While there are a plethora of apps to build your muscles, it is often overlooked that your brain needs training and exercise too. No, I’m not talking about apps that claim to make you smarter but apps that offer challenging tasks to keep you sharp and help you improve your memory. I took it upon myself to find the best brain training apps that you can use at home to keep those gray cells healthy and in motion. Let’s check those out.
There are a few studies done to find out the effects of using brainy apps to get smarter and the results are divisive. You can take a look at the research reports here and here. I use these training apps as these offer games and exercises that require you to think more creatively. These exercises aim to improve memory, lengthen attention span, and increase your speed.
Best Brain Training Apps
For improving memorization
You probably remember your first phone number, car registration plate, or even that address from Finding Nemo and that is because of spaced repetition. Eidetic uses this technique to help you train your brain to remember things that you would otherwise forget.
Start by adding a test to the app, say I want to memorize a phone number. So I add it to the test. The app would ask you to answer the test correctly at different times. As time passes, the phone number would be embedded in your memory. Not just numbers, you can use this app to memorize important facts, lists, quotes, notes, and even meanings to different words. All you have to do now is brainstorm ideas for the app.
The app is free on the App Store and the Play Store and you can unlock unlimited tests for $3.99.
For fun exercises
BrainLetics is a brain training app that emphasizes exercise through games. It has a few really interesting games that are challenging to your cognitive abilities. You can play the multitasking game to exercise your attention span or go with the vocabulary builder to broaden your vocab. The app has a fixed amount of juice that gets replenished every day and when it runs out, you can’t play that game anymore.
Overall, I like the games that BrainLetics has to offer such as memory training, concentration training, vocabulary builder, multitasking, speed reading, etc but I don’t think a $5 monthly subscription is even called for. If you don’t mind the subscription, BrainLetics is a fun app for training your brain.
Install BrainLetics (iOS)
For Evaluating your Brain Training
Cognifit is a comprehensive brain training app for your brain that has the most number of exercises, customized plans tailored to you, and stats about your progress. You start by feeding your personal details to the app, take an assessment and it generates a detailed graph of your cognitive abilities.
The exercises are categorized into different training programs such as coordination brain training, personalized brain training, memory brain training, and others. Apart from that, there are plenty of individual games that you can play to sharpen your brain. During my brief usage, the app effectively recommended me training exercises that I personally liked and showed a progress chart at the end to assess the performance. The app is free on the Play Store and the App Store.
For Personalised Training
NeuroNation doesn’t pretend to be a training app. It embraces the gaming aspect of the genre and develops the training program around it. The first thing the app does is evaluate you on a few basic tests such as reasoning, attention, memory, and speed. Once the evaluation is completed, you can personalize your training program based on which parameters you wish to improve upon.
The app has more than 25 different exercises built around the cognitive parameters and you can even start an exercise individually. The evaluation updates after every test you take and apart from that, it also has a few meditation sessions that can help you relax afterward. The app is free to use but the full potential is locked after you purchase a subscription.
For training vocabulary and math
Elevate focuses more on real-life skills such as comprehension, quick math, and vocabulary and therefore trains you on those topics. Just like the above apps, you get a personalized program but the games and exercises are more nuanced. For example, the app has exercises to teach brevity, commas, punctuation, syntax, etc. You can measure your performance on four different parameters namely writing, speaking, reading, and math.
If you want to train and improve those skills then Elevate is probably the right choice for you. The app is free to try and has a subscription for $40/yr.
6. Brain HQ
For just brain exercises
Brain HQ takes a different approach and doesn’t offer a tailored brain training program. Instead, it just gives you a button in the app that launches a new exercise every day. The app also has a healthy variety of different exercises designed for attention, speed, intelligence, memory, and navigation. If at any point you wish to do a specific exercise, you can simply open the list and do so. Brain HQ is really simple and intuitive.
7. Brain Wars
For Training with Friends
If you’re looking for competitive brain training apps, Brain Wars might be a suitable option. It has around 30 different exercises that you can do alone or challenge your friends online. You can also challenge any random user on the app and build your score. The training exercises are not unique and are similar to the rest of the apps on the list but when you play it against an actual human, it becomes really interesting. Brain Wars is free on the App Store and the Play Store and has ads.
8. Mensa Brain Training
This app is built around the High IQ Society, Mensa, and brings challenging games to the table that would keep the edge on. You get five different categories of games that are aimed at improving memory, concentration, agility, perception, and reasoning. You can also calculate your MBI with the help of this app and all you have to do is just play the games regularly.
The app is free on the App Store only and if you have a no-frills and no-BS app then Mensa Brain Training is a strong yes.
Install Mensa Brain Training (iOS)
For killing time on the toilet
Sudoku is technically a puzzle game but it is a really effective exercise when it comes to numbers and logic. The rules are simple, you have a 9×9 grid in which some boxes are populated with numbers. Your aim is to fill out the grid with numbers 1-9. No Row, column, or smaller 3×3 grid can have numbers repeated. I have been solving Sudoku puzzles for years and it is oddly therapeutic and engaging, mentally.
The app makes the entire process of solving sudoku great really efficient with its clean UI. You can get the app for Android and iOS for free.
Final Words: Brain Training Apps
These were some of the best brain training apps that you can play around with to sharpen your skills. Each has a detailed program on how to effectively improve your brain. I personally use Brain Wars whenever I feel like stretching out my gray cells. What about you? Which app do you prefer?