Basically, that mode is more frustrating than it is useful (don’t think it maintains stats). All in all, glad to have this app and glad it’s free.

Other reviews