I know its been a while, but I think this warrants a blogpost:
I've been dragging around a battered old Nokia for the last 5 or 6 years, and decided it was time to change. However, being the "I just want a phone to do what a phone needs to do" kind of person, I looked for a new phone with 3 things in mind. 1) I want a phone to make phone calls (duh) 2) I may as well replace my walkman with a phone, and save pocket-space 3) Perhaps I can get a phone that will replace my denshi-jisho (electronic dictionary).
Long story short, I bought the HTC tattoo. After a bit of research, I found this blog-post: Paddosan.com. He introduced Aedict, which uses the almighty edict by Jim Breen, which is a brilliant dictionary.
I was a bit concerned, however, about some issues I'd heard about the tattoo's small screen resolution. Would it be enough for reading the Japanese fonts? Would it be enough for inputting Japanese fonts?
Well, I've well and truly laid those anxieties to rest. The tattoo works superbly with Aedict.
Here is my review of Aedict:
Aedict's kanjipad allows for writing in a character by hand (using your finger as a pen) which is very nice for complicated kanji. However - this will require you to know the stroke order of the kanji. Now, I was taught the stroke order at school, but I was never tested on it, and thus never learned it. I'm guessing most Japanese courses are the same in this respect, so perhaps the kanjipad is going to be of only relatively limited use for most users of Aedict.
Considering my last point, the presence of a radical lookup system is a life-saver, and Aedict really excels here. The tattoo's touch screen makes scrolling through the radical list quick and easy. As with linux's gjiten, you can tell Aedict how many strokes there are in the character you want to look up, and you can also specify how much error (i.e. how many strokes more or less than your guess, useful if your not exactly sure).
Searching in English is very easy, as you'd expect. However, the quality of the results is not spectacular. As with the online edict, you get a lot of slightly odd expressions appear, and it is difficult to find the most appropriate word. That said, the "Priority" words (those words among the most common 20000 or so) do appear at the top of the list.
Searching in Japanese is also easy. You can type in romaji, but I used openwnn because it is a little more intuitive for me (if you've ever used a Japanese mobile phone, you'll probably find the same). Again, you can get a large volume of results for some searches, which can be a pain.
Still, despite the large volumes of results that Aedict produces, it presents them all on one page, so scrolling through dozens of results isn't as difficult on the tattoo as on edict.
You can also get a kana table.. which looks pretty but has pretty much no function. I think this would have been better used as an input method for those people who dont want to install an IME like openwnn. However, since I do use openwnn I'll leave it at that.
One thing I was fairly impressed with was the "skip lookup" which I overlooked at first because I assumed it was a setting, not a lookup method (whooops). Basically, you answer 1 or 2 simple questions about the character, and it brings up a list of most likely candidates... I was highly sceptical at first, but it turned out to be a real time saver for some very complicated characters.
Overall, I'm very pleased with Aedict. It has allowed me to dispense with my chunky "Papyrus" dictionary, making translating on the bus much easier, and while each lookup method has its own failings, my complaints with one method are usually covered by another. Nonetheless, a more gaijin-friendly handwriting recognition (I'm thinking tegaki-python here) and better sorting of relevant results would be grand.