The Best Free Learning Apps
All kinds of learners use the best learning apps to learn about a new subject, improve their vocabulary, or learn a foreign language. Online learning is increasingly popular, with a 47 percent increase in the elearning market since 2014. With new learning apps available every day, there are a lot of options to choose from.
Whether you are an adult looking to learn a popular programming language or a parent looking for a math game for your kid, there is a learning app out there to help with your learning process. We researched the best learning apps to bring you this list of the best paid and the best free learning apps.
What Is a Learning App?
A learning app is a mobile application that delivers different kinds of learning experiences to its users. You can access learning apps from smartphones, tablets, computers, and sometimes on an e-reader. These education apps are great supportive tools for in-class learning or as standalone learning tools.
Why Do People Use Learning Apps?
People use learning apps to improve their skills in a particular area. They are used by parents seeking additional learning opportunities for their kids, adults who want to learn something new, and teachers looking for a way to support in-class learning and development.
How the Best Learning Apps Can Help You Develop Your Knowledge and Skills
The best learning apps use a variety of teaching methods for effective learning, and those methods vary depending on the apps overall style and target age. Apps for kids feature catchy songs and animated stories, while apps for adults might use video lectures. A lot of apps use interactive games to engage learners of all ages.
Learning apps for kids use animated stories and super simple songs to engage young learners so they have fun while developing skills in math, vocabulary, and rhythm. Adult apps are more variable in their learning style, some use animations and storytelling while others rely on interesting content to keep learners engaged.
Many learning apps use games, puzzles, and challenges to test your skills in a fun way. There are more simple games like flashcard study sets to complex games with characters and quests.
In some learning apps for adults, like Coursera and Khan Academy, you can get a certificate to add to your resume to show that you’ve learned a new skill. A certificate is great motivation to complete a course using a learning app.
The 10 Best Learning Apps: Overview
|ABCmouse||iOS, Android||Fun educational games and activities in various subjects, assessment center to check progress, up to three kids per account||$12.99/month|
|Coursera||iOS, Android||Hundreds of course options in a wide range of subjects||Free with paid certificate options|
|Google Classroom||iOS, Android||Digital classroom with explanations, videos, presentations, and quizzes||Free|
|Homer||iOS, Android||Stories, games, lessons, and songs in math, reading, creativity, and thinking skills, offline and printable activities||$12.99/month|
|Khan Academy||iOS, Android||Academic, career development, and life skills content||Free|
|Khan Academy Kids||iOS, Android||Free content without ads including ebooks, learning activities, songs, and videos||Free|
|Kids Academy||iOS||Engaging gameplay, animations for learning the alphabet, repetition of the sequence of numbers, Montessori learning, teaches kids to spell, write, and read||$19.99/month|
|Speech Blubs||iOS, Android||Improve kids’ speech with interactive videos, face filters, stickers, puzzles, and mini-games||$0 – $14.99/month|
|Thinkrolls Play & Code||iOS||Logic games, mazes, and puzzles for younger kids||$0 – $6.99/month|
|WolframAlpha||iOS, Android||Course assistants for teachers, reference guides for professionals, and research guides for casual learners||$0 – $6.99|
The Best Learning Apps to Make Your Life Easier
Learning apps come in many forms for a wide range of subjects and ages and are a very popular method of online learning. Education apps were the third most downloaded app category in the Apple Store in 2021. Below are some of the best learning apps to help you in your search.
ABCmouse | $12.99/month
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Unlocks more games and activities
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Content limited to kids who are 2-8 years old
ABCmouse has a wide array of subjects for kids ages two through second grade. Kids learn reading, math, and science, through games, activities, and reading books, and it is safe for children to use.
Homer | $12.99/month
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Tailored programming for kids two years and older
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Not fully accessible offline
Homer is an early learning app to help children develop critical thinking skills and creativity. It has a wide range of lessons, stories, and activities for kids ages two to seven. Lessons are packed with fun learning activities tailored to your child’s interests.
