A language tutorial app has been named one of the best apps for both iOS and Android platforms this year.
Mashable names Duolingo as one of the best apps for iPhone, iPad and Android for the year 2013, making it the only app to appear in all three lists.
Duolingo changes the way its users learn a new language by adding gaming elements such as experience points (XP) which users can use to buy perks within the app. The app's official website even says it is addictive because the user can '(l)ose hearts with incorrect answers, practice against the clock, (and) level up.'
This element, according to Mashable in its top Android apps list, is 'something your high school's Intermediate Spanish course never did.'
Best of all, Duolingo is free for both iOS and Android formats, which makes it true to its vision to 'not charge for language education,' according to developer Luis von Ahn.
Just recently, Apple has lauded the language-learning app as this year's iPhone App of the Year, alongside Disney Animated which was deemed as the iPad App of the Year.
Duolingo currently offers five languages for English-speaking users to learn: French, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese.
New features are underway to help improve the app and to keep it aligned to its vision. Last October, Duolingo launched an 'incubator' that allows any user to create new courses for different languages -- say, a French course for Spanish speakers. And two weeks ago, Duolingo announced in its official blog the launch of the Language Coach in its iOS version.
von Ahn, a computer science teacher in Carnegie Mellon University, and his student Severin Hacker developed Duolingo and released it in 2012. A year later, it has reached a total of ten million downloads, which came as a surprise for both developers.
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