It’s never been easier to learn something new. Let your phone be your teacher! Here are 11 apps that can teach you a new skill.
By Lauren Tippetts
Have you ever wanted to know what is going on in those Spanish soap operas? Or wished you played an instrument? The app store can help with that. Learn something new with your extra time! We scoured the virtual shelves for some of the best talent building apps, and you could say we’re impressed with the turn out.
Limited free, full access after 7-day trial $11.99/month
If you’ve ever wanted to learn an instrument, this app is the ultimate teacher. You choose your instrument (guitar, piano, ukulele, bass, or singing) and get started! They start you off with the absolute basics, and as you master skills you unlock new lessons. If you are already familiar with the instrument and just want to brush up, you can test out of skills you know to unlock new levels. You can get some fun out of the free version, but if you’re really serious you’ll want to get premium. Try seven days free, and then it’s $139 per year (that’s $11.99 per month).
Limited free, full access after 7-day trial $49.99/year
Boost your singing skills with this app. You start off by singing the lowest note and the highest note you can reach to determine your range. Pro tip: don’t strain your voice to reach lower or higher, you’ll end up regretting it when they ask you to hit those notes later on! They place you in a vocal category (soprano, alto, contralto, etc.) and give you exercises based on it. Use headphones for the best experience, the piano accompaniment can mess with your results.
Limited free, full access after 7-day trial $120/year
Your kids are learning piano, why don’t you give it a whirl? This might be the best way to do it at home. Start out at the very beginning with the basics, or jump in at your skill level. As you learn songs, the music scrolls along at a slow pace, forcing you to really focus on what notes you’re playing. The song choices range from today’s hits to classical, and it works with piano or keyboard. There are several subscription options, so you can choose what fits your situation best.
Learn a Language
Limited free, full access subscription starting at $45
Rosetta Stone makes language learning simple. The basic lessons consist of matching words with pictures, and they get more in depth as you go along. You can choose a learning plan that coincides with your goals, whether you just want to learn the basics, or you want to eventually become fluent. Pick your starting level, from absolute beginner to more advanced. There are cool extras, like Seek & Speak, where you find objects around your house that match the prompt (given in the language you’re learning) in the app. You can also watch videos that give examples of everyday conversations. There are three different subscription options: three months for $45, one year for $110, and a lifetime subscription for $200.
Free, subscribe to remove ads
You’ve probably heard of this app, but now is the time to really get into it! This app teaches you a language with a variety of exercises. Matching words with meanings, translating to and from English, listening, and speaking. Each lesson is themed (travel, family, school, etc.), and has multiple levels. Before you start a section, there is an explanation tab where you can see what you are going to be learning. They even have a stories section where you can improve your reading and listening skills.
This app is so much more than a recipe app. The home page has their most popular dishes, kitchen hacks, and curated lists of recipes. One of the coolest features in this app is the “Add to Shopping List” function. Found a recipe you like? You can add all the ingredients to your shopping list and have them all in one place.
Another helpful tool is their timer. Say you’re cooking shrimp. The smart timer will change length depending on the size you select. They give you simple preparation directions and step -by-step instructions so you know exactly when your food is done. You can search by ingredient, meal, dietary concerns, holiday, or type of cuisine. Found a recipe you like? Add it to your recipe box! Keep all your favorites in one place. You’ll be cooking like a gourmet chef in no time.
If you’ve ever watched a cooking show and wanted to follow along, this is your app. Each recipe has a video component you can watch as you cook, stepping out the process. Just pause if you need more time. On each recipe card, you can choose how many people you are cooking for, add all the ingredients to your shopping list, and watch videos stepping out the prep work and tools you’ll need. Each meal also comes with a duration and skill level at the top so you know what you’re getting yourself into. There is also a “Short Cuts” section that teaches you kitchen skills. Things like “how to chop a bell pepper,” or “how to use a mandoline.”
How to Draw
First thing’s first, this app is meant to be used with a stylus. However, we tried following the instructions on our own piece of paper, and that worked out just fine too. How to Draw has tons of designs to choose from. Pick your favorite and it will take you through the process step-by-step. You just trace over the red lines.
Limited free, pro starting at $30/year
This app allows you to draw in augmented reality. They go through the drawing step-by-step, and you trace over on you piece of paper. Sketch AR also has a option where you draw on your phone with a stylus, but, as with How to Draw, we tried following their steps on a piece of paper and liked that too. The basic version of the app is free, but if you want the augmented reality version, a pro subscription starts at $30 per year, or $5 per month. They are currently doing a stay-at-home special offer for $20 per year.
Free app, pricing depends on class
If you have a skill you’ve been wanting to learn, odds are you’ll find a class on Skillshare. Topics range from film & video to illustration to interior design. Each class has a number of lessons to go through taught by a professional. You can try out a free class and see how you like it!
Free app, pricing depends on class
Not gonna lie, this one blew our minds just a little bit. You can take classes on any subject, but the kicker is, you are taking them from real pros. Like, Gordon Ramsay pro level! Take a Restaurant Recipes course from the aforementioned Gordon Ramsay, Filmmaking from Martin Scorsese, or Tennis from Serena Williams. These are a little pricey, but there are two ways to go about it. Get the all-access pass for $180 per year. That’s access to all of their courses, 82 instructors, for one year. Or, pay by course, which is typically $90.