I love this response! And appreciate all your insights. My lightweight counters:
1. Yeah, I noticed the move of the audio exercises into the "review" tab. I think it's just more tab reduction goals.
I think forcing people to do the stories is more important that enabling certain users to manage their progress in two spaces separately.
2. I agree with this. I have found it sometimes to feel a little suffocating to have to push through the same material over and over before I can move forward. (Luckily, I'm doing French, German, and Japanese – so I can achieve some variety!)
3. Ah! Yes, this is why I wanted to see some zoom out possibility. I'm trying to get legendary (which is now gold) on everything, and scroll to the top and then scroll like thirty units to where I haven't achieved legendary yet.
4. That makes sense to me. I question if most users noticed that the colors were attached to levels. It is rare that we see a product take something that means something and make it mean nothing! I wonder what data they based that decision on.
I don't know if any company intends to f*ck over their most loyal users. I think all redesigns, and new features, are intended to improve the experience for the maximum number of users. Of course, for anyone who's used an app for a long time, change can disrupt flow quite drastically.
I hope the redesign grows on you and you continue your language learning journey!