Smartphones are part of our everyday lives. From booking tickets, paying for things and ordering food, to connecting with friends and family, they’ve revolutionised our lives. But perhaps one of the most incredible things they can do is make us smarter.
Here we look at a few ways your phone could support your learning…
Improve your artwork
We all love doodling with pen and paper. But when we want to take our illustration skills to the next level, our mobile phones can help.
Drawing Desk: Draw & Paint Art is a free app available on iOS and Android. It lets you sketch, paint and create realistic-looking artwork in the palm of your hand. Even novice artists will love experimenting with tools such as 3D brushes, NEON brushes, glitter brushes and many more.
Adobe Illustrator Draw is another app available on iOS and Android. It’s a must-have for improving artists and professional illustrators. You can go from sketch to finished product with vector lines to ensure your illustrations have a perfect finish. It’s trusted by professionals everywhere – and it’s completely free with no ads!
Become a master chef
Whether you’re looking for recipes for a roast dinner or a myriad of veggie and vegan meals, your smartphone is your perfect kitchen partner.
BigOven is a free app offering over half a million recipes – including many quick and simple ones that will help you feel like a cookery pro in no time. It’s available on Android and iOS. Our favourite feature is that it lets you share and receive recipes from your favourite chefs and food bloggers.
For veggies and vegans, gonutss is a must-have. Dubbed the “vegan translator”, it takes meaty recipes and transforms them into heathy, veggie ones. It even contains a Veganpedia, helping you search for meat-free ingredients to complement your dish. Get gonutss now on Android and iOS.
Develop expert coding skills
Have you always wished you could code, but don’t know where to start? With just a couple of apps, you could get started on your way to be an expert coder.
One of the top choices is undoubtedly SoloLearn. Whether you’re looking to learn simple HTML or become fluent in Java, SoloLearn helps you with simple and interactive tutorials. It’s aimed at everyone from absolute beginners to experts, and you can learn in your own time with nothing but your mobile. Download it free for iOS and Android.
Meanwhile, if you’re helping your little ones get a grasp of code, we recommend the fun and interactive Codemurai. It breaks the coding down so that anyone can understand it, and tracks your progress with medals. Download Codemurai free for iOS and Android.
With a number of apps on the market to help you cope with whatever life throws at you, your phone can help you stay calm.
Headspace is a free app available for both iOS and Android. It offers guided meditation courses that can boost your happiness and lower anxiety through meditation, breathing exercises and mindfulness. It can even help you get a better night’s sleep – no wonder it’s loved the world over!
Calm is another free app available on both iOS and Android. As well as offering guided meditation and mindfulness, it includes a plethora of sleep stories to help you drift off, ambient sounds and music to calm you down, plus masterclasses in all sorts of life lessons, taught by experts in psychology.
Learn an instrument
Once you’ve decided which instrument you’d like to learn, the right app can guide you through those difficult first steps.
Yousician is a great free app available on both iOS and Android. It’s perfect for you if you’re a complete beginner, advanced or even a professional trying to brush up on your skills. Both kids and music teachers can benefit from it, and it contains lessons for singers, pianists, guitarists and even ukulele players.
Simply Piano is fun and works at your own pace, showing you which keys to play. You’ll be impressing your friends in no time! Get it for Android and iOS today.
Hablar otro idioma (Speak another language)
Learning another language takes time, patience and dedication. But with your handy smartphone, you can learn on the go to become fluent fast.
Duolingo for iOS and Android is one of the most popular apps for learning a new language or brushing up your skills. It’s completely free, but if you want to remove the ads and support free education you should sign up to Plus. It contains every language you could think of, from English, French and Spanish to Hungarian and Japanese – and new ones are added all the time – one of the most recent was Scottish Gaelic!
Babbel is a free app available for both iOS and Android. Using its tried-and-tested method, Babbel helps you learn a language by speaking and listening to native speakers, as you develop skills using local dialects. It can help you improve your proficiency in up to 14 languages in just two months.
Also, don’t forget to check out our European Language Day article to find out about all the great apps to help you learn a new language. The day itself comes around once a year in September, so this could be the perfect time to get started, or to practice the skills you already have. Find out more about learning a language.