iPhone apps for college students
Published: Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 12:11
Last week, we talked about Android apps for college students, so it seems only fair that we talk about iPhone apps this week. The good news is that the iPhone has been around longer so the App Store has more apps. The bad news is that less of the apps are free, so it's even more important to research which apps are best before you buy. Compiled here you will find a list of very useful iPhone apps for college students in all fields, and while they're not all free, none of them will break the bank.
For starters, the iPhone is just as capable as an Android device at accessing your course material on ANGEL. Just point your browser at https://angel.parkland.edu and away you go. You can access your class schedule, check your grades, or even email your Professor that question you have about Lab 4. You can even install a different browser if you don't like the one your phone came with. Lifehacker.com recommends the Atomic Web Browser, which at $1, seems a good value for a browser which gives you better focus on privacy, more features and better customization.
Evernote is a very popular application for taking notes on the iPhone. It's free, available in a number of languages and can sync between your phone and laptop or desktop computers. International students can use the app in everything from Chinese to Dutch. It made "Top Ten Must Have Apps" list in the New York Times and was inducted into Apple's "App Hall of Fame." Students can also access their Google Documents by installing a free app called iGoogDocs, which lets them edit, save, and export documents into different formats both online or off. For simple to-do lists, a free app called Smart ToDo is available at the App Store. Students can also opt to download Toodledo, a powerful note-taking app, which can sync with an account online for back up. With third party tools Toodledo can also be synchronized with Outlook, but its $2.99 price tag seems a bit steep for something you can do with a piece of paper and a pencil.
Dictionaries are very useful, especially to college students. Unless you know what "coprolites" are off the top of your head, an app like Dictionary.com may come in handy for your biology class. It's free and one of the most popular digital dictionaries available. Its database includes close to 2 million words, their definitions, synonyms and antonyms. It stores them all in around fifty megabytes of space without needing an internet connection to look them up. For researching many students like to start on Wikipedia. With Quickpedia Lite, you can do so for free right from your iPhone. Just remember, Wikipedia is a great starting point for research, but many professors won't allow you to cite it as a source.
For math students, the PI83 Graphing Calculator app will let you leave your real calculator at home. At $0.99, it's cheaper than new batteries for your TI. Just remember that you can't bring your phone into an exam with you, so make sure you bring the real thing. Or you can leave the calculator at home altogether if you study with Mathemagics Lite. A free app at the App Store, it will help train you to square large numbers in your head or multiply and divide large numbers faster than you can pull out your calculator. This may not impress your friends unless you know Buster Bytes, but will certainly come in handy. The undisputed heavy weight champion of math apps, however is one made right here in Champaign. Wolfram Alpha is more than just a great math app, though. Sure, it can graph equations typed out in plain English, but it can also fetch you the capital of Finland or the speed of light quicker than you can open your phone's internet browser. Cough up the 3 bucks, support your local community, and get yourself a very powerful piece of computing power you can carry in your pocket.
E-book readers are a must for students in any class that involves reading. Who wants to carry all those novels around these days? Save a tree or two and put them right on your phone. Nook by Barnes and Noble and Kindle by Amazon are two excellent, easy to use apps that allow you to do just that. You can even download the books directly and save yourself a trip to the bookstore, so you can save gas as well as trees. As easy as these two apps are to use, they are slightly limited in the formats they can handle. For an app, which may be slightly less polished and glamorous, but handles nearly all the text files you may encounter, an app called Tomes is available for free on the App Store.
All in all, the iPhone has apps for nearly anything college students need to do in their studies. Over half a million, according to Apple's website, is far too many to cover here. With a little time and some research, there's no reason you can't find what you need. Just remember, before you pay for any app, it's always a good idea to read some reviews online first to avoid getting one that force closes or freezes up constantly.