10 Apps That Will Make You Smarter

Feed your brain via your iPhone

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Featuring nine languages, from Spanish to Russian, Duolingo leads you through a series of simple lessons, testing your ability to pick up everything from foreign possessives to animals with a range of speech, listening and writing tests. Each completed lesson also generates hearts, which can be used to unlock bonus lessons, including how to successfully flirt in your language of choice.

Free, from the app store

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Become more clued up about what you're putting in your mouth with the Fooducate app, featuring the ability to scan a database of supermarket products to find out if you're really getting the most out of your meals. The food rating system and FAQ features also teach that it's not just how many calories you eat, it's where they come from and how many nutrients they contain that really matter.

Free, from the app store
 

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The best app for learning about the history of humanity and our relationship with our planet. Featuring 10 themed globes (including satellite maps, political maps and environmental maps), the app lets you scan the Earth for information on everything from environmental threats to population statistics, internet usage around the world, the effects of exploration and important historical events. With data pulled from World Bank and UNESCO, this might be the best £1.49 you've ever spent. 

£1.49, from the app store 

The best crossword in the world comes to your phone. Featuring the day's crossword, the app now includes access to 18 years' worth of puzzles, plus the ability to work on the same puzzle on multiple devices (prepare for those "four across?!" messages). There's also a stats table so you can prove just how much of a smart aleck you really are.

Free, from the app store 
 

A great-looking alternative to the plethora of brain training games currently clogging up the App Store. Simplicity is the USP here, with the focus on repeating a sequence of six highlighted circles, each with a different colour and sound. Keep playing until you make a mistake, slowly building up your record number of correct answers. If you do want to add more layers to it, there's also the option to play against your friends, trading points for sabotaging weapons to hamper their progress.

69p, from the app store 


Planning on making 2015 the year you learn about Russian Bolshevik history, global economics or futurist art? Then iTunes U app can help. Featuring free lectures and resources from the likes of Oxford, Stanford and the Open University, there's never been an easier way to school yourself. Just don't go hounding Apple when you don't actually earn a degree.

Free, from the app store 

One of the most off-putting things about apps in general is the fact that everything has to be a game. Not so with C.T.U.T.O-M, which uses written scenarios and associated questions to test users' abilities to separate facts from assumptions, something that can come in handy when scanning the day's headlines…

Free, from the app store

When it comes to apps, less is more. That's the thinking behind 7 Little Words, the app that gives you seven crossword clues per game, each of which is a seven-letter word. There's no actual crossword to fill in, instead it's about refining your vocabulary and learning that sometimes circumlocution (using bigger words) isn't always auspicious.

Free, from the app store 

Those little blue plaques denoting historic sites of interest are everywhere in the capital, but short of Googling each one there and then, it's difficult to know what they all signify. The London Plaques app has your back, packing in the location of almost 2,000 sites along with maps of how to get there and details about who lived there and when, from Jimi Hendrix to Karl Marx.

£1.99, from the app store 

If you want to get spiritual about it, we're all made of stars, so getting to know the solar system through the Star Walk 2 app is sort of like getting to know yourself. Maybe. With more than 10m downloads on the first app, the update features even more information on stars, constellations and comets, as well as an augmented reality function. All you have to do is point your phone at the sky.

£1.99, from the app store 

Any we've missed?

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MORE TECH:

10 Twitter Accounts That Will Make You Smarter
25 Ways Tech Will Change Your Life In 2015
5 Apps That Make You Healthier
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