Smartphone apps that can help you upskill

Lockdown has been a challenging time for us all, and while there is no pressure to learn new skills under these circumstances, if you are searching for a way to upskill, your smartphone app store will have many suggestions to help you on your way.

Nonetheless, with so many choices out there, it can be overwhelming knowing which apps are right for you. This post is designed to help.

Learning a new Language

The benefits associated with learning a new language have been widely studied and include increased memory capacity, enhanced multitasking ability, and even improving your first language. What’s more, when we can finally travel again, you can put your new skill to the test and impress your friends and family with what you have learnt.

Smartphone apps today can help you learn a variety of languages from across the world. Duolingo, for example has over 35 languages you can choose from including fictional ones, like Klingon and High Valyrian. The app makes you take a competence test once you download it so it can fully understand your current level. Then it gives you exercises with everything from grammar to vocabulary to listening tests. It is also free, so you can test the waters and see if you want to commit fully.

Babbel is another app that can help you learn languages and targets an audience who already have basic knowledge of the language they want to improve. It differs slightly to Duolingo in that it is known to help with conversational phrases and culture, rather than adaptive learning lessons. However, it is worth noting that this app requires a paid subscription to access it.

Learning to Code

If you want to understand more about how everyday technological processes work, then maybe you should try an app that teaches you how to code. As with learning a language, coding helps to boost brain skills, including your ability to problem solve. What’s more, it is a useful skill to know for many jobs all over the world.

Apps such as Light-bot or Cargo-bot allow users to understand the principles behind coding in a creative way. This is because they introduce the basic concepts by directing a robot character through a course, or by moving crates from one loading bay to another.

Apps like Khan Academy also offer user-created courses on all major languages such as HTML, JavaScript and C++. If you have a specific goal in mind for coding, this app can be helpful. Elsewhere, Solo Learn is available across all devices and offers a comprehensive but measured learning experience with over 900 lessons.

Learning to Meditate

Meditation can be used to help reduce stress and improve your overall happiness, during times of uncertainty. If you haven’t practised meditation before, the HeadSpace app is a good starting point as it kicks you off on a free Take10 program, which gives you the chance to meditate for just 10 minutes a day over 10 days. It offers a variety of mini guided meditation sessions, including those aimed to help you sleep, relieve anxiety and manage stress.

If you are looking to learn to meditate but don’t have much time to add another thing to your to-do list, then Simple Habit may work for you. This app offers audio meditations as short as five minutes, with guided meditations ranging from helping you find your feet after a breakup, to post-argument relaxation, stress-free commutes and pre-date mindfulness.

While both these apps are free to download and allow users to practice some meditations free of charge, to get full access, a yearly paid subscription is needed.

Don’t worry if the skill you wanted to learn isn’t on this list. You can always watch some videos on YouTube to help get you started.

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