Review: Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary For Android

Posted by Ticehuac Acuauhtli On Friday, March 16, 2012 4 comments
Carrying around dictionaries in your bag is unforgivable these days, especially if you have a smartphone or a tablet. The act itself is a waste of your precious energy, whereas the book is a walking crime against nature. With all those pages, it must have taken one whole tree to make one! A practical and eco-friendly alternative would be to opt for digital dictionaries. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary for Android pretty much nails it as an all-in-one resource for word meanings and more. If you're studying English as a foreign language (EFL) or English as a secondary language (ESL), this is a must-have app.

Read more for a full review of its features, pros, cons, and my final verdict. 

Screenshots at the bottom of this post.

[S]he Talks App Rating & Review
Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary
by Paragon Software

RATING: 4.5 out of 5.

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary for Android is an all-in-one A-Z dictionary which covers British English and Native American English pronunciations, synonyms, antonyms, and idioms in addition to word definitions. The app holds more than 184,500 words including Oxford 3000, the 3000 most important words for an English learner.


  • Access content offline. Unlike free dictionaries on Google Play, you don't need an active internet connection to access the dictionary's content.
  • Receive online updates. Whenever there's new content (word meanings, examples, idioms, etc.), you can receive updates online without having to pay for additional fees.
  • You can download additional data directly to your device or via your desktop computer (to be transferred later on). You also have the option to save the downloaded data in your SD card or internal phone memory.
  • Loads of cool features:
    • Offers different word meanings for better understanding of a term.
    • Covers British English (BrE) and Native American English (NAmE) pronunciations with real voice audio. Just click the speaker symbol beside them and listen closely.
    • Some words have pictures. Try checking "building" and click the photo on the upper left for related pictures. You can zoom in or out for a better view.
    • Supports synonyms and antonyms.
    • Examples on how to use words in sentences are provided. Supports real voice audio as well - listen to entire sentences spoken to you in either British English or Native American English.
    • Has cross-references for easy access to related words.
    • Click Menu (with the arrow down symbol) while viewing a word meaning to see its origin
    • Displays idioms if there are any - a great way to learn British and American expressions.
    • Phrasal verbs are offered, another useful feature for ESL and EFL students.
  • Interface and actions:
    • Supports landscape mode
    • Access recently viewed words on history.
    • Has a forward and back button on the top right corner of the screen.
    • Add words to Favourites to easily access a collection of words when needed. Do this by clicking the starred document icon beside the back button.
    • While reading a definition, double tap other words to view their meaning. Swipe right to left to access the previous and next words on the dictionary.
  • Personalize:
    • Change the background color (choose between white and beige)
    • Change text size to your preference
    • Option to hide pronunciation, pictures, synonyms and opposites, examples, cross-references, HELP notes, ORIGIN notes, idioms, and phrasal verbs.
    • Option to hide BrE and NAmE speaker symbols for sentences
  • Support: Get help by clicking Information tab on the bottom right.
  • Additional data needs to be downloaded after getting the app at Google Play. Initial downloadable data is 455.57MB. Depending on your Wi-Fi connection, downloading time can take up to 2 hours. It took me an hour and a half. I'm not going to whine much about it here since it's the price we have to pay for its offline content. But it does make one a little impatient.
  • Optional downloads: For British English spoken sentences, you have to download another 431.2MB of data. Native American English spoken sentences take up an additional 432.1MB. Again, not going to whine much about it. I just wanted to point this one out so you know what you're up to.
  • If you have a large-screen phone and a small hand, you might have a hard time accessing the back and forward button during portrait mode. I have long fingers and a 4.3-inch phone and I still had a hard time reaching for them.
  • When browsing for words using the search box, the suggested words aren't complete. I was looking for the word "architecture" but had to type "architectur" for it to show up on suggested words. It didn't appear after typing in "arch".

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary for Android is an extremely useful app, especially if you're studying English as a second language (ESL) or English as a foreign language (EFL). Priced at USD $28.99, the app costs the same as standard paper dictionaries but with three major advantages: you can get free updates, carry it around using your Android device, and it speaks in sexy British and Native American accents. The app is a definite bargain and something that will last forever thanks to Google sync.

If it weren't for the unreachable back and forward buttons, inadequacies of the search box, as well as its heavy toll on memory, OALD for Android deserves a 5 out of 5. But since Paragon Software can't do anything with the app's data-intensive downloads, a slight improvement on the interface and some tweaks on the suggested words would give it a perfect score.



  1. 'it speaks in sexy British' Thank-you, I didn't know we spoke sexy.

  2. Haha well it's true Pete! I like the sound of British English and I find it sexy. You're very much welcome!

  3. hey.. pal
    will u plz share ur apk file

  4. @Anonymous: Sorry it's against my ethics :( I stopped pirating apps a long time ago. I just don't think it's fair to developers.


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