Being a student can be a tough at times. Not because of what it entails as a whole; by most accounts including my own it pretty much rocks. But at times studying, assignments, exams, part-time jobs and a hectic social life can really pile on the stress.
Flicking through the apps I have on my phone the other day I couldn’t help but realise that my college life is helped by so many of them. I wouldn’t know where I’d be without them. So I’ve picked out the top 20 apps that I think would be of use to college students all over the world, no matter where they live or what course they’re doing!
Evernote is a great note taking application which works in conjunction with a web app and the desktop program. So if you take a note using your phone (text, voice recording or snapshot) it will sync to both your online Evernote account and your PC.
The organization is terrific. You can have different ‘notebooks’ for different subjects and can tag notes. The app itself works a treat, looks nice and best of all is free!
Like many students I’m an avid user of Google Docs for numerous reasons. You can access you work on any Internet enabled computer, work saved every few seconds and it’s easier for organisational purposes.
I’ll start off by saying that the GDocs app isn’t going to be your primary way of typing up assignments. It is however handy for studying notes you have uploaded, making quick changes to documents and viewing your work in different formats such as in PDF. It’s not what I’d call powerful but it helps a lot and can make bus rides and time between classes extremely productive. A must for any GDocs user.
This is a neat app and one of the handful of paid apps I’ve reccomended in this article. The main purpose of DroidScan is to enable you to take pictures using your phone’s camera and save them as high resolution documents (mostly PDFs). The app automatically corrects whatever angle you took the photo at and uses contrast enhancing technology to eliminate unwanted aspects of the photo so you get a crisp, clean ‘scan’.
There is a free version. I’ve tried it and found it to be very sluggish. Having switched to the paid version which gives you a few extra bells and whistles, more file formats and better quality scans I honestly recommended it to anyone who likes to digitize notes. It can also be synced with Evernote and Google Docs!
This is an excellent app and one which I use all too frequently. Recording notes in your own voice and listening to them is an excellent way to learn basic material such as language phrases, formulas and poetry. If your course involves memorizing of any sort then I definitely recommended this.
The standard voice recorder which comes with your phone will do okay but Recordoid is so much better for organizing and sharing them.
A lite version is available in the Android Market. It allows basic voice recording functions and only really improves on the standard voice recorder in terms of looks. Due to restrictions imposed by Android (apps can’t yet be sold by Polish developers) the full version is not available on the market. However it can still be bought in third party stores, which are linked to on the developer’s website.
ShareYourBoard is a neat little app that enables you, and others, to take snapshots of the whiteboard in a classroom and share them amongst one another. Since its release it has won numerous awards.
It works by detecting the edges of the whiteboard in a class room or meeting and using this as a guide to adjust the perspective of your image (like DroidScan!). It then enhances the picture to give you great quality image. This can then be shared amongst fellow users of the app or by yourself.
Formerly known as 3Banana, the web development company has re-branded their cross-platform range of note taking apps under the single name of ‘Catch’. Similar to Evernote, you can take notes in text and photo format and organize them both on the phone and in your online account. Although lacking a desktop application it does have one great feature which I love and that is social media integration.
With Catch you can very easily share your notes with friends via Twitter and Facebook, something which I think college students would find extremely handy; especially when exams are drawing closer and panic sets in!
It’s very easy to use, well designed and a definite alternative to Evernote for the more ‘social’ note takers out there.
Course assignments have a tendency to loom for a while, right before sneaking up on you with a few days to go until the deadline. CoursePro is an app that lets you easily track all your assignments, work finished, work due and how you’re performing in terms of your results.
It’s a pretty good app for students and one that I recommend to people who don’t like using calendars or to-do lists for tracking their assignments.
The interface is a little boring but overall the app works tremendously. The only real downside is that there is no desktop or web app to go along with it. I reccomend downloading the free trial before upgrading to the paid version to see if it’s your kind of productivity app.
There are tonnes of basic to-do list apps out there but frankly, most of them are limited to a basic list and shouldn’t really be apps at all in my opinion. A scrap of paper could do that job just fine. ASTRID however takes to-do lists to a whole new level and can really help you get things done.
Just some of the features include setting priorities, deadlines, adding descriptions, tagging and adding notes to items. The organisation is also second to none with the ability to separate your work, social and college life tasks. You can also search by title, date, importance etc…
They’ve taken the age old to-do list and really done something worthwhile with it. A great little app that’s well worth a shot.
This a useful app any student can use when exam results come out. It enables you to easily calculate your GPA (grade point average) by entering your results for all of your modules.
A simple idea, but a good one nonetheless. It works well, takes up next to no space and is well worth a download so you can keep track of how you’re doing in college.
Studying and Reference
Without a doubt this is one of the greatest Android apps around and is of particular use for students doing pretty much any course. Wolfram Alpha is not a search engine but a computing app which takes data input by the user and turns it into information the user wants.
It started off computing mathematical and engineering problems. Now however, you can ask the app in plain English to solve a problem and it will do just that. Examples include algebra, coding formulas and historical questions. It’s also great for finding statistics.
‘When was the Queen of England born’ or calculate interest paid at ‘4% APR on $400,000 over 30 years’ are easily answered. You don’t just get back a simple number either. Often graphs, charts and statistics are presented which make great additions to college assignments. For example, ‘GDP of Japan in 1997’ returns plenty of charts, currency conversion statistics and demographic information related to my query.
What’s more, the tool is becoming smarter by the day with update after update allowing it to understand more ‘open ended’ questions in subjects such as history and politics.
