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How the Top 5 Language Learning Apps Fared During COVID-19

How the Top 5 Language Learning Apps Fared During COVID-19

We used our app intelligence solutions to analyze how the top five language learning apps have performed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the consequences of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has been the rise of remote learning. At one point in April 2020 the World Economic Forum (WEF) estimated that some 1.2 billion children were out of classrooms, driving parents and educators alike to seek e-learning solutions for their students and children.

With this in mind, we leveraged our app intelligence solutions to identify the top five language learning apps in 2021 based on downloads. We then compared these apps using our analytics tools, focusing on their download histories, ratings, changelogs, and integrated SDKs!

Here’s what we cover (click the links below to jump to the relevant sections):

Top 5 Language Learning Apps in 2021

Top five language learning apps.

1. Duolingo: language lessons by Duolingo

  • Short Description: Learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, English and more languages for free.
  • Downloads Over the Last 30 Days: 6,924,751

2. Learn 33 Languages Free - Mondly by ATi Studios

  • Short Description: Learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, English and 28 more languages for Free.
  • Downloads Over the Last 30 Days: 777,312

3. ELSA Speak: Online English Speaking App for mobile by ELSA

  • Short Description: The most secure collaboration platform. For work and personal use.
  • Downloads Over the Last 30 Days: 537,654

4. Lingokids - kids playlearning™ by Lingokids - English Learning For Kids

  • Short Description: Epic learning academy app: games, language, alphabet, abc for kids & toddlers.
  • Downloads Over the Last 30 Days: 533,291

5. Cake: Free expressions updated daily! by Cake Corp

  • Short Description: Learn real English from videos.
  • Downloads Over the Last 30 Days: 186,041

For more language learning app insights, set up a meeting with one of our experts!

Analysis of the Top 5 Language Learning Apps in 2021

Downloads in the COVID-19 Era (October 13, 2020 - October 13, 2021)

Historical downloads for the top language learning apps.

Let’s begin by examining the historical downloads for each language learning app during the COVID era. This graph depicts daily downloads over the last year.

Unsurprisingly, Duolingo is the big winner here, notching an impressive 62,566,452 downloads from October 2020 to October 2021. Duolingo also had the best single-day performance, registering 524,907 downloads on August 1st, 2021. This came just days after their initial public offering (IPO), which saw their stock trade at $141.40 per share and their overall valuation reach 6.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Aside from Duolingo, Cake had the next best single-day performance, with 419,486 downloads on October 26, 2020. And don’t be fooled by the graph. The scale downplays the performance of Mondly, Lingokids, and ELSA, which routinely earn well over 10,000 downloads per day. Those are respectable numbers, regardless of how they compare to Duolingo.

Rating Insights

Rating insights.

Moving on to average ratings. Each of the top language learning apps are rated above four stars on Google Play. Currently, as of October 13th, 2021, Cake (4.73) is the highest rated of the top five, followed by Duolingo (4.679), ELSA (4.631), Mondly (4.629), and Lingokids (4.436).

Changelog Insights

Changelog insights.

The image above charts changelog updates for Duolingo, Cake, Mondly, Lingokids, and ELSA. The dots represent new version releases, updated content ratings, revised taglines, titles, or descriptions; etc. 

This chart is pretty straightforward. ELSA has been updated 42 times since October 2020, Duolingo has been updated 38 times, Lingokids 21 times, Cake 17 times, and Mondly once. Only this last number — Mondly’s — is particularly unusual. Indeed, ATi Studios last updated their app on November 1st, 2020, when they released version 7.10.0.

To learn more about these SDKs, set up a meeting with one of our SDK experts!

Integrated SDKs

Integrated SDKs.

This brings us to integrated SDKs. ELSA uses the most (25), followed by Duolingo (22), Mondly (21), Lingokids (20), and Cake (15). Moreover, all five of these apps use the Google Firebase SDK and the Firebase Cloud Messaging SDK, and at least four use the Lottie by Airbnb SDK and the Facebook SDK.

Final Thoughts

As we noted, the WEF estimated that at one point during the pandemic some 1.2 billion children were out of school due to COVID lockdowns. This drove billions of parents and educators to seek remote and e-learning options to fill in the gaps. So the fact that Duolingo, which has been downloaded over 100 million times, is currently trading at $173.00 per share should come as no surprise.

But there’s more! Indeed, the WEF also noted that research suggests students retain 25-60% more material when learning online compared to only 8-10% in a classroom. So, while the adoption of e-learning apps and platforms has been supercharged by COVID lockdowns, their pedagogical merit may mean they’re here to stay.

More App Insights from 42matters

At 42matters, we provide app data, insights, and analytics via a host of useful APIs, file dumps, the 42matters SDK Explorer, and the 42matters Explorer. This includes:

  • Developer details
  • Downloads
  • Ratings, reviews, and top chart rankings
  • Categories, genres, and IAB categories
  • Technical insights, including SDKs, permissions, and app-ads.txt
  • And more

The 42matters Explorer is an app market research tool that offers a comprehensive look at app trends and statistics. This includes data on both iOS and Android apps. Moreover, our APIs facilitate programmatic access to app intelligence data from both Google Play and the Apple App Store, as well as the Amazon Appstore, Tencent MyApp, Apple TV App Store, Fire TV, and the Roku Channel Store.

To learn more about 42matters, schedule a meeting with one of our app market experts. We’ll walk you through everything.