Friday, September 28, 2012

9 Great Mobile Apps for College Students - Fall 2012

This is a guest post by Genevieve Coates.

It’s back-to-school season, which means books need to be bought, new clothes need to be purchased, classes need to be examined, and campus needs to be explored.

But between that upper level Physics class and that Introduction to Romanticism class that you’re forced to take, things are going to be hectic. How are you going to fit it all in, while still maintaining that pizza and beer get-together with your friends? It’s tough, but there is a solution.

Use all that mobile technology you’ve got to your advantage and get these 10 apps that are crucial for the busy college student.

As a writer, I can’t leave this off the list. The app is perfect for finding that precise word or looking up new words to impress your professors with. It’s also got a Word of the Day feature, as well as a Hot Word of the Day, a Question of the Day and a Spanish Word of the Day. With its save feature, you can review the words you’ve looked at for future reference.

Cost: Free on iPhone and Android.


Standing in line at the bookstore is always the worst part of school (aside from classes, of course!). Skip all that with Chegg, which allows you to rent textbooks straight from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. You can even scan the barcode of the book to compare prices from different stores or websites, as well as set up a rental for the book.

Cost: Free on iPhone.


In college, the goal is to remember as much as you can. Evernote wants to help you achieve that, as their slogan is “Remember everything”. With this app, you have a comprehensive way to save all of your ideas, photos, voice and text notes in one place. With the search function, referring to these saved notes is made easy. Note: I love this one on my T-Mobile Galaxy Note; the huge screen and stylus go really well with taking notes on the go.

Cost: Free on iPhone and Android.


Remember SparkNotes study guides? Remember how helpful they were? I know! Now you’ve got a mini SparkNotes right in the palm of your hand. It probably won’t help you ace that Chaucer exam, but you’ll definitely know more than you did after not reading the book.

Cost: Free on iPhone and Android.


This handy little app helps you practice and learn mental math tricks. You’ll practice these tricks through various levels of proficiency and know addition, subtraction, multiplication and division answers faster than you thought possible. Check out the Mathemagics: Easy Algebra Fast app, as well, for a more in-depth training in algebra.

Cost: $0.99 on iPhone.


Got a question that you need answered, like five minutes ago? WolframAlpha probably has the answer for you. It’s got a serious database of questions in math, physics, chemistry, vocabulary, demographics, conversions, dates for important events, and a whole lot more. Note: It can be a challenge to figure out how to best ask the question, but once you do, you’ve got answers on the tip of your tongue.

Cost: $1.99 on iPhone and $3.99 on Android.

HI-Q MP3 Voice Recorder

You might be a little tired, which means you won’t be able to hear as well as you need to. Or maybe you forgot about that big assignment for another class and can’t listen to a lecture as intently as you’d like. Never fear with HI-Q MP3 Voice Recorder. This app allows you to record high-quality voice notes, music and pretty much anything else directly to MP3 format, which is perfect for when you get back home and actually need to listen to the lecture. You can also save this directly to Evernote so you have easy access later.

Cost: $3.99 on Android (with free Lite version).

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock

I once missed a test in college because my alarm clock didn’t go off. Avoid having a story like that and get a functioning alarm clock on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. But, this app goes one step further than just waking you up – using an accelerometer, it monitors your sleep movement and then wakes you up during your lightest sleep phase, ensuring that you wake up feeling rested and refreshed.

Cost: $0.99 on iPhone.


For all you iPhone users that don’t have Siri, or for Android users that want to get in on the Siri craze, there’s another option for your digital personal assistant. Speaktoit is available on Android and iPhone. It works on older iPhone models, so you don’t need the 4S. Rather than speaking to a blinking light, you can customize your interface so that you’re speaking with a “person” or avatar. You can update your Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare accounts. As the app is constantly updating, you’ll be able to find new, helpful features in the future. Also, and this is probably the nicest thing about Speaktoit, the app actually speaks in sentences when answering a question. So, if you asked what road you need to turn on, it will say “Make a turn on I-95” or something like that. Siri usually just provides a graphic.

Cost: Free on Android, $0.99 on iPhone.

Now go, the college life is waiting for you.

About the Author
Genevieve Coates is a freelance tech writer specializing in the newest Android technologies. She lives in Tampa, Florida, where she loves to tend to her massive “app garden”.