How To Learn New Skills On Your Mobile

girl holding mobile phone

As a content creator, I’ve got some nifty tools that help me ensure that I deliver some great quality content that I’ll always be proud of. And even though a large chunk of my work gets done on my Canon camera and laptop through post production apps and software, I’m pretty mobile and like doing things on the go using my Samsung Galaxy A7.

Sometimes, though, I also want apps that aren’t only for producing good content but that have some value in helping me learn something new. Headspace has been great at helping me with meditation and learning to stay calm in moments when stress arises, but there are 4 more that I’ve been using that have taught me some great skills:

Google Primer

I actually stumbled across this app from reading a tweet about a month ago. It caught my attention because this is an app that you are guaranteed to learn from. Google Primer gives you quick, bite-sized lessons on business and marketing topics that can help you stay up-to-date in an ever-changing digital landscape.

What I love about this app is how easy it is to use. I mean, apps should generally be easy to use in the first place, but I love how easy this app makes learning new skills. After setting up your own profile, with a list of goals or skills you hope to achieve that’s relevant for you, you’re good to go! The extra love I have for this app is the relevance of skills that you can learn. From Social Media and Content Marketing to Customer Engagement and Business Management, these are all skills that have high value in today’s digital world and even though I have 2 degrees under my belt, none of them have taught me some of the valuable insights I have learned on Google Primer

There’s a total of 18 skills that you can learn, with lessons that vary from 4 to 20 depending on what the skill is. You only need to learn a minimum of 4 lessons to complete certain skills and what’s great is that you can always take a pause in between lessons and pick up right where you left off whenever you have the free time. The best part? You could probably learn a new skill whilst sitting through late-afternoon traffic.

Google Primer is pretty current with its topics and tips, and also helps you form strategies that you can practically implement through some of its tutorials and checklists. This has been an incredibly helpful resource when I started working on my new blog. I got a chance to put to use what I was learning and already, I’ve seen some good changes not only in the content I want to create but in the brand that I am building.


This app, although you can also use it on your laptop, is far more in-depth than Google Primer. For starters, Udemy provides online courses on a wide range of topics – Marketing, IT & Software, Design, Photography, and Copywriting, just to name a few. It’s really inspiring to see just how much knowledge exists on this app and my goal is to try complete one course a year.

Now with Udemy, you have to pay for the courses that you want to take. A good portion of the courses in most of their topics can cost you well over R1000. Yes, this may sound like a lot of money for an online course so my advice is to wait until Udemy has sales on their courses. I managed to only pay R100 for my Digital Marketing Masterclass course during their 90% off sale in November 2018. There are sales that happen quite often but how much you save can vary from time to time so it’s really up to you on when you want to purchase the course and start learning (although exercise some patience and wait for those 75% or more sales to save your coins).

Some of these courses can be really long and in-depth but keep in mind that you’ll be learning from some incredible instructors with knowledge and industry experience. And whilst I’m sure you could sit and watch a Digital Marketing crash course on YouTube, I don’t think YouTube will give you a certificate of completion, whereas Udemy will, so rest assured that all the hours you spend learning something on this app will show.


Ola, Bonjour or Ciao. For anyone wanting to learn a new language, this app can help you do just that.

Even though the free version has languages that are limited to 11 (none of which are local to South Africa), there’s enough variety to keep you intrigued to learn a foreign language. I’ve personally decided to learn Italian (purely because I plan on taking a Tuscan trip in the near future) and once you download the app, there are 2 ways that you can learn a new language: the Complete method, which has beginner, intermediate and advanced lessons, and the Travel method, which has important words and useful phrases to learn for your travel trips.

While Busuu is free to download, there are some in-app purchases to help you make the most of your language learning experience. I haven’t found the need to do this just yet but going Premium on Busuu means that you can add up to 12 languages, download your lessons for offline use and get official McGraw-Hill education certificates. Whilst you can pay a 1 month, 6 month or 12 month subscription fee for the Premium version, if you simply want to flex your language skills in a casual way, then you’re good to go with the free version.

Lens Distortions

This app is for those who have a little photographic flair and want to add some fun lens looks to their photos. With my Canon bridge camera, I had to find other ways of creating certain effects that DSLR cameras could capture better, and whilst I tried to do this during photoshoots, I never thought to create these effects during editing.

You’ve got 10 types of lens packs to play around with in the free version of Lens Distortions – from Classic Light Hits to Shimmers and Eclipses. The trick is to still make your photos look realistic as you apply some Lens Distortions but with time and finesse, you can create some interesting edits to your photos. I personally enjoy using this app because, for one, it isn’t the generic editing style I’ve seen on Instagram – that orange flame flair on the side or white speckled texture with extra grainy film. I revel in being different and going more against the grain (no pun intended), so I naturally gravitate towards images that don’t necessarily go with the Instagram editing flow but rather have an interesting lens effect.

Even though I am a portrait photographer, Lens Distortions has lens packs, such as Fog, Rain and Classic Snow, which pushes me to dive into some landscape photography and get creative there. Of course, it may look odd to add snow on a snapshot of a sunny Cape Town beach, but it really is about being as creative as you’ll allow yourself to be with Lens Distortions and it’s helped me to get better in my editing work.

So there you have it! 4 easy (and mostly free) mobile apps that you can download today and starting learning skills that can help you whether its in your career or personal hobbies. We spend a good amount of time on your phones, so why not learn something new in between scrolling through Twitter or double tapping on Instagram. Let me know if you have any mobile apps that you use to learn a new skill 🙂


Published by Khalipha Ntloko

I'm a South African blogger with a love for writing and photography. After completing my BA Honours in Industrial Sociology degree, I'm taking on the real world and embarking on a wonderful journey of continuous growth and success that is filled with nothing but authenticity. So, here's to inspiring real life!

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