Practice Exam Apps for Smartphones
I thought this might be worth pointing out, for those who are looking to get or upgrade their licenses, and who have smartphones like iPhone, Android or the new Windows Phone 7.
A number of enterprising Hams have created practice exam apps for all these platforms, so if you have a smartphone you can download an app and take practice exams all the live-long day if you want. You can find these apps in the various app stores; just search the stores using "ham radio" or "ham exam", whatever. Most of these apps are only a dollar or three, and are well worth the money. Just mind the reviews, because not all of these are of equal quality.
The newest smartphone OS, Windows Phone 7, has only a few Ham-related apps in it so far, but a couple of these are practice exam apps.
Hoping not to come across like a shameless plug, , but I'll confess it here, that I'm the author of one of the WP7 exam apps -- for the technician license, but I'll soon be adding the other two.
I’m a brand new ham (license literally posted July 14th!), and I used "Ham Tech" for the iPhone with great success. The app was affordable, easy to use, and the author has been very responsive to suggestions for improvement. He’s also got corresponding Ham General (studying now) and Ham Extra apps.
I had bought one for my iPhone (can't remember which one at the moment), but honestly, I preffered hamtestonline.com. In addition to the questions, it proved some learning as well. It worked perfectly on my iPad and it was ok on my iPhone if I zoomed in a bit.
The QRZ practice tests work fine on a smartphone via the browser -- no app required. If you do make an exam app, here are my feature suggestions:
1. Progress tracking with fancy graphs/charts (bonus points if the chart can break down by area of study)
2. Tracking of frequently missed questions
3. Randomization (but with intelligence) of the entire question pool (e.g. if you're having trouble in one area, the program would realize this and ask different but related questions)
4. An option to turn on a "verbose answer" so that when you miss a question, it can open up an in-depth explanation of that answer
5. Test by specific study area
6. Test questions are downloaded offline (no data usage)
7. Test questions are updated (if removed from official exam) and when the test questions cycle
8. Practice exam based solely upon the frequently missed questions (obviously not an official "exam" but for learning the deep subject matter)