It’s no surprise that brain training apps are taking over people’s phones. I mean, it’s time to put the smart in smartphone, right?
There are advertisements for these apps on your social media. They’re the top spots on the App Store and Editor’s Choice lists. You read rave reviews about them in online articles and blogs. Your mom’s phone might even have a few of these apps.
Brain training apps like Lumosity, Peak, and Elevate are being used to better our psychological health through strengthening our language, memory, and focus skills, all while building a daily, five-minute habit. Most apps are similar in the sense that they offer mini games targeting specific cognitive skills, colorful graphs to show your progress over time, and advertisements to upgrade the app to get more games and features. But with so many options, which one is the best?
Let’s take a look at three popular apps from the App Store and what they offer:
Lumosity is proclaimed the #1 brain training app according to its website. You can work on five skills which are speed, problem solving, flexibility, attention, and memory. With the basic app, you get one free workout per day (with premium you can choose from six) that has three games included (five if you’re premium). There are five memory games, seven attention games, five problem solving games, five flexibility games, and eight speed games. You can also play games specific to language and math, in addition to mindfulness games that don’t affect your scores. The cool thing is that they’re constantly coming up with new games to play.
You’re ranked by your LPI (Lumosity Performance Index) which is the standardized scale calculated from all your game scores. You can compare yourself to others and see your training history when you purchase premium.
You can unlock insights about your profile, like your speed and accuracy or your mental math strategies, by playing certain games once you’ve bought premium.
Peak is a very popular app that has seven different categories for you to improve on: memory, problem solving, language, mental agility, focus, emotion, and coordination. Your daily workout will include four different mini games (or six if you have Pro) that will test your brain in these categories. For free, you can play four language games, four problem solving games, four memory games, four focus games, three mental agility games, one emotion game, and one coordination game.
The app also has a stats page that shows your brain map. This map will change over time, depending on how well you do on the games. It also lets you compare your brain map with your social media friends, your age group, and your career industry.
You can also check out your high scores for each game, as well as your achievements in the overall app and within the different categories.
Elevate uses an EPQ (Elevate Proficiency Quotient) that tracks your performance in the four categories of writing, speaking, reading, and math. To strengthen these skills, you must play games or study. Each training session allows you to play three games (or five if Pro).
Games are divided by level as well, between novice, expert, and advanced. For free, you can play six writing games, four speaking games, six reading games, and six math games.
Your profile will fill up with different achievements you unlock by playing games and studying. These achievements can be for how frequently you rain, your EPQ, and more.
All three apps have similarities and differences, especially with their “scientific” methods that back the games and ability to connect with Facebook. Hopefully with this review, you can find the best brain training app for you. Remember, the app that will be best for you depends on your goals, as well as your willingness to pay for upgrades. Happy cognitive strengthening!
Also published on Medium.