Free apps for learning: 6 of the best

Studying your subject doesn’t have to mean hours of staring at textbooks and other course materials.

If you know where to look, learning is now an engaging multi-platform experience. Here’s our pick of 6 of the best education apps: they’re useful, inspiring and bring their subjects to life in amazing ways, and best of all, they’re free!

Arithmetick iPad app

Arithmetick iPad app

Best for English: Picturebook (iOS)

This app is a great platform for creative writing – write your masterpiece down on one side, and the user-friendly system allows you to add complementary pictures down the other side. This can then be converted into an eBook to keep forever!

Best for History: Timeline Eons (iOS)

Sometimes it can be hard to get a real perspective on the history syllabus and to see how events from hundreds of years ago fit in together. With this app, though, you can see a graphic representation of human history on a massive, interactive timeline, see what happened on this day in history and even look at predictions for the future.

Best for Maths: Arithmetick (iOS and Android)

Arithmetick is an app that grows with you! With 5 difficulty levels, it’s perfect for all abilities, from primary to A-level and beyond. Test your mental maths skills with sums – a fantastic app to keep on hand when you’re killing time to fire up those brain cells!

Best for Science: goREACT (iOS and Android)

With limited resources and budgets, it can be hard for schools to properly demonstrate all the chemical reactions and experiments they would like to cover in science lessons. This app gives you complete control: by adding chemicals together, you can see the successful compound result and read more about the reaction. All in all, it’s a great way to view science in a practical way, using trial and error to see what does and doesn’t work, and to get thinking about what happens on a molecular level when different elements are combined.

Best for Geography: Google Earth (iOS and Android)

An oldie but a goodie: The computer application redesigned for smart phones and tablets, this app still continues to fascinate. Don’t just look at a country on a map – visit anywhere you’ve ever wanted to with the swipe of a finger. This really is a geography student’s dream; as well as taking in landscapes from the Arctic to the Grand Canyon, you can take advantage of the new cities, such as Rome and San Francisco, which have been recorded in 3D. You’ll feel like you’re actually there!

Khan Academy iPad app

Khan Academy iPad app

Best All-Rounder: Khan Academy (iOS and Android)

Khan Academy is a vast American app that collates over 2000 micro-lectures together and gives you access to them at the touch of a button. You can search the different subjects, such as maths and humanities, but you’ll also find tips for general exam preparation. Whatever you’re studying, these videos could be really invaluable resources.

About the author: Katie Geoghegan

Katie Geoghegan studied Modern Languages at Oxford and is a co-founder of, where you can find a top university student to help you with revision in any subject.