Mobile Apps for Learning German
There’s an App for That! – Apps for Learning German
There are many apps for that! For learning German, that is. Below you’ll find a listing of some of the best mobile apps for learning German.
The following apps for learning German or improving your German are free unless noted otherwise. The apps listed are for people who are trying to improve their German or those who just want to keep up with events in German-speaking Europe. All are available for the iPad and the iPhone from the Apple App Store (iOS). Many are also offered for Android tablets or phones at Google Play. (See links below.)
Apps that I have used and recommend are marked with an *. Other apps listed here may be perfectly good, but I have not tested them myself. To find an app, go to the appropriate store and search for the name of the app. You can also find these and other apps via your device by searching for “German,” “Deutsch” or any appropriate keyword.
Some of these apps can be used offline, but all of them require wi-fi or wireless data access for full use. – HF
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German Lessons > Apps for German
Ludwig II – Walking in the Footsteps of a Fairytale King
This application offers a unique range of multimedia information about and around the famous “fairytale king” Ludwig II of Bavaria. An indispensable guide to the palaces, castles and all the events in the life of Ludwig II. – More below.
24/7 Tutor DE lite
Free – Quizzes, puzzles and flash crads for German; includes ads; full paid version also available.
A+ Build your German Verb Vocabulary (iOS)
$1.29 – “Build your German verb vocabulary with this easy to use app. Verbs are presented in flash card fashion. Flashcards are a honored and proven method for memorizing.” > App Store
Abendschau – rbb*
Free app (iOS, Android) – Watch the evening news from Berlin. More: Abendschau-App (rbb).
AccelaStudy German Essentials
Free – Basic version of the Accela paid app below.
$9.99 – Over 2,400 basic and advanced vocabulary words in 60+ subject areas, including Colors, Days, Months, Seasons, Numbers and Counting, Time, Weather, Directions, Food and Drink, Cooking, Meals, Clothing and more. From Renkara Media Group, Inc.
Free – Listen to German radio stations or view streaming ARD TV news (“Tagesschau”) in excellent video and audio quality. Also see the “Tagesschau” app below.
Berliner Rundfunk 91.4 (iPhone, iPad, iPod)
Free – “Meine 70er. Meine 80er. Einfach meine Musik. Jetzt auch live auf Ihrem iPhone oder iPod touch überall und mobil unterwegs!” > App Store
Berliner Zeitung (iPad only)
Free (24-hour to 3-month subscription fee) – “Auf dem iPad lesen, was in Berlin wirklich wichtig ist: Die App der Berliner Zeitung informiert täglich aktuell über das Geschehen in der Hauptstadt.” > App Store
Berner Zeitung BZ (iPad, iPhone)
Free – “Damit Sie auch unterwegs nichts verpassen: Mit der neuen iApp sind per sofort alle News, Hintergrundinfos, Bildstrecken und Videos von Bernerzeitung.ch jederzeit und überall verfügbar.” > BZ in the App Store
Not available outside of Switzerland, but a cool free app for streaming various Swiss (and other German-language) TV stations. More from blick.ch. Also see SFR below.
Byki German (iOS, Android)
Free app, but $7.99 for in-app lesson purchases – A lesson and quiz app from Transparent Language, Inc. German and other language available. Get it from the App Store or Google Play.
Free – Play hangman using German vocabulary.
Denksport Quiz (iPad, iPhone)
Free – 200+ quiz questions (in German) – with photos and text. Optional extra modules cost $0.99 each. > App Store
This free app for Germany’s leading news magazine requires payment for a subscription or individual issues @ $5.00 per issue. See “Spiegel Online” below for more.
Der Standard (Austria)
Free ($0.99 per issue, more for a month) – “Genießen Sie den unabhängigen Qualitätsjournalismus der Tageszeitung DER STANDARD im übersichtlichen Zeitungslayout auf iPhone, iPad und iPodTouch. Einfach im E-Paper durch die Ausgaben blättern, wie Sie es gewohnt sind.” App Store
Deutsche Welle (DW)*
Free (iOS) – Note: Not all features available in German. “News, live TV and audio and video-on-demand, your key to world will be in the palm of your hand. In order to make good on this promise, DW has developed a tailored application for your iPhone or iPad.” App Store
$4.00 – Easily access this online German-English dictionary, which also offers other languages.
