Duolingo's new app helps kids learn to read, but only on iOS

Duolingo, the company that has been teaching people to speak foreign languages for years, just made a surprise announcement: it has a new app. Called Duolingo ABC, the app is designed specifically for young kids; it will help them learn to read using what the company describes as 'bite-sized lessons.' Only Apple customers will be able to access it, however.

Kids around the United States and in multiple other countries have been pulled out of school early this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Teachers are performing their classes over the Internet using streaming video and chat sessions, but parents have to fill the void, helping ensure their children still get educated.

A large number of mobile apps and online learning platforms have helped with this, including popular services like Khan Academy and higher-level platforms like Coursera and edX. Duolingo's new app has launched on the Apple App Store for iOS devices; it is designed for kids ages 3 to 6 who are still learning to read.

The app is available in Australia, New Zealand, the US and UK, Canada, and Ireland at this point in time; it features more than 300 of these 'bite-sized' lessons, which cover the fundamentals of both writing and reading. Users can download Duolingo ABC on the iPhone and iPad.

Of note: the new kids' app doesn't feature any advertisements, which is important considering the young ages of its intended audience; it is also free to download. The app was released specifically to help parents who find themselves suddenly in the role of teacher. As well, Duolingo says it will soon be available in languages other than just English.