AnkiPro: Another ripoff Anki app

It looks like last month a new app on the iOS App Store has become available that appears to be ripping off not only the name, but it would seem major elements of code, from Anki. It is called “Anki Pro Index Cards Ankidroid.”

I don’t know really anything about the open source license that Anki is using, so I don’t know if it is actually a violation or not, but nevertheless this app saddens me since it take away sales from the only monetized aspect of Anki (AnkiMobile) that pays the bills for the main full-time developer and also the free AnkiWeb service.

I don’t think I can report the app myself, so instead all I could do was rate as “helpful” the one review that exposes the app as a scam. All of the other (4) reviews are suspiciously glowing.

If my ire is misplaced and this is actually legitimate and fair use, please kindly let me know.

5 Likes

At least, they could change the name of the app.

Really sad.

“Anki Pro” is such a blatant rip-off that it’s infuriating. Not only have they worded their name and description to trick people into thinking their knock-off works well with the rest of the Anki ecosystem, but they’ve copied numerous things to try and give themselves more of an air of legitimacy - the design of the answer buttons, the screenshots/logos from the Image Occlusion add-on and AnkiMobile, and they appear to have even downloaded and re-shared decks from AnkiWeb against the license terms.

Maksim Abramchuck appears to be the main person behind this. He wrote to me a few months ago asking for permissions to create an “Anki Pro” app. I replied:

Please don’t build a competing app. AnkiMobile is the sole source of finance for Anki’s development and the costs of the AnkiWeb servers, and if you build an app that draws people away from AnkiMobile, that puts the future of Anki’s development and the syncing services at risk.

He replied:

Thanks a ton for getting back to me on this one, I appreciate your prompt response. I totally understand that iOS version is the only revenue flow for Anki and that you need that revenue to keep the servers up. I can assure you that we definitely don’t want to harm Anki ecosystem in any way.

… yeah.

I replied:

You may not have any intention of harm, but I’m afraid I think a competing Anki app on iOS could have a serious impact on sales. I have no problem with apps competing on their own merits - if you want to build your own flashcard product that doesn’t use “Anki” in the name or attempt to leverage the syncing services which AnkiMobile finances, that’s fair play.

I did not hear back from him, and now we see that he decided to go and do it anyway.

It saddens me that some people in this world are willing to resort to deception to drive traffic to their app, instead of focusing on building something good that can stand on its own. :frowning:

Since the app is free to download, one way of alerting other users to this issue would be to download the app, give it a try, and then leave a review with your honest thoughts about it. Just be careful though - they try to push you into signing up for a subscription shortly after starting the app.

19 Likes

Hi Damien. It saddens me to see this. I see that issue is recurring. The positive aspect of it is that Anki is getting more popular among the mainstream population and it is becoming easier to target Anki for third parties.

5 Likes

2 posts were split to a new topic: Alternative revenue streams