Technology has once again become indispensable as millions of us spend our time locked inside our homes. From helping us connect with our loved ones and colleagues to order essential items online, technology is showing that this backbone cannot be fractured. The biggest sign of technology or tech companies being at the helm of this pandemic is the partnership between Apple and Google. While we have reported that Apple and Google cannot see eye to eye (cue that privacy ad by Apple), the two tech giants showed that they can tackle problems together.
The iPhone maker and the search giant worked together to introduce an exposure notification API that allows authorities to do contact tracing but also respect privacy of their users. It’s not limited to Apple and Google though. Microsoft is offering critical computing resources to healthcare institutions. Slack and Zoom are proving that remote work is not a hardship. Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are showing that live streaming yourself will be the new normal.
One of the critical elements that seems to have gone missing during this lockdown is interaction and learning. While we are seeing our colleagues on Zoom or FaceTime, the interaction is formal and not as fun as those random meetings at the office patio. It also seems like we have stopped learning new things during the lockdown. If you are feeling that even after 60 days, you haven’t picked up anything new to learn, we have got you covered. These four apps will help you learn new things at your comfort.
There are apps and then there is Duolingo, arguably the most popular app to learn new languages. This cross platform app will help you become bilingual during this lockdown. The app calls it “free and effective” and there are millions of users to vouch for it. What makes it really unique is those users who refine the language further with feedback. All you need to do is get started by selecting the language you want to learn, be it French, Spanish or Portuguese. If you are a Star Trek fan then there is even Klingon for you to master during this lockdown.
The app lets you set the amount of time you can spend learning during the day and tailor the lesson plan. The highlight of this app is the way it gamifies learning experience. It involves a mix of audio and generic questions to help you perfect the language and even hone your pronunciation. It is not perfect. For instance, if you try to learn Italian, there are roadblocks where you might be right but the app will throw you a curveball. Honestly, those inconsistencies are fun when you see hundreds of people that the app was wrong. Man vs Machine is always fun.
SMARTIFY: Scan & Discover art
Ever been to an art gallery and stumbled around an art and hoped for a cheat sheet to understand the word, then you should download Smartify. Available on both Android and iOS, the app is a way to instantly unlock the history of art. The app uses image recognition to identify works of art and then relies on machine learning to demystify them. All you need to do is scan an image and the app will immediately show details about the work and the artist behind it.
Now, start pointing this app around those works of Picasso, Vincent van Gogh or Salvador Dali and learn what these great minds wanted to say through their art. While Google has a similar tool, this app is a pocket tour guide. All it takes is for you to point the camera at the art and immediately get educated. It also includes curated audio tours of some of the world’s most renowned galleries. Put your quizzical mind to work and learn new facts while sitting on the sofa.
Did you think we won’t help to learn coding in a guide about learning new things during lockdown? Well, you got us. Mimo is the app you need to get coding with step-by-step guidance tailored for different experience levels. The app makes it super easy to understand coding. To get started, answer a few quick questions and Mimo will calculate your curriculum. Learn coding and the nuance behind HTML, Swift, Python and other programming languages with this simple app.
There is no such thing as one size fits all or one lesson works for everybody when it comes to learning. That’s where Skillshare comes and simplifies the process. Instead of offering one thing, Skillshare covers everything one can imagine. It is the “Get Smart Faster” equivalent of learning experience. When you open the app, it has a “Best in” shout out for a specific category. You can tap here and filter by areas of interest. While it has free classes, you can unlock value with a premium subscription.