The Top Educational iPhone/iPad Apps

Since the release of the Apple’s App Store, numerous sources have commented on the potential of educational apps. While these apps can’t compete with the general popularity of gaming and leisure apps, there are a number of educational apps that mobile learners will find handy.

Top Free Apps

Open Culture: Our iPhone app gives you free mobile access to our educational media collections. Free audio books, university courses, foreign language lessons, science podcasts and much more. Per Apple rules, you will need to use wifi to download files.

American Museum of Natural History: Cosmic Discoveries: Take a ride with the Museum’s astrophysicists through our Solar System, the Milky Way Galaxy, and beyond. Cosmic Discoveries is the first app to collect nearly a 1000 stunning astronomic images.

AskPhilosophers: AskPhilosophers puts real philosophers at the service of the general public. Have a big, lofty question that only a professional philosopher can tackle? They’ll answer it on the web. And now on the iPhone. Check out this free app.

Council on Foreign Relations: The latest news analysis and commentary from the Council on Foreign Relations’ website now available on the go for the iPhone and iPod touch. Pretty simple, but handy. A good dictionary in your pocket.

FORA.TV: FORA is an excellent resource for smart video, featuring a steady stream of talks by today’s thought leaders. To access their videos, you can download their free app, or point your mobile browser to

Fotopedia Heritage (iPhoneiPad): The new Fotopedia Heritage app for the iPhone and iPad lets the world come to you. Drawing on 20,000 curated photos taken by thousands of photographers from the Fotopedia community, this FREE app lets you visit (at least virtually) 890 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Kindle: This free app from Amazon lets you download books straight to your iPhone. The Kindle store contains many free classics books, but one of the easiest ways to access these books is to visit our collection of Free eBooks.

Louvre Museum: From the most important museum in Paris. According to Lifehacker, this “amazingly slick free app provides a virtual tour of its galleries and lets users check out the works of everyone from DaVinci to Michelangelo. The app gets you up close and personal with paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and even the French Crown Jewels.”

Moon Globe: The free app puts the moon in your pocket with 3D graphics and touch screen navigation.

NASA: Discover a wealth of free great space travel information on this free app. The NASA App collects, customizes and delivers an extensive selection of dynamically updated information, images and videos from various online NASA sources in a convenient mobile package.

Poetry from the Poetry Foundation: From William Shakespeare to César Vallejo to Heather McHugh, the Poetry Foundation’s app turns your phone into a mobile poetry library:

Shakespeare: A nice app that puts the complete works of Shakespeare on your iPhone. As you’ll see, the app comes with some handy functionality: you can search the text by keyword and also increase/decrease the fonts. Plus the app automatically remembers the last page you read.

Stanza: Another good app for downloading free e-books on the iPhone. Once you download the app, navigate to the “Online Catalog” section and then focus on the “Project Gutenberg” materials, which contains a long list of free classics.

StreetMuseum: This free iPhone app from the Museum of London overlays 400 years of historic images on today’s city streets. Not available for download in the US. Pity.

TED: TEDTalks need no introduction. They’re perhaps the most popular video lectures on the web, featuring talks by “the world’s leading thinkers and doers.” Now you can access these talks on your mobile phone too.

The Iliad and Odyssey by Homer: The ancient tradition and Western civilization go straight back to these two great books. Get them fore free.

USA Presidents: A flash card app that teaches you cool facts about the historical line of American presidents.

Yours, Vincent The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh – Provided by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, this application uses the artist’s own letters to explore the life and times of the great painter. Includes videos and images of Van Gogh paintings.

Given the iPhone’s capacity for audio and visual learning, it’s no surprise that many of the most popular education apps focus on language learning. Free Spanish Tutor, the most downloaded free app, comes from the 24/7 Tutor series, and it’s described as follows:

24/7 Tutor provides a set of the most common and useful words and phrases, organized by topic and category. An audio recording by a native speaker is available for each element. These are all integrated into a multi-function learning system, with measurement of progress tracked by quiz scores. A priority-filter mechanism is provided that allows you to optimize your efforts by focusing on those items most needing additional practice.

