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Is Anki Free? How to Access it Without Spending a Dime

  • Sean 

Is Anki Free? When it comes to Anki’s pricing model, things can get confusing. At first glance, it seems Anki is unfairly priced on IOS.

This confusion stems from the fact that Anki is available for free on all platforms except IOS, where it’s $24.99. This might seem initially confusing but ultimately is very reasonable. Because the Andriod version of Anki is developed by a different group of people who work other jobs, they choose to leave AnkiDroid free.

Additionally, it’s clear that actually, the pricing structure of Anki allows many people to use the service completely free.

Is Anki Free? How to Acess it Without Spending a Dime

Anki is a widely recognized tool for studying via flashcards, but one common question many users have is, “Is it possible to use Anki without incurring any costs?”. Yes, it is possible to get all the benefits of Anki without spending any money.

For those who primarily study at home or have regular access to a computer, Anki is free to download and use on desktop platforms, including both Mac and Windows PCs. Alternatively, you can try the 3rd party AnkiDriod app on Andriod for a free mobile experience.

Although you can use it for free on all platforms apart from IOS, go and support the Anki developer Damien Elmes. He has been developing this app for well over a decade and fully deserves to be compensated for the countless hours he has put into the program.

According to Anki’s How Can I Donate? page, purchasing the IOS app is the best way to support Anki’s development at the time of writing this article.

While it may be free to use on desktop platforms, people are still confused about the IOS version of Anki.

Is Anki Free on iPhone?

Photo of iPhone apps with App Store in focus

You might be wondering, is Anki free on IOS?

At its core, Anki is free to download and use. This allows users to create and study flashcards without any cost. However, Anki also offers a paid version called AnkiMobile, which is available for purchase on iOS devices for a one-time payment of $24.99.

Some people do not react well to this price, you can find lots of discussion around this on the internet.

While this price may seem high for a mobile app, and it is high for mobile standards, it is very reasonable. The Mac and PC versions are completely free.

Further, when you consider the constant support, the complexity of Anki, and free server use on AnkiWeb. It really is completely reasonable that Damien Elmes (creator of Anki) gets paid for the work he put into this app.

If anything, I think he is underpaying himself. When you compare the cost of this app to the cost of textbooks (and compare the learning benefits of both), this app seems extremely cheap to me.

If you really don’t want to spend the money on Anki on an iPhone and need an IOS app, I have an entire article comparing Anki vs. Quizlet and which one is better for learning.

However, what seems to confuse people is that Anki is free on Andriod, while not being free on iPhone. There is a very simple misconception and explanation for this.

Is Anki Free on Android?

Photo of Android apps with Google Play Store in focus

Anki is free on Andriod because AnkiDriod is a 3rd party app developed by an entirely different group of people. So why did they make their mobile app free? AnkiDriod is not these developers’ job, they have day jobs of their own and they choose to leave the platform free for users to enjoy.

This is what leads to the common confusion that Damien Elmes has unfairly priced Anki to be higher on Andriod, leaving the IOS users to pay the costs of operating on all platforms. It’s clear that AnkiMobile on IOS just supports development on Mac and PC, not Android.

Finally, this is one of the best things about Anki’s pricing model for the users, you don’t have to pay if you don’t want to. This leaves the app free for most people.

The Takeaway

In conclusion, the pricing model of Anki can be a bit perplexing at first, with the IOS versions seeming to be very expensive. However, once you understand who develops the Andriod version, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and preferences. Anki continues to be a valuable tool for learners of all kinds, assisting them in their quest for knowledge and retention.