DRS / SRF (DRS Radio)
Radio and TV in Switzerland. SR DRS bietet dafür die iApp «DRS Radio». WEB: drs.ch auf dem Handy
Several paid apps (Android, iPad and iPhone) for dictionaries and grammar – ranging in price from $2.99 to $37.99
F.A.Z. Die Zeitung (iPad only)
Free app ($1.99 per issue or more for a subscription) – “Diese iPad-App verbindet die Übersichtlichkeit und Ästhetik der Zeitung mit den Vorteilen des iPad. Mit dieser Kombination aus klassischem Zeitungsdesign einerseits, digitalem Design-, Bedienungs- und Funktionskonzept andererseits wird die F.A.Z. auch in Zukunft das sein, was sie immer war: Zeitung für Deutschland.” App Store
One of many flashcard apps that can use Quizlet cards.
Flashcards Lite or Deluxe
For 18 languages, with audio; Lite is free, deluxe version costs $3.99.
Can use Quizlet cards.
Free German-English Dictionary (Ascendo)
Over 35,000 entries with audio and 1,682 verb conjugations; optional extensions cost $2.99 to $4.99.
$5.99 – Combines visual cues with the voices of native speakers.
German Audio Flashcards (Declan)
Free demo, but full app costs $14.99. Around 3000 words and phrases, each with native-speaker audio.
German in Pictures (Android)
Free – Learn new languages as fast as you did in childhood. As kids we were memorizing hundreds of words without effort. It worked due to strong associative memory and connection between words and sensation. Android Apps (German in Pictures)
German magazines (Focus, Der Spiegel, etc.)
Many German periodicals offer free mobile apps, but most require a subscription fee of some kind in order to access content.
German newpapers (Berliner Zeitung, F.A.Z., etc.)
Free apps and some free content, but full access usually comes only with a fee.
German+ (B. Holfeld)
A basic German phrasebook with 300 travel phrases in 8 categories, with audio; works offline.
German Travel Pro
A voice translator and electronic phrasebook for German.
Free – Explore the planet, including Austria, Germany and Switzerland, with 3D aerial views.
Watch the daily German newscast on your iPhone or iPad; read news articles.
German publisher of DaF materials; demo flash cards and vocab. modules for purchase.
Read texts, listen to texts and create vocabulary flashcards; may be a bit problematic with separable prefix verbs.
Free – Translates words and phrases in 50 languages (20 with audio); optional add-ons cost $1.99 to $2.99.
$1.99 – Paid version of app above, with added features.
$0.99 (introductory price for limited time) – Voice recognition; speak a phrase and hear it translated into 31 languages.
Kindle* (for Android, iPad or iPhone)
Free and paid e-books in German; limited selection of German books from Amazon.com.
Free – As the name implies, the emphasis is on German grammar.
Kurier (Austria – iPad, iPhone)
Free app ($0.99 for each issue) – “Österreichs führende überregionale Qualitätszeitung verbindet Qualität mit Reichweite und punktet mit hoher Wirtschaftskompetenz. In getrennten Büchern übersichtlich und leserfreundlich strukturiert, bietet der KURIER täglich zuverlässige Informationen, Analysen und Kommentare zu Politik…” App Store
Learn German (babbel)
Free – Learn German with 3000 common words and phrases, with audio. Lots of features, considering this is a free app.
Learn German (MindSnacks)
Free – Six mini-games, 50 lessons, 1400+ vocabulary, with audio clips; optional extra module for $4.99.
Learn German with busuu
Free – Over 3000 words and phrases, 150 topics, 20 learning units; works offline; five optional extra modules cost $4.99 each. Android Apps
A free app offering easy access to this online German-English dictionary.
$4.99 each – A series of detective/crime stories as text and audio for German learners; with quizzes. Best for intermediate level (A2-B1).
Free app – Extensive German-English dictionary (450,000 entries) with links to 100 million online translations. Dictionary also works offline, but G-E translation comparisons require online access. Helpful app, but caution should be exercised with many of the online translations.
