One University of Texas study says that the mere presence of a smartphone diminishes people’s ability to focus and think. Even when these devices are turned off, the research suggests that their impact on a person remains.

What’s important to point out, though, is that the study’s conclusion is not absolute. The mere possession of a smartphone does not automatically make someone lose their smarts. The way people use these devices matters. Someone who does nothing but play games or stalk someone on social media with their smartphone is most likely on their way to proving the research.

Those who use their devices for mentally stimulating activities are not going to become part of “stupid” statistic. Even when it comes to mobile gaming, there are smart options to address the possibility of mental stagnation. And, of course, we don’t want to be part of that!

Here’s a list of some of the best mobile apps to use for casual entertainment or recreation. These are simple applications, but they help stimulate mental activity.

Word games

Numerous word games help excite the mind while providing fun. Crossword puzzles, various versions of the popular Scrabble, rebuses, and many more provide an excellent way to pass the time. They help the mind recall words while allowing players to learn new ones.

Even the difficulty in clearing a stage in a game can be mentally gratifying. Struggling to complete all answers for Wordscapes Level 104, for example, is going to be a test of patience and the ability to squeeze the memory exhaustively. However, all the cerebral pressure that comes with it is worth the time and effort.

Brain training apps

It’s understandable to be skeptical about these so-called brain training applications, but they do offer some results. The Lumosity brain training app, for example, offers a variety of mental exercises to keep the mind working. The app has more than 85 million users worldwide, plus it has high user ratings on the app stores. These should be enough to reduce doubts over its legitimacy in delivering what it promises.

Other excellent options for mental workouts are CogniFit Brain Fitness, Clockwork Brain, Fit Brains Trainer, ReliefLink, Happify, and Eidetic. They feature exercises for various skills including visual acuity, arithmetic, estimation, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving.


Thanks to advancements in technology, almost every conceivable puzzle can now be played on mobile devices. The famous Rubik’s Cube is now playable on smartphones. Virtual versions of physics puzzles like jigsaw puzzles, interlocking 3D, shape matching, mazes, and labyrinth balls can be played on smartphones.

Classic puzzle games like Tetris and Unblock can also provide excellent entertainment while passing the time. Additionally, number puzzles like sudoku and 2048 create great mentally satisfying experiences while playing with smartphones.

Mental stimulation does not always equate to something frustrating or tormenting. Simple games and brain training activities can be enough to avoid becoming unthinking while using smartphones and other web-enabled devices. They can even help counter the effects mentioned in the University of Texas research.

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