New LingQ 5.0 update and other issues?
As you have probably seen from the title, this topic, again. It has been brought up a couple of times but still not enough? Firstly, I should probably just make it clear this is a “motivational” post for developers at LingQ or/and productive criticism you could say.
At least a few dozen people have taken the time to post/comment on this forum (some others under app reviews) about this elephant in the room but even after many months, there has been no change (yet). If there are so many people who take their own time to point things out, then you know there must be some sort of an issue somewhere.
I believe the idea behind LingQ is amazing. Importing your favourite content from books, movies, yt,.. and then learning from it by listening, reading, … is effective and fun. However, the development side of things at LingQ has been a bit underwhelming so far, unfortunately. I have read about some users switching language because of problems, saying that some features are completely unusable etc. (and consequently, others have frustrations because new languages are not being added?). But I wouldn’t go so far. It gets the job done. There is just a lot of details that need to be improved and as Steve said, the interface is outdated. Working on this takes time, we all realize this.
Where everything gets particularly annoying is how long this is taking and the attitude about it. Plans and approximate times were said in beginning/middle 2020? After already being delayed you randomly find Steve commenting in October 2020 how the platform is going to look modern like Netflix and it’s going to be done in a month or two. That video has more than half a million views! Half a year later, …. Setting ambitious goals is in my opinion not the problem here and can even be helpful. Where the problem lies and how to fix it only the dev team knows. My very far-fetched guess is there just aren’t enough people on the team or that not everyone is actually up to the task. (Maybe the reason was addressed somewhere already? I don't have the time to read everything.) Luckily, only the results matter here – how to get it done? The possible timing of this 5.0 update lining up with Covid is(was) also an interesting opportunity…but that’s another story. To sum up, remember that users who post here represent a minority and the average user who doesn’t care much won’t bother to deal even with the slightest frustration and will seek an alternative. If 30 people are wishing for changes here, there are thousands in total with the same issue. But you already know that.
If LingQ would be free, none of this would matter (almost). Nevertheless, since you can find some good and interesting alternatives for half of the price or even make a slight compromise and get almost the same utility for free I think matching price with the quality of the thing you are selling is crucial. Not that having a higher price is bad or that I am not willing to pay that much but you have to then at least try to match that standard. Having delays and 1 month turning into 6 or 7 months is not the standard one would expect. Some very concrete updates on a monthly (weekly) basis would also be appreciated by some, I suppose. I may be willing to pay for it without even thinking about it, but the average user has to be taken into account, who is definitely not happy about it.
As I have already mentioned in the beginning, these are just a few observations that anyone who has spent at least a few minutes on this forum has noticed. I like the idea behind LingQ, Steve seems great so I want this idea to succeed and be even more popular. On some other posts, there have always been one or two believers who tried their best to embrace the status quo and explain why everything is just fine, I am not going to go into any debates here… If you think presenting a business as “premium”, pricing it that way and then not delivering your own promises is good for you in the long run then we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I believe it is in the best interest of everyone at LingQ to figure out how to get this done in max 1 month, get this huge update done and everyone can get what they want. (If you think they should work "with what they have got", take it slowly, wait another 6 months or 1 year before getting this done then please share your perspective on this - would like to hear it).
A huge pat on the back to the LingQ team for all the work behind the scenes and a friendly reminder not to take anything for granted. I hope you find enough qualified developers and manage to roll out 5.0 in the next month or two. Good luck! 😉