Nowadays almost everyone has a smartphone. Even if you do not have a smartphone, many students own handheld tech devices such as iPod Touches and tablets. Below are six must-have applications that I believe UