Help & Bugs

There’s a dedicated support site for questions, suggestions and bug reports. I monitor the site on a daily basis, and also employ someone to help answer questions.

Introduction

Thank you for buying AnkiMobile! Anki development would not be able to continue without your support, so it is greatly appreciated.

As mentioned on the app store page, AnkiMobile is currently intended to be used in conjunction with Anki on your computer. While it is possible to download shared decks, study, and edit the content of your notes, card layout is currently only possible on the computer version. While this is expected to change over time, for now please ensure you have access to a computer in order to perform some of the operations mentioned below.

Searching

If you are looking for something in particular in this manual, most web browsers will allow you to find particular words and phrases.

On a phone/iPad, type the word you wish to search for in the location bar at the top, and when a list of possible matches appears, choose the "Find on page" option at the bottom to search through this page.

On a computer, choose Find from the Edit menu in most browsers.

Adding Decks

To start using AnkiMobile, we need to add some cards to study. We can either download card decks that other people have shared, or add existing decks from the computer.

Shared Decks

To download a shared deck directly to your mobile device:

  1. Ensure you’re connected to the internet.

  2. Tap Add/Export on the bottom left.

  3. Choose Download Shared Deck. AnkiWeb will open.

  4. Select a category, or type in a search.

  5. Tap on a deck you’d like to study.

  6. Scroll down and tap Download.

  7. Safari will start downloading the file

  8. When it’s done, it will display a button near the top right labeled Open in Anki. Tap this button.

  9. When the import completes, your deck should be ready to study.

Information on reviewing is available further below.

Cloud Sync

Anki has a free cloud synchronization service called AnkiWeb that makes it easy to keep your card decks in sync between mobile devices and your computer.

To sync with AnkiWeb, you’ll first need to create an account. If you have used AnkiWeb in the past, you can skip this step.

  1. Visit https://ankiweb.net and click the Sign Up button.

  2. Type in your email address and a password of your choice.

Once the signup is complete, return to your computer, and simply click the synchronization button at the top right of the Anki window - it has two arrows in a circle. Anki will upload all your cards, images and audio to AnkiWeb. If you have a lot of media, this may take some time.

Once the synchronization has completed, return to your mobile device, and tap Synchronize at the bottom of the screen. After entering your email and password, AnkiMobile will download all your cards and media, and remember your login information for next time.

After the first synchronization has completed, you can click the synchronize button again any time you wish to synchronize your changes to the cloud. Only changes made since the previous sync will be sent, so subsequent syncs are a lot faster.

If you add some new cards on the desktop computer and want to sync them to AnkiMobile, you’d repeat the same process: sync on desktop (or close the program, as it syncs automatically on close by default), and then tap the sync button on AnkiMobile.

iTunes Import/Export

If you don’t have regular internet access, it’s still possible to copy decks back and forth to your device, by using iTunes.

The iTunes import/export works by importing or exporting all your decks at once, in a special file called collection.apkg. This means that unlike syncing via AnkiWeb, you can’t make changes from two locations at once and then merge them - you need to make sure you’ve imported any recent changes from your other device before you make changes, or you’ll end up losing the changes made on one device.

Thus the workflow you would typically use is to export your collection from your mobile device and import it into the computer version, make modifications, and then export your collection and import it back into your mobile device.

AnkiMobile can’t directly import text files. If you wish to do that, you’ll need to do that with the computer program, and then import your collection into AnkiMobile.

From computer to mobile device

On your computer:

  1. Open the computer version of Anki.

  2. Choose File>Export from the menu.

  3. Click the Export… button. Make sure to leave "all decks" selected, as it’s not possible to import individual decks into AnkiMobile. "Include scheduling information" must also remain checked.

  4. Anki will automatically create a collection.apkg on your desktop. If the file is named something else, please see the previous step again.

  5. Connect your Apple device to your computer via the USB cable, or wi-fi if you have wi-fi syncing set up in iTunes.

  6. Open iTunes if it doesn’t open automatically.

  7. Locate Anki’s file sharing section with Apple’s instructions.

  8. Drag the collection.apkg file from your desktop into iTunes.

  9. Click the sync button inside iTunes.

Then in AnkiMobile, in the deck list screen:

  1. Tap the Add/Export button on the bottom left.

  2. Choose Import from iTunes, then confirm the replacement.

  3. If you receive a message about "No file found to import", please read the "on the computer" section above again.

Once complete, the decks on your device will have been replaced with the decks from your desktop.

