Get Better at IELTS Reading with Elevate

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I recently took an IELTS exam.

One of the things that is really important in the Reading portion of the exam, is the ability to read quickly and grasp information accurately. And obviously that’s not something that you can learn in a day. Speed reading is a skill that needs to be trained.

A while back, I tried a brain training app called Elevate.

It has different games that will train different skills, such as Reading, Listening, Speaking, etc.

When you start the app, there is an initial “test” that will evaluate your “level”. And then you can customize your training goals, you can choose to “improve focus while reading and listening” and/or “retain more of what you read and hear” and/or “improve your mental vocabulary”.

The app comes with a set of free games (in-app purchase to unlock more games), and every training session unlocks 3 games for the day that are relevant to your goals.

For IELTS Reading, I recommend the Processing Reading game, which shows you passages at increasing WPM (words per minute) and then it will ask you some questions regarding the passage.

This feels very similar to the IELTS Reading exam, except it really forces you to read faster while retain information accurately.

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Another game that will help improve your reading is Memory, which is actually used for training Speaking. But since it tests your vocabulary, I think it will be pretty helpful in answering the Reading portion’s questions.

It is pretty straight forward, just type in the word described.

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I think if you make it a habit to train, you’ll be pretty good at Reading in no time, and maybe perfect that IELTS exam!

TV Shows are Back! Keep track of them with the Episodes App

I have been tracking my TV shows with Episodes for a while now.

It’s super easy to use, just search for your TV shows and add them to your watch list. You can even turn on notifications, so that it’ll send you a notification the day before, the day or the day after it airs.

The watch list will also show you when the next episode will air. Or if your show no longer airs :*(.

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When you click into your shows, it will show you the title and description of the episode. And after you have watched it, you can just mark it as watched.

Oh and it also sorts your TV shows based on Unseen and Upcoming, and according to the days before it airs.

All my TV shows are back, good bye blog! (aha, just kidding, I’ll still blog, or at least I’ll still try to blog as much as possible…?)

Link: http://episodesapp.com/

50K/30 Customer Reviews

Thank you, OnPluto 🙂 for leaving a review for my app 50K/30 🙂

FYI

Chasing word counts made easy: 50K/30 for iOS

50K/30 is a simple and concise iOS writing app with a prominently displayed word count, because we know (or at least for me) it’s all about the word count.

50K/30 is available for sale now at the App Store (https://itunes.apple.com/tw/app/50k-30/id570422816?mt=8) for $1.99.

Feel free to contact me for promo codes, questions, comments, suggestions and random ramblings.

On App Reviews and Features

So I recently “wrote” an app (50K/30 available for sale now at the App Store (https://itunes.apple.com/tw/app/50k-30/id570422816?mt=8) for $1.99) and I spent maybe an entire day and night (read “dev” blog?) gathering and sorting through App Review sites.

Now Maniac Dev has a pretty impressive list of App Review sites (http://maniacdev.com/2012/05/ios-app-review-sites/), but it has been months since that was updated.

I used that as my base list and just check out each and every site to see if they “fit” my app, well all the strictly game ones are out of the list, and obviously any site that is one break or stopped reviewing is also out of the list. I only ended up with around 50 sites, and that isn’t much for cold emails (the email version of cold calling?).

And then there are the review sites that charge you for expedited reviews. Now, I have no money, so no way am I going to go for that. Besides paying someone to review your app just seems kind of… wrong?

Now features are okay for me. If I have enough money, I’d pay someone to “feature” my app, I mean, that’s like advertising, right.

But yah, no money. My sister and I do call ourselves “2 Broke Girls”.

But hey, I realized that a lot of fellow indie developers are poor too. So what about us? How can we let anyone notice our app in that way way way too crowded App Store?

Okay, one idea, make my own App Review and Feature blog (I’m so poor, I can’t even afford a website). And then any indie developer can just I don’t know… shoot me an email or message me here or tweet me or toss me a paper note or whatever, and I will try my best to review or feature them, oh and I will not charge them anything, expedited reviews or what not (we’ll do it FIFO, first in first out?).

Okay, I know that my blog doesn’t really have that much page views (I take full responsibility for the lack of blog posts as of late). But if I have apps to review or feature (they should be easier to review than tech books, right?) and then I’d have more things to blog about. If I’m lazy to write, I can always make a video and ramble, I think.

So yeah, it’s just an idea. I will try to blog at least once a week and feature as much apps as possible (of course, that is if anyone will as me to review or feature them).

So that’s it for now.