Kana is a native iOS app created with the goal to teach English speakers how to read Japanese hiragana and katakana. It is intended for both young children and people interested in learning the Japanese language. Kana is different because it focuses on learning and memorizing the alphabets through play and interaction, and does not assume the user knows any Japanese prior to use.
This was a project for a mobile application development class and was built by Amber Cook and I. Kana consists of a variety of features including a hiragana and katakana alphabet / dictionary, randomized flash cards, a randomized matching game, and lessons with a customizable back-end to easily add new lessons. The heart of the program is a plist containing all of the Japanese characters that can be quickly parsed and converted as needed.
I’m extremely happy with how Kana turned out especially given the work load and time constraints the team had at the same time. I hope to use what I learned making Kana to continue further into native app development, particularly into other platforms such as Android.