Check it out and be amazed.
We all know that referencing Wikipedia in a college assignment is a bad idea. Long gone are the days when college professors weren’t wise to its lack of credibility in the academic world. And of course certain students’ fondness for the ‘Copy and Paste’ function.
That said it’s a great place to start your research to gain a good understanding of a topic and check out some of the article’s references. This app is a great tool to do it all on your phone. It’s very easy to use. The design is clean and simple which I like and it displays Wikipedia articles marvelously.
The free version is ad-supported but they are unobtrusive and should suit most students needs down to the ground. If however you’re a wiki-junkie then the pro version might be for you as it’s ad free and enables you to view saved articles offline.
Flash cards are a great way to study and have been used for generations. Having hundreds, even thousands of them in your pocket using StudyDroid is a fantastic way to brush up on your stuff when on the go.
You can create flash cards on the web and on your phone and sync both platforms. So you can create dozens of flashcards online and they’ll be automatically downloaded to the app.
You can also use photos taken on your phone as flash cards and there’s active online community to share them with. A cool app that’s excellent for studying when you have a few seconds to spare.
Market: StudyDroid Flashcards
Price: Free, $1.99
Developer: Study Droid
As students we need to keep a close eye on our finances. This is easier said than done when you have bank accounts, PayPal, bills, rent and loans to consider. PageOnce Finance (formerly known as Personal Assistant) is a great app to do it all in one.
Once you have it set up and running properly it can sync with your bank account, credit cards and PayPal. It’s also compatible with numerous utility companies around the world.
PageOnce uses banking industry security technology to keep you and your details safe. The paid version gets rid of the ad along the bottom of the home screen but I wouldn’t bother with it if you’re using it for personal finance. You can also use the online account in conjunction with the app.
All in all the app is well laid out, very easy to use and gives you a great snapshot of your current financial standing.
PageOne isn’t for everyone, though — particularly not those who use cash a lot or don’t have credit cards, loans and PayPal accounts. Loot is a simple app which allows you to keep track of your spending and current bank balance/cash by recording transactions.
It doesn’t sync automatically with online accounts so manual entry is a must, but it is very handy for those who like to keep a record of what they spend and draw up their on accounts.
Requires: Works on All Android Devices
Developer: Gamer Cules
Finding great deals isn’t a concept restricted to students but it is one rigorously applied by us! Textbooks and equipment for college can be expensive along with you’re normal purchases such as clothes and electronics. The Google Shopper app for Android searches through product databases to find you the best deal.
You can search in numerous different ways. The bar-code scanner works a treat and hasn’t failed to find me a single product yet. You can also use the camera to recognize the cover of a book, DVD or video game. Searching by voice is a pretty cool feature also.
The app not only finds great online prices but it also finds deals in local bricks and mortar stores near you! This is a really cool app for those shopping on a budget.
Market: Google Shopper
Requires: Works on all Android Devices
Developer: Google Inc.
Getting out of bed some mornings can be a tough challenge. I tend to abuse the snooze button like it’s going out of style. But Morning Routine is an alarm clock app that won’t stop going off until you get up and scan a QR code, preferably placed in another room.
So all you have to do is print of a QR code (numerous available online via image search or generate your own using a QR code generator), print it out and put in on, say, the bathroom wall. When your alarm goes off the next morning you’ll have to get up, go to the bathroom and scan the code to shut it off. Seeing as those first few seconds of getting out of bed are often the hardest I think this app is genius. Never be late for class again with Morning Routine.
Market: Morning Routine
Requires: Android 1.6+
This app comes pre-installed on Android devices now and is available for free on the Android market. The reason I include it in the list is that many people have opted to use third-party apps in the past due to the failings of this official app. However, recent updates over the past few months have made it so much better.
You get a chat function that actually works. More home screen icons such as Groups and Messages and refresh bugs have been mended. Overall the app is now so much better and I definitely recommended it to all college students, and all Android users for that matter, to take care of their social networking needs.
TweetDeck is a great social networking app that suits college life down to the ground. Firstly, not only does this work with Twitter, but Facebook, FourSquare and Google Buzz are also supported.
It has live GeoData so you can see whose updating around campus and can be used in conjunction with their apps across several platforms because you use your universal ‘TweetDeck Account’ for everything. The Android app is also optimized to use as little data as possible so no need to worry about depleting your data allowance.
Over all it’s really fun to use and a must for the college social scene.
Most students will partake in some form of traveling; it could be a simple two week vacation or six months backpacking in Asia. Trip Journal is a great app to document all your adventures while on the open road.
It has some cool features such as plotting your route along a map and adding notes and place-marks to it. Then there’s creating photo albums and of course keeping a travel journal.
Because it’s fully integrated with Google Earth, you can share your route with friends and family who (if you give them permission) can access all your notes, place-marks and photos.
The design work gone into this app is spectacular and it works very well indeed.
Aldiko is a great free eBook reader that supports the ePub format and your own PDF files, should you want to store them in a cool-looking library.
There are thousands of free books available, the vast majority of them being free. Many of them are older, classic titles which are either out of print or aren’t copyrighted. For this reason a lot of the books are ‘classics’ which many of us would have heard of. They are regularly used throughout education systems worldwide. Budding authors also make their work available for free.
Some paid novels and non-fiction books are also available.
The font size and type face are great for reading and navigation of both the library and books themselves is a breeze. A great app for student bookworms, particularly those pursuing literature-related degrees.