We don’t know about you, but there’s definitely been a number of times where we’ve felt like we could do more than just sit idly by during our daily commute: Learn a new language, master stock trading, or even just picking up new hobbies like crafting and knitting.
Thankfully, there’s more than a couple of great educational mobile apps out there that are designed to equip us new skills and practical knowledge.
Below, we’ve listed the best apps that put the ‘smart’ back into smartphone. Hoorah for lifelong learning!
Duolingo - Learn a new language (Free)
Offering interactive bite-sized lessons that’ll take up ten to twenty minutes per day, Duolingo employs a fun ‘game’ system that allows you to earn points from getting the right answers to multiple choice questions, audio translations and typing in phrases which grant access to progressive lessons. With over 30+ languages to choose from (e.g. French, Spanish, Japanese and Korean etc), the world is at your fingertips as you master one language to another.
TradeHero - Learn to trade stocks (Free)
New to playing the stock market? Now, you can do it literally with by practicing in a virtual stock trading simulation app that was created right here in Singapore. With this app, you can master trading with a $100K virtual portfolio and pick up useful tips on how to trade on the financial markets. Not only can you participate in virtual trading competitions where you can compete with your friends, you can also participate in discussions with experts on the financial markets and get the latest stock market news.
Craftsy - Learn how to knit (Offers in-app purchases)
Featuring in-depth knitting tutorials, knitting patterns and video demonstrations for easy learning, Craftsy caters to everyone from beginners to experts. There’s over a hundred online tutorials to purchase, in nearly every craft thinkable. Of course, you don’t just learn about knitting, there’s other crafts you can pick up too; from sewing, cake decorating, cooking, photography, gardening, and more.
Udacity - Learn to code (Offers in-app purchases)
Always wanted to code your own app? Udacity has a user-friendly interface and downloadable classes to help you learn coding while on the go. With quizzes, a platform to interact with mentors and classmates, and course material developed with industry experts from Facebook, Google, Amazon, Github, and more, this app caters to every skill level; from beginners to expert coders.
TED - For inspirational and intriguing ideas (Free)
With this app, you can browse, download and view TED Talks, a series of acclaimed videos featuring the world’s most shining thinkers elucidating a wide range of topics from technology, education, politics and personal growth. With over 1,500 academic talks available, subtitles in over 100 languages, and downloadable content which helps you watch offline, this app will satisfy your need for learning while covering almost every subject matter you can think of.
DailyArt - Learn about art history (Free)
You’ll be well on your way to becoming an art aficionado with this app. Each day, this app presents a different masterpiece while imparting intriguing tidbits and short stories behind each one. Get inspired as you dive deep into the world of art, from beautiful classics to contemporary creation, and find out interesting details like the reason why van Gogh cut off his ear, or who the lady in Picasso's portrait is.
Exoplanets - Learn about astronomy (Offers in-app purchases)
Discover a hidden penchant for astronomy by exploring this app, which offers an interactive catalogue on the planets which orbit the stars beyond our Solar System. Developed by a professional astronomer, who updates the app frequently with newly confirmed discoveries, Exoplanet features outstanding animations which allow you to explore the galaxy from the Solar System all the way to the cosmic microwave background.
Songsterr - Learn to play a musical instrument (Offers monthly subscription)
Decreed as one of "The Best Apps for Learning to Play Music" by Wall Street Journal, Songsterr has a realistic guitar engine for you to master playing the instrument while out and about. From guitar, bass and drums to vocals, this app is like your very own music teacher. Not only can you slow down tab playbacks to learn difficult parts and play back selected measures repeatedly, you can also view previously opened tabs offline.
The free version of this app allows you 15 second previews of songs. A US$4.99 (S$6.85) per month subscription is required for full access to all songs.