Promising to help you improve your written English, whether you’re a native speaker or not, Ginger Page & Grammar comprises a replacement keyboard and basic word processor. Not only does it pick up spelling and grammar errors, it can even suggest alternative phrases to enhance your writing. This multifunctional app also offers dictionary definitions, synonyms and translation between 40 languages.
The keyboard is a standard Qwerty affair with the option of a number row along the top, although there’s no swipe-type option. You can switch it to other languages with standard word prediction, but only the English version offers the advanced features. As you type, it’ll highlight any spelling mistakes in the text and suggest corrections in the bar – tap one to use it or swipe up to dismiss. It’ll also pick up on grammatical errors, although this aspect is very hit and miss. For instance, it failed to correct ‘who’ to ‘whom’, nor did it distinguish between ‘less’ and ‘fewer’. Double negatives weren’t spotted either, although it did correctly change ‘effect’ to ‘affect’ for the context. Similarly, punctuation correction was patchy – it’s pretty good for inserting commas, but doesn’t seem to notice missing full-stops. If the feather key lights up, tapping it reveals one or more alternative phrases – a nice bonus if not always that useful.
The tablet version features a pull-out side panel in landscape view, containing the various functions: translate, define and synonyms. These can also be accessed via the keyboard, to use in another app – although if you’re browsing a webpage, you’ll have to copy and paste the text to do so. The same goes for the bonus text-to-speech reader.
Ginger Page isn’t perfect and is certainly no magic wand to make you a great writer, but it could prove useful for brushing up your text. And as it’s a free download, it’s well worth a try.