When you import a collection.apkg file, Anki will avoid copying any sounds or images if they already exist on your mobile device, and are the same file size. This will make imports after the first one considerably faster if you have a lot of media files.

From mobile device to computer

On AnkiMobile:

  1. Tap the Add/Export button on the bottom left.

  2. Choose Export to iTunes, and tap Export

Then on your computer:

  1. Connect your Apple device to your computer via the USB cable.

  2. Open iTunes if it doesn’t open automatically.

  3. Locate Anki’s file sharing section with Apple’s instructions.

  4. Drag the collection.apkg file from iTunes to your desktop.

  5. Double-click on the file to start Anki.

  6. Confirm you wish to replace, so that the deck from your mobile device overwrites the old data on your desktop.

  7. After importing, you can delete the file on your desktop if you wish.

The Deck List

The deck list is the screen you see when you start AnkiMobile. It displays a list of your card decks, and provides buttons for performing various actions.

Next to each deck, two numbers are displayed. The top, green number corresponds to how many cards are due to be reviewed again today. On a deck you’ve never studied before, there won’t be any cards waiting for review. The second, blue number, corresponds to how many new cards you have to learn today. Anki will introduce 20 new cards a day by default, and you can customize this number in the deck options if you’d like.

To study cards in a deck, simply tap on the deck, and AnkiMobile will switch to study mode.

If you wish to delete a deck, swipe your finger from right to left over it, and a delete button will appear.

To rename a deck, hold your finger on a deck for about a second.

At the top of the screen, you’ll see two buttons. The question mark opens this help page, and the gear/cog button opens the AnkiMobile preferences screen.

On the bottom of the screen, there are two more buttons. Add/Export allows you to download shared decks, add/create an empty deck, and import/export .apkg files from iTunes. Synchronize synchronizes your cards with the cloud.

The synchronize button will turn yellow if you have made changes that need to be synchronized to AnkiWeb, or if changes are waiting on AnkiWeb that need to be synchronized to the device. One of the changes that Anki synchronizes to other clients is the current deck, so tapping on a deck will turn the button yellow even if you do not study any cards.

The Study Screen

If you have not used Anki on a computer before, please have a look at the first intro video before reading on, as it explains the basic review process.

When you tap on a deck in the deck list, the study screen will load, and if any cards are waiting to be studied, a card’s question will be shown to you.

If you wish to change to a different deck, you can do so by tapping the top left button. The next three buttons allow you to add cards, edit the current card, and search/browse all cards. The top right button will open up the tools screen, where you can modify deck options and access more card actions.

On the bottom of the screen you’ll see three numbers. From the left, these correspond to new cards, learning cards, and cards to review. These are explained in more detail in the intro videos for the desktop program, so please check them out if you haven’t already.

When you’ve looked at a card’s question and remembered the answer, or decided you don’t know it, tap anywhere in the card area in order to show the answer. When you do, the bottom area will change to display 2-4 answer buttons, depending on how you’ve answered the card previously. The buttons will display the time a card will next be shown, so 10m means "10 minutes" and "5d" means "5 days". You can tap directly on these buttons to choose a particular answer.

To make reviewing faster, you can also tap on the card in order to answer it. For more information on the available taps and how to customize them, please see the taps section.

If you are studying content for which it is useful to sketch something before showing the answer on the card (e.g., characters in a foreign language), AnkiMobile provides a feature called the scratchpad (the analogous feature is called the whiteboard in AnkiDroid). You can enable the scratchpad by adding the Toggle ScratchPad action to a tap, swipe, quickbar action, or tool button, or by tapping on the tools screen, then choosing More and then Toggle ScratchPad.

When you’ve finished the cards that are due to be studied today, you’ll be shown a congratulations message. If you have other decks, you can tap the top left button to return to the decks list and select a different one. You can tap the home button to close Anki and save your progress at any time, whether you have completed the day’s reviews or not.

If you wish to keep studying the same cards after the congratulations message is displayed, please see the filtered deck section.

