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From coding to a new language, learn something new using your phone

With these apps, you can learn a new language, get fit, or become an astronomy expert.

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IT’S THE FINAL week of our Live A Better Life series, where we’ve been helping you make the most of your phone – without all that mindless scrolling.

For the final week, we’ve been looking at ways of bringing positivity into your life using your phone – like journalling and photography.

Today, we’re looking at ways that your phone can help you become an all-round better person.

Or at least, learn a new skill. Yes, it’s probably already taught you the skill of being able to do anything while simultaneously using your phone, but it can also do more than that.

Here are some ways smartphones have benefited our staff at TheJournal.ie:

Duolingo! Learned loads of Spanish and French from it.
There are a couple of good TAB/chord apps I use for learning tunes on the guitar. Also a guitar tuner, heaps useful.
I use DRT for meditating while running (although I’m not sure that’s actually a ‘skill’:))
I’ve learned about mindful meditation using an app, and having a fitness app like FitBit has helped me stay on top of exercise.
I have started to fly through books like I used to do in school and college with Google Books on the phone or Android tablet. It’s so easy to get into them while commuting.
Also, there are some great guided mindfulness apps out there. Many free, too.

We’ve compiled a few ways of learning something new using your phone.

So if you find that you’re picking up your phone mindlessly, or while in a queue or waiting for someone, why not click into one of these instead?

shutterstock_411737299 Source: Shutterstock/Dean Drobot

Learn a new language

Learn a range of different languages from this popular app.

Similar to Duolingo, but available on Android.

Also available on Android.

Learn to code

Learn to code on your iPhone or iPad, with hundreds of lessons available.

Specially for younger people – but if you’re starting from scratch, it might suit you.

Bite-sized coding lessons.

General learning

Like a university in a phone, sort of.

Free lessons, courses, and interactive exercises.

Uses science-based games to train your brain.


A fancy app that really teaches you a lot about the planets and constellations.

Similar to Sky Walk, one for constellation fans.

All the content Nasa has to offer.

Get fit

The ultimate way to learn how to run.

Track your runs or cycles and learn about how you’re doing.

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Combine yoga with weight loss.

Focus on learning more about anxiety, depression and meditation while you’re running with this app.

Improve your maths

Think scrabble, but using numbers.

Available on Android and iOS, for all ages.

Read a book

Speed-read non-fiction books and get some good insights from them.

Can’t fit a book into your bag? Put the book on your phone.

Learn an instrument

Learn the piano, guitar, bass or ukulele.

Pick up that dusty guitar and learn some songs.

Got apps you’d like to recommend? Tell us in the comments.

Read the rest of our Live A Better Life series here>

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