There’s an absurd number of apps available for studying Spanish, and searching through the options in the Apple or Android app stores can be overwhelming. The apparent quality of a lot of these apps, however, can be discouraging.
Luckily, a quick scroll through the app store doesn’t accurately represent the quality of Spanish learning apps available today. There are actually a lot of excellent apps out there that can teach you nearly every aspect of the Spanish language – though it does take some mix and matching.
The apps will be loosely organized into categories, based on what they do best. A lot of them could fall into a few different categories, so I’ll try to put them into the section that makes the most sense.
Let’s see what we’ve got…
GENERAL COURSES available as apps
Best for Oral Communication Skills: Pimsleur
Best Lessons in the Style of a Podcast: SpanishPod101
Best for Finding a Tutor: italki
Best Lesson Structure: Babbel
apps for READING AND LISTENING practice
Best Latin American Listening Practice: Lupa
Best Reading Content: LingQ
Best Free Reading Content: Manga Method
Best for Side-By-Side Reading Practice: Beelinguapp
Best Audio Course: Pimsleur
apps for SPEAKING AND WRITING practice
Best for Feedback on Writing: italki
Best for Feedback on Pronunciation: Speechling
VOCABULARY AcQUISITION apps
Best Dictionary App: SpanishDict
Best for Easy Vocabulary Practice: Memrise
Most Customizable Vocabulary Practice: Anki
Best for Free Practice in Context: Clozemaster
Best for Learning Words in Context: Lingvist
apps for TUTORS AND LANGUAGE EXCHANGES
Second-Best for Finding a Tutor: Verbling
Top overall spanish apps
SpanishPod101 could potentially belong in the general courses category because it offers practice in a variety of skills. I’ve put it here because the lessons are mostly audio and the course structure isn’t completely linear.
The app contains a ton of content — there are nearly 2000 lessons ranging from absolute beginner to advanced levels, though the majority of content is designed for learners at a lower level.
Lessons are presented in a podcast-style format. Two hosts discuss and translate a dialogue, providing plenty of grammar notes and cultural information. There’s quite a bit of English happening at the lower levels, but this phases out as you progress to more advanced material. Review.
Save 25% on a subscription by using the coupon code ‘ALLLANGUAGERESOURCES‘.
Pimsleur is an old-school course that began long before apps were even a thing.
My favorite thing about the course is that it gets you speaking Spanish right away. The lessons mostly ignore the written language and grammar, focusing on listening and speaking instead.
This means that students who use Pimsleur’s courses will almost certainly develop oral language skills more quickly than with other resources. Considering most people studying Spanish want to be able to use it in conversations right away, that makes it pretty appealing. Review.
FluentU offers videos in nine different languages and is available for iOS, Android, and on the web. Most of its content is beyond the beginner level, but it has videos for learners at all levels. Check our full review here!
italki is the most flexible and affordable place to find a tutor for the language you’re learning. They have a huge number of teachers offering classes to students of over 100 different languages. As a learner, you’ll be able to find a tutor that best fits your learning style, schedule, and personality. Teachers are able to set their own prices and make their own schedule. Check our our full review here!
A few of the resources mentioned in the video aren’t available as apps, but can be found in our post about the best Spanish courses. Be sure to subscribe and stay tuned for the second video where we cover 12 more good apps and courses for learning Spanish.
Not too surprisingly, a lot of courses (even the old-school ones) are now fully accessible through an app. We’ll take a look at these first because they’re most likely to cover all of the categories, making for more comprehensive resources.
It’s worth noting, however, that these are not necessarily my favorite Spanish courses. Rather, they’re the Spanish courses that also have apps. For a comprehensive look at all the different course options you’ll have, I’d suggest reading our post about Spanish courses.
best lesson structure
Babbel is pretty similar to Duolingo, Lingodeer, and a few other courses, but less gamified. It will have more of an appeal to learners looking for a no-nonsense study resource.
While their courses aren’t exactly unique, they’re well-structured and generally solid. What they lack in flash, they make up for with the quality of their courses.
It’s affordable, teaches useful Spanish that you’ll need in real life, and explains grammar very clearly. Review.
best interactive course
Lingodeer is one of several closely-related apps, newer than most in its class. I’ve listed it before the others because it’s the one I tend to recommend the most for new students getting started with Spanish.
The app structures its lessons around a variety of themes and offers practice opportunities in a variety of exercises, testing your understanding in multiple ways.
There are several reasons I prefer Lingodeer over similar apps. It’s got better audio quality, informative grammar explanations, and a greater variety of exercise types, which keeps things interesting. It’s also offered at a comparable price, some of the content free. Review.
best free interactive course
Duolingo is an insanely popular app, among the most famous language learning platforms in the game. Launched in 2011, it’s a free program that has opened up language learning to people all over the world (over 100 million downloads in the Google Play Store).
