Flowkey vs Simply Piano – Which Is Better?

Flowkey and Simply Piano are both beginner-friendly piano-learning apps. Flowkey is more comprehensive with both beginner and advanced content, while Simply Piano is more focused on beginner material.

Both apps can detect acoustic and digital piano keyboards, using either your built-in microphone or MIDI connection respectively.

These apps are different from each other in several ways but that is ultimately a good thing. It all depends on personal preference. Let’s take a more detailed look into both apps as well as their differences and similarities.

Key Differences between Flowkey and Simply Piano

  • Flowkey has a web app and a mobile app while Simply Piano is only a mobile app.
  • Flowkey has beginner, intermediate, advanced, and pro content, while Simply Piano is more structured toward beginners.
  • Flowkey lets you choose your course while Simply Piano is more of a ‘complete one and advance to the other’ type.
  • Simply Piano courses move with notes played and picked up via the built-in microphone, while Flowkey has the option to just watch or play to move along.
  • Flowkey separates songs and courses, while Simply Piano will urge you to complete a course (if you haven’t) to play a certain song.
  • Flowkey has a more customizable learning interface. Simply Piano’s learning interface cannot be tweaked.

Key Similarities between Flowkey and Simply Piano

  • Both Flowkey and Simply Piano are priced in a similar manner and both have a free version which are both pretty limited.
  • Both apps have a relatively small song library for free users at the moment.
  • Flowkey and Simply Piano are great apps for beginner pianists just starting out.
  • Both apps work with acoustic pianos, and it can use your phone or computer’s built-in microphone to detect the notes played.
  • Both apps work with digital keywords that have a MIDI connection. This offers the most reliable connection as the notes are transferred directly to the app while you are playing them.
  • They both offer feedback on your playing.

1. FlowKey

2. Simply Piano

Interface and Design

When it comes to the interface and design of both apps, I’ll give Simply Piano the upper hand. Flowkey has a very simple design that involves a ‘pick and choose’ approach with no-frills. Simply Piano, however, offers a more interactive experience with better aesthetics and overall look.

Despite all this, both apps have a very straightforward design. Simply Piano is just more embellished, offers tips while you’re playing, and offers a more beginner-friendly experience than Flowkey.

Courses and Songs

On the topic of courses and songs, Flowkey is a clear winner. Flowkey has more content when it comes to levels of playing while Simply Piano is more for beginners only. The courses on Flowkey also showcase a video tutorial of the actual lesson, whereas Simply Piano just offers the notes and a virtual piano to illustrate where the notes are.

Both song libraries on Flowkey and Simply Piano are relatively small for free users at the moment. With just a numbered selection for both apps, they still offer more than enough for beginners. However, with the paid versions, Simply Piano has more songs in the song library. All in all, Flowkey has a more real feel compared to Simply Piano.

When you take the perspective of a beginner pianist, I think Simply Piano would be more beneficial for most. It offers a more linear approach to learning which is better for beginners, whereas on Flowkey, you just filter out the levels to choose a beginner lesson or song.

Compatibility and Use

Flowkey has a web browser app and is usable on a mobile, iPad, or tablet device, whereas Simply Piano does not have a browser app. When it comes to their mobile use, both apps are available for Android and iOS devices.

Since Simply Piano does not have a browser app, I will focus on Flowkey first. There is no noticeable difference between the mobile app and the web app of Flowkey. Flowkey features a very simple design and tabs that can be used to navigate between songs, courses, and searches. Below each song or course, you have filters that represent the difficulty via color. A straightforward but effective design.

Simply Piano, on the other hand, features a more interactive and pleasing design. Its use revolves around progressing with levels on a step-by-step basis. Once you complete a stage you unlock the next. If you want to learn a specific song, Simply Piano will urge you to complete a course before you get into the song as a way of easing you into it. Quite effective, nonetheless.

Pricing (Free & Paid)

Both Flowkey and Simply Piano have free and paid versions. The prices are relatively similar and the only difference is that Flowkey has a 7-day free trial while Simply Piano has a 14-day free trial.

Flowkey Free

Flowkey Free is usable anytime without the need to upgrade. It does have its limitations, of course. You cannot access all the lessons, just those aimed at beginners like The Introduction, Playing With Both Hands, and so on.

The song library is also very limited to free users and has only a number of ‘Free Songs’ that you can learn. Naturally, as with all apps, these limitations are a given.

Flowkey Premium

Flowkey has a premium plan with 3 options to choose from – monthly, yearly, and lifetime. The monthly subscription is $19.99/month. The yearly subscription comes with a discount and costs $9.99/month, or $119.88/year. Finally, the lifetime subscription is $329.99.

With each plan, you get full access to Flowkey and all that comes with it. This includes over 1500 songs, 50 courses, and you can learn anytime via the web app or mobile device. You can also get feedback on your playing which is a great little addition.

Simply Piano Free

Simply Piano also has a free version but with its own set of limitations. You have access to the app but some features, songs, and courses are restricted until you upgrade your account. This is, again, understandable and not at all surprising.

With the free version, you get access to basic introductory lessons as well as a few simple songs that are included in the free course. To unlock the ‘Songs Tab’, however, you would need to purchase the premium account.

Simply Piano Premium

The Premium version of the app comes with 2 options to choose from: monthly and yearly. The monthly subscription plan costs $19.99/month. The yearly subscription comes with a discount and costs $12.49/month or $149.90/year. Sadly, Simply Piano does not have a lifetime deal like Flowkey.

With the premium version, you get access to 5000 songs, you can connect up to 5 profiles with 1 membership, and get feedback on your playing. All things considered, it’s not a bad deal.

Alternatives

While you can teach yourself the piano at home or with piano boks, there are many great apps for learning the piano out there, as well as online lessons to consider. All platforms/apps differ slightly from one another but that is ultimately a good thing, as not all designs, interfaces, and styles can suit each individual the same.

Out of the many, one that comes to mind is Pianote. Both Flowkey and Simply Piano still lack in comparison to Pianote as it is an structured piano-learning platform, which is more like getting lessons from a piano teacher directly. The instructions are delivered by instructors and give that structured feel that the piano requires.

That said, Flowkey, Simply Piano, or any other app can be very suitable for learning as long as you stick at it. Different styles of learning and apps suit different people. A few other noteworthy mentions would be PlaygroundSessions and PianoVideoLessons. Overall, no app will ever encompass all the details and hands-on experience/instructions as private or online lessons would.

1. FlowKey

2. Simply Piano

Conclusion

Both Flowkey and Simply Piano are good piano-learning apps suitable for beginners. Flowkey has a more experienced platform for intermediate, advanced, and pro pianists than its counterpart, but Simply Piano is more suitable for beginners.

When it comes to which one is better, it all boils down to preference, however, if you’re looking at this in the long run, Flowkey is better suited overall because of the level of material and levels of playing. Design-wise, however, Simply Piano wins that battle.

My advice would be to check out both the platforms and their free-trial periods before deciding on one. You’ll get the feel of both Flowkey and Simply Piano to make a more informed decision.

Milan Trajkovikj is a touring and recording bass guitarist who loves to share his passion for all things music.

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