Another highly popular free language app is Japanese Phrases FREE. Like 24/7 Tutor, it also offers a paid version with additional content and features. There are also free applications available for French, Italian, Arabic, German, Korean, and Russian.

The second most popular free education app is Maps of the World, which allows users to browse 20 historical maps. While this won’t be useful to someone who needs directions, it’s a fun diversion for students of history and geography.

myHomework is an interesting student productivity app that allows students to keep track of their homework, classes, projects and tests while interacting with a visually appealing notebook-like design.

Other popular free apps cover the areas of SAT prep (Vocab Quiz SAT lite), spelling (Spel It Rite), and chemistry (The Chemical Touch lite).

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Comments (68)
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  • Education apps don’t have to be purposely “education-based”. Take, for instance, EverNote. This app surely would be an awesome quick note tool for any student (or teacher). Has a desktop and online version as well which makes for nice integration.

    As educators we need to use any tool that works in nicely with our workflow.

  • John says:

    That’s a valid point Jason. EverNote is certainly a great app. I mainly focused on the Education category for the sake of narrowing down the possible choices. It was tough enough picking only a few to mention there, can’t imagine how tough it would be with the whole App Store to consider. Also, apps like EverNote seem to get plenty of coverage elsewhere.

  • Rick says:

    I’ve found quite a few other good educational apps browsing through

  • julie says:


    I am the mom of a 4 years old little girl and I have an iphone ! I found out that in the appstore there were not enough good educational games for kids to developp their abilities and intelligence . So I decided to develop an application which will help and also give some fun for kids to play, to learn and write their alphabet and words.

    This app “Write my name” is dedicated to all the parents who love to teach their child how to write their name or any words.
    “Write my name” can help teach your kids to spell !

    “Write my name” is an educational game which helps your children recognize the letters of their name and how to place them in order.

    This game is very simple, you will like this easy app :
    – You or your child enter your child’s name (or another word).
    – Letters appear on the screen randomly.
    – The kids have to place them in the correct order.

    You can also play with any words.
    This game will also help your kid to recognize words, boost his visual memory and constitute a pre-learning to reading skill.

    Summer is here ! Make sure the kids get ready for the next school year :
    “Write your name” helps toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergardens learn some basic words :
    – Preschoolers, and kindergartners will learn to write and play with their first-name.
    – Toddlers will learn and play with more difficult words, depending of their vocabulary.

    This application is also a good way to help your kid to become familiar with your iphone and it is a good family game.

    This is a great game for kids who get bored in the car, in the airplane, at the restaurant, or anywhere.

    Kids between the ages 2 to 6 love to play with letters, words and their spellings.
    Fun and educational ! Learn while having fun, it’s easy!



  • Doug Neill says:

    Hey everyone,

    The iPhone and iPod touch have so much potential in the educational realm!!!

    I’ve recently created a number of math-based educational apps that you might find interesting. Here’s a link to my website in case you’re interested:

  • Dustin Kirk says:

    You should check out Stacks. It was just recently added to the iTunes App Store and is an awesome educational yet fun app.

    Essentially it is professionally created flash cards that cover everything including math facts, geography, vocabulary words, trivia, quotes, and even some fun ones too!

    Check it out:


  • iPhone Apps says:

    Audio books on the iPhone are excellent entertainment! The Toy Lounge – – makes ebook and audio book apps for the iPhone. Now authors can bypass publisher headaches and publish their work directly to the iPhone and get paid.

  • anusen says:

    We have developed a handful of applications for kids and mainly focusing on education category.

    Math Magic: Kids can learn as well as have fun with math. They can practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and divisions. Random problems will be shown to the kids and they need to choose the correct answer

    Word Magic: Kids need to choose the missing letters for the picture shown. Best suited for kids from UKG till 2nd standard.

    Math Series: Kids need to identify the missing numbers. The numbers could either be in descending or in ascending orders

    Match Magic: This application is best suited for younger kids < 6 years. They need to match the pictures/colors/count the numbers by identifying and matching them

    Count Magic: This application is also suited for kids < 6 years. This app helps to kids to learn counting. They need to catch the number shown. As they keep counting, audio voice will help the kids in counting.

