Using smartphones to learn is a growing trend thanks to the efforts of cross-platform learning services. For now, learning on mobile isn’t nearly as efficient as learning on a computer but a minute here and a minute there really adds up over time. If you’re interested in learning new skills or about things in general, check out the best Android learning apps.
First up is 3D Brain and as you can probably guess, this is a 3D model of a brain that shows people the various parts of the brain and explains what they do. It also explains things like what happens when various parts are injured and each part’s role in mental illness. It’s a free application with no in app purchases. 3D Brain isn’t as in depth as some other resources but it’s a fun start.
[Price: Free (books sold separately)]
Most people associate Amazon Kindle with leisure reading and that’s not a bad thing because it’s mostly true. However, there are a wide range of educational books, how-to books, and self-help books available on the Amazon Kindle platform and those can be genuinely useful when learning a new skill or just learning new things in general. The age range includes both kids and adults and there really are a bunch of titles available in a variety of subjects.
The Merriam Webster dictionary is a well-known dictionary but the app isn’t just that. It also contains synonyms and antonyms, example sentences of words, a word of the day, and a scrolling index that lets you browse the entire dictionary (a feature for tablets). It uses a minimal number of permissions which is one of the things that sets it apart from other dictionary apps and it’s always helpful to carry one around in case you need to look up a word.
Duolingo made a huge splash last year and remains one of the highest rated and most popular education apps of all time on Android. With this app you can learn different languages and it supports eight languages. It’s easy to use for most ages, it’s totally free, and there’s a web platform so you can continue your lessons anywhere. The design is colorful and pleasant. There isn’t much not to like about this app.
[Price: Free with in app purchases]
eduDroid is an application designed to be used by teachers in a school setting but it can also be great for home schooled kids or parents who want to give their kids a leg up. It features a breathtaking number of lessons ranging from spelling to math and more. It’s free to use and there are in app purchases. However, in a stroke of genius, this app hides the in app purchase menu behind a password lock so kids can’t get into it. It’s a solid app with some good lessons for kids and definitely worth a shot. Especially if you’re a teacher.
Google Helpouts is a unique platform where people help out other people. You can seek help in exchange for money if you prefer but there are some people out there who are willing to help out in certain subjects for free. There are a variety of topics including simple things like learning how to cook to more complex things like building websites. The app is free but you may have to spend money based on what help you seek.
[Price: Free] Khan Academy is already a popular website for people who want to learn more. It doesn’t have the super advanced stuff but if you need to brush up on a subject or learn a new one then this is a great choice. KhanAcademy Videos is a sort of extension app that allows you to view educational video content from the site on your mobile device so you can learn things on mobile. It’s a tad buggy for some people but it’s a great resource for educational videos.
One of the truly classic human activities has been staring at and mapping the stars. With Star Walk, you can continue that proud tradition. It is an interactive stargazing app taht allows you to explore and identify over 200,000 celestial bodies. There is a bunch of information about most of them so you can learn about those things that hover in the night sky. It’s a wildly deep application that will keep star gazers busy for hours at a time. They have a second app that works essentially the same way (for the same price) but focuses on the planets and moons in our solar system. You can download that here.
[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Udemy is a learning platform that allows you to purchase and take “courses” on various subjects. Unlike many of these, Udemy focuses more on skill-based learning so you’ll find classes on programming, learning to use things like Adobe software, and more simple things like cooking or speaking in public. It’s a simple premise. You browse and buy courses, then you watch the instructional videos and learn how to do the thing the class is trying to teach. The in app purchases allow you to buy courses. They do have free courses as well so you can check one of those out and experience the platform before buying them. It’s a solid option, especially for adults.
WolframAlpha likens itself to the computer in Star Trek that knows everything and that’s not a totally unfair assessment. With WolframAlpha you can find out a great deal of information including things related to math, statistics, physics, engineering, astronomy, Earth science, life science, computational science, and the list literally goes on and on and on. This may be the best $2.99 you’ll ever spend if you’re looking for an app that can educate you on some stuff very quickly and it’s an amazing reference guide for just about anything.
Last and certainly not least is the venerable YouTube. There are entire YouTube channels dedicated to educating people on almost every topic you can imagine. Even if it’s presented in a goofy fashion like NurdRage, there are tens of thousands (if not more) of videos that can teach you something. Don’t waste this invaluable and free resource for learning things.
If we missed any awesome Android learning apps, let us know in the comments!