Ludwig II (iPhone)
Free app – “Ludwig II – Walking in the Footsteps of a Fairytale King” is an iPhone app from the Bavarian State Library (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek) and the Bavarian Administration of State-Owned Palaces, Gardens and Lakes. This location based services application offers a unique range of multimedia information about and around the famous “fairytale king” Ludwig II of Bavaria. It includes fascinating augmented reality features like 3D pattern recognition, where digital objects appear on the iPhone screen on location and in real time. As an indispensable guide to the palaces, castles and all the events in the life of Ludwig II, this app is an absolute must-have for all Ludwig admirers and for tourists who take an interest in substantial historical information while “walking in the footsteps of the fairytale king.” Almost all the app features are available offline as well.
Selected “Ludwig” Features:
- Information about 140 locations in Bavaria and Europe which are related to Ludwig II and appear either live on your iPhone screen or can easily be accessed in MapView or ListView.
- An augmented reality feature presenting a 360 degree panorama view of the Throne Room and the Singers’ Hall at Neuschwanstein Castle.
- Detailed descriptions of places that were important in the king’s life, streamlined for iPhone readers and adapted for multimedia inclusion.
- Extensive picture galleries with over 400 photographs, many of them historic.
- Audio quotes of witnesses of the period like Richard Wagner or Otto von Bismarck vividly demonstrate what impression the king made on people who met him in person. Of course, Ludwig II himself has his say too!
- Audio features regarding particular subjects or places, including the building history of Neuschwanstein Castle.
- Location and context related links to video interviews with experts addressing architecture, politics, music, technology, Ludwig II’s life and the myths that surround the king.
- “Your Year with the King” – Historical events on 147 days of the year appear as push messages on your iPhone.
Ludwig II app preview: App Store
National Geographic – World Atlas HD (iPad only)
$0.99 – “Designed specifically for the iPad, National Geographic’s new and improved World Atlas HD puts our best maps in the palm of your hand.” App Store
National Geographic DE
Not available outside of Germany. View the German version of National Geographic. Subscription required.
For streaming German movies; free app requires a Netflix subscription to view a large selection of German and other films.
Nifty Words Pro
$3.99 – German-English speaking dictionary
Free – View German news and documentaries.
ORF TVthek* (iPhone, iPad)
Free – “Bietet ca. 100 ORF-TV-Sendungen regelmäßig als Video-on-Demand (7-Days-Catch-Up): Nachrichten, Magazine, Dokus, Diskussionen, Kultur, Sport, Unterhaltung (Shows, Comedys, Filme, Serien), Regional- und Kindersendungen.” App Store
Many podcasts in German are suitable for German-learners. Some examples include: Slow German, Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten (news in slow German), Jojo sucht das Glück, Schlaflos in München.*
This free app requires a Quizlet.com account; use online or offline; German and 17 other languages.
Radio Swiss Pop (Android)
This free application allows you to listen to Radio Swiss Pop on your phone whenever you feel like it and no matter where you are. Listen to the best pop hits of the last thirty years, 24 hours a day.
Free app – Streaming of Berlin (rbb) radio and TV, including the evening news. More: Abendschau-App (rbb).
Free – Swiss rail travel schedules and info.
Free – Part of Deutsche Welle’s services. See the DW app above.
Spiegel Online* (iOS)
Free app – Read Germany’s leading news magazine on your iPad or iPhone. One issue costs $5.00. App Store
SRF / DRS
Radio and TV in Switzerland. See this SRF page for more (in German).
Free (iOS) – “Informieren Sie sich bequem auf Ihrem iPad über das Geschehen in Luxemburg und in der Welt. Lesen Sie die neuesten Nachrichten aus Wirtschaft, Kultur, Sport und aus dem Leben der Promis.” App Store
Free – German word search games. App Store
Wortjagd (iPad, iPhone)
Free – Word games in German to expand your vocabulary. $2.99 Wortjagd Pro also available. App Store
Wortsuchen HD (iPad only)
$1.99 – German and English word search. Choose from 4 levels of difficulty.
ZDFmediathek* (German TV)
Free app – “Nehmen Sie das ZDF-Programm jetzt auch einfach mit. Die beliebte und mehrfach ausgezeichnete ZDFmediathek gibt es auch als App für iPhone und iPad.” App Store
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