There are 3 different approaches:
- focus on dictionary and short sentences
- focus on grammar
- focus on being able to speak
The approach taken by class german course is usually the second one. To study a few words and, at the same time, a lot of grammar. As well as Duolingo (free) and Babbel.
Mosalingua instead, but also another version of Babbel are more focused on learning words (1st approach) and short sentence. I prefer Mosalingua since it only asks you if you remember the word. It's a simpler app, but it's faster. And allows to repeat a lot of words/sentence every day. After reading 1400 cards I can remember very well more than 800. I can read german, but I can't speak well and understanding the basic grammar is still really really hard.
Pimsleur is taking a completely different approach (the 3rd one). It's made of a lot of short lessons (30 minutes each one) which are completely spoken. The beginner course is made of 30 lessons. As well as the other levels.
Driving home and back I listened about 15 lessons. My spoken german improved as well as the ability to understand. I'm actually mixing the various approach.
After 6 months of using Mosalingua (1400 cards) and after finising to listeni to the beginner course of Pimsleur my German level is A2.2. From a few weeks I've started also a German course. I'm really lacking on the grammar so the course is A1.1 (but it's a bit basic to me).
Unless you need to be able to read or to speak as soon as possible, I personally suggest to mix the various approaches.
Until now my level passed from 0 to A2.2. I spent 64 hours on Mosalingua, 16 hours on Pimsleur, 12 hours on the A1.1 german course. The german course is a bit "slow" but I like what I'm learning. Learning words at the beginning is a bit hard.
I hope this answer can help someone.