iAnki for iPad Hack

I recently broke down and got an iPad. I use it mostly for reading PDFs on the run, watching movies, taking notes (with external bluetooth keyboard), and studying my daily flashcards.

After trying (and writing reviews of) many different flashcard programs over the years, and even designing some of my own many years ago, I become a loyal daily user of an open source project called Anki (read my review here). It is, in my opinion, the best program around that uses “spaced repetition” or interval study to prompt you only to review information that you are on the verge of forgetting. It helps me keep up on vocabulary in various languages and even serves as kind of daily “meditation of repetitive action” for me.

I can use Anki on my iPhone/iPad through a browser based script called iAnki but there were some things about the layout of the iAnki plug-in which I didn’t think worked well for the big screen of the iPad, which is now my primary way of studying vocab decks when I’m out of the house.

I made some changes to the HTML in the plug-in that I think work better for me. These include:

1. Increasing the font sizes of several fields. 2. Removing the “Show Answer” button and making most of the screen function as a “Show Answer” button so you you don’t need to reach and hit the button. 3. Moving the 1 and 3 buttons to the left edge where I can easily reach them while holding my iPad. 4. Moving the 2 and 4 buttons to the right edge where I can easily reach them.

For anyone out there also using iAnki on an iPad who want to try my hack here is what you do:

1. Download the hacked template here.

2. Unzip it and use it to replace the existing ianki.html file that is in
the iAnki plugin folder. For example, on my Mac the old ianki file is

~/Library/Application Support/Anki/plugins/ianki_ext/templates/

Replace that file with the new one you downloaded.

3. Open up Anki, launch the iAnki plug and install it on your iPad (you’ll need to
install and bookmark it again if you had it installed already)

If you use Anki, please support Damien’s programming efforts in Japan with a donation and congratulate him on his recent marriage.

One thought on “iAnki for iPad Hack”

  1. This Anki program looks pretty cool. Back when I was using a PDA I used a neat little program called KingKanji to learn and review vocabulary, but it looks like Anki can do everything that KingKanji did and much more. As soon I can get a smartphone or netbook (probably an Android if I get a smartphone or an eeePC if I get a netbook), I’ll definitely be getting Anki.

    Also, I think I may be able to directly convert a lot of my KingKanji vocab files into Anki, since it seems that both use just simple text files (and if not directly compatible, I can always write a simple script to convert them).

    Besides when I start work in the fall I’ll need to be learning lots of technical Japanese that I don’t know yet…

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