By Alexandra Ward
With the New Year comes new resolutions. If you've been toying with the idea of committing to one, why not start at the top and boost your brain? Whether you're on public transit or on the couch at home, apps can make learning easy and fun. We've rounded up five free ones that will help expand your knowledge.
Beautifully designed and simple to use, Owl delivers an interesting fact to your phone daily. Why just one? The idea is that if you get a single fact each day, you're more likely to retain the information long-term. The factoids are selected from Reddit and due credit is given to the source.
New York Times Crossword
The New York Times is the king of crossword puzzles, and this app lets you enjoy a mini version of the real deal in the palm of your hand. Stumped? The digital version of the print classic offers clues, lets you check your answers and even reveals the solution if you're really stuck.
A study conducted by the City University of New York and the University of South Carolina found that 34 hours spent on this app is equivalent to a semester of language studies at the university level. Language skills are split into manageable modules and taught like games. You can also set weekly goals to track your progress.
As the world becomes increasingly web-based, learning how to program so you can build your own website isn't such a bad idea. Udacity offers lectures from industry leaders (who also work at Google and Facebook), teaches you how to write code and has fun quizzes that put your new skills to the test. The app also lets you download videos to watch even when you can't access the Internet.
Health I.Q. is all about improving "health literacy." It starts with a simple quiz to determine your level of health knowledge and then lets you compare your results against others'. With more than 500 quizzes related to nutrition, exercise, medical knowledge and more available, you can test yourself on a new topic every day.
Did you know GEICO has an award-winning mobile app?
That means you can view your policy, pay your bills and update claims while on the go.