Blog Research

The best learning apps of 2018

I took advantage of the first few days of this year to dig into our data and see which were the learning apps or websites that got the most attention from our users. The methodology I used took into account the searches made on our site, how many time the pages have been viewed, if there was any action on the pages (clicks or reviews left) as well as the time spent on the page of the given products. The subjects have been ranked by popularity and – as one could expect – the two most searched categories were Language Learning and Coding. To much surprise, Microsoft Excel completes the podium, showing a strong interest in learning how to master the software from the Seattle firm.

There were no major findings when analyzing the audience: the vast majority of the visitors to our site comes from inside the USA and no significant difference per State could be seen (once the States population factored in)


Language Learning

In the most popular category, Babbel and Duolingo are head to head leading the pack. Interestingly enough is that our most popular blog article in 2017 was the one comparing the two apps in greater details. So it seems like people are really having a hard time picking between the two award-winning language learning apps. Completing the podium is Fluencia, which despite teaching you only Spanish seems to have hit a sweet spot with its focus on speaking and communicating. I should also mention here two providers that got listed late in the year but were definitely noticed by Uptrained users: Chatterbug (to learn German) and Kanso (to learn Japanese).

Talking about languages, the most in-demand languages on our platform were Spanish, French, English, German and Italian. Overall, we currently have listed more than 25 languages learning solutions here so that you can browse and compare solutions: I’m sure you will find an app that will get you speak that foreign language.



The demand of tech skills is surging and it seems like a lot of people want to either change careers or grasp some basic understanding of coding. When it comes to learning how to code online, there’s a diverse range of classes covering pretty much everyone’s need: from experienced developers to beginners for all the languages. Here are the favorites of our users:

  1. 1. Codecademy: with a lot of content being available for free and 12 coding languages offered, it is no surprise to see Codecademy raising to the top.
  2. 2. Careerfoundry: their UX and UI design courses have been high in demand. So do their 1-on-1 sessions.
  3. 3. Programmr: one of the best free offer out there with 100% hands-on approach

I should also mention here Treehouse, and, which all got quite some interest from our audience. We currently have 24 (and growing) different options for you to compare before starting any online coding classes. You could check them all here.



As mentioned earlier, this was a surprise at first. But then on second thought, it seems logical: Excel is one of the most commonly used software in the world and there so many you can do with it…when familiar with the shortcuts, formulas, functions, macros and the like. So, here are the ones you are the most looking for:

  1. 1. Spreadsheeto: the basic video courses are free and delivered to your mailbox every morning. There is also a premium version for the Excel gurus in the making.
  2. 2. Excel Exposure: a series of completely free Excel courses with 4 different levels based on your experience
  3. 3. Lynda: the online training platform from Linkedin (the business social network) has plenty of Excel Training and Tutorials on offer

From novice to experts, there are plenty of solutions at your disposal to learn to master Microsoft Excel. You will find an exhaustive list here!



Our data should be taken with a pinch of salt here as people interacting with our platform are mostly looking for casual /lifelong learning and not necessarily master degrees which require a significant time and money investment. Here two offers dominate the category: Smartly with its innovative offering, clearly shaking the whole MBA industry and MyleanMBA with its 100% online offer and 10 days trial.



Apps and other online solutions to teach and guide you on your meditation efforts are fairly high in demand as a new public is now attracted by mindfulness and well being.

  1. 1. Mindful Meditation Podcast by UCLA: the free podcast available in both English and Spanish outranks its competition made of smartphone apps
  2. 2. Headspace: an app that is perfect for those having never meditated before will teach you the basics and technique through fun videos and a guided 10 minutes daily session
  3. 3. Calm: the relaxing app and website will teach you how to build better, healthier habits through guided programs.


Aside from the three above, we have listed up 13 apps that will teach you to develop a practice that works for you – whatever your lifestyle is – and whether you are looking to make it a regular habit or just want to give it a try.


Musical Instrument

Who hasn’t dreamed of playing guitar like Eric Clapton or Carlos Santana? Often the roadblock had been the friction of registering to and attending local classes. Thanks to the progress of technologies, especially microphone, speakers and better bandwidth, it is now possible to learn to play virtually any instrument online. Here are the apps that you prefer:

  1. 1. Justin Guitar: the most popular online classes…for the msot desired musical instrument.
  2. 2. Guitartricks: the video tutorials company that started back in 1998 (!). Now with over 11,000 lessons available
  3. 3. Violin Lab: the reference portal for those wanting to learn violin online

We have 12 apps listed so far, for you to learn anything from piano to ukulele, harmonica or djembe online.



Photography fans wanting to take stellar photos by learning exposure, composition, lighting, shutter speed, aperture and the likes have started to look online or for apps to deepen their knowledge. Here are the three options our readers have picked has their favorite:

  1. 1. New York Institute of Photography: the institute founded in 1910 enjoys a stellar reputation and quite some photography classes on offers. No wonder why it makes it to the top of the list.
  2. 2. iphotography course: 18 training modules on offer, each with personal mentorship from award-winning photographers.
  3. 3. Elements of Photography: the highly interactive course provides real life examples, helping you to get up to speed in no time.

There are plenty of other options available if you want to improve your photography skills: check out what those 14 apps have to offer.


Investing and Trading

Over the course of the full 2017, Investing and Trading was the topic that generated the less attention. Two caveats though: we published the category late in 2017 and the interest for such activities seems to be seasonal, with the days around Christmas and early January showing peak demand. In the category, a clear winner seems to appear: Tradepro Academy with their broad coverage from basic to very advanced topics as well as their mix of video lectures and live coach. Also to be mentioned are Warrior Trading and Day Trading Academy. You could check the whole category here.



Text by Alexis
Image by sweetlouise