April 27, 2021

April 27, 2021 - Patch Notes

Hello everyone! Jacob here 👋

Today we have an update that we've been wanting to get out for awhile that should make the gifting experience a bit more enjoyable for anyone who uses it. We also want to talk about what's next for NativShark as our plans have changed a bit since our last update. Originally, we were going to work on some background system stuff, but we've decided instead to pull something else out of the backlog. More on that at the end…



When you receive a gift code (whether it is monthly, annual, or lifetime), you will now redeem it in the box at the bottom of your subscription page (where you previously could only claim lifetime codes).

Students had a lot of confusion (and rightfully so) about how they were supposed to redeem their codes and it was leading to frustration for people who purchased gifts as well as those who were trying to redeem their gifts.

Alongside this simplification, you can also now claim a gift code without entering any payment details!

We wanted to support that since the beginning but due to challenges with our payments processor initially, we hadn't had the opportunity to get in there and set it up this way yet.

Alongside these additions come a few changes to how gifting works, so let's discuss those now.

Claiming Multiple CodesWhen you claim codes, you are adding time towards your NativShark access. This time stacks indefinitely for you, butit will be erased if you subscribe. We are trying to think of the best way to approach this limitation as it is largely due to our payment processor and how they handle things on their end.

We hope to have an answer for that in the future but for now, keep in mind that if you're on a gift sub, the moment you start a paid sub is the moment your new subscription starts.

Claiming a Code on a SubscriptionIf you are currently subscribed to NativShark and you claim a code you receive, your subscription will be canceled and the time for that gift code will add onto the end of your subscription.

For example, if you had an annual subscription that was set to renew on April 30, 2021 and you claimed a gift code for 1 year of access to NativShark, your subscription will be canceled and you will have access to NativShark until April 30, 2022. The same logic applies for monthly gifts.

Billing HistoryYour billing history will now differentiate between subscriptions and claimed gift codes. There is currently a discrepancy where it will show Lifetime as a subscription rather than a one-off purchase, but we will be remedying that in the future as we clean up our data behind the scenes.

Note that lifetime purchases are always a one-time payment and will never be charged again.

What's Next?

With that out of the way, we want to talk about what we're working on next. So let's dive in.

Affiliate ProgramWith today's update we have put in some code to gather some prerequisite information that we need to make the affiliate dashboard and metrics work much better. To our current affiliates, please hang in there a little bit longer while we gather up enough data to be able to implement a better solution.

DictionaryWe have always wanted NativShark to be the only place that you need to be when you are studying and have found ourselves frustrated with opening up Jisho and other resources in other tabs to be able to reach for information.

We're fixing that.

We are in the process now of processing and integrating the same data sources that Jisho (and other sites like it) integrate so that you will be able to quickly get whatever information you need directly in NativShark.

You can expect the solution we integrate to be like Jisho, but seamlessly integrated with the NativShark experience. Want to know everything there is to know about a kanji? We'll have that information. Want to see all of the definitions for a word (including those handwritten by the NativShark team)? You'll be able to do that as well.

We'll make it so that you can easily tell if something is a NativShark certified definition, or if it's something pulled in from an external source. The goal here is to improve your in depth study experience and get one step closer towards being the only study resource you really need ^^

We're excited about this feature and how much it'll enhance the student experience. Speaking of enhancing the student experience…

Progression SystemOur progression system works as intended currently, but there's some limitations in how it is put together that are limiting where we want to take it. This means that we are going to be re-approaching our progression system in addition to our pace system.

Currently, NativShark is a system that pushes things to the student and then waits for the student to catch up. If the student is already caught up, then it calls it a day. What this means is that people are unable to skip what they already know or catch up to new content at a quicker pace.

We want to invert the relationship between the progression system and the student moving forward. While the progression system will have the framework and plan for the student to work through, the student will drive the speed at which they work through it.

To accomplish this, we need to get rid of the pace slider and replace it with something better. We'll talk more about how it is changing and what you can expect as we get closer to this new system, but we view this as one of the largest frustrations with NativShark that we are excited to be working on fixing now.

These two changes, the dictionary and the progression system are two big system changes that will set us up for some even more cool stuff coming down the line 👀


Whew! Today's patch notes turned into more of a blog post, but we wanted to keep everyone in the loop and maintain the transparency that we have and will continue to have with our community.

We'll be sharing updates as we finish these new features in our Discord community so join up if you haven't already. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us 😊

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