6 iPhone Apps For Keeping Your Brain Sharp

In today’s society, it’s rare to spot an iPhone user without their device, given its multifunctionality beyond mere calling. With an app available for nearly every purpose, from checking the weather to streaming videos, iPhones have become indispensable tools. Whether you need a note-taking app or wish to engage your mind actively, there’s a plethora of options to choose from.

It’s worth noting that while there’s no conclusive evidence supporting the efficacy of brain-training apps in preventing cognitive decline, exercising the brain remains important. Drawing from user reviews and our own experiences, we’ve compiled a list of six iPhone apps aimed at maintaining mental sharpness. Further details on our selection methodology will be provided later in this article.


1. Elevate


In 2014, Elevate clinched Apple’s prestigious App of the Year accolade, and since then, its momentum has remained unwavering. Garnering an impressive 4.8 out of 5 rating from a staggering 400,000 users, it remains accessible without cost. Users can opt to engage in gameplay or utilize its study feature, particularly beneficial for addressing shortcomings in specific subjects such as writing, speaking, reading, math, and memory.

Each subject encompasses multiple subtopics, ensuring a continual stream of learning material. Tailored to individual usage patterns, personalized daily games are provided, with the first three offered at no charge. Users are presented with a choice between two session styles for each game. However, accessing all five daily training slots necessitates a subscription upgrade. Subscriptions are available at three tiers: $9.99 per month, $39.99 per year, or a lifetime option priced at $399.99.

2. Impulse


Impulse stands as a well-received brain-training application, boasting a commendable 4.7/5 rating from an extensive user base of over 500,000 individuals. Employing a badge-based reward system, it incentivizes users to maintain engagement and advance through various levels of puzzles and free games. Moreover, the app offers a range of tests assessing cognitive abilities such as left or right-brain dominance and IQ levels. However, to unlock the full array of features, including additional games, users must opt for a subscription, available at $6.99 weekly or a $99.99 lifetime option.

Notably, Impulse also presents challenges designed to pique the interest of competitive individuals, such as The Artist Challenge held in February 2024, which entailed completing 100 levels in the Draw One Line game. Furthermore, the app supports multiple languages, making it highly inclusive and accessible to a diverse audience.

3. Brain Test

Brain Test

Brain Test is an app that you can download and enjoy without any cost. While there are optional in-app purchases available for upgrades or ad removal, they’re not obligatory for gameplay. With a remarkable rating of 4.8/5 from a vast user base, the app’s appeal is evident. Unlike other brain-testing apps with various categories, Brain Test offers a straightforward experience where you progress through levels, each presenting a new puzzle. Furthermore, it’s convenient for offline play, not relying on internet connectivity.

However, one drawback is its initial complexity, which may confuse users due to its highly interactive nature. While it begins with simple questions, subsequent challenges may require moving pieces around without clear instructions provided by the app. Though hints are available, players need to use them judiciously to avoid exhausting their resources prematurely.

4. Peak


Peak is a brain training application renowned for its stimulating exercises and challenges, boasting an impressive rating of 4.7 out of 5 from a vast user base exceeding 140,000 individuals. While the free version offers a restricted range of games, opting for the subscription unlocks all 48 games, tailored Pro workouts, and an ad-free interface. Subscription options include $8.99 per month, $34.99 annually, or a one-time payment of $99.99 for lifetime access.

Customization is a key feature, allowing users to tailor their training sessions according to their preferences. Upon initial setup, users are prompted to select areas for improvement, such as memory, language proficiency, cognitive agility, and emotional intelligence, among others. An assessment follows to gauge proficiency levels in chosen subjects.

Moreover, the app seamlessly integrates with Apple Watch, although the games are simplified to accommodate the smaller screen size.

5. Duolingo


Chances are, you’re familiar with Duolingo, but if not, it’s a language-learning application. Keeping your mind sharp doesn’t always require solving little math problems or spelling tests; dedicating a few minutes each day to learning a new language can achieve the same effect. Duolingo boasts a remarkable 4.7/5 rating from 2.5 million users, offering a variety of languages to learn. Whether you’re aiming to converse in Spanish at your next meal or greet someone in Japanese, Duolingo has you covered. Additionally, the app now offers courses in math and music, which is particularly beneficial for schoolchildren seeking extra assistance with their studies.

The app itself is free to download, allowing users to enroll in as many courses as they desire each day. However, there’s a catch with the free version: after missing five questions, users must wait until their chances are replenished. Subscribing, on the other hand, provides unlimited attempts, enabling users to dedicate entire days to mastering their chosen language. The subscription fee is $83.99 per year or $9.99 per month.

6. Words With Friends 2

Words With Friends 2

Many brain-testing applications typically include a section focused on language or vocabulary. However, have you considered engaging in a popular word game that not only connects you with people worldwide but also enables interaction with your family and friends? Words With Friends has been a longstanding favorite, and in 2017, Zynga released an enhanced version titled Words With Friends 2, which garnered significant praise and popularity, evidenced by its impressive 4.6/5 star rating from over 670,000 reviews—far surpassing the original game’s acclaim.

Engaging in word games has been shown to offer numerous cognitive benefits. Beyond strategic thinking, playing such games enhances attention, language proficiency, memory, and processing speed. With the updated features in Words With Friends 2, players can now enjoy more than traditional Scrabble-style gameplay against opponents. The app introduces solo challenges and crossword puzzles, expanding the range of brain-stimulating activities available. Thus, not only does playing these games provide mental exercise, but it also promises enjoyment and entertainment.

How we selected these brain-training iPhone apps

brain-training iPhone apps

The iPhone cognitive enhancement applications mentioned in this piece were carefully chosen following extensive technological evaluation. Furthermore, personal encounters with these applications and positive feedback from users who have installed and utilized them were factored in. Each of these applications has garnered a rating of at least four out of five stars and can be downloaded for free. Nonetheless, certain apps may necessitate a subscription for access to all or additional features. We recommend conducting further research to ascertain whether these applications align with your preferences before committing to any subscription fees.

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