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This page lists the apps we have made available for download.

Some of the apps will be available via the Apple iTunes Application Store or the Android Market and others will be available for direct download for use by Open University, staff either as a finished apps or as prototypes to aid our testing.



Learning to read and write Chinese characters presents three major challenges to both non-native learners as well as Chinese children who first start learning characters:

  • the complexity of characters, as an average character consists of about 12 strokes
  • matching character form with pronunciation, pinyin form and the English meaning
  • using characters to form sentences

This app, an improved version of Chinese Characters First Steps, tackles these three challenges on one screen with different activities to help you write, recognize visually and aurally, and memorise the most frequently used 400 plus characters in a systematic, friendly and fun way. Most importantly it helps you to form phrases and sentences with the limited characters learnt.

These 400 plus characters are introduced in The Open University's Beginners' Chinese module.

第一步 Dì yī bù (L197) and are also taught in the GCSE Chinese syllabus. By combining them, you will learn a further 400+ useful words and phrases (e.g. 红 red + 绿 green + 灯 light = 红绿灯 traffic light, which you will be asked to search for in one of the Word search activities).

There are 36 lessons which chronologically build upon each other. Each of the 36 lessons has five activities:

  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Rearranging
  • Identifying or Word Search

This first release contains six lessons which are free to download, giving you a taste of the range of activities this app offers. The other 30 lessons will be released later, five lessons at a time, which can be purchased via In-App-Purchase from the 'Options' button in the Main Menu.

The Android version consists of 20 characters and related activities only at the moment. The app is available for free on the Android Market.

Download App: iTunes Android

SK299 Human biology


SK299 Human biology augmented reality heart is a unique application designed to support and enhance the learning of the structure and function of the heart as part of the Open University module, SK299, or as a stand-alone app. The app consists of an anatomically accurate heart which can be viewed in three dimensions, in cross section and also as a 'zoomed in' virtual exploration.

The app has a range of functions to help develop the learning and understanding of how the heart beats and the cardiac cycle. By selecting 'Show pins' all the major anatomical structures of the human heart are identified and selecting a pin provides the name and description. There is the option to show the blood flow through the heart. All the options are available as a stationary or beating heart, the rate of which can be fully adjusted aiding the understanding of the mechanical events of the heart beat.

The app will help students at all educational levels to develop and extend their knowledge and understanding of the heart beat.

Download App: iTunes Android

E117 Introduction to Sport and Fitness


The E117 App is designed to support and enhance the learning of Level 1 Sport and Fitness Students studying the Open University module E117 Introduction to Sport and Fitness.

The App comprises two augmented reality models and shared physical activity tracker data from E117 students. The two augmented reality models bring to life the digestive and muscular systems allowing students to explore and develop their knowledge of the individual components and their functions. For example, the muscular system model displays the names, locations and actions of key muscles including a self-test function to consolidate student learning.

Download App: iTunes Android



OU Go is a 3D map guide for The Open University campus in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.

Staff and visitors can use this application to locate the following areas of interest:

  • Buildings
  • Events
  • Car Parking
  • Cycle Parking
  • Outdoor Art Exhibits

Selected areas of interest appear on the map as icons giving the user a visual cue as they travel toward their destination.

OU Go provides the user a generic avatar, (a character representation of the user), that is updated on the map as the user makes their way around campus as well as off campus.

Visitors in particular should find OU Go useful in locating the buildings or events for which they are visiting.

OU Go uses GPS to update the users location on the map. However if a weak or no GPS signal is available, OU Go will place your avatar in a central position on the campus map. Once a GPS signal is located your position on the map will be updated.

Download App: iTunes Android

Virtual Oceans


The Virtual Oceans VR app will provide users with a unique, innovative opportunity to experience a series of dives at key locations in the world's oceans in a submersible. The dives are designed to provide students with 3D interactive visualisations of the complex ocean and how ocean processes vary across the planet. When integrated with exercises around scientific observations or critical real-world problems such as ocean acidification (e.g. as part of Open University module S309), it will provide students with an opportunity to gather observations from a submersible and experience practical ocean science.

Download App: iTunes Android

Open Justice VR


Open Justice VR app will help you develop your presentation skills. It allows you to prepare, deliver and record a presentation in a virtual reality environment. You will can receive feedback on your performance, watch your presentation from the point of view of an audience member and practice presenting in different settings – including a court, school and prison.

Download App: iTunes Android



Test your knowledge and puzzle-solving ability with incredibly immersive interactive puzzles from The Open University and UKMT, the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust.

With 8 main puzzles and over 40 daily challenges, there's plenty to keep you perplexed!

