Low-cost iPhone dictionary applications


As with most free apps, Dictionaire includes an advertisement banner at the top of the screen, but it isn't too obtrusive.

Dictionary by xyster.net passed the panjandrum test easily, but came up slightly short in the interface exam.

Enter a misspelled word, and the app will generally return the word, or a list of similar sounding or spelled words, you are looking for. Tap the word you're looking for and up pops the word, its part of speech and a list of definitions. One nice feature: The definition words are hyperlinked, making Dictionary a helpful thesaurus as well. Dictionary also maintains a history of your searches and lets you bookmark words for easy future reference. The app's update boasts the addition of pronunciation--with the option of selecting Merriam-Webster or International Phonetic Alphabet styles--but that wasn't consistently the case with several words I searched. Panjandrum, for instance.

But the app's interface is clunky and somewhat counterintuitive, and the buttons are sluggish. When you tap a word for its definition, the app switches from the search mode to dictionary mode. You need to tap the search button to return to your original list of words. I kept wishing the app had a back arrow, or a finger-slide feature instead.

When I bought Dictionary for this review, it cost US$2. As this review was published, the price has risen to $8. That's an ill-advised increase--there are better dictionaries for the money.