If you have a bluetooth keyboard, you can use the keyboard to review. Space will show the answer or answer Good, and 1-4 will choose the answer buttons. You can also press r to repeat the audio on the current card.

The Tools Screen

The tools screen will open when you tap on the top right button while studying.

Study Options allows you to configure options related to the current deck, such as the number of new cards and reviews to introduce each day. Which options are show will depend on if the deck you have selected is a filtered deck or a regular deck.

Font Scale allows you to increase or decrease the size of the text on cards without modifying how they appear on a computer. It is not specific to a deck - when changed, it changes all cards in all decks in the same way. For more precise control over the appearance of cards, you can edit your card templates in the computer version of Anki.

Tool Buttons: Please see the tool buttons section.

Study Options

The study options can be accessed from the tools screen. Almost all the options available in the computer version can also be adjusted in AnkiMobile. For a description of what everything does, please see the computer documentation. While some of the options have different wording, the behave the same as the computer version.

Preferences

The preferences screen can be accessed by tapping on the gear icon at the top right of the deck list. It allows you to customize various application settings and how AnkiMobile appears.

The Preferences screen is divided up into different sections, which are covered below.

Syncing

The syncing screen allows you to customize cloud synchronization with AnkiWeb. For more information on syncing with the cloud, please see this section.

Download Media

By default, AnkiMobile will sync sounds and images as well as your cards and review history. If you disable this option, sounds and images will not be synced by AnkiMobile.

Full Sync

The full sync button allows you to force a full upload or download of your cards. This is useful if you accidentally deleted some cards and want to revert to the local or remote version, instead of having those deletions propagate to other devices. After tapping the button, you’ll be given a choice of whether you want to upload your collection or download it from AnkiWeb. Please note this option only affects how cards, notes and review history is transferred - it does not change how sounds and images are synced.

Review

The review screen allows you to customize how AnkiMobile behaves when you’re reviewing cards.

Scheduling, taps, swipes, tool buttons and quickbar are covered in their own sections further below.

Force Orientation

Allows you to force the reviewing screen to stay in portrait mode or landscape mode.

Answer Buttons

Allows you to hide the answer buttons at the bottom of the screen, if you prefer to answer via taps/swipes.

Bigger Answer Buttons

Makes the answer buttons taller so you can press them more easily.

Next Times

By default, the answer buttons will display the time a card will next be shown. If you disable this option, labels like "Again", "Good" and "Easy" will be shown instead.

Remaining Count

Allows you to hide the card count, while still showing the answer buttons when the answer is shown.

Audio Buttons

Allows you to hide the play button that appears for each audio file you’ve placed on the card. Useful if you’d rather replay audio via the "Replay Audio" action bound to a swipe or tap.

Always Duck + Ignore Mute

While AnkiMobile is running, any music that is playing in other apps will be played at a reduced volume to make it easier to hear the audio on your cards. When enabled, this option will also allow audio to play automatically even when the mute/vibrate/silent switch is turned on.

Pinch Scales Text

Normally when you do a pinch gesture, Anki will expand or contract any images that have been shrunk to fit the screen. If you enable this option, the text will also scale when you pinch.

Never Type Answer

If you have set up your cards to ask you to type in the answer (as explained in this section of the desktop manual), AnkiMobile will display a keyboard on such cards and allow you to check your answer. If you find typing on a mobile device inconvenient, you can use this option to disable the keyboard for all cards.

Shake Action

Allows you to customize what happens when you shake your device. The default action is to undo the previous answer.

Scheduling Options

These options affect the way Anki schedules cards in all decks.

New/Review Order

Whether Anki should introduce new cards before, after, or together with review cards.

Day Starts

Controls when a new day starts and new cards become available. Default is 04:00, which means new cards become available at 4AM.

Learn Ahead Minutes

The number of minutes to look ahead when the only cards remaining to review with a next repetition time in the future. The default is 20 minutes, which means cards due to show in 10 minutes will be shown immediately if nothing else is available to show.

Actions

AnkiMobile allows you to customize the interface, so that actions you perform frequently can be accomplished quickly. It’s possible to assign actions to taps, swipes, buttons on the top bar and buttons in the tools screen.

