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Best Types of Educational Apps You May Want to Develop

  • Rating — 5 (16 voices)
  • by Tony
  • Updated on July 15, 2019
  • Read —
    7-8 minutes
Best Types of Educational Apps

If you ever thought about developing your own education app and build a startup around it, now is a right time to do it! By its own, the learning app may seem not so high-grossing product, but this is only a tip of the iceberg.

In fact, education is a second largest market after the healthcare, it is accounted for 9% of U.S. GDP.  Did you hear about those galaxy-sized student loans? This issue will make mobile learning industry even more appealing.

Here are some figures on education spending in the U.S. alone:

  • Early childhood education: $ 70 billion
  • K-12: $60 billion
  • HIGHER education: $475 billion
  • Adult learning: $ 55 billion

About 20% of all these spendings will go to mobile by the end of 2020!

Market Potential of Different Educational Apps

digital-trends-survey-of student experience

Naturally, eLearning is among top promising industries. In fact, its market size raised to whopping $165 billion in 2015. As for now, the largest share of the market consists of desktop products, like video tuition platforms and remote study programs. Still, eLearning is shifting towards mobile.

Thanks to the rapid adoption of smartphones and increasing speed of mobile Internet, the market share will continue to change in favor of mobile services. Back in 2015, the U.S. mobile education market size amounted to $1.8 billion. And the worldwide mobile education market is projected to reach $37 billion by the end of 2020.

But what makes education app industry different is its focus on developing countries. Take a look at the eLearning growth rate by country:

    1. India: 55%
    2. China: 52%
    3. Malaysia: 41%
    4. Romania: 38%
    5. Poland: 28%
    6. Czech Republic: 27%
    7. Brazil: 26%
    8. Indonesia: 25%
    9. Colombia: 20%
    10. Ukraine: 20%

As you can see the demand for eLearning is higher among developing economies. And there is no surprise in such stats.

Along the way of the modern history, all developed economies (primarily European and U.S.) was boasting with top-rated colleges and stronger offline education system, that granted a better-educated workforce. On the other hand, developing economies (except UAE) simply couldn’t afford such highly-paid faculties and universities. If you plan to develop an app targeting, for example, India, you should consider Android platform as the primary one. The reason is people can only afford completely free apps from Google Play as Android devices are cheaper than Apple ones. 

Meanwhile, the demand for educated workforce in those countries is growing along with the development of their economies, thus resulting in a shortage of high-quality offline education.

Simply as that mobile apps for education comes into play in order to redistribute worldwide knowledge by means of the internet. Because this is what are learning apps purposed for.

Key Benefits of Mobile Learning Apps

Key Advantagers Learning Apps

  • Increasing knowledge penetration speed. You can serve new courses and educate with new skills millions of users by simply updating your app with new content. 95% of users who study at home report it would be impossible without apps for education.
  • Enhanced engagement rate. Studying can be fun. Moreover, it is perceived as something natural if associated with such an everyday thing as a smartphone. This is why 72% of student stated confirmed an increase in engagement while using learning apps.
  • Better audience reach. 61% of students used smartphones to study in 2016 McGraw Hill Education study showed.
  • Easy collaborative potential. Mobile apps for education enables close collaboration between students, which raises average time users spent inside the app.

Categories of Educational Apps

Although educational apps include different features and can be upgraded with multiple learning modules, it is common to divide them by principal tuition purpose those apps are standing for:

  • Language Learning Apps
  • Remote Tuition Platforms
  • Educational Mobile Apps for Kids
  • Learning Apps for Disabled People
  • Learning Apps For Adults
  • Test Prep Apps

Language Learning Apps

DuoLinguo wallpaper

Back in 2015, a popular language-learning service called Duolingo has raised a $45 million investment round which gets to its total funding of $83.3 million. While the monetization method is still unclear Duolingo states it has over 100 million active users worldwide. Not bad for a company with a valuation of about $450 million.

There is also a bunch of top-rated educational apps in language learning worth mentioning:

  • Rosetta Stone
  • Lingvist
  • Babbel
  • Memrise
  • Hello-Hello

Each of those mobile apps for language learning is prospering in its own specific niche and there are no limits to find a new one for yourself. The most promising to mention: Premium Class apps for Chinese/Japan/Korean language learners.

Language learning means new words discovery, so an English dictionary app might be a good business idea if you have any significant advantage, that Google Translate lacks.

In addition, take a close look at such extinct languages as Latin, Ancient Greek, Sanskrit, and Ancient Egyptian. You may find a strong support among academic and amateur communities.

