Web apps for smartphones and tablets

These ESL apps consist of games and activities to play online with smartphones and tablets or even a laptop or smartboard. No installation is needed. Most of these web apps work best in landscape mode. I recommend using the Opera browser as it has a useful full-screen mode.

conversation starters

Random Conversation Starters

This is a fabulous tool for conversation classes or one on one lessons. As a warmer or filler just pull up this app and it will give you a completely random conversation question from a deck of more than 500. If it’s not the right question, just hit ‘Next’.

500 Conversation Questions

This web app features categorised conversation questions from the book 50 Conversation lessons.

What happens next?

Use this web app for practising describing a situation and predicting what will happen next. Students watch the short clip and describe what the situation is, then try to guess what happens next.


This simple web app is based on the UK game show Countdown. Students choose ten letters and the team who can make the longest word wins.

Describe the (Imaginary) Picture

 This web app works best on tablets. Students are served up a picture which they must describe to their classmates, however, sometimes instead of a picture the student will see a simple written scene description and must use their imagination to convince the class that they are describing a real picture.  See Describe the (Imaginary) Picture for instructions on how to play the non-tech version.

Fortune-Telling Runes

fortune telling app

Want to play the fortune-telling game without cutting up all those bits of paper? Then use this web app with your phone or tablet. Students tell the fortunes of their classmates by casting runes. This app was designed to practice using the going to form of the future.

Phrasal Verb Match-Up

Get students familiar with phrasal verbs with Phrasal Verb Match Up. Students are presented with random combinations of verbs and prepositions and must decide whether they are actual phrasal verbs. More on how to play in this article.

Picture Taboo

Now you can play Picture Taboo online with your phone or tablet. Students pass around the phone/tablet and describe the object they are looking at. Only works with phones or tablets.

Picture Taboo: In the OfficeSummer, Halloween, Christmas

Snap (to be)

Play Snap! to practise forms of to be. First to five is the winner. A game for two students, if the answer matches the question, the first to tap on their side gets a point, if they’re wrong they lose a point.

Number Bingo Master

This handy web app will help you keep track of the numbers when you play Number Bingo!

4 thoughts on “Web apps for smartphones and tablets

  1. I haven’t looked at everything,but the “Describe the Picture” App is brilliant! When and if I ever have a roomful of students who all have access I’ll definitely use it.
    Thank you

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