[App Fridays] Why more than 250 million students are using this free app to do their homework
Shaniah faced trouble answering some of her maths modules. Upon searching answers for one of her doubts on Google, she found an app which helped with all her doubts, and she even made new friends on it. The app here is Brainly, and Shaniah is one of its users who shared her review in the App Store.
Brainly is one of the world’s largest peer-to-peer learning communities for students, parents, and teachers, and has a user base of more than 25 million in India. In total, Brainly has more than 250 million unique users across over 35 countries.
With schools and institutes shut for months now, and kids studying at home all the time, a single doubt from a student often halts the entire study hour.
Founded in 2009 by Michal Borkowski, Lukasz Haluch, and Tomasz Kraus, Poland-based Brainly has found its sweet spot in India. It has achieved scale and raked in big cheques from investors including Naspers– who are also the investors of Indian edtech unicorn BYJU’S. Brainly app essentially acts as the online equivalent of a real-life study group and can help kids with academic queries.
The app is available on both Apple App Store as well as Google Play Store. Interestingly, on the latter, it is listed as the top free app in the education section, with more than 50 million downloads and a rating of 4.3 stars. While some of its users say it is their go-to app while studying, others write that they have made like-minded virtual friends.
Let us explore the app
As soon as you open the app, it does what it promises. It lands you on the page where you can ask your question, scan questions or doubts written on paper, or even just record the audio of it. This gives a great sneak-peek into the app before you even sign up. If you want to go ahead, you can create an account either with an email address or by syncing it with your Facebook account. The minimum age for social media and email accounts is usually 13 and above, which is also the target audience for Brainly.
The app has remarkably interesting tools to ask questions. The home screen has a strap with three options – ask, answer, and me.
When you tap ‘ask’, a screen appears where you can scan a question with your phone camera, or record a doubt on audio, or can simply type it. We asked a question in Hindi through audio and it instantly listed out similar questions and answers. However, when we tried asking a simple calculation (100+100) by clicking it with the camera, it could not pick that up correctly.
But as the say, products are always ‘work in progress’. So, this feature seems to have great potential.
The home screen of the app is simple. It is like social media, with all the latest questions listed on top. The interesting and most useful feature in the app is filtering the wall or home screen based on your subject of interest. These filters present a great snapshot of how diverse the community is on the app. You can use filters for school level, between primary and secondary grades. You can further filter subject-wise, and there are a plethora of subjects on the app like Maths, History, English, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Social Studies, advanced placement AP, Geography, Health, Arts, Business, Computers and Technology, French, German, Spanish, and other international languages, and even a special filter featuring prep questions for SAT and PSAT exams.
It was impressive to see how Brainly covers education levels, such as elementary school, middle school, high school, and college. While browsing the app, we also spotted content available in Indian languages, such as Hindi, Sanskrit, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, Kannada, and Bengali.
Overall, we found the users on the app reliable, and quality solutions provided. Brainly claims that it has a dedicated team of moderators that check all content on a daily basis. The app apparently has more than thousands of moderators, experts and close to 100 million answered questions.
If you are not a student but someone who is enthused about solving academic problems, then you can use the app for that as well.
The app is best suited to answer quick queries when you are doing your homework, or if you’re helping your child. Its interface is friendly and fresh, and easy to navigate. Be it a parent or a child, you will not have a problem in finding a solution for a doubt. The best part is it is free. So, even if you have subscriptions for other edtech apps, you still use it to clear your confusions and doubts.
P.S: A tip, do not let the phone or screen distract you while studying through the app.
Edited by Kanishk Singh