Best educational apps for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Sep 24, 2014
Tech

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are already in the hands of some fortunate students. Parents and teachers should familiarize themselves with the iOS 8 features that are most useful in a classroom or learning setting, including dynamic type, family sharing, iCloud Drive, and Notification Center widgets. From an educational standpoint, dynamic type is […]

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are already in the hands of some fortunate students. Parents and teachers should familiarize themselves with the iOS 8 features that are most useful in a classroom or learning setting, including dynamic type, family sharing, iCloud Drive, and Notification Center widgets. From an educational standpoint, dynamic type is the most significant innovation as the native keyboard is smarter than ever, predicting words and phrases based on context. Here are the best apps that take advantage of this and other new iPhone features.

Mini Monet – Creative Studio and Art Club for Kids ($0.99, Ages 6-8)

The award-winning Mini Monet by Sprite Kids is the quintessential coloring book app for iOS 8. With 120 pages and weekly artistic challenges, kids will spend loads of time expressing their creativity. The drawing and painting tools are very intuitive, requiring little guidance from parents or teachers. Its recent update lets them color and save photos to their Art Book. Even cooler is how the Art Club section connects young artists to each other, providing a social response experience that is secure.

Duolingo – Learn Languages for Free (Free, Ages 4-18)

The free Duolingo app, which brandishes mini-games for improving language fluency, updated its offering in tandem with the launch of iOS 8. Apart from increasing image quality for the iPhone 6 Plus’ higher resolution, the developers added a widget for their app, viewable in the Notifications Center. This means that no matter which app a student is using, her or she can engage with Duolingo directly from a push notification. Upon launch, Duolingo prompts users to take a placement test or start as a beginner; this introductory process and other lessons are made easier by dynamic type.

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MathX – Scientific Graphing Calculator ($0.99, Ages 12-18)

Are you or someone you know taking Trigonometry, Geometry, or Algebra? MathX is a tremendous scientific graphing calculator for students studying the ‘big three’ subsections of mathematics. They can compare seven functions at the same time. Belgium-based developer Bunuël Cubo Soto, who was named a Apple developer scholarship recipient in 2013, made sure that MathX’s latest update improved its compatibility with iOS 8, including support for larger devices like the iPhone 6 Plus, dynamic type, and the ability to export PDFs and other documents to third-party productivity apps.

VSCO Cam (Free, Ages 12-18)

VSCO Camera is extremely popular, and definitely deserves all the overexposure. The free app includes numerous preset filters and offers others in their store for as low as $0.99 each. The latest update to this outstanding photography app includes advanced camera controls. From an education standpoint, the app is ideal for middle and high school students. They can import existing images for editing, compare originals with polished photo drafts, and visit VSCO Journal for all sorts of useful information, including tutorials. Teachers and parents should share and track any in-app purchases for approval using iOS 8’s new Family Sharing service.

Star Walk™ 2 – Guide to the Sky Day and Night ($2.99, Ages 8 and up)

What’s not to love about Star Walk 2? In terms of quality, it is galaxies ahead of every other astrology and stargazing app available on the iTunes App Store. The educational value pulses through the interface in advanced mapping coordinates and three-dimensional representations of constellations, satellites, dwarf planets, nebulae, and other celestial perks. The Star Walk 2 app is a beauty to behold on iOS 8, and the developers recently corrected a bug users were experiencing with in-app purchases. Users can purchases all additional content offered in the app for $1.99.

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Stephen Danos

Stephen Danos is the Associate Editor for appoLearning.com, AndroidApps.com, and Appolicious. He has contributed to articles published on TechCrunchThe Chicago Sun TimesThe Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere.

He received his BA in English from the University of Iowa and MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Playhouse State (H_NGM_N Books, 2012) and Gravitational (The New Megaphone, forthcoming).

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