Your smartphone is a great companion. It keeps you posted on your friends, checks what’s happening around town, tells you how your family is doing and entertains you. You probably already use your phone to stay current at work, and the best news for students is that your smartphone can make your education easier and more effective. The secret is to choose the right mobile apps to make you a better student. These five apps can get you started in your search to optimize your smartphone capabilities.
- QuickOffice. When you’re working, taking care of your family and going to school, sometimes you just need to get your work done as simply as possible. QuickOffice is an Android app that lets you work on standard Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents from anywhere. The app is compatible with Google Docs, too.
- Algebra Course Assistant. If you’re struggling through an algebra course or postponing your college application because you’re dreading the algebra class that you’ll need to pass, Algebra Course Assistant may be a lifesaver. This app for the Apple iPhone and iPad is an interactive algebra tutor. Additional math apps can give you practice in statistics and problem solving on your smartphone. You can also choose apps for basic academic skills in other subjects, such as vocabulary and grammar, history, science and foreign languages.
- CourseSmart. Every college student wants to save a little money. More accurately, most college students scour the ground for pennies to cover their expenses, including textbooks. When you get your course syllabi and add up your textbook costs for the semester, you may be grateful for CourseSmart. This app—for the Android—can reduce your textbook expenses by connecting you to e-textbooks. A few, although not many, of the e-textbooks have learning materials that are only included in the electronic version of the book.
- DropBox. Smartphone and Internet keep you connected, but there’s no point if you can’t share your documents with your team members. You can store your documents in DropBox. For each document, you can choose which individuals have access, so all of your group members can view and edit the most recent version of your assignments. This app has a 2GB storage limit, and you get an extra 250MB for each of your referrals. DropBox is an app for the Android.
- Evernote. Your notes may be your single most useful resource for studying, and Evernote is an Android note-taking app. The app stores text notes and notes that you take using your digital camera, and you can organize your notes into notebooks. You can use Evernote online for free, or pay for a monthly or annual Premium account to use the service when you are offline. Many other note apps for smartphones can be good alternatives to Evernote because of slightly different features. For example, Springpad has free offline access, but is a little more complicated to use. Catch Notes lets you sign in with your Google account and Note Everything allows you to import data from Palm and Outlook.
Your smartphone can make you more efficient, which is critical when you are a busy student. Along with keeping you updated on your family and friends, your phone can be an essential tool for efficiency. While mindless games can be a time sink, useful mobile apps can make you more organized, able to study from anywhere and a better collaborator on class projects.