The following actions are available:

Add

Opens a new window to add cards to the deck.

Answer "Again"

When the answer screen is shown, choose the red button, indicating you wish to review the card again soon. This is useful when you forgot a card or wish to review it more frequently.

Answer "Hard"

When the answer screen is shown and there are four buttons, choose the second button from the left, indicating you found the card hard to remember.

Answer "Good"

When the answer screen is shown, choose the green button. This is the button you should end up using the most.

Answer "Easy"

When the answer screen is shown, choose the button on the right, indicating you found the card too easy to remember and would like a much longer delay.

Bury Card

Hides the current card from review. It will be shown again the next day, or when you manually unbury cards.

Bury Note

Hides the current note from review. It will be shown again the next day, or when you manually unbury cards.

Card Info

Shows information about the current card.

Custom Study

Allows you to study outside of the normal schedule. Please see the documentation of the computer version for more information on custom study presets.

Deck List

Returns to the deck list.

Deck Statistics

Shows graphs and statistics about your deck or collection.

Delete Note

Deletes the currently shown note and all of its cards. If you’re not studying in multiple directions, this will just delete a single card.

Edit

Edits the current card.

Empty

Removes all cards from the current filtered deck.

Find

Lets you search/browse your cards.

Filter/Cram

Allows you to create a temporary deck based on search criteria such as "tag:hard". Please see the documentation of the computer version for more information on filtered decks.

Mark

Adds a tag called "Marked" the current note, so it can be easily found in a search.

Mark & Bury

Marks the card, then buries it.

Mark & Suspend

Marks the card, then suspends it.

More

Shows a list of all available actions.

Off

Don’t do anything. Useful if you want to disable certain swipes, tap zones and so on.

Rebuild

When in a filtered or custom study deck, rerun the search to fetch any cards that may newly match the criteria.

Replay Audio

Replay the card’s audio. You can customize whether the audio in the question is replayed while the answer is shown in the computer Anki.

Show Answer

Reveals the answer when a card’s question is shown.

Suspend Card

Prevent current card from being shown during review until you unsuspend it via the search action.

Suspend Note

Prevent all cards of current note from being shown during review until you unsuspend them via the search action.

Tools

Show the tools screen.

Toggle Nav. Bar

Show or hide the status bar and navigation bar at the top.

Toggle ScratchPad

Show or hide the writing pad, allowing you to practice writing characters during review. Anki will remember the on/off state for each card type. You can tap once on the undo button to undo a stroke, or hold on it for a second to clear all strokes. On devices that support pressure sensitivity (iPhone 6S, iPad w/ Apple Pencil), the stroke width will depend on how hard you press.

Unbury Deck

Makes any buried cards in the current deck ready for review again.

Undo

Undoes the last action.

Taps

When you’re reviewing, you can tap on different parts of a card in order to trigger different actions.

Anki divides the screen into 9 sections:

Top Left

Top Center

Top Right

Mid Left

Mid Center

Mid Right

Bottom Left

Bottom Center

Bottom Right

Each section can have a different action assigned to it if you wish, and the taps when the question is shown are also different from the taps when the answer is shown.

By default, AnkiMobile responds as follows when the question in shown:

Show Answer

Show Answer

Show Answer

Show Answer

Show Answer

Show Answer

Show Answer

Show Answer

Show Answer

In other words, tapping anywhere on the screen will show the answer.

When the answer is shown, by default AnkiMobile responds as follows:

Answer "Again"

Off

Answer "Good"

Answer "Again"

Off

Answer "Good"

Answer "Again"

Off

Answer "Good"

This allows you to tap on the left side of the screen to trigger the red button, and the right side of the screen to trigger the green button. Taps near the middle of the screen will be ignored.

Swipes

You can also swipe up, down, left or right across a card to trigger an action.

To ensure swipes don’t interfere with your ability to scroll on a large card or select text, a swipe must begin from the left or right side of the screen. Begin by placing your finger on the left or right side of the screen, and then move it up, down, left or right to trigger the relevant swipe.

