Duolingo App of the Year: Language Learning App Tops iPhone List

Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 04:29 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Apple selected Duolingo as its free iPhone App of the Year, honoring the language instruction program created at Carnegie Mellon University that has 10 million downloads.

Computer science instructor Luis von Ahn worked with student Severin Hacker to create the app, which became available in December 2012. Their goal was to find a way that smartphones could teach foreign languages.

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“We're super happy,” von Ahn told USA Today. “It came as a surprise to us.”

Von Ahn is taking next semester off teaching to work on the program, which offers six languages. He and Severin would like to add languages, with a goal of getting to 50 in the next few months, USA Today said.

The program will continue to be free because von Ahn and Severin are committed to the idea of making language learning available to everyone, but especially people who don’t have the money to buy expensive programs and need the skills to get jobs.

Even before gathering accolades for its win, Duolingo pulled in lots of praise online.

Apple also revealed its “Best of 2013” on an iTunes page, and it’s probably not a surprise that Candy Crush headed up most downloaded free game list while Minecraft Pocket Edition topped the paid game list.

The top app of the year for iPad is Disney Animated.

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