AnkiApp is Ripping Off Anki

On Friday, Redditor u/farazyashar launched a discussion in the Anki subreddit about a potential lawsuit against AnkiApp (Admium). The main rationale behind it is a potential infringement on the name Anki and clear confusion between Anki and AnkiApp (Admium)

In fact, it seems like many AnkiApp (Admium) users had not been aware they are not using the original software and expressed outrage. It’s likely the confusion stemmed from the similar naming of the newer product, with a few Redditors insinuating malicious behavior on Admium’s part

In the following, we clarify any potential confusion and also share a little our own research we conducted into AnkiApp (Admium)

Let’s start with the most important part: how to differentiate between Anki and AnkiApp (Admium)

Anki is a flashcard tool incorporating a simple yet powerful spaced repetition algorithm at its backend. AnkiApp (Admium) is essentially the same tool copied but developed by a corporation called Admium, though many reviews point to major issues, such as regular crashes and data loss

Key differences include:

  • Design: the original Anki has a very simplistic design. The newer AnkiApp (Admium) has a more elaborate design, though reading their reviews, it suffers from many glitches
  • Open-source: the original Anki app is open source. AnkiApp (Admium) is not
  • Integration with other apps: the original Anki has many integrations, such as the relatively new Pokamanki add-on or Polar. AnkiApp (Admium) has no integrations that we could find. It only allows you to mass import data from spreadsheets
  • Community: the original Anki has a huge community, especially on Reddit. Our research found that the AnkiApp community indeed has its own Subreddit. As of January 31, 2020, that Subreddit had one user. Several Redditors did point out however, that they initially confused the Anki community with the AnkiApp (Admium) community
  • Cost: both Anki and AnkiApp (Admium) are free on the Google Play Store and $24.99 on the Apple Store

Anki vs AnkiApp design

Anki add-ons

In summary, it can be confusing for a new user trying to differentiate between both apps. The good news is that the original Anki app appears first when googling and has a Wikipedia article about it under the Anki name

Since we found this topic interesting and confusing at the same time, we decided to dig deeper. Below you’ll find additional findings. It should be clarified from the get-go that there are multiple spaced repetition apps that are using the term Anki, as even specified in AnkiApp’s (Admium) FAQs.

Additional findings about AnkiApp (Admium)

When looking at AnkiApp’s (Admium) website, you notice that Chinese is referenced everywhere. Even on Admium’s website, all text is in English with a few Chinese snippets. It does make you wonder why…

Admium's website

Since data handling and privacy is a major concern (in particular in the open-source community), we decided to take a closer look here as well. When looking at AnkiApp’s (Admium) privacy policy, we immediately noticed a lack of specificity. For once, it is extremely short. Compare AnkiApp’s (Admium) privacy policy to Yelp’s for example. Secondly, AnkiApp (Admium) fails to clarify how and in which location (US, China, or elsewhere) personal information is being stored.

It seems possible that AnkiApp (Admium) is a Chinese-owned company based on the original Anki platform, intended to take advantage of the confusion in naming. This conclusion is based on the confusion in names as well as Chinese being the only other supported language used on AnkiApp (Admium). While AnkiApp (Admium) does claim that additional language support is planned, this claim has been on the site since early 2014.

Finally, the AnkiApp’s Subreddit’s only user and moderator u/admium, only wrote three responses on Reddit, two of which directly aim at getting Anki users to switch to AnkiApp which further supports the above conclusion.

We reached out to AnkiApp (Admium) by phone for clarification, however, did not receive a response. We will keep you posted if we learn anything new.

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