Well, since I haven’t quite figured out how to make money being a gadget nerd, I’m forced to keep my day job. Unfortunately for me, that day job requires that I be up to date on all state-required licenses, and wouldn’t you know it, its time for renewal. So with a week or so before exam date, I’m given study material and some time off.
“I’m screwed,” I thought, staring at the 300 page study guide with intimidation. After about half an hour of highlighting the same sentence over and over, my trusty iPhone came to the rescue. To the App Store! I knew I had come across a flash card application on there that might be just what I needed to keep focused. Sure enough, gWhiz mobile’s gFlash+ [iTunes Link] showed up in my search and better yet, was available for free.
The application is about as simple as it gets. It comes with 3 sample topics, showing off the app’s ability to offer flash cards in standard Q&A form, True or False form, and even multiple choice. After browsing the small catalog of flash card topics, it was obvious I was going to have to make my own. This is also fairly simple, as long as you have some sort of google account (iGoogle, Gmail, documents, etc.) because the program depends upon google documents’ spreadsheet application. Here you put your question in column A, and your answer directly beside it in column B, and this will make up the front and back of your flash card.
After making all your flash cards, you’ll need to download them onto your iPhone. I know it seems like I’m being repetitive but this, too, is extremely simple. From the main menu you choose the ‘download your own data’ option, and after a quick google sign in (you’ll only have to do this once), you’re looking at all downloadable data in your google documents folder. Of course, you’ll select the spreadsheet you just devised, and it’ll take a second to download.
I myself made about 100 flash cards of vocabulary words and definitions. The first card shows up with the word, and after I answer, I touch the card to turn it over and reveal the correct answer. The program does keep track of your progress by allowing you to press a check mark or an x depending on if you got the questions right or not. It is optional for you to have your total correct answers display at the top of the screen.
Over all this program is extremely functional and easy to use, it definitely served its purpose. I can study anywhere, anytime I want. I can do a few vocab words, or the whole 100, it’s fantastic. As an iPhone application, though, it’s held to high standards. The GUI could be dressed up a bit, and if anyone from gWhiz is listening, how about a full screen view, with actual note card backgrounds. And as long as we’re throwing out ideas here, how about voice recognition ability that can tell if you answered correctly or not. Well, for now, let’s just work on making this software more reliable.
Anyone who has read my reviews in the past, knows how much I hate crashing, and this one tended to do it more than I wanted it to. But gFlash+ is nonetheless great at what it does, and it has helped me out tremendously, being able to take my studying with me wherever I go. A note should also be made that this software is also available for blackberry/treo phones, and while not as cool as the 3G, it enables my co workers to download my license exam review from the gWhiz website for their cell phones. Guess who the most popular guy at the office is?
Another hi tech studying tip is recording yourself reading material you have to study/remember with a recording app on your iPhone. Now when you go to sleep tonight, pop in your head phones, and put the recording you made earlier on loop. I’m not promising you’ll wake up in the morning with a head full of knowledge, but at least you are increasing your exposure to the material. Thank you, thank you, hold your applause. ;op