Best Practices

Top 3 E-Learning Apps to Build in 2021

Table of content

Table of content


The fast pace of modern life makes people experience their routines "on the go," be it a cup of coffee or a self-awareness course. Education, self-development, and workout routines are now accessible within the small screens of our smartphones. It's no wonder that online learning is the third runner up in popularity on the App Store, beaten only by Games and Business. As for Google Play, e-learning takes even a higher second place

This article provides a short take on the most popular segments of the e-learning industries, the tech trends driving it forward and the specifics of e-learning app development.

e-learning app consultation

What is E-Learning and When Did It Become So Popular?

E-learning is an umbrella term for “educational” mobile and web software designed to deliver professional, personal, and physical development services. Nowadays, e-learning embraces a vast abundance of apps, including online educational courses, fitness training, psychological help, coaching services, and other segments aimed at enhancing the quality of people’s lives. 

The list of self-improvement apps is overwhelming. The categories that gained maximum attention during the pandemic lockdowns include: 

We will look at the details of each below in this post. 

The wide adoption of educational apps dates back to the 1990s and is linked with the widespread use of the Internet. As mobile technology becomes more available, so is the spike in the number of mobile users. Low-cost and efficient learning apps soon became a popular trend.

In 2019, the global online e-learning market earned about $101B. Meanwhile, the figure rose to $190 billion in 2020. Nowadays, online education is considered one of the fastest-growing industries, with an expected revenue of $243B by 2022.

Coronavirus is an essential driver of this growth. According to Statista the sharp rise in educational apps’ popularity during the first quarter of 2020 has induced the growing interest in educational app development.

Here is a list of reasons that stand behind the learning apps’ popularity:    

  • Self-help culture: personal improvement is among the guiding values of the millennials’ and zoomers’ generations. Modern users are more eager to improve the quality of their lives than the previous generations; 
  • Convenience: self-improvement should be flexible, affordable, and “portable” to better suit the pace of modern lives. Mobile apps are the best solution in this situation;
  • User engagement: self-improvement can only be effective when it is interactive and engaging. Mobile apps make games and interaction an essential part of the learning process; 
  • Personalization: mobile apps help to maximally customize the learning routine to the schedule and rhythm of users; 
  • Productivity tracking: it is vital to see that the process is adequate and the time is not squandered. 

With such a massive demand for e-learning apps, e-learning application development companies enjoy ample benefits in building such software. Here are the reasons why you should invest in e-learning app development:

  • Profit opportunities. People have always strived for improvement, and this process is unlikely to decline in the nearest future. There are abundant opportunities for businesses to create apps that will enjoy a high user demand. 
  • Leveraging tech trends. Technological advances catalyze the e-learning app development industry, and those apps that take advantage of the tech trends have the competitive edge in the market.
  • Opportunity to make a change. Developing an e-learning app is an excellent opportunity to make an impact by tapping into available resources. 

Top 3 Technological Advances That Will Help You Develop a Better E-Learning App

Technologies are ever-changing and emerging innovations influence the e-learning industry. Here are the advances with the largest impact on the industry right now: 


How AI Helps Personalization

E-learning app development companies are now struggling with systematization of massive amounts of information. Artificial intelligence plays a significant role in tackling information flow and tailoring it to the users' preferences.

AI bots are now accountable for generating about 20% of the content, and provide about 85% of customer service interactions. Thus, AI makes learning more personalized via content recommendations, role-based-learning, and auto-generated learning content. 

For example, the math learning app Thinkster Math enriches learning experience by analyzing how students answer different questions. Based on this data, the app suggests question-targeted feedback for self-improvement and a more practical approach.      

Power of Gamification

It may seem, gamification is all about fun and entertainment. Though it is indeed, the introduction of games into the learning process also generates substantial benefits to some extent. First of all, games provide instant interaction with and application of the material. Gamification includes using game mechanics and visual storytelling in the educational process to drive user engagement. 

Games come in especially handy in educational apps development for children. Arcades, quizzes, and quests stimulate kids’ imagination, engagement, and motivation in studying. Children get to know that learning is not about tedious hours over a book. Instead, they learn that exploring the world and learning things can be fun and exciting.  