Remote Tuition Platforms

Chinese tuition platform VIPKID has raised $100 million for the promise to link English native speakers and Chinese children aged 5 to 12 years. The platform offers 30 minutes one-to-one online language lesson with tested natives speakers from U.K. and U.S.


It wasn’t China if there were no direct competitors like ABC360 and VIPABC. You may notice how similar their namings are. One of them is funded by the e-commerce giant Alibaba.

What makes this niche so lucrative is a Chinese obsession with all American and Wester-faced. Such obsession makes the opportunity to connect your child to the western demigod so precious and highly valued.   

Educational Mobile Apps for Kids


Back in 2016 a California-based eLearning startup, called Age of Learning, has raised $150 million with the valuation of $1 billion. The company’s app called ABCmouse offer educational content for a very targeted audience – children aged 2 to 7 years old. Which is why it is constantly listed as a top downloaded app for iOS and Android markets.

School apps is another perspective learning category. From here you can start using classes and subjects as a targeting method. What is great about the apps for schools is the high demand and willingness of parents to pay for such content.

It also integrates other innovations such as gamification.

Note: Your app should comply with COPA law - U.S. Child Online Protection Act which required all commercial distributors of "material harmful to minors" to restrict their sites from access by minors. COPA only limits commercial speech and only affects providers based within the United States.

By the way, the success recipes of best apps for school always include gamification ingredient.

Learning Apps for Disabled People

A kid with a tablet

Perhaps the most undeveloped and stealthy mobile learning category. Also known as Special Education. If you want to succeed in this niche our suggestion is to cooperate with non-profit organizations or secure a government funding, which will provide your access to resources and audience.

Here’s some suggestion of mobile applications for disabled people and their purposes:

  • Apps that encourage shy students to speak more often.
  • Picture-based communication apps for children with communication disorders.
  • Choice boards for people with disabilities to help them express their wants.
  • Apps that help people keep track of their tasks and help them with visual guidelines.

Building an app for disabled people requires the high level of user experience. Consider hiring a skilled UX designer and get a consultation with a specialist working with disabled people. That allows you to ensure you include all the features covering your audience needs and build your app in a manner that is easy to understand by the end users.

Learning Apps For Adults

From here you have nothing to limit your imagination. Deadline keepers, homework reminder apps, math hints, proofreading apps, research citations managers, apps for collaboration with classmates, choose any of categories and go ahead!

Unlike educational app development for kids, best apps for students should always have a messaging feature. Also, you should open your app for additional integration like campus maps, reminder systems, schedule and learning databases.

Test Prep Apps

Introduce yourself to all sorts of quizzes and tests. Starting from basic language memorizing app like Anki, and ending with specialized Aviation Study Guide we’ve made specifically for military aviation pilots.

Apache helicopter

In our case, we’ve developed Aviation Study Guide as a memorizing app for helicopter pilots. The app features PDF Reader ware gathered documentation on Apache AH-64D and Blackhawk UH-60A/L helicopters and special quizzes and flashcards that help users to memorize previously covered materials.

We also added a simple admin panel so the client could add a new content, so the client could add new documentation, helicopter models and keep the app up to date.

Screenshots Apache

Note: Think about monetization method before starting making a quiz or testing app. Users of particularly this kind of learning apps do not tolerate mobile ads because they are highly distractive from a memorizing process itself.

Bottom Line

As you can see mobile learning industry is gaining strength and becoming more profitable year over year. Therefore, if you’re about to develop education app, it’s about time if you want to get enough momentum.

Another thing worth mentioning is that mobile apps for education appear to be a relatively simple category in terms of development. They need no complex integration and benefit most of the creative design and logic behind. Moreover, in case with education apps for kids, the educational content for them can be easily acquired from offline sources, with absolutely no need to make it unique.

Brace yourself and get started mobile app development with us!

Tony Sol is the business development manager of GBKSOFT, overseeing the production of all writings for both internal blog and external platforms. He is technical-driven person always looking for new benefits of merging business and software.

Comments (3)

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James Kin
Nov 13, 2018 at 9:41 AM

This is good because we see the whole education system has totally changed into the modern technology system.

Aug 30, 2018 at 8:44 AM

good article. With the tremendous growth of technology, the way of education is also changing. The opportunities for online education is very high. there are many good online educational websites and mobile apps available on the web.

Sep 06, 2017 at 2:53 PM

Great content describing the possibilities and scope in various types of educational apps. Tech companies and individual developers should come forward and develop more learning apps disabled people, I love the suggestion given here to join some NGO or other social communities. Thanks for sharing this here with us mate.


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