Kids Academy | $19.99/month
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Access to all learning materials and activities
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Many complain about app glitching
Kids Academy has over 5,000 learning activities for kids in pre-kindergarten through third grade in a collection of apps. There are games, videos, interactive and printable worksheets, songs, puzzles, math, reading, language arts, science, social studies, and flashcards.
Speech Blubs | $0 – $14.99 per month
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Speaking exercises for kids with and without diagnosed speech problems
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Need to pay for the yearly version to get 24-hour support
This platform is a speech therapy application to help kids learn to speak confidently. Created with speech-language pathologists, this app uses artificial intelligence and video technology to advance kids’ speech development.
Thinkrolls Play & Code | $0 – $6.99/month
- Best Feature of the Paid Version: Unlocks more games and puzzles
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Some incompatibility issues with older devices
Thinkrolls Play & Code is an app for kids ages three to eight to develop logical thinking, problem-solving, and spatial reasoning skills through engaging games and challenges. Thinkrolls Play & Code has collaborative play options and lets kids safely share the puzzles they create with friends in the community.
WolframAlpha | $0 – $6.99
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Access to all features and priority customer support
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Limited search function
WolframAlpha has a library of informational apps, including course assistants for teachers, reference guides for professionals, and research guides for subjects from family history to personal finance. These apps help you learn by navigating data.
The Best Free Learning Apps
Some apps are completely free to use without any need to update to a paid version. Below are some of the best free learning apps for kids and adults.
- Best Feature: You can learn almost anything from anywhere
- Biggest Downside: Little to no customer service
Coursera is the world’s largest platform for massive open online courses (MOOCs), with courses taught by world-class universities and companies, including Yale University and IBM. Courses are geared toward adults, and some are appropriate for high school students too. The app is free, but you’ll have to pay for a verified certificate to prove that you learned the material.
- Best Feature: Digital classroom with explanations, videos, presentations, and quizzes
- Biggest Downside: No offline option
Google Classroom is a virtual classroom tool for students and teachers. Students can view, complete and upload work on Google Classroom, and teachers can upload activities for students to complete in Google Classroom. Students can also engage in discussions with teachers and other students within Google Classroom.
- Best Feature: Academic, career advancement, and life skill courses
- Biggest Downside: No certificates
Khan Academy offers thousands of educational videos on math, science, art, history, career development, and life skills for adult students. Through this app students master new content and improve critical thinking skills.
Khan Academy Kids
- Best Feature: Free app without ads
- Biggest Downside: Limited access when offline
Khan Academy Kids is a free learning app for kids with plenty of ebooks, learning activities, songs, and videos. Kids learn about numbers, letters, emotions, and the world around them and develop foundational skills in math, reading, and logic.
Which of the Best Learning Apps Should I Choose?
The best learning app for you depends on your age, what you want to learn, and whether you want to pay for the app. For adult learners, Khan Academy is one of the best free learning apps to learn how to code, while Coursera has the widest range of subjects. For kids learning apps, Khan Academy Kids has content for the widest range of ages.
Best Learning Apps FAQ
Learning apps allow learners of all ages to learn wherever they are, as long as they have an Internet connection. Some learning apps have an offline mode where you can connect without an Internet connection, although the content is usually limited in offline mode.
You can browse for learning apps in the Apple Store and Google Play Store in the education category. You can also search for a specific app through your web browser and download it directly from the app’s website.
Learning apps aren’t just for kids, there are plenty of learning apps for adults. You can learn a range of subjects using Coursera and Khan Academy or learn a foreign language with Duolingo or Babbel. If you run a lot of programs on your device, you might want to learn how to make your apps run faster.
Not all learning apps are safe for kids to use. Before downloading an app for your kid, check the maturity rating and the reviews to see what other parents say about the app. Some apps come with parental controls. You should also disable in-app purchases if possible.