Just a little statistics to prove the case: 

  • 80% of learners said online learning would be more effective if it featured gamification; 
  • 67% of students reported that a gamified course was more motivating than a traditional one.

Duolingo is a vivid example of a language learning app using gamification. Besides learning the language grammar, users are set to complete tests and get rewards, badges, and achievements after completing the course.


Entertain the User with Augmented & Virtual Reality

The traditional blackboard scribbling has become a thing of the past. 360-degree visuals, graphics overlays, and an explorable interface are the new ways of transferring knowledge. Big corporations and organizations use VR/AR to train their newbie employees to apply newly-acquired knowledge in a safe environment. 

NarratorAR is an excellent example of an educational app using AR. This is an app for children, teaching them how to write interactively and engagingly. The software enhances the letters children write by applying special effects and turning handwriting into an enthralling experience. 

Educational Apps: Categories, Statistics and Trends

Online courses, language learning apps, digital dictionaries, and knowledge base apps – all these apps come under a single term – educational software. These websites and apps are designed for users to gain knowledge by making the process mobile, practical, and interactive.

As far as revenue is concerned, educational apps are on an unstoppable growth in the coming years.


The lucrativeness of the e-learning industry spurs unrelated companies to make moves in the direction of e-learning. For example, in May 2020, TikTok announced its desire to encourage self-education among its community. To that end, the company started its new #LearnOnTikTok platform and assigned $14.6 million of investments to hire various institutions and experts with experience in creating engaging educational content. 

A great example of educational solutions is the Ukrainian platform Prometheus, for which, Uptech built iOS and Android apps. This educational space combines lectures, interactive quizzes, and forums available for free anytime and from anywhere. The platform cooperates with top professionals and teachers, who provide video courses on business management, data analysis, or marketing strategy. 

Classroom Management Apps

These types of platforms are designed to smoothen the communication between pupils and teachers while interacting online. Classroom management apps are usually multifunctional, combining many integrated tools for teacher-student collaboration. 

As Sensortower reports, Google Classroom now tops the most downloadable app list with over 14.8 million installs. The app unites  Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Forms, Google Sites, Gmail into a single suit to help educational institutions adopt a paperless system. The platform manages pupil-teacher communication in a single space, where teachers can give assignments, manage grades, and archive courses. 

Language Learning Software

This software is a vivid example of using gamification in the learning process. Such apps for learning can help learners build their vocabulary, develop proper grammar, and eventually become fluent through well-prepared and structured online lessons. 

For example, Duolingo is a tool specially designed for learning new languages, from the most widespread to some exotic ones. The app can calculate the progress by dividing all knowledge into levels. This is how it also increases retention and completion. 

Online Educational Courses

The Internet is now overloaded with a variety of online courses, with Coursera leading the pack. Coursera is a multi-faceted platform that collaborates with top universities and colleges to provide online courses in various spheres. 

Protip: While online course creators largely focus on adults and children as their target audience, there is one unobvious option – businesses. More and more corporations today are unveiling the importance of investing their employees’ education. So look through a broader lens and target your educational solutions on businesses as well. 

Fitness apps

According to a Statista report, the fitness app segment's financial value is reaching up to $17,963 million as of 2020 and has no sign of declining in the future. Meanwhile, between Q1 and Q2 2020, health and fitness downloads grew by 46% worldwide. What's driving the spike is the rising adoption of sports and fitness applications for supporting healthcare and heart rates. Besides, the advent of new technology also catalyzes the process. Unveiling the power of 5G super-smooth video connectivity can boost the fitness segment higher than ever. Among the most popular fitness apps are RockMyRun, MyFitnessPal, Kidfit, and FitWell. 

Protip: To stand out in the myriad of fitness apps, try to focus your attention on one segment of the broad audience. This could be kids, disabled people, women between their 20-30, etc. Just choose a smaller niche and become a big gun in it.  


Diet and Nutrition Apps

Nutrition apps help users support their diet routine while delivering helpful health nutrition tips. What’s unique about them is that user roles in such software may vary significantly, depending on the app type. They could be nutrition experts, regular users, vendors, admins, etc. You can also go beyond the traditional diet service and include other services, like water consumption features, AI-bade food recommendations, or sugar and fat control features.  

