Oxford English Dictionary now on iPhone

The entire unabridged Oxford English Dictionary & Thesaurus is now available for your iphone for £35. Search for it in the app store.

£35 for an iPhone dictionary? Someone is smoking some serious stuff…

Yes I know, £35. It’s what’s held me back from buying it although I suppose it’s tax deductible. However I find I manage with the Collins dictionary & thesaurus on my mac (which I can use within Scriv) and the WordBook on my iPhone, which is excellent value @ £2.39 and helps with crosswords!

But to have the complete unabridged OED on my iPhone…

Yes, I know, it’s a steal.

Wait! You mean 35£ is too much???
In paperback it’s 650£ and on CD-rom 170£. How come then you think 35£ is too much? Or am I misunderstanding something? It sounds like you feel the contents of OED isn’t worth that. But if the contents are worth 35£ then I guess you find the additional cost of 615£ for the paper an outrage. :wink:

I know, it doesn’t make sense. It’s because I’m comparing it to other applications for the iPhone, not to it’s paper or CD equivalent. If it is truly unabridged then of course it’s excellent value, and when I do have a spare £35 I will probably go for it, but I have to save up for that dictaphone :wink:

It’s the Concise OED, $23 hardcover on Amazon, or roughly £16. The App is $25 in the US store. Not a bargain, but not completely out of line.

Are you sure? It doesn’t say so in the description (although I do wonder whether the full version would fit on an iPhone) There are different versions in the app store, this one includes the thesaurus and sound files.

itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZSt … 33030&mt=8

It would most certainly fit. 8-32GB of essentially plain-text is a tremendous amount (think entire major libraries or large bookstores). I believe the OED digital ships on a CD-ROM, which is only a small fraction of that amount, assuming it fills the entire disc. Assuming it fills the disc and is compressed, it could be anywhere up to several gigs, but that would surprise me (I just looked it up, the total installation size is 1.7GB for version 3.0. It’s probably close to that for 4.0). Whatever the case, it would fit. It would however be unwieldy in the extreme; that is the bigger problem. Imagine reading some of the larger definitions on the tiny iPod/Phone screen. These are definitions which could be realistically formatted into novella sized paperback books. And yes that would be ridiculously cheap.

One thing to consider, if you need mobile access to such a resource, is finding out if your public library supports online access to the OED database, as someone suggested above. I have free access through the Portland system, which means I can read full and in-progress definitions anywhere I can get a wi-fi signal. With the phone, that would be anywhere.

It’s neither the Concise nor the full OED, it’s the “Oxford Dictionary of the English Language”, the ODEL if you like. A 2000 page version that is the biggest single volume dictionary of the English Language. As far as I can tell it’s very complete and useful, but lacks the OED’s exhaustive etymologies and word usage histories.
The mac version of the full OED comes out next month on CD-Rom.

Thanks for clarifying. All these responses illustrate why it’s useful to post things on this forum! :smiley: