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Best Apps for Online Courses of 2023

Whether you want to boost your skills and knowledge for career or personal reasons, there’s an app to to teach you what you need to know. We tested seven of the best to help you choose.




Best Apps for Online Courses of 2023

From short videos that teach a single skill to in-depth, multi-week classes that can change the direction of your career, learning apps can improve your life in large and small ways. We tested seven options to find the best.

Our top choice was Skillshare, which specializes in short courses for artistic and creative pursuits for only $18.99/month. For career skills, we were a fan of LinkedIn Learning. We also gave high marks to the extensive course and certificate offerings of EdX and the free courses for younger and returning learners offered by Khan Academy.

Table of Contents

  1. 1. Apps We Selected
  2. Our Pick Skillshare - Online Classes Skillshare - Online Classes Runner Up LinkedIn Learning LinkedIn Learning Also Groovy Khan Academy Khan Academy Also Groovy edX: Courses by Harvard & MIT edX: Courses by Harvard & MIT
  3. 2. Everything We Recommend
  4. 3. The 411 from our Appventurer
  5. 4. Other Apps Considered
Our Pick

Best for Creatives

  • Learn how to draw, calligraphy, graphic design, photography, animation and more
    4.4 Ratings 78K+ Reviews 1M+ Downloads
    Free Fresh In App Purchases
    Free In-App Purchases
    Free In-App Purchases


Whether you want to kick your creative side hustle into high gear or deepen a creative practice for personal growth, Skillshare's classes will inspire you to be your best self.

Why we chose Skillshare:

  • $99.99/year or $18.99/month for access to all Skillshare classes.
  • If you're looking to deepen your creative practice, learn something new, or build a creative business, Skillshare has the course for you.
  • Skillshare features a large library of courses from leading writers, artists, and others. While the courses tend to be short, they are packed with tips, exercises, and wise advice from working artists.
  • There are lots of classes on building a freelancing business here as well, and tech specialties such as UX design, so you can learn about the practical side of creative business.

Great for: scribblers, doodlers, dreamers -- and people who want a little creative outlet but don't have lots of time. 

Read Skillshare's Full Review
Runner Up

Best for Work (and Job Hunters)

  • Learn in-demand business, tech and creative skills from industry experts
    4.7 Ratings 179K+ Reviews 10M+ Downloads
    Free Fresh In App Purchases
    Free In-App Purchases
    Free In-App Purchases


In case you didn't know, the job-hunting and professional networking site has a powerful learning component as well.

Why we chose Linkedin Learning:

  • $29.99/month or $299.99/year for access to a substantial library of professional development courses. Offers a one-month free trial.
  • App is easy to browse and since most of the courses are video-based, you can learn right from your phone.
  • Algorithm recommends the classes that are most likely to be relevant to you, and it's easy to find anything else you're looking for.
  • Lots of classes available in business, creative, and technology topics. Whatever your career phase or profession, you'll find useful material here.
  • Courses are substantive, but still short enough to digest.

Great for: developing highly specific skills fast.

Read LinkedIn Learning's Full Review
Also Groovy

Best for Kids and Test Prep

  • You can learn anything. For free.
    4.4 Ratings 221K+ Reviews 10M+ Downloads
    Free Feature Rich


Driven by the mission to provide free education to anyone who wants it, Khan Academy offers K-12 video instruction and test prep.

Why we chose Khan Academy:

  • Totally free.
  • Offers a number of classes with video and text-based components, mostly for middle and high-school students.
  • Has a selection of test prep materials to help those preparing for the SAT, LSAT and more.
  • Simple interface is easy to navigate.
  • Videos are well-produced and engaging, designed to hold the attention of younger students.
  • Khan Academy has been a leader in this space for many years, and is a great choice for young learners.

Great for: supplementing schoolwork, filling in knowledge gaps for people of all ages, and helping homeschoolers (even after the pandemic).

Read Khan Academy's Full Review
Also Groovy

Best Certificate Programs 

  • Gain new skills. Access 2000 courses from 140 institutions. Join for free.
    4.6 Ratings 106K+ Reviews 5M+ Downloads
    Free Fresh In App Purchases
    Free In-App Purchases


With EdX, you can take classes from top universities from the comfort of your home (or phone). 

Why we chose EdX:

  • Prices vary -- most classes are free to audit, with more expensive certificate options. The course I did was free with $169 for a certificate. This is a nice feature because it means the material is available to all, and those who want to can purchase the certificate option to verify their credentials to employers.
  • Video lectures are watchable on a mobile device, although you can access them on a computer as well.
  • Many certificate programs available for learners who want to dedicate themselves to professional development, learn a new skill, or change careers.
  • Take courses from Harvard, MIT, and other prestigious universities.

Great for: learning new skills and showing employers that you have them.

Read edX's Full Review

Everything We Recommend

  • Our Pick
    Explore your creativity on Skillshare, the leading platform for online courses where millions of creatives come together to take the next step in their creative journey.

    Discover thousands of inspiring classes on topics like drawing, calligraphy, graphic design, photography, animation, arts and crafts, illustration, hand lettering, pattern design, icon design, watercolour, and more. Learn to use creative tools like Procreate, Fresco, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

    Take the opportunity to learn from leading professionals and start your creative career.

    • Download the app to watch hundreds of free classes.
    • Start your free trial of Skillshare Premium to get unlimited access to our full library of premium, subscription-only classes.
    • As a Skillshare Premium Member, you can also download classes to watch offline.

    Questions? Suggestions? Feel free to email us at

    After your 30 day trial, payment will automatically be charged to your Google Play Account. Your subscription automatically renews unless auto-renew is turned off at least 24-hours before the end of the current period. Your account will be charged for renewal within 24-hours prior to the end of the current period. Your subscription and auto-renewal settings are managed via your Google Play Account Settings. For further information please refer to our privacy policy ( and terms of use (
    In-App Purchases
    $9.99 - $167.88 per item
    $18.99 - $169.99 per item
  • Runner Up
    Grow your skills with LinkedIn Learning. Explore over 16,000 expert-led courses, available both for free and with a subscription.

    Learn on the go with the LinkedIn Learning Android app.

    Get the skills you need to succeed by watching bite-sized video courses anytime, anywhere.

    Whether you want to learn leadership skills, build a mobile app, or how to use software, LinkedIn Learning has something for you. Take marketing classes, get management training, learn graphic design, take photography courses, watch web and interactive design tutorials, and much more. Watch expert-taught courses in leadership, programming, IT, 3D animation, and much more.

    Sharpen your skills and get the most out of your LinkedIn Learning membership with the app:
    - Access 16,000+ courses in business, tech and creative with more added each month
    - Get personalized course recommendations
    - Download courses for offline viewing
    - Explore curated courses for a guided learning experience
    - Save courses to watch later
    - Watch entire courses or individual videos at your own pace
    - Share courses with your network
    - Add certificates of completion to your LinkedIn profile
    - Access to LinkedIn Premium networking tools, and exclusive insights like Who’s Viewed Your Profile

    Popular course topics and skills include:
    - Learn business skills like becoming a manager, learn to give presentations, and how to negotiate
    - Get communication tips and and time management training
    - Develop leadership skills and get training on strategic planning
    - Watch a variety of marketing tutorials like content marketing, digital marketing, SEO, and marketing tools like Google Analytics
    - Brush up on Excel skills, QuickBooks, and other tools
    - Learn coding languages like SQL, Java, C#, Python, and more
    - Get the skills you need in IT infrastructure, database administration, and software administration
    - Get training on game design and development
    - Learn web development and how to build web applications or mobile apps
    - Learn how to design and create a website
    - Learn how to design logos, create ebooks, and more with in-depth tutorials on Illustrator, InDesign, Muse, and other software
    - Learn photography and photo editing techniques, how to use a camera, Photoshop, Lightroom, and more
    - Learn how to record and learn music production
    - Learn videography and motion graphics with tutorials taught by experts
    - Get 3D modeling and animation skills

    The LinkedIn Learning app is free to download, with courses you can watch for free right away. With a subscription, you can access our full library across technology, creative and business topics.

    For Monthly Premium: $29.99 monthly USD
    For Annual Premium: $299.88 annual USD

    If you choose to subscribe, your subscription will automatically renew until cancelled and will charge your credit card. You can turn off auto-renew at any time through your LinkedIn account.
    In-App Purchases
    $29.99 - $239.99 per item
    $29.99 - $299.99 per item
  • Also Groovy

    Khan Academy

    4.4 Ratings 221K+ Reviews 10M+ Downloads
    You can learn anything. For free.

    Spend an afternoon brushing up on statistics. Discover how the Krebs cycle works. Get a head start on next semester's geometry. Prepare for upcoming exams. Or, if you're feeling particularly adventurous, learn how fire-stick farming changes the landscape of Australia.

    Whether you're a student, teacher, homeschooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien trying to get a leg up in earthly biology — Khan Academy's personalized learning library is available to you, for free.

    - Learn anything, for free: Thousands of interactive exercises, videos, and articles at your fingertips. Study math, science, economics, finance, grammar, history, government, politics, and much, much more.

    - Sharpen your skills: Practice exercises, quizzes, and tests with instant feedback and step-by-step hints. Follow along with what you're learning in school, or practice at your own pace.

    - Keep learning when you're offline: Bookmark and download your favorite content to watch videos without an internet connection.

    - Pick up where you left off: Tailored to your current learning level, our mastery system gives instant feedback and recommendations on exactly which skills and videos to try next. And, if you choose to create a free account, your learning syncs with, so your progress is always up-to-date across all your devices.

    Learn using expert-created videos, interactive exercises, and in-depth articles in math (arithmetic, pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra), science (biology, chemistry, physics), economics (microeconomics, macroeconomics, finance and capital markets), humanities (art history, civics, finance, US history, US government and politics, world history), and more (including computer science principles)!

    Already familiar with the Khan Academy website? Not all functionality is available in this app. Community discussions, computer programming content, test prep, parent tools, teacher tools, and district tools should all be accessed directly at

    Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with the mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.
    In-App Purchases
    edX brings online courses from the world’s best universities and industry-leading companies to your mobile device, making it easy for you to learn something new and build job-relevant skills in today’s fastest growing fields.

    Learn anytime, anywhere

    With edX’s free app, you have the freedom to learn on your own schedule:
    - Stream online classes in data science, blockchain, Python, and more to learn on the go.
    - Download online courses to watch anytime.
    - Test your knowledge with quizzes and exams as you advance through each course.
    - View course announcements and handouts.
    - Use the advanced search to find courses in any subject, from programming to philosophy to history and more.

    Explore online courses from 30+ subjects, including:
    - Computer science – Learn programming in Python, C++, Java, R, and more. Delve into in-demand topics like artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.
    - Business & Management - Build your knowledge in accounting, marketing, finance, economics, information technology, entrepreneurship, and more.
    - Mathematics - Master your skills in calculus, statistics, and algebra with math courses from high school to college level.
    - Science & Engineering: Explore biology, chemistry, robotics, manufacturing, and various engineering fields.
    - Language: Learn a new language, including Spanish, Mandarin, French, English, and sign language.

    Choose from thousands of courses in those popular subjects and more, including art, law, politics, and history.

    About edX:
    edX is the education movement for restless learners. Together with our founding partners Harvard and MIT, we’ve brought together over 30 million learners, the majority of top-ranked universities in the world, and industry-leading companies onto one online learning platform that supports learners at every stage of their lives. We’re pursuing our vision of a world where every learner can access education to unlock their potential, without the barriers of cost or location.

    Visit us:
    Like us:
    Follow us: and
    In-App Purchases
    $1.99 - $4.99 per item
Compare All Apps

The 411 from our Appventurer

Caroline Rothnie
Written by:

Caroline Rothnie

Hard as I try to keep a minimalist phone, I can't stop downloading more apps. In addition to my can't-live-without apps for organization, music and podcasts, fitness, and meditation, I'm constantly trying out new ones. So I love apps, but it's a complicated relationship -- some of my favorites are for keeping me off my phone/internet.

In second grade, I attempted to do a book report on a story I had written myself, so you could say I've always thought of myself as a writer. These days, I write a wide variety of web content with a focus on mental health and productivity. I also write personal essays. I live in Kansas with my husband and two dogs. 

Best Apps for Online Courses of 2023



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