MyFitnessPal is a spectacular example of a successful nutrition app. This diet and fitness tracking software help users calculate the calories and nutrients throughout the day. The app’s success is related to the gamification element, which encourages users for nutrition achievements. The apps also can scan products’ barcodes, which is among the features that put MyFitness App on top.  

Workout Apps (+Yoga learning apps)

These apps are targeted at those who cannot spare time or have no desire to visit the gym. During the pandemic outbreak, this tendency is quite explainable. It also explains how 60% of Americans are expected to cancel their gym membership (if they haven’t already). As a substitute for personal training, workout apps need to be flexible and adaptive to users’ needs. Depending on the app, users can choose the intensity, difficulty, duration, and trainer.

Peloton is one of the top workout apps on the market. With this app, users can perform workout routines from home while simultaneously enjoying the gym's competitive spirit. This fitness software heavily uses video streaming power, giving access to all sorts of live workouts. The company succeeds in supporting many cycling and running hardware, which, along with subscription services, makes for a total of $1.8 billion in revenue (in 2020).      

Coaching apps

Coaching apps are usually platforms that connect two types of users: mentors (coaches) and learners. That’s why these solutions typically impact both consumers and gurus, allowing the latter to reach wider audiences and help the former to enjoy affordable coaching support instantly.  

Statistics show that Millennials spend twice as much money as Baby Boomers on digital self-improvement such as coaching and well-being applications. Covid-19 has driven users to mobile software as the preferred platform for coaching services. 

Probably the best example of an e-learning app is the Masterclass platform. This is an EdTech startup launched by David Rogier and Aaron Rasmussen that provides classes and lectures by famous people. From storytelling courses by Stephen King to business management and negotiation by Bob Iger, the service covers a myriad of categories. 

Another example is a coaching mobile app named Mindbloom. In this coaching solution, users can communicate and motivate each other for self-improvement. In essence, this is a social gaming platform that helps users reach their life goals and feel more satisfied with their lives. Users can send inspirational messages in Mindbloom’s in-app chat, track and compare each other’s progress and congratulate each other on their achievements. 


e-learning app development

Must-Have Features of E-Learning Apps 

There are many types of e-learning apps, and there will be a different set of must-have features for each. But here is an essential list of features that a learning app must have: 

Registration and Personal Account 

The sign-in functionality allows the user to have their dashboard, manage the progress, get messages, and collect rewards. 

E-learning platforms are multi-role apps, which means that you need to build a personal user account for:  

  • Student; 
  • Teacher;
  • Administrator. 

Each of these user accounts will have its list of features. For example, the teacher might be able to create a course and chat with users. 

Protip: My recommendation is to make the user’s account as personalized as possible. For example, the user can have a personal dashboard to track their studying progress. Also, the user can see recommendations for the courses they should study next.

​​Content Management System 

A content management system is an essential part of an e-learning app. Online courses usually include many video lessons, audio recordings, PDF files, and articles. Teachers must be allowed to have access to the content management system to upload new videos and homework. 


You should introduce a chatting feature to allow for communication between the teacher and the student. This can be a custom developed chatting app or integration from a third party, like Sendbird

Push Notifications

Be kind to your users, and remind them if they are late for the class via push notifications. Also, you can send reminders that the assignment needs to be completed in a couple of days. Or congratulate your students on a successful finish of the course! 

Cost of Developing an E-Learning App

It will not be surprising if I tell you that the cost of an e-learning app will depend on several factors: 

  • The complexity of features and design; 
  • Time of development; 
  • Location of the development team; 

Complexity of Features

The cost of developing an e-learning app with basic features will be about $10,000-$30,000 (very approximately, though). However, if you want your e-learning application to include more advanced features, the overall cost will likely be higher than the average number. 

Time of Development

Here is an approximate cost breakdown for the time development of the basic set of e-learning app features: 

e-learning app development

Location of Team

The location of the outsource team is an essential factor influencing the cost of the e-learning app development. Here is how the hourly rates will differ depending on the region of development:

e-learning app development cost


As people strive for constant improvement, the e-learning segment continues to flourish with different types of apps. Building an e-learning software lets you get an assured high user demand and an opportunity to impact broad audiences positively. 

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