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This New App From Duolingo Aims To Make Flash Cards Obsolete

This new app might make traditional flash cards obsolete (or at least fun).

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While students have been using flash cards to memorize facts and vocabulary at least since the Victorian era, it's no secret that the study tools can be deathly dull.

Luis von AhnPhoto: courtesy of Duolingo

Hoping to change that is Duolingo, the Pittsburgh-based company behind the popular language learning app of the same name. On Tuesday, the company released TinyCards, a game-like, modern version of flash cards that automatically tracks what users already have learned and even lets users level up, video game-style, as they progress in their knowledge.

"Duolingo redefined the way millions of people learn languages by making it fun, effective and free," said Duolingo cofounder and CEO Luis von Ahn in a statement. "We’re excited to bring that experience to flashcards in order to help school kids suffering through memorization for tests. We also hope this will motivate adults to learn new topics to enhance their lives."

For now, the free app is exclusively available for iOS, though the company said on Twitter that versions for other platforms will be available soon.

TinyCards launched with hundreds of illustrated (and frequently adorable) virtual decks on subjects from languages to science. Users are also able to create and share their own decks on subjects of their choice, from wine pairings to characters from Game of Thrones and Pokémon, according to Duolingo.

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