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Starting at age 50 or 60, most adults begin to experience some level of age-related memory decline -- if this is happening to you or someone you know, don’t worry! A little bit of memory loss is actually completely normal.
Typical signs of normal memory loss include things like losing keys more often, or forgetting your train of thought on a more frequent basis.
You may also experience minor day-to-day issues like decreased productivity in the workplace and slower decision-making.
But the truth is that this doesn’t ONLY happen to older adults: some amount of memory loss can happen at any age, and this lack of cognitive sharpness can easily put a damper on our quality of life.
The good news is that it’s super simple to keep your brain and memory sharp as a tack -- and the solution is right in the palm of your hand! There are plenty of free or inexpensive apps that you can download right now to ensure that your memory stays strong at any stage in life.
5 Best Apps For A Better Memory
This free app offers its estimated 85-million users a range of colorful mini-games, each of which address 5 key cognitive functions: speed, memory, attention, flexibility and problem-solving.
Each day, Luminosity lets you exercise your brain to boost the 5 most important cognitive functions. If you forget to play, you’ll get a friendly reminder on your smartphone that it’s time for another fun brain game on Luminosity.
Start with the free trial version and if you like it, you can get a mental "fit test," at signup which will give you a baseline for speed, attention and memory.
Luminosity offers the results as data to compare and compete with friends and family. The app is free to download on Android and iOS. A premium subscription costs $11.99 per month or $59.99 for 1 year.
If you’re wondering how to improve short term memory, this may be one of the most advanced brain training smartphone apps on the list.
Designed to train more than 20 cognitive skills, including short-term memory, planning, hand-eye coordination and auditory perception, CogniFit is scientifically proven to work. 
As with many memory training apps, CogniFit allows you to share your results online with friends and family as well as compare your past performance scores with new results.
A really cool feature about this app is that it tests your cognitive performance by calculating the average scores of all the brain games you played.
CogniFit brain training games are the ideal balance of a mental challenge and a fun time. The app is available to download for free on Android and iOS. Premium upgrade costs $19.99 for 1 month or $189.99 for a year.
#3. Fit Brains
Want to learn how to improve short term memory at any age? The Fit Brains app includes over 60 games and 500 personalized brain training programs, the results of which are assessed by neuroscientists.
These games were created to boost concentration, memory, thinking speed, and problem-solving functions. But the thing that stands out with this particular app is that it incorporates specialized features that target the development not only of memory, but also social skills, social awareness, self-awareness and self-control.
Fit Brains’ unique brain training smartphone app also offers a school edition for kids.
The app is free to download on Android and iOS. A premium upgrade costs $9.99 for a month and $49.99 for a year.
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As one of the most popular smartphones apps on the market today, ELEVATE offers users the chance to develop their skills with 40+ games to increase productivity and self-confidence. It focuses on skills like math, reading, writing, speaking and listening-based memory retention.
The app will let you compare past performance with new data across skill groups, as well as compare your information with others if you choose.
The highly recommended program offers access 17 Pro-only games for extended brain training.
It’s worth it to note that ELEVATE was chosen as Apple’s “App of the Year” one year after it’s release.
Though users have unlimited access to 40+ games, there is a Pro option which offers plenty of benefits. To get it, tap "Explore Pro" in the top right of the training screen, and tap at the bottom button to unlock Pro.
ELEVATE is free to download on Android and iOS. Pro yearly subscription for $39.99.
Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body. Not only does it feel good to move your body, but it also promotes longevity, weight loss, clarity of mind and mood regulation.
Studies have shown that exercise may be especially helpful for those suffering from age-related memory loss, in part because aerobic exercise may slow the loss of brain tissue related to cognitive function.
Aaptiv is not only a smartphone app, it can also function as your everyday workout buddy. Use Aaptiv to coach you through every step of your exercise routine with the addition of music to keep you moving.
Exercise has never been easier or more fun, and it’s never been better for your body to boost your brainpower than using Aaptiv.
Aaptiv is free to download on Android and iOS.Premium Upgrade costs $14.99 for a month and $99.99 for a year.
Can A Smartphone App Really Help Improve My Memory?
In a review of 151 different studies, researchers examined the effectiveness of smartphone apps as cognitive training tools. Participants averaged 55 years of age and did not have Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment.
Overall, the findings were comparable to other reviews that suggested computerized brain training such as these smartphone apps have the potential to be a more effective and less labor-intensive alternative to other forms of therapy for memory loss.
Additionally, most of the studies in this review show that older adults did not need to be technologically savvy in order to successfully complete or benefit from computerized cognitive therapies. 
You may think that understanding how to improve our short term memory is only a concern for older adults, but the truth is that younger adults can also benefit from a boost in brainpower.
No matter what your reason is for boosting your brainpower, smartphones can help - and the effects can last for years. 
These 5 smartphone apps can not only help improve your memory -- some will train you to be a better listener, a better learner and even improve emotional intelligence.
This can happen directly or indirectly -- but the point is, when we increase our focus, we can improve our productivity, regulate our moods and even have healthier relationships.
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Share your smartphone or tablet with a friend and have some fun with these brain games. Who knows?
Maybe brain training games will become your favorite activity!