    Think BIG: This app is kids in 5 to 10 age group. A group of numbers are shown. They need to pick up the largest or smallest number.

    All of our games have rewards and stickers and scores built to motivate and encourage the kids.

    Please check them out at and videos @

    Here are couple of blogs on our apps

  • We just posted a top 10 list of our favorite learning or educational apps. Check it out.

  • I wrote an iPhone game to help teach addition that is similar to a solitaire bingo. You can see a sample sequence at or download on the App Store at

  • thinknao says:

    小填填 Xiao Tian Tian could be counted as one educational app.

    It’s ranking No.2 under education section.

    Try it out.!

  • iStoryNarrator is a story telling app for Kids
    check iStoryNarrator in appstore .

  • lucyzhang says:

    There’s a great math game I played ever since I was young called 24. The goal of the game is to compute 24 using each of the 4 given numbers and basic arithmetic. I recently created it for the iPhone. My friends all seem to enjoy it. And I think it would be great for kids.

    You can check it out at

    iTunes link:

  • Cute App says:

    A very cute app that my kids love to play is ABC Tutor.

    The cartoon character Connor has such a cute voice.

    Ideal for pre-school children learning their ABC’s.

  • If you are looking for a fun math app for your kids you might want to check out Match-Up Math.

    In iTunes:

    Using a fun tile-matching game (similar to Mahjong solitaire), Match-up Math is a great way to help kids hone their math skills. Colorful backgrounds and challenging puzzles make it entertaining and easy to learn about Fractions & Decimals, Multiplication & Division, Addition & Subtraction. Kids can choose to concentrate on any of the areas of math provided, or work on all of them.

    Learn more at the My Turn Mobile website:

  • John Summers says:

    Maria’s Spanish Class is easily the best app for learning that I have found. Here is the app store link:

    or go to

  • Jayne Clare says:

    For less than the cost of a Happy Meal…..This teacher developed, reading readiness program is geared to children ages 2-6. ABC Shakedown Plus is broken down into three games: Classic, See It, Say It and Hear It, Hit It.

    Classic introduces each letter of the alphabet using a slideshow format with easy prompts to shake your way from A to Z.

    See It, Say It and Hear It, Hit It will help your child master the letters of the alphabet through multi sensory, interactive game play that incorporates delightful animation. Each game builds upon the next, reinforcing skills that will put your child on the road to reading.

    What sets this program apart from the others is that all the sounds are properly enunciated and articulated with the guidance of a speech and language pathologist. Imagine your child getting their first experience in reading readiness right from your iPhone!

    (Also perfect for the reluctant, struggling, and challenged reader and proven successful with special needs children as well as ESL learners.)

    Jayne Clare
    App Developer

  • Jayne Clare says:

    Sorry, My last submission was not about our free app. This is the write up for our free game.

    ABC Shakedown: A Reading Readiness Program for ages 2 – 6

    For less than the cost of a Happy Meal……

    You can get an educational app that is entertaining and truly educational! ABC Shakedown is the first in a new series of educational apps brought to you by i-Itch Inc. This introduction game teaches the sound-symbol correspondence of each letter of the alphabet in a 21st century way. A daily visit will have your child on the road to reading in no time.

    Letters are viewed in large format with user-friendly prompts to shake your way from A to Z. Your child will be getting their first experience in reading readiness right from your iPhone!

    What really sets this app apart from the others, is that it was created by two teachers and all the sounds are enunciated, articulated and properly spoken with guidance from a speech pathologist. Also perfect for the reluctant, challenged, or struggling reader, and proven successful with the special needs population and ESL learners.

  • Make sure to check out the Dr. Seuss iPhone apps developed by Oceanhouse Media. “The Cat in the Hat”, “Dr. Seuss’s ABC” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” are all available as eBooks!