With the default settings:

  • Swiping left displays the tools window

  • Swiping right returns to the deck list

Tool Buttons

In the middle of the tools screen, AnkiMobile displays 8 buttons for commonly used operations. By default, the actions are:

Mark

Delete Note

Undo

Card Info

Bury Note

Deck Statistics

Custom Study

More

For descriptions of what each action does, please see the action descriptions above.

Quickbar

When studying, the middle buttons at the top of the screen are called the quickbar. By default they allow you to add cards, edit the current card, and search/browse cards.

Theme

The theme screen allows you to customize the colours AnkiMobile uses for the interface: the buttons, background image and so on.

To customize the appearance of your cards, it’s currently necessary to adjust the appearance in the computer version and then sync or copy your cards over to AnkiMobile. For more information, please see this section of the computer version’s manual.

Profiles

Profiles allow multiple users to study with the same device. You can add profiles from the settings screen. To remove a profile, hold down on it for a few seconds.

Each profile needs to be synced with its own AnkiWeb account. Please be careful not to sync two profiles with the same AnkiWeb ID, as this could lead to data loss.

Backups

AnkiMobile will automatically create backups of your collection for you. The backups include all your cards and statistics, but do not include sounds or images, since they take up a lot of space.

The backup is taken in the background when you return to your device’s home screen, or switch to another app. A backup will only happen if more than an hour has elapsed since the last time a backup was created. AnkiMobile will store the last 15 backups.

To restore from a backup, open the Backups section in the preferences, and tap on the backup you wish to restore to.

It is also possible to customize the frequency and amount of backups that are created, via the settings at the top of the backups section. You can change 15 to a different number to adjust the number of backups - set it to zero to disable backups completely.

If you’re unable to get AnkiMobile to start due to a serious error, you can still retrieve the backups from the iTunes file sharing area:

  1. Connect your Apple device to your computer via the USB cable.

  2. Open iTunes if it doesn’t open automatically.

  3. Locate Anki’s file sharing section with Apple’s instructions.

  4. Drag the your backup files from iTunes to your desktop.

  5. Create a new, empty profile via File>Switch Profile, and then File>Import the latest backup apkg from within that profile to confirm that it’s ok. If it is corrupt, you can try a previous backup.

Check Database

This will check your collection for a number of possible errors and fix them if possible.

It also will remove any tags that are no longer used by any cards.

Check Media

This scans all your notes for references to sounds and images, and then checks to make sure that the sounds and images are available. It will display a report letting you know of any sounds or images that are missing, and any sounds or images that are not used by any cards. If you tap the delete button, the unused sounds or images will be deleted.

Adding Material

To add cards to a deck, tap the "Add" button while reviewing.

The "Type" button at the top allows you to select the type of note you’d like to add. For more information about note types, please see the introduction in the computer version’s manual.

When you tap on a field, a keyboard will come up, allowing you to type in information. You can use the next and previous buttons to move between fields, and the done button to hide the keyboard.

The camera icon allows you to add an image to your note, either via your device’s camera (if it has one), or from your photo library. The microphone icon allows you to record your voice and place it into a field.

When you’ve typed in the content of a note, hit the save button to add it to your collection.

The magnifying glass at the bottom allows you to see a preview of the card(s) which would be added. You’ll need to hide the keyboard to make the icon visible.

Editing

To edit a note, tap the "Edit" button while reviewing.

The edit screen is similar to the adding screen mentioned above, with some key differences:

  • There is no note type selection button or deck selection button. If you want to change the type of an existing note or which deck it’s in, you currently need to do so with the computer version of Anki.

  • There are two extra buttons at the bottom of the screen. The middle button allows you to perform various actions on the current card or note. Please see the action descriptions for more information on what each action does.

  • The trash icon allows you to delete the current note and all its cards.

Finding/Searching/Browsing

You can search or browse your deck by tapping the "Find" button while reviewing.

The find screen starts by displaying a search bar with the text: deck:current, and displaying the keyboard. If you tap the return button on the keyboard, AnkiMobile will display all cards in the current deck.

You can type text into the search box in order to limit the cards further. If you only wanted to show cards in the current deck that contain the text "hello" for example, you’d modify the text so it says deck:current hello and then tap return. If you wish to search across multiple decks, you can remove the deck:current part.

