Explore 6 iPhone Apps to Sharpen Your Brain

Boost your cognitive skills with top-rated brain training applications

In an era where smartphones have become ubiquitous, the iPhone stands out not just as a communication device but as a portal to a myriad of functionalities. Among these, a significant category is that of brain training applications. Despite the lack of definitive evidence to suggest that such apps can prevent cognitive decline, the consensus remains that exercising the brain is as crucial as physical fitness. Drawing from a broad spectrum of user reviews and firsthand experiences, we have curated a list of six iPhone apps designed to keep your mind sharp and alert. The criteria for selection will be elaborated towards the end of this article.

1. Elevate

Elevate, crowned Apple’s App of the Year in 2014, continues to excel with a 4.8/5 rating from over 400,000 users. Available for free, it offers a diverse range of games and study features across various subjects like writing, speaking, reading, math, and memory. The app tailors daily games to your past performance, offering three free sessions each day with options to subscribe for expanded access. Subscription plans range from $9.99 monthly to $399.99 for lifetime access.

Elevate’s approach to cognitive enhancement is holistic, targeting multiple areas of mental fitness. Users appreciate the personalized experience and the depth of content available, ensuring that the journey to improved cognitive skills remains engaging and varied.

2. Impulse

Impulse enjoys popularity with a 4.7/5 rating from over 500,000 users, employing a badge reward system to motivate continued use and progression. The app features a selection of free games and puzzle levels, with additional assessments to gauge cerebral preferences and IQ. Full access requires a subscription, with options from $6.99 weekly to $99.99 for a lifetime.

February 2024 saw Impulse introducing The Artist Challenge, encouraging competitive play with tasks like completing 100 levels in the Draw One Line game. Its multilingual support makes it an inclusive option for users worldwide.

3. Brain Test

Offering a completely free platform, Brain Test boasts a 4.8/5 rating from over a million reviewers. Unlike others, it presents an ascending series of puzzles without the need for internet connectivity. The lack of explicit instructions contributes to its interactive challenge, with hints available to aid progression.

The app’s simplicity, combined with the variety of puzzles, makes it appealing to users looking for straightforward yet engaging brain exercises. Its offline capability ensures that sharpening your cognitive skills is possible anytime, anywhere.

4. Peak

With a 4.7/5 rating from over 140,000 users, Peak provides a regimen of training exercises and challenges to enhance mental agility. The free version offers a limited game selection, while a subscription unlocks all 48 games, personalized workouts, and an ad-free experience. Subscription fees are set at $8.99 monthly, $34.99 annually, or $99.99 for lifetime access.

Peak’s unique selling point is its personalized training sessions, which begin with an assessment to tailor the experience to your goals. Additionally, its compatibility with the Apple Watch allows for brain training on the go, albeit with simpler games due to the smaller screen size.

5. Duolingo

Perhaps the most well-known on the list, Duolingo, rated 4.7/5 by 2.5 million users, extends beyond traditional brain training to include language learning. The app is free, offering unlimited courses daily with a subscription model available for uninterrupted learning. Subscription prices are $83.99 annually or $9.99 monthly.

Duolingo’s approach to cognitive enhancement through language learning is supported by its extensive catalogue of languages, along with recent additions like math and music courses, catering to a wide demographic including grade school students.

6. Words With Friends 2

Zynga’s Words With Friends 2 enhances the traditional word game experience with a 4.6/5 rating from over 670,000 reviews. The game facilitates not just vocabulary expansion and strategic thinking but also social interaction through competitive and cooperative play.

The introduction of solo challenges and crossword puzzles in this version adds depth to the gameplay, making it a comprehensive tool for mental exercise while ensuring enjoyment and social connectivity.


The brain, much like any muscle, thrives on challenge and stimulation. The apps listed offer varied approaches to mental fitness, from problem-solving and memory enhancement to language learning and strategic gameplay. While technology alone may not be the panacea for cognitive decline, these applications serve as valuable tools in the broader spectrum of brain health.

Engaging with them regularly can contribute significantly to mental agility and overall cognitive well-being. In conclusion, the pursuit of mental fitness, facilitated by these innovative apps, underscores the evolving relationship between technology and health, offering accessible and enjoyable means to enhance our cognitive capabilities.

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