  • Karen says:

    Ted Geisel wrote his Dr. Seuss books to help educate elementary students. Check out his iPhone apps at:

  • michael says:

    Acoco Interactive has been releasing free and $.99 apps for a few months now: Math Kingdom (simple math with role play story and handwriting recognition), Penny Me (coin counting games), Play ‘n’ Say Vehicle (flash cards with speech recognition). Check it out!

  • Philippe Fajeau says:


    I thought it would be a good idea to have an application to help students keep track of their homework and marks / grades. So I created an application to that effect. It is called Agenda+. I am hoping it will be helpful to some people. The marking is configurable to support most of the systems used around the world.

    Cheers, Philippe

  • To add more to the conversation, I’ve interviewed two interesting developers who have created very unique educational iPhone applications. For Zeebu Mobile, they have created a “learning the alphabet” application for toddlers ( and PocketPhonics applies synthetic phonics and an iPhone to help teach children how to write ( Both great little app.

  • Luke says:

    Yet another great app that helps users learn math facts using math flash cards:

  • oscaroxy says:

    good article, I want say you that exist a game that teach to children to use the iPhone: tap, move, drag and drop!

  • Anonymous says:

    good article, I want say you that exist a game that teach to children to use the iPhone: tap, move, drag and drop!

  • Suzie says:

    Wow! There is a lot out there. It is so beneficial for the kids. I found this app for coloring and drawing. It kept/keeps my kids entertained for a long time!

  • Art says:

    This is a nice app too, challenging excersises!

  • Stacey says:

    There are a number of interesting educational games in the istore that are great for kids! One of my 4 year olds fav is number sense! Check it out and you will know why-

  • Barbara says:

    I think ABC HD for the iPad and iPhone is a great educational app for kids. Here is the link:

  • Jane says:

    Baby explorer for the ipad is a great app that will be loved by toddlers. Here’s the link:

  • Lyla says:

    Also, I found this really great and fun app for learning a new language by using pictures

  • Linda says:

    Another great educational app for the iphone and ipad is smartyshortz. Your elementary aged child reviews facts from six subjects with 24 lessons and games. It is very cute and keeps my kids engaged while learning!

  • hervevi says:


    Concerning educational and educative games, my kids love the collection “learning is fun” of iphone and ipad games.

    All games are there: and



  • Stephanie says:

    Id like to learn how to speak spanich

  • girlwithshoes says:

    learning to speak spinach would be interesting and “healthy” ….but i have to say thank you to the “linda” for her suggestion of SMARTYSHORTZ…we just purchased it and my twins have not put it down…great prep for school next year after the summer!!!!!

  • Scott Johnson says:

    A great app to improve reading skills is QuickReader – either the Young Reader edition for upper elementary and middle school, or the regular version for older kids and adults.

  • Lunchbox says:

    Hi there. Great, very useful list. Thanks! If you’re on the lookout for educational iPhone and iPad apps, checkout We collect, categorize and rate apps specifically for toddlers, preschoolers and young children to save parents time and money!

  • Hello,

    I’ve created an app for the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad that will let you practice Spanish numbers from 0 to 1,000,000.

    Please go to for details,
    including a video tutorial.


  • Spinturn says:

    Are you keen to learn Mandarin? Do you have difficulty in memorizing or writing Chinese Characters?
    EZ Mandarin is the iPhone/iPad application to learn Chinese. You will find an easy way to understand Chinese, and learn how to write Chinese character in 5 minutes.
    Find it at: itms://

  • Nicola says:

    Do check out Measurement from Punflay-

  • casderr says:

    hi is any know if it works on androit smartphones like evo o galaxs …thanks that be really help full .

  • Have a look at one of the very best flashcard apps: Thanks to a great repetition algorithm, learning gets as easy as one, two, tree!

  • iHelpNYC says:

    Check out Chem Pro, the best way to learn chemistry on your iPhone or iPod touch. Its like having a chemistry tutor in your pocket!

  • Sandeep Jain says:

    You may like to look at the app Planet Laws – Know Your Solar System, at the following link:

    Unlike some other apps that do spectacular visual effects or show you the positions of the stars and planets, this one focuses on teaching you the concepts underlying the physics of the motion of the planets around the Sun. It is a valuable companion for a high school or college student of science or physics who has just started learning the physics of planetary motion. It is also a nice learning tool for people of any age who are curious about physics.