AnkiMobile supports all the search strings that the desktop version of Anki does, allowing you to perform quite complex searches. Some examples:

tag:marked

show cards that with the tag "marked"

is:due

show only cards that are waiting for review

front:rabbit

show only cards where the front field is exactly "rabbit"

For a full list of the possibilities, please see the section in the desktop manual.

When a search returns one or more cards, you can tap on a card to edit it, or perform various actions like previewing it, deleting it, showing information about it, and so on.

Cards that are matched in a search will show all the note text, with the card template’s name at the front, like "[Front] first field; second field".

Filtered Decks

Anki is designed to optimize the learning process, so that you study the minimum amount necessary to remember the majority of your cards. Once the congratulations screen is reached, further study becomes a case of diminishing returns: the amount of extra time spent going over the same cards again is generally not worth the moderate increase in retention you’ll see.

That said, if you have a test looming, or simply want to pass some time, it’s possible to keep reviewing once the congratulations screen is reached.

A filtered deck is a temporary deck that contains cards based on various criteria, such as "forgotten today", "is tagged hard", and so on. After studying cards in a filtered deck, or when the filtered deck is deleted, the cards are automatically returned to their original deck.

The easiest way to create a filtered deck is by using the "custom study" feature. A custom study link will appear when you’ve finished all waiting cards in a deck. You can also access custom study ahead of time by clicking the tools button, and then choosing "Custom Study".

Advanced users can create a filtered deck manually, by clicking the tools button, then choosing "More" and then "Filter/Cram".

For further information on filtered decks, please see the computer version’s documentation.

Advanced Features

Custom Fonts

AnkiMobile allows you to use non-system fonts on your cards. To set them up, the desktop client is required. Please see the section in the desktop manual for more information.

Please note that AnkiMobile has to load the entire font into memory in order to use it, and fonts for Asian languages can be quite large. If you have an older device and notice AnkiMobile crashing frequently after installing a font, you may have exceeded your device’s memory limits.

The desktop version of Anki provides the ability to open a web page based on the contents of a field, for easily creating a link to an online dictionary site. This is documented in this section of the manual, though please start from the cards & templates section as the above link assumes you have read it.

Like the desktop, AnkiMobile supports links to dictionary websites. In addition to that, you can also link to different dictionary apps that you have installed on your device, by making use of an iOS feature called a URL Scheme.

Note
When tapping on a dictionary link, holding down your finger for a little longer than you usually tap to advance to the next card will ensure the tap is treated as a tap on the link and not a tap to advance.

A URL Scheme is like a link to a website, but it instead links to an app. A simple example is:

anki://

If you type this into Safari on your device, you’ll see AnkiMobile open up.

Some dictionary apps provide a URL scheme that allows you to provide a particular phrase to search for. For example, an app called iDict+ allows the following type of URL:

idictplus://?search=mysearchtext

If you have iDict+ installed and type that into Safari, iDict+ should open up and immediately search for "mysearchtext".

iDict+ also supports passing a return link. We can replace the above with:

idictplus://?search=txt&scheme=anki://

If you type that into Safari, it will search for "mysearchtext" like before, but will also provide a "return" button that when pressed will open up Anki.

By taking that text and combining it with the instructions for the desktop version linked above, it’s possible to have a link on your cards that searches for a word in another app, and then allows you to return to Anki when you’re done.

Unfortunately, there is no standard for URL schemes: some apps implement them, some don’t, and the way they implement them can different. For example, in the app called "Kotoba!", the URL scheme is:

kotoba://dictionary?word=mysearchtext

Note how not only the app name differs but also the text after it, and how Kotoba! doesn’t provide the ability to automatically return to the app that opened it, meaning that you need to double tap the home button and manually return to AnkiMobile.

Some dictionary apps publish their URL scheme in their documentation. If you’re using a dictionary app that doesn’t, please contact the authors and ask them for more information.

Debug Log

If you’re encountering a problem with Anki and we’ve asked you to provide a debug log, please follow the following steps:

  1. Connect your device via USB.

  2. Open iTunes if it doesn’t open automatically.

  3. Locate Anki’s file sharing section with Apple’s instructions.

  4. Drag the debug.log file on to your desktop, then attach it to your support ticket.

  5. If a debug.mdb file is there too, and you’re having issues with syncing, please include that file as well.


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