  • 8 main puzzles
  • Over 40 daily challenges
  • No time limits
  • Stunning graphics
  • Friend leaderboards
Have you got what it takes to earn all 3 stars for each of our main puzzles?
  • Robot Repair: Help the robots to unscramble the computer network
  • Art: Paint the picture making sure no adjacent shapes are the same colour
  • Bubble Blend: Blend all the bubbles to reach the number 100
  • Narrow Bridge: Help four people cross the narrow bridge as fast as possible
  • Wonderland: Take a trip down the rabbit hole to visit the characters of Wonderland
  • Raft Crossing: A family need to cross the river using only a rickety raft
  • Camp Site: The summer season is here and it's time to organise the camp site
  • Knight's Tour: Save the kingdom from the dragon - one square at a time

Download App: iTunes Android

Talk Factory


Talk Factory is designed to support exploratory talk during pupil-led discussions in educational settings.

Talk Factory displays six 'rules for talking' which can be edited by the teacher to support the needs of their class. Three are positive, or desirable, features of discussion (e.g. 'explains reasons' and 'explains disagreement') and three are negative, or undesirable features of discussion (e.g. 'interrupts others').

The teacher/pupil can tap on a rule in real time every time a pupil follows it during a discussion.

Talk Factory includes a bar graph which represents the taps on each of the rules. It also includes a sum of desirable and undesirable events, and a timeline. These features can be used by the teacher and the children to evaluate how well their discussion adheres to the rules for talking.

The app can be used in the classroom or outdoors during field trips, for example.

For more information and to download a version of Talk Factory for use on an interactive whiteboard see:

Download App: iTunes

OU Anywhere


OU Anywhere is an app for students of The Open University available on both iOS6 and Android version 4 and above. If you are a Level 1 or 2 student and starting a module in 2013 you can now access your printed books as ebooks and your CDs and DVDs as downloadable files for use offline. Level 3 content will be delivered later in 2013 and Post Graduate content in 2014.

Download App: iTunes Android

Chinese Characters First Steps


Learning to read and write Chinese characters presents two challenges to both non-native learners as well as Chinese children who first start learning characters:

  • The complexity of characters, as an average character consists of about 12 strokes
  • Matching characters with their pronunciation, pinyin and the meaning

This new version of Chinese Characters First Steps tackles these two challenges on one screen to help you learn, recognize and remember the most frequently used 400 plus characters in a systematic, friendly and fun way. Rather than having a textbook, audio device, dictionary and a notebook to write, you get the stroke-by-stroke writing, the native-speaker pronunciation, pinyin, English definition and instructions in one interactive experience.

These 400 plus characters are introduced in the Open University's Beginners' Chinese module 第一步 Dì yī bù (L197) and drawn from the most commonly and frequently used word list published by the Ministry of Education of PRC (China). By combining them, you will learn a further 230+ useful words and phrases. For example, you learn the three single-character words for 'red' (红 hóng), 'green' (绿lǜ) and 'light' (灯dēng), which put together make up the word 'traffic lights', which you will find in one of the word search puzzles.

There are 20 lessons which chronologically build upon each other.

Each lesson has 4 sections:

  • Writing Practice
  • Listening Test
  • Reading Test
  • Word Search

In the iOS version the first lesson with 20 characters and related activities is included free to give you a taste of what this app can do. The other 19 lessons are available via in-app purchase by tapping the 'upgrade' button.

The Android version consists of 20 characters and related activities only at the moment. The app is available for free on the Android Market.

Download App: iTunes Android

Our Story


Reading, even in the digital age, is probably one of the most important skills that children acquire. It can be an important source of pleasure which also develops vital language and social skills. It is fundamental to most school activities, it can also open up new worlds and give access to the wealth of human knowledge.

This app that has been developed by child psychologists and other specialists at The Open University enables young children to take part in fun games which can help develop interests and skills that will be relevant to them when they start to read.

Download App: iTunes Android

Pop Art Me


Pop Art Me from The Open University – transform yourself into a work of art!

Take a photo from your photo album or camera and choose whether you want to see it as a Cubist, Impressionist or Pop Art work of art.

Click the descriptions to learn more about each of the movements.

Within each art style you'll be able to adjust the image to your liking – tools include brush size, contrast, detail and colour sliders.

And once you've created your piece you'll be able to share it via email, the online gallery or upload it to Facebook.

Download App: iTunes

PhotoFit Me


Would you be a good eyewitness?

Now is your chance to find out with this free app from The Open University.

Create a PhotoFit of yourself, your friends or take our celebrity challenge and re-create the face of a famous person. When you are finished you can send to a friend, share the picture on Facebook or view it in the gallery.

By seeing how tricky it is to create an accurate PhotoFit through piecing together features like a jigsaw, you'll appreciate why The Open University has helped the police to develop a new system to describe suspects. This new approach uses the whole of the face reflecting the way our brains work – making it easier to recall individual faces. Want to learn more? The Open University's 'Introducing the Social Sciences (DD101) course' is a great place to start. It's an ideal introduction to discovering more about psychology, social policy, criminology and other fascinating areas.