  • Sudhakar says:

    iPhone App for a First Grader

    Smart Kids: First Grade is a one-stop-app for a first grader to learn Maths, English, Science and Social. It is developed with the concept of providing high quality education. The app is designed in a kid-friendly manner with easy to navigate screens. Colorful screens and engaging questions keep the kids interested.

    All U.S. states curriculum is taken in to consideration.
    Maintained high standards and framed good quality questions in all subjects.
    Some questions follow True or False pattern to explain the concepts.
    Explanations are provided for some hard questions to guide the kid in learning the concepts.
    Performance card is provided to keep track of each subject score. It helps parents to easily analyze which subjects the kid excels and subjects that have scope to improve.
    Subjects covered:

    -Additions(Easy number additions to Hard word problems).
    -Subtractions(Easy number subtractions to Hard word problems).
    -Geometry(Identify shapes, Number of sides and vertices from Triangle to Decagon).
    -Fractions(Different geometry shapes in fractions to understand the concepts).
    -Time(Reading different clocks, Hours and minutes concepts).
    -General(Concepts Even numbers, Odd numbers and Number patterns).

    -Grammar(Punctuations, Compound words, Nouns, Verbs, Adverbs and Adjectives).
    -Sentence(Fill in the blanks, Complete sentences).
    -Spelling(Identify the correct spelled word).
    -General(Plurals, Antonyms, Synonyms).

    -Life science (Basic understanding of Plants and Animals).
    -Earth Science (Measuring concepts like Pounds, Fahrenheit, Miles and Gallons).
    -Physical Science(Concepts for material states like Solids, Liquids and Gases).

    -Geography(States, Capitals, State Nicknames, and Outline Maps).
    -Civics (Basic functionality of Government branches Legislative, Judicial and Executive).
    -History(American History and Historic Places).
    -General(Time Zones like EST, CST and PST).

    Practicing more number of times will give enough information for a first grader.
    Some questions may look above standards for a first grader but we have taken different U.S. states curriculum into consideration while preparing them


    Numvaders is a series of time attack challenges that involve basic arithmetic. Players must go through each stage defeating enemies by keying in the correct sum, difference, product or quotient. The game allows one to brush up on math skills, as the objective is to solve math questions quickly, in correct sequence. It gets more difficult as the game progresses, in terms of quantity of the questions and the time pressure in which they must be answered.
    There are 10 worlds that must be unlocked to finish the game. In every world, players will encounter different Alien Generals called the Numviens at the end of each stage, whom they must defeat to level up. Boss challenges get more difficult as per each level, as questions must be answered immediately before the Numvien attacks. Life bonuses, power-ups and shields are available to aid players in becoming a Math General.
    Numvaders is also compatible with game networking, as it allows players to monitor their performance through the leader board and the achievement reports through Game Center or Open Feint. Apart from that, players would also be able to amass goodies in each Zeenoh game they play. The Z-Goodies
    are collectible virtual goods that aim to boost game play; it helps enhance one’s ability to achieve more goals and reach the highest score. Upon completing a game, a player will receive special items or additional virtual currency. The items received are dependent to the score made in a particular stage. Stages can be repeated multiple times, thus improving score, giving higher chances of receiving more Z- Goodies.
    – 10 Challenging Worlds – 10 Space Craft (Z-Craft) – Learn math while you play with it! – Basic Math Operations (MDAS). – Basic MDAS training mastery. – Recommended for all ages. – GAME CENTER (Leaderboards & Achievements) – Open Feint (Leaderboards & Achievements)
    – iPod Touch 4, iPhone 3G, 3Gs, 4 and iPad. – iOS 3.2 and above.

    Numvaders can be downloaded here:

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing the Apps! Do not forget about Free PowerVocab App for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod):
    PowerVocab is very helpful in preparing for GMAT, SAT, GRE. Use it as your personal English vocab builder. While practicing, app automatically determines your language level, figures out words that are difficult for you and plan your learning approach.

