Dictionary iPhone Application (1913 Version)

In December of 2004, I created this dictionary app which was pretty famous at that time. At its peak the website was getting around 5000 unique users per day. It still gets around 200 unique users every day.

http://www.objectgraph.com/dictionary/ Explaining how it works:


I created it as i was trying to understand how XMLHttpRequest object worked in Google Suggest Project. There were really no examples around except for one really clear example from Apple.


It was covered on TechCrunch on September of 2005


So now we come full circle, I just released the same application on the iPhone platform. I wanted to target both the iPhone and iPod Touch users and not make the user connect to internet (in case of iPod touch) just to look up a word in the dictionary

The challenge was to squeeze 180k+ words inside the iPhone database and still make it as responsive as a real Oracle/SQL Server database efficiency using sqlite3.

So finally i figured the best way would be to break the database down into smaller chunks. I took the obvious route of breaking it down by different letters the word starts with.

Based on the user input the proper database is selected on the fly and the query is instantaneous.

The final app size was 20MB. I wanted users to download this app with out using Wifi on the iPhone. The current limit to do this on iPhone is around 10MB. I solved this problem by compressing the individual databases using gzip and extracting them when the user launches the app.

The total extraction takes less than 5 seconds and extraction only happens the firs time.

The final product is around 9MB. Check it out at the App Store

Here are some screenshots:

By: gavi on: