Intro: Finding the Best Educational Apps

If you’re like many others who desire to learn more and maybe even change their careers, then you may already be looking at different ways to learn or gain an education. In this digital age, education can be easily attained on the go thanks to educational apps.

Finding the best educational apps should be easy, but due to so many apps in either the App Store or Google Play Store (or any mobile application store, for that matter), it can be rather difficult to find the top educational apps that might suit your needs.

The great thing is that you can leave your worries at bay. This top educational apps review has done all the dirty work for you and will show you not only the best educational apps currently on the market but top educational apps for kids, as well.

This review will also cover top educational apps that are available for download on your iPhone or Android device. Also, we will only cover the top educational apps that can be downloaded and used for free.

When it comes to education, it is important that obtaining knowledge be free so that those who are unable to spend considerable amounts on a full-fledged program have the opportunity to learn and gain valuable skills. The internet has played an important role in helping achieve this while bridging the educational gap among various communities.

Most of these top rated educational apps do offer a monthly service subscription fee to give you more educational options or support as you learn, but generally, the bulk of the best apps for education listed here will be free of charge to download.

The paid part of these educational apps will give you further access to more activities, provide additional support, and unlock information, such as additional quizzes or content.

Let’s explore some of the best educational apps on the market today and what people are saying about these top rated educational apps.

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What Are People Looking for When Searching for Educational Apps?

If you want to know where to find the top educational apps, a good place to start is by understanding what others have been searching for, and if you think that you’re the only one who needs guidance on how to find the best apps for education, think again.

Here is a list of a few concerns people may have when looking for top educational apps and when downloading these best apps for education:

  • What educational apps are free?
  • What are the best educational apps?
  • What are some of the top educational apps for kids?
  • What benefits are there for using educational apps versus going to school?
  • What are the reviews saying about these top educational apps?
  • Are these top rated educational apps useful?

Which Top Rated Educational Apps Are Free?

Let’s be honest: we love the word “free,” so it’s no surprise that some of the top rated educational apps are free. Whether it’s the allure of the word or the fact that no payment is required when using these educational apps, it still serves as a motivator to learn. All you need is time and patience to learn.

So, what’s out there? Let’s dive right into what educational apps are currently free, as of 2016.


When it comes to the top rated educational apps available, Coursera stands out among the rest. This massive open online course, or MOOC, is considered to be one the best educational apps available, and there’re many reasons why.

top educational apps

Top Rated Educational Apps

One of the main advantages of using Coursera is that it offers a variety of courses modeled after (or in some cases exactly like) college courses by college professors or industry professionals.

Not only is the price point of “free” eye-catching, but the app also allows users to learn in over 20 different subject areas. Some of the courses are, in fact, created and delivered by top colleges such as Stanford, Duke University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Related: Best Educational Apps for Kids

One of the most popular subject areas on Coursera involves programming. For example, if you wish to learn about programming, you can dive into programming courses, such as “Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)” or “Java Programming: Solving Problems with Software.”

These Courseware programming courses teach programming languages that are widely used in the computer and software industries to create apps and games. You can even specialize in programming and other subjects when you enroll in Coursera Specialization tracks or take the four to six courses within these educational tracks. These specialization tracks unlock extra assignments you can do or capstone projects.

But if programming is not your thing, there’s no need to worry. You can also learn about business analytics and even social science. Coursera’s main boost to its success is that most of the classes are taught by top-ranking schools in the field of education.

So, if you always wanted to take a class at Stanford but couldn’t afford it, you can get a taste free of charge online or by using the app. If you want to get the specialization, you can choose to pay for the courses, or even apply for financial aid from Coursera to pay for your classes.

As of the writing of this article, the Coursera app has over 7,000 ratings with a 4.5- star rating on the Apple Store and over 72,000 ratings on the Google Play Store with a 4.5-star rating. Coursera is clearly making those who download it rather happy.

But what are top reviewers saying about this educational app? PCMag gave the Coursera app a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. The magazine gave it high praise because all types of users can easily set up what type of learning they wish to do by either choosing a self-paced track or using a set deadline to learn the coursesi.

PCMag went on to state that you learn from some of the top professionals in the respective industries of that subject, and this is understandable.

Some courses and specializations have industry professionals that provide guest lectures from the likes of Google, such as the “Build Software Applications” specialization. The only fault PCMag saw with this app was that it had a lack in on-demand courses, although PCMag noted that these on-demand courses were a work in progress.


The Skillshare mobile app is making waves in the educational apps world. Skillshare is a skills-based learning platform that offers learning via the web and mobile apps, available for both iOS and Android devices. Skillshare provides you with a slew of project-based learning opportunities, from content marketing to shoe making.Skillshare - educational apps

Best Educational Apps

You can brush up on your writing skills or take short content management courses that are digestible in 10- or 20-minute time frames. You can also use this app to stay ahead of trending topics and to learn how to use and even create other apps.

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What makes this app stand apart from other educational apps is that you will be learning from teachers who have worked or have knowledge in the field that you wish to learn about and often use their skills every day.

You can learn from industry professionals and even reality TV stars. For example, Skillshare offers many courses taught by some of the contestants of the hit Lifetime TV series Project Runway.

These contestants have taught a slew of fashion design, fashion illustration, and draping courses that can help you get an inside look on the design process and method of these contestants.

Users of the Skillshare app will not be hit with massive amounts of text to read in order to learn the skill; rather, they will see step-by-step videos on the subject they’re learning.

For example, if you always wanted to learn how to create a brand and logo for your company, Skillshare offers a free class for users on creating logos. In that class, you can watch videos that demonstrate how to better brand your product and how the logo can further help your company achieve its goal. This class is unique in that it is taught by someone with a successful track record in this area.

Skillshare does offer the app for free, and signing up is currently free of charge. You will be able to select quite a few subjects and learn about them for free. They do have the option for users to pay an additional monthly fee to access all classes. You can even teach a course on Skillshare for free and get a free premium membership for a year.

The New York Times recently did a review on the app and gave it high praise for setting itself apart from other educational apps. The review noted that Skillshare offers you a unique experience because anyone can become a teacher on the app and help people learn basic to advance skills. The review further stated that the app truly helps its community learn from people who are actively doing the course.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is noted as one of the education industry’s top educational apps for kids. Unlike other educational apps, Khan Academy’s primary focus is to educate children in grade levels K-12.

It is regarded as one of the top educational apps for kids on the market today because the app sets up a guideline for the user to pace themselves to ensure that they are learning the material.

Khan Academy - top educational apps for kids

Top Educational Apps for Kids

Users who utilize the app can quickly test themselves to see where they stand in math and other subject areas. By doing so, the user can see where to start and the areas where they need to focus.  This educational app also comes in a variety of languages, including English, Norwegian, and Turkish.

PCMag gave this app a 4 out of 5-star rating in a recent review. The review noted that it was amazing to see an app available in so many languages. The review went on to express excitement regarding the app’s ability to provide college test prep. The only con that PCMag gave was that the app only had video content.


Spotify is mainly used as an app to stream music, but did you know you could actually learn from Spotify as well? That’s right, savvy streaming users are utilizing this app to learn a variety of languages and even business tips.

You can listen to some of the most popular podcasts for business and marketing on this app, such as Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing podcast and Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso.

You can even learn watching videos with TED Talks on Spotify. You can select specific podcasts to listen to using its free version to keep up with tips you can use for engagement and more. It also appears that most of the users of Spotify on the App Store and Google Play Store are raving about the app’s usefulness and sound quality.

As of the writing of this article, Spotify has more than 6.2 million Google Play Store reviews and nearly 764,300 total App Store reviews on all its versions with an average of a 4.5-star rating.


Finally, one the best educational apps on the market today is Lumosity. It’s one thing to continue to learn and further gain knowledge on different subject matters, but Lumosity is known to take that a step further with its educational app.

Lumosity - best educational apps

Best Educational Apps

Lumosity’s main goal is to help educate your brain and push it to its limit. When using the app, you will first take part in a three game test to basically see which level your brain stands on. The assessment will be broken down into Speed Match, Train of Thought and Memory Matrix. Don’t worry about the score, as there is no pass or fail. The app is just trying to show you where you currently stand.

Some individuals may view this app as nothing more than a game, but with over 90,000 positive reviews on the Apple Store with a 5 star rating, clearly the app is doing what it is intended to do.

Business Insider did a review on this popular educational app and wondered why over 50 million users are taking advantage of this top rated educational app.

The writer of the article tested himself, and his test scores improved each time he used the app. He noted that although there is a monthly and yearly plan for the program, the free content alone is more than enough for any user to take advantage of and get a good feel of the program to help make themselves smarter.

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Final Thoughts

Getting a better education and further expanding your mind shouldn’t be a difficult task. The apps covered in this review should give you a good idea of the various types of top educational apps on the market. All of these top rated educational apps have a free version, so it can’t hurt to give each a try and see if it’s worth your time.

As you can also see from the apps covered, these are the best educational apps currently on the market. All of these educational apps have either a 4.5- to 5-star rating based on countless reviews. Take a few moments out of your schedule and further expand your mind using these apps.

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