The apps on this list have been selected for the quality of their content, user feedback, and sign language teaching techniques. We’ve also taken into account the special features that reviewers found interesting and valuable.
Most of these apps focus on English and American Sign Language (ASL). If the app offers regional signs or other sign languages, we’ve taken that into account.
Finally, all the selected apps are available for both iOS and Android. They also vary in price to accommodate different budgets.
The ASL app was created by Ink & Salt, a deaf and deaf owned company. It is a visual-only app that offers over 2,500 ASL signs and phrases. The app features a slow motion option, a search index, and a favorites folder.
One reviewer said, “This makes learning the basics very easy.” Another said that “this is the best app out there”.
The basic features are free for users. Additional offers, called Sign Bundles, are available for $0.99 each. Each package has a theme, such as colors or pop culture. A one-time purchase of $9.99 includes all current and future packages.
Download the ASL app for iOS
Download the ASL app for Android
hand on asl
If you want to learn how to finger spell, consider laying hands on sign language. The visual app only uses the hands of 3D models instead of videos or still images. You can zoom in and rotate the hands to view them from different angles.
Hands-on ASL offers game-style tests instead of standard lessons. If you enjoy playing games on your phone, you might enjoy this feature.
One user said the app is “a great tool for anyone who needs to be able to communicate using sign language quickly and effectively.”
The app is free to use with optional in-app purchases. The free version contains ads, which some users found “annoying”.
Download Hands on ASL app for iOS
Download Hands on ASL App for Android
SignSchool was created by three friends, including a deaf person. It offers hundreds of banner themes, multiple choice games, and a dictionary in different dialects. The app, which is visible only, has a “record of the day” feature. This makes it easy to learn a new sign every day.
With over 4000 signs and 200 subtopics, SignSchool is packed with educational content. However, some users did not like that the signs with multiple meanings lack descriptions that explain the differences.
The app might be ideal for intermediate signers. Reviewers note that SignSchool may be best for people who “already know basic ASL and want to expand [their] words.”
The app is free for all users. It can also be used on a desktop computer.
Download SignSchool for iOS
Download SignSchool for Android
ASL Dictionary is a visual only app with more than 5,000 videos. It offers quizzes, finger spelling exercises, a wishlist, and a slow motion option. The app also includes a history of played words so you can keep track of the tags you’ve watched.
Moreover, the app allows you to download videos to practice American Sign Language offline. This can be useful if you do not have constant access to the Internet.
One reviewer said it was “very easy to use and intuitive”. Another reviewer noted that “it’s easy to search for specific words” in the app.
The app costs $7.99.
Download ASL Dictionary for iOS
Download ASL Dictionary for Android
Lingvano runs an “international and diverse team of deaf and hard of hearing people.” The visual-only app has many unique features, including icons to show that you’re learning a new sign. It also allows you to use the front camera as a mirror so you can see what you are signing.
Other features include a searchable dictionary, quizzes, and exercises to practice conversational conversations. The app offers Austrian Sign Language (OEGS) courses as well.
One reviewer said, “The tests are very well laid out. You have to spell the answers, get a feel for hand position, and you’ll go through the grammar very quickly.” The app also explains facial expressions, according to the reviewer.
The basic subscription to the app is free. A monthly subscription starts at $17.99 a month, but 3-month and 12-month subscriptions are also available.
Download Lingvano for iOS
Download Lingvano for Android
InterSign ASL is a relatively new visual app with over 90 lessons. It offers a dictionary, glossary, and games. The developers plan to include signal variants.
According to the reviewers, the tags are broken down into steps, “so you don’t have to learn everything at once.” Another user said, “There are some ads but nothing to get in the way of learning.”
However, some reviewers note that the video quality can be a bit poor. This may make it difficult to see the marks properly.
The app is free to use, but has in-app purchases starting at $4.99.
Download InterSign ASL for iOS
Download InterSign ASL for Android
Pocket Sign can help you learn American Sign Language (ASL) via interactive “small” videos, flash cards, and quiz-like exercises. It also includes lessons in children’s sign language and the ASL alphabet.
When the app informs you of a new sign, it provides a few sentences that explain hand movements. This can help you better understand the correct movements. As one user said, “The way they teach you makes it very easy to remember the movements.”
The free version includes daily lessons. Otherwise, membership costs $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year.
Download Pocket Sign for iOS
Download Pocket Sign for Android
American Sign Language ASL
ASL offers a range of educational content, including commonly used phrases and vocabulary. The app also has children’s songs and picture-matching games, so it might be useful for learning American Sign Language with kids.
Videos have an audio component. If you are listening and want voice assistance, you may like this feature. However, reviewers note that video quality isn’t always the best. In some clips, the coach stands apart or music is played in the background.
The basic subscription of the app is free to use. A one-time purchase of $2.99 will give you access to more features.
Download ASL American Sign Language for iOS
Download ASL for Android