One dictionary, one would think, is much like any other dictionary: a useful resource, to be sure, but with little variance in general functionality. But Dictionary.com is working hard to prove that not all dictionary apps are created equal.
The service, which originally launched in 1995, is celebrating Dictionary Day this year by giving its iPhone app a massive overhaul. Possibly the new feature that users will notice first is that the app is consolidating all its premium dictionaries.
Previously, the Dictionary.com app offered a range of specialist dictionaries -- a slang dictionary, a medical dictionary, a science dictionary and a rhyming dictionary. It also offered example sentences, a translator with over 20 languages, grammar and tips, idioms and phrases, and an encyclopedia. Each of these features was its own in-app purchase, ranging from $0.99 to $2.99.
Each and every one of these features has now been consolidated under a single in-app purchase of $3.99 -- or $2.99 for a Dictionary Day special.
"We're adding some of our most popular content to the premium Dictionary.com iOS app, which already includes 2 million entries in its standard dictionary," said Dictionary.com CEO Michele Turner.
"We broadened its scope, providing users with more than 3.4 million definitions and examples in the premium version of the app. With these additional dictionaries and contextually relevant examples, students, business professionals and anyone who loves words now has the most comprehensive dictionary at the tap of a finger."
The free version of the app will retain the dictionary and thesaurus, as well as the daily slideshows, word of the day, blog and trends -- but free users get something new to play with too: the developers have built a quiz widget into the app to test your vocabulary. Every day, this will send a push notification with a multiple-choice word quiz that can be played from the pull-down menu in iOS.
You can grab these new features by updating the Dictionary.com app from your device, or downloading it for free from the iTunes app store.