Tobo Review: Decent Language Apps But Almost Ruined By Ads

  • Lara Scott
    Written byLara Scott
  • Read time2 mins
  • Comments1
A decent app for learning vocabulary on the move but an absolute ad-fest that practically spoils it.
Tobo Review: Decent Language Apps But Almost Ruined By Ads

Pricing: Free with in-app purchases (from $3.49 to $20.99)
  • Many languages covered
  • Large number of vocabulary
  • Gamification
  • Ads are excessive
  • Assumes you have a basic understanding of the target language
  • Lacks important context for vocabulary


Tobo's 'Learn Vocabulary' apps are decent for increasing vocabulary with an engaging and simple interface, but they're almost ruined by excessive in-app advertising unless you pay.

DepthThis is 'content' richness. How comprehensive is Tobo and does it take you far in terms of levels, or is it more suited to low level/tourist learners?
UniquenessIs Tobo innovative or is it just an imitation? Does it have a unique selling proposition (USP) that makes it stand out among competitors?
QualityOverall product quality indicator that covers everything from video/dialogue clarity, authenticity, explanations, and effectiveness.
CostIs Tobo acceptably priced and how does its pricing compare to market competition?

Tobo’s Learn Vocabulary apps are a simple way to learn vocabulary.

I found it an engaging learning platform that not only introduced me to new words, but also helped me improve my pronunciation of the words.

Available in the Apple App Store and Google Play for Android, it’s available in free or paid subscription at 1, 3 or 12 month durations.

The following languages are available:

The free version of the app has (excessive) advertisements and limited functionality. You’re then able to open up bonus hints by watching more advertisements. The ads at the bottom of the screen are very distracting.

The paid subscription removes all these ads.

Tobo’s Learn Vocabulary apps are simple but engaging.

It uses a familiar but rudimentary flash card method to teach you new words (with native speaker audio).

I liked the format of the flash cards and the ability to keep words in the lineup that I felt I had not mastered. I found the games fun, engaging and helpful to reinforce words that I had learnt.

Some of the things that I didn’t like were that it assumed you have an understanding of foreign alphabets (in my case Greek).

I also found the games difficult to understand at first. Even after reading the instructions a few times, it was not 100% clear as to how they worked. It also lacks context for words (e.g. sample dialogues).

Lack of context can make it difficult to acquire vocabulary properly.

After using it, I think the app is very functional and helpful in adding new words to your vocabulary but the ads in the free version are a nuisance.

Rather than pay for a Tobo app, I’d say you’re better spending it on something like Babbel or Mondly.

For other alternatives for learning vocabulary, see the Essential Language Resources page.

Have you used the Tobo apps before?

Share your thoughts below.

Pricing: Free with in-app purchases (from $3.49 to $20.99)

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I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic).
Currently learning: Greek


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