Updated: April 27, 2012
Are you looking for an overview of the best iPhone App for Spanish to English / English to Spanish Dictionary iPhone App Review?
Full disclosure: While I work for none of these companies, Ascendo sent us a free trial of their software for review. The comparisons below are obviously skewed by my experience. I also need better coverage of Collins and Ultralingua, so please, app developers, contact me if you would like to see your app reviewed here.
|Speed of lookups||3||2||1|
|Ease of finding information||3||2||2|
|Jargon (e.g. loquacious, thrombosis)||2||2||3|
|Phrasal verbs (e.g. come in, work out)||2||2||3|
|Breadth of terminology||2||2||3|
|Quality of phrases||2||2||3|
|Verb conjugations - quality and number||2||3||3|
|Score (higher is better)||24||22||26|
|Navigation (e.g. switching languages)||1||3||2|
|Record your own Audio||0||2||0|
|Share terms online||3||3||3|
|Score (higher is better)||9||16||5|
After recently spending time comparing these software packages (sorry, I have not yet purchased Ultralingua and Collins to properly compare them), I prefer the free Wordreference app and, for the excellent offline and navigation features, Ascendo over my previous recommendation of Oxford Spanish English Dictionary.
No matter which app you purchase, the most important criterion is the database--that is, whose dictionary source is "under the hood." After all, most app creators have arrangements with the finite number of high quality Spanish-English (paper) dictionaries on the market. Arguably though, Encyclopedia Britannica has lost to the crowd-sourced competition (Wikipedia), so you should unquestionably learn from that lesson too and install Wordreference, which contains an unparalleled breadth of dictionary translations.
The advantage of the printed dictionaries, now transferred digitally, is the vetted, sometimes peer-reviewed, nature of their content. The heavyweights in that arena are Collins and Oxford. Both are authorities in the English language and both contain extensive, high-quality articles. Depending on your source (excellent article here: http://www.learn-spanish-resources.co.uk/blog/spanish-dictionary/spanish...), the breadth of the Collins database is unrivaled, whereas Oxford's is considered "authoritative." Neither are free, though Oxford's is cheaper ($24.99 vs. $29.99 USA). Both are excellent. Honorable mention goes to Ultralingua.