Aedict Ultimate

Starting with 3.50, Aedict has been switched to a subscription-based model, to follow the trend in all other Android apps. You can now install Aedict for free and use the basic features of Aedict for free. To enable all features just subscribe to the “Aedict Ultimate” subscription.

The Aedict Ultimate subscription unlocks the following features:

  1. All Quizzes (including JLPT 1-5)
  2. SRS (Spaced Repetition System data; makes all quiz answers marked incorrect to appear more often in the quiz)
  3. A better kanji drawing recognition algorithm: it’s more accurate and it operates on a large kanji set. Previously known as Kanjipad Extension.
  4. Tags (allows you to attach a color and a text to any japanese word, kanji or an example sentence)
  5. Verb inflection quiz
  6. Animated Kanjis (previously known as KanjiDraw Practice)
  7. Synchronization of your data across all of your devices (coming up)

The price of Aedict Ultimate

The price of Aedict Ultimate is 1.5 eur per month, which is basically one cup of coffee per month. A new Google Pixel phone costs the same as 30 years of Aedict subscription. As a value you receive a full access to a highly specialized app that is used on a daily basis.


Q: Why subscription-based model? Why not one-off upfront payment?

A: because of 1. low income from the one-off upfront payment; 2. Piracy - Google Play doesn’t provide data about one-off upfront payment to the app and the app therefore can’t check whether it has been pirated or not.

Q: Why not give free subscriptions to everyone who purchased the app before?

A: Because Google Play doesn’t provide data about one-off upfront payment to the app and the app therefore can’t check whether it has been purchased or not.

Q: Why not leave Aedict 3 as-is and introduce Aedict 4?

A: Maintaining Aedict3+4 side-by-side is a lot of work (including maintaining conflicting APIs!), and there is no reasonable income to support this kind of work.


This recent change has received a lot of flak on Google Play. Especially the users who have paid for Aedict, KanjiPad Extension and the KanjiDraw Practice apps, felt that they don’t deserve to be asked to paid yet more for features they already bought. I understand and I agree; I wouldn’t do this Aedict Ultimate change if there was any other way. However, please understand there is no other way; going Aedict Ultimate was the last resort.

If Aedict Ultimate will be rejected by the community, I have no other ideas on how to make the development of Aedict sustainable and I will have to shut down the development.

Please let me explain below why I took this highly controversial step.

Why There Was No Other Way

The problem with Aedict is that it’s a highly specialized app which does not sell in vast numbers. So far only 5000 copies of Aedict were sold. Therefore, monetization options that apply to games or other mass-sold apps (100,000+ copies) do not apply here.

Generally, to monetize Android apps, there are the following possibilities:

  1. Showing commercials. With 5000 users, the income from commercials would be $20 per month.
  2. Getting the money elsewhere, by e.g. teaching Japanese. Unfortunately I’m not a teacher.
  3. Patreon campaign - there actually has been Aedict Patreon campaign. 38 people pledged and provided $180 per month. While the support was amazing, unfortunately the money was not enough to sustain the development.
  4. Getting the money from selling the Android app at Google Play via one-time payment - the revenue was low ($100 per month)
  5. Being employed by a Japanese university to work on Aedict full-time. If you know such university, please let me know.

As you can see, while the abovementioned steps tend to work for mass-sold apps (100000+ copies), they don’t work for a low-volume specialized app like Aedict. Also I figured that it was unfair for the dear Patreon supporters to fund the Aedict development single-handedly. Therefore, after a year of consideration, I hesitantly changed the approach. I welcome all of you, the community, to join and help to support the app you use daily.

Written on August 31, 2018