Download App: iTunes Android

Virtual Microscope


Rock samples from a new Open University course in Geology are shown in this demonstration of the Virtual Microscope.

Students on the course learn how to identify the spectrum of common rock-forming minerals and the geological processes that lead to their formation. This application allows you to examine examples of common igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. You can see minerals such as olivine, plagioclase feldspar and garnet both in hand specimens and with a polarising microscope.

We have also included a famous meteorite that was found in Antarctica in 1984. Chemical analysis suggests that it is a fragment of rock from Mars, and NASA scientists startled the world in 1996, when they reported they had found evidence within it of primitive bacterial life.

Geologists study minerals and rock microtextures using microscopes fitted with two polarising filters. Light is passed through very thinly sliced rock allowing individual minerals to be identified by their unique optical properties when viewed in plane polarised light (PPL), or between crossed polars (XPL). A rotating specimen stage is an essential attribute of the petrological microscope, displaying changes in colour and colour intensity as the minerals come into alignment with the polarised light.

Download App: iTunes Compatible with iPod Touch 3rd Generation, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4 and iPad.



Help us create a map of Britain's trees with this Treezilla app. The system also calculates the environmental benefits ('ecosystem services') provided by trees, for example how much pollution they remove from the air.

Move the dot onto an aerial photo of the area and that's it the tree is mapped.

You can then measure the tree size and identify it, this information is used to automatically calculate the ecosystem services.

The system also allows you to add lots more information about the tree such as pests and diseases, tree condition, pavement damage etc.

All the information is searchable.

If the information has already been added then you can see the identity and other information about trees in your local area.

Get together with friends to turn your town into an arboretum!

Download App: iTunes

Devolve Me


Ever wondered what you would've looked like as an early human? Well now's your chance to find out with The Open University's Devolve Me app...

Simply upload your photo and see yourself travel back through the evolutionary timeline. As well as offering you a glimpse of how you would've looked at key points in man's evolution, you can also see yourself hurtle back through history using our handy slider.

When you've done, why not share the result with your friends? Be prepared for amazement and amusement in equal measure!

If you haven't got a photo handy, you can use one of ours by clicking the 'Need Photo?' button… while it's not an exact science, it's a lot of fun.

Find out more about studying courses such as 'Darwin and Evolution' and 'Exploring Science' at The Open University -

Download App: iTunes

Core Research Mobile


CORE is a system that aims to facilitate free access to scholarly publications. CORE provides access to millions of scholarly articles distributed across many Open Access repositories.

This application is a CORE mobile client for iPhone and iPad. The application makes it possible to search for scholarly publications available in CORE completely free of charge. The publications can be downloaded and stored on your device, for example in iBooks.

One of the main characteristics of CORE is that it enables searching for metadata and full-text content that is available as Open Access.Commercial publishers are charging high fees for providing access to content the creation of which has been paid by the taxpayer. CORE aims to work as a catalyst for change. Does it sound familiar that you discover an article you would like to read, but cannot access it unless you pay a fee? This does not happen with CORE. While this means that CORE does not index full-text content for which a subscription is needed, it also means that all searchers for content are satisfied and all content is readily available.

We believe in free access to information. The mission of CORE is to:

  • Support the right of citizens and general public to access the results of research towards which they contributed by paying taxes.
  • Facilitate access to Open Access content for all by targeting general public, software developers, researchers, etc., by improving search and navigation using state-of-the-art technologies in the field of natural language processing and the Semantic Web.
  • Provide support to both content consumers and content providers by working with digital libraries and institutional repositories.
  • Contribute to a cultural change by promoting Open Access.

Download App: iTunes



The HUNT app from The Open University allows you to bring your Hunt poster to life and explore our extra content.

Interact with our 3D Augmented Reality cube:

  • Access new footage to learn more about cheetahs
  • Slo-motion footage demonstrating unique cheetah physiology
  • Animation revealing skeleton of cheetah running at top speed
Behind the scenes with the scientists …
Watch four short films and hear from the series scientists in the field. The first film is about studying Biology and taking it forward as a career and the other three films reveal how making the programmes in this series helped to uncover new animal behaviours and provided insight into ongoing research studies.

Academic Excellence …
At the OU we lead on cutting-edge scientific research that changes lives and makes a difference. Our academics are some of the world's leading experts in their field, who apply their passion for research and science when preparing study materials, which means that you get to learn from the best. Follow links to find out more about our academics who worked on The Hunt series.
Explore The Open University … Follow links to our free learning resource website OpenLearn – the home of free learning.
  • Extend your interests further and discover a wealth of information and resources
  • Browse our extensive list of free courses, there's something for everyone
  • Delve through audio and video collections on a range of fascinating topics
[Note: augmented reality performance may be affected on some older devices e.g iPad 2, iPhone 4s]

Download App: iTunes Android