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Smartphone apps are often a go-to for fun escapism; however, if you pick apps strategically, they can go beyond being a distraction and also help with your overall productivity. Brain training apps have become increasingly more sophisticated and science-based and may help sharpen your cognitive functioning, including problem-solving (a crucial professional skill). Check out these apps to help improve your problem-solving skills:   

1. Lumosity  

Lumosity is among the most popular apps for brain training, with more than 100 million users. It offers a variety of games that are based on scientific research to help improve cognitive function. There are free versions available for Apple and Android, as well as options for paid subscriptions that allow for additional games and features.  

2. Peak 

If you want a problem-solving app with activities that don’t require much time, the Peak app has more than 30 minigames. In addition to problem-solving, they also have short games that improve memory, language skills, concentration, and mental agility. It is available for both Apple and Android devices.    

3. Braingle 

Brainagle offers a wide variety of options to test and train your cognitive abilities, with more than “15,000 brain teasers, riddles, logic, mind puzzles,” according to the product’s site. It’s a bit more simple and lighthearted than other problem-solving sites, and users can submit games and puzzles. It also has a community forum function if you’re interested in chatting with other users.  

4. Elevate  

The Elevate app, which Apple selected as App of the Year in 2014, lets you pick a more systematic way of training your brain to be better at problem-solving. You can select from 3-5 games each day, and track your performance over time to meet your goals. Elevate has more than 40 short games to help with your brain’s processing speed, focus, memory, and more.   

5. Cognifit 

If you are interested in a more advanced problem-solving app, Cognifit is tailored to both individuals and professionals, including doctors, educators, and researchers. In addition to cognitive science-based minigames that train your brain to be better at problem-solving, it also offers neuropsychological assessments, real-time monitoring, and personalized training programs depending on your specific demographics or goals.   

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