  • Marketing says:


    Thanks for the list. It looks great.
    We have just released a fun way in a game to learn 3 motion laws by Sir Isaac Newton. Basically the game mission is about saving Sir Isaac Newton from the falling apples, leaves and enemies. We must protect Newton to remain asleep during the game. Please check it out and it will be great if you could add our game to the list :)

    Thanks :)

  • SusanJ. says:

    I nice game for kids is ABC Land German. As the name says toodlers and kids can learn German through moving letters. They hear the words after they spelled them correctly.
    For ipad and iphone

  • Sami says:

    If you are interested in an excellent Mathematical Application, then you need to take a look at “Math KIT +”. Math KIT + includes a mathbook, unit converter, currency converter, copybook, graph, calculator, binary operation, base converter and glossary.

  • Piotr Kuchta says:

    English Study Quiz is a fun way to improve your English grammar:

  • Janical says:

    I’m interested in art and history, such educational apps sound good to me.

  • Learn Intro Stats says:

    A great iOS app for Intro Stats is “Statistics 1″. It has Cliff Notes-like lessons, quizzes, flashcards, calculators, decision-trees, glossaries, and a bunch of other tools for learning basic statistics. The app is currently featured in Back to School section of the iTunes App Store (8/24/2011).

  • Want to see a really neat educational app that uses automatic speech recognition to give you instant feedback on how well you say English words and sentences? SpeakingPal lets you talk into the phone in a fun dialog with a video character and then scores your speaking performance! Check out SpeakingPal in the app store.

  • Martin says:

    At least some bloggers can write. Thank you for this blog

  • Hello

    My name is Paul Hamilton and I have been a teacher for 15 Years and am currently an ICT Coordinator at an Independent School in Queensland, Australia. I’m passionate about ICT’s and working with 21st Century Learners.

    I have just created an app (Formative Feedback for Learning) that I am very excited about that I believe will transform how students receive feedback in a learning context in schools. It is now available on The APP store.

    Schools are using it in many contexts, as it is an App that focuses on learning process not content, therefore can be used in all curriculum areas.

    Here is the link if you would like to find out more.

    Thanks for your time – I really appreciate it.

    Have a wonderful week.

    Paul Hamilton

  • Manoj says:

    ‘Math Master for kids’ is a very helpful applications for students who wants to improve their math skills. It covers almost all topics from grade 1 to grad 6. It has a FREE version too.
    It can be downloaded at

  • Bill says:

    The best educational app I’ve come across for learning material is to use Quizlet to create learning flashcards and then to download them using the free app Flashcardlet. Not only can I easily setup flashcards for my students (using Quizlet), but they can also create their own or combine groups of cards using the free app Flashcardlet.

  • Nino says:

    Please check out – MQuiz Add Subtract – for iPad / iPhone

    – bright and clean interface designed for kids practising Additions and Subtractions.

    Thank you!

  • Alex says:

    For younger kids studying multiplication, I’d like to recommend Times Tables Master. The app uses gaming dynamics such as unlocking levels and earning awards to keep kids practicing longer and having fun learning. $.99 from iTunes:

  • Erich says:

    My name is Erich (施瑞昇), and I’ve been studying Chinese in Taiwan for the past 5 years. I recently released Chinese UP, a FREE iPhone / iTouch game designed to help students review their Chinese characters through a fun and challenging puzzle gameplay. The app works with traditional as well as simplified characters.

    Please try it out at !

    If you like playing Chinese UP, please help me promote the app by liking it on Facebook:

    Have fun playing ;)

  • John says:

    Just tried this is a good iphone educational application for kids

  • Peter Fisher says:

    This is a good application for small kids my 3 year old son enjoys it a lot

  • sameerr allii says:

    Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting.I will be waiting for your next post.Primary School Tutors,.,.

  • Tops & Tails says:

    Check out brand new Tops & Tails – Multiplayer Words Domino Game – a unique, intuitive and addictive word game available on the AppStore. Write words that start with the last two letters of previous given word.

    Download now for free:

  • kelvin says:

    Great post@Q

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