The best apps for learning something new
The best apps for learning something new...
New phone or tablet for Xmas? New Year’s resolutions to stick too? Learning a new skill, be that for a career change, extra income, or just because, well, why not, has never been easier. Accepting that life sometimes kind of gets in the way, what with the chaos of work, kids, social engagements ... the list goes on ... finding time can feel tough. But 10 minutes, every day (consistency is key), is all you actually need to get going on your new found challenge. So, with that we asked around the Gadgetsure office to see what apps our team had on their phones or tablets for learning a new skill. Here’s what we found...
1. UdemyOk, so this app is more like a catalogue of learning, offering hundreds of thousands of courses, all online and all that you can do at your own pace. It was a big hit with our staff with over half having this app installed. And the courses our staff were doing ranged from personal development ones; a photography course and learning how to use photoshop. To professional courses for social media marketing and web development & coding. An all-round great app whether you’re looking for some inspiration on what to learn or whether you’re looking for something specific. 10/10 from us
2. DuolingoAnother well-known and popular app for learning a new language. It uses gamification to keep users engaged as they work through the exercises, testing listening, reading and writing skills. And with 45 languages to choose from, we reckon it more or less covers every language possible! Oh and word of warning, they really do stay on your back, nudging you to complete that golden 10 minutes a day!
3. Steezy StudioWe love this app. It’s fun and a side benefit, it’s great exercise. Two left feet or not, this app has such a fantastic range of options. Offering different skill levels from brand new all the way up to advanced. 12 different styles of dance, from Hip Hop, Contemporary, to Salsa and K-Pop. And then, depending on your mood or how long you have, there’s dance workouts, choreography routines and techniques to choose from. No-one can deny a good old dance is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and lift your energy levels.
4. MimoGetting rave reviews in the press, Mimo. An app that makes learning to code, easy and fun. Sure, some would argue that this is an oxymoron, and yes, coding isn’t for everyone. But a few of our staff had this and they loved it. It has a beautiful interface, of course! And had bite-sized and manageable exercises that you can do almost anywhere when you get 5. There’s also what they call a code playground, where you can experiment and build your own projects. And, as with many of these apps, it has a function called ’Streak’. No, not the take your clothes off kind, but where you can set daily goals for yourself and it then gives you a little nudge in case you were thinking of doing something else!
5. SimplySimply Piano. Simply Guitar. Simply Sing. One of our claims specialists was using this to hone his guitar skills but said it was an absolute must for our list. So we googled and wow! This app has stellar ratings from hundreds of thousands of users. And it’s not just the guitar, it also offers piano and singing. It teaches techniques, right from basic to advanced, as well as songs to learn. And the best bit, you can get instant feedback using their patented acoustic note recognition tool to listen to how you’re doing. A brilliantly personalised experience. We’re downloading it now... !
6. Daily YogaA few apps on yoga were mentioned by our team but this one seemed to be the best all-round app, covering the basics with excellent tutorials, and then moving to more advanced classes. It also has a ‘smart coach’ that gives you daily recommendations on what to do plus personal data. And there’s a huge community to tap into for techniques and chats.
7. SkillshareFocussed on creative skills, this app covers just about every creative discipline you can think of; Animation, Photography, Social Media, UI/UX design to Creative Writing and Digital Illustration... and more! Industry leaders host many of the classes making for a high quality learning experience whether for your professional or personal development.
8. BlinkistUnderstand books and podcasts in 15 minutes via audio summaries! Genius, right? You can get the big ideas from a whole host of non-fiction best-sellers & podcasts whilst you’re on the train, driving, walking, doing those dreaded chores or just relaxing. The app then starts to curate a reading list for you, making it even easier to learn something new every single day. Perfect for curious people who love to learn, those who don’t have time to read and even those that just aren’t into reading.
9. KnowableSticking with the audio theme, this is an app offering podcast style courses on a whole host of topics by experts, as well as some pretty big hitters, like the founder of Reddit! There’s courses on law, advice on investing and starting a business, to skill based courses on the pursuit of happiness and public speaking. Whatever it is you wanted to turn your hand to, learn more about or upskill in, this app will have it. And it follows your audio session up with lesson summaries and an e-textbook. An app well worth every penny!
10. WhiskOk, so Yummly, an app used by 22 million people, is probably the most popular when it comes to food apps. But we love Whisk. Not so much an app that teaches you how to cook, but rather an app that supports your cooking passion! Loads of recipes to choose from, help with meal planning and the bit we like the most, you can add the foods you need for a recipe into your grocery list and even check-out of your favourite online store! Just brilliant!
Learning something new takes time. Not something many of us can easily find amongst everything else that life cares to throw at us on a daily basis. But these apps kind of get that and have been designed to fit in around you. Making learning not only more fun but also more flexible, and as a result, more accessible. So, make 2023 the year you learn something new.