The language-learning behemoth known as Rosetta Stone has launched itself into the iPad world with the new TOTALe Companion HD app, a supersized version of the iPhone TOTALe Companion that arrived earlier this year.
TOTALe Companion HD delivers access to core Rosetta Stone v4 features on the mobile device: build vocabulary with the Rosetta Course module, and extend/enhance pronunciation with voice recognition. It does not include the Rosetta Studio 'live interaction' video chat, at least not for now. iPad users can sync their progress with the desktop versions of RS.
Rosetta Stone may be the dominant brand in computer-aided language learning, but needless to say, it does not come cheap. You can download the iPad app for free, but it doesn't do anything without a corresponding Rosetta Stone account. You activate the app by purchasing the boxed $179 level I lessons for Mac or PC, which provide 3 months of online access (ouch!).
Additional levels cost more (it's almost $500 for a five-level course suite), and if you want to continue your access past the 3-month window prices start at $25/month (going as low as $15/month with a 15-month commitment). The $199/299 3 or 6-month online-only (no boxed software) subscription also works with the iPad app.
It may not be for the casual student, but if you have a professional or personal need to get conversant in a new tongue pronto, check it out. We will be taking a deeper look at the iPad app shortly.