It teaches Spanish, among many other languages, in short, easy, gamified lessons. This approach makes learning Spanish much less intimidating, and it’s especially good for those who may struggle with motivation.
Here are a few things I don’t love: the audio recordings for many sentences don’t sound natural (which can be a huge problem for new learners), there are lots of nonsensical sentences that you would never say, and their grammar tips aren’t included in the app. Still, it’s not a bad way to get started with Spanish. Review.
best free Audio course
The Language Transfer project has been in development since 2011, but 2020 saw the first app launch for the program on both iOS and Android – available for free. The LT Spanish course is made up of 90 audio lessons that help learners build a foundation in the language by teaching a method for thinking your way through it.
The course is best for English speakers, as the instruction draws heavily on the similarities between English and Spanish. It’s also better for learners that don’t need to be visually stimulated as they learn – this isn’t a fancy app with animations or pictures. As far as quality of instruction and learning potential, it’s hard to beat the value of a free app like Language Transfer. Review.
Both of these apps offer online courses from universities around the world, open for registration at any time, and self-paced. Advanced learners can take courses on many different subjects taught in Spanish, and others will be able to find courses teaching the language. Courses are free, and most offer a certification upon completion if you’re willing to pay.
Rocket Spanish is… just OK. It’s got lessons that focus on teaching useful language through a variety of practice methods and grammar explanations, but it never goes above and beyond. Review.
Busuu is another very popular app and its Spanish course is pretty good. Although it may not do as well with grammar as Babbel, the incorporation of writing and speech corrections from other users is a stand out feature. Review.
Udemy is an online platform where users can create and sell their own courses on any subject. The majority of Spanish courses are aimed at beginners, but there are some options for learners at all levels. Keep in mind that quality will vary from course to course and that courses are frequently offered at major discounts.
This app is available in a ton of different languages and has some nifty features, but it doesn’t stand out over similar apps. Review.
This one takes a similar approach to other popular options, but it underperforms in pretty much every area. The lessons aren’t well-structured, the design isn’t as good as other apps, and they don’t explain important things like conjugation rules, among other issues. Review.
One of the more famous resources, Rosetta Stone avoids explanations in favor of teaching language purely through exposure. The lessons are repetitive, boring, and not worth the cost. Review.
Synergy Spanish teaches the language through sentence repetition. Unfortunately, the instruction isn’t thorough and the app feels outdated. Review.
reading and listening skills
Putting yourself in a position to read and listen to a lot of Spanish material around your level is extremely useful for improving your overall skills. Since both of these skills involve consuming media, there are a number of resources that are worth looking at. With many of these apps, you’ll be able to practice both reading and listening simultaneously.
Best for interesting content
News in Slow Spanish is one of my favorite resources for improving Spanish. While their content is phenomenal, the app is below average, so it’d be better to use a mobile browser. They have two variations, one which teaches Spanish from Spain and one that teaches Latin American Spanish; both have materials for three levels – beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
They release weekly podcast episodes focusing on current events and culture, while also teaching some grammar and expressions. I love their teaching methodology as it’s both effective and a lot of fun. Review.
Best Latin American Listening Practice
This podcast-style app works in partnership with NPR’s Radio Ambulante, a Spanish-language podcast that produces stories about Latin America. Via the Lupa app, learners are able to use several features to make these stories easier to understand, such as variable speeds, transcripts, translations, and definitions.
Some limitations of Lupa are that you’ll need an upper-intermediate or advanced level of Spanish to make the most of it and that it’s squarely focused on improving listening skills — little else. That said, the stories are extremely well done and engaging, even if they tend to be on the serious side of things.
Learners looking to get exposure to authentic Spanish as it’s spoken in a variety of different Latin American countries will likely find what they’re looking for with Lupa. Review.
best reading content
LingQ is a very useful app where you can find interesting material to practice reading and listening, regardless of your Spanish level. Much of the content has actually been added by users, so you may already be familiar with some of the sources. For example, there are podcasts from Radio Ambulante, textbook passages, news stories, and much more. You can also add your own material to read.
As you read, the words you don’t need to look up are marked “known.” This gives you a very broad measure of how many words you know. There are a bunch of other features that I think are either pointless or bad value such as their avatars, points, and tutors. A subscription costs $12.99 per month.
Best for Free Reading Content
Manga Method is a community-driven project that leverages user contributions to provide translations and audio recordings of manga stories in many different languages. The stories themselves are highly engaging and come with high-quality illustrations, making for enjoyable study time.
This resource is a good option for learners looking to get entertaining, free practice. Translations will help you improve your reading skills, and native-speaker recordings will help you develop an ear for Spanish.
Learning a language doesn’t have to cost money.
Sign-up to get a huge list of free resources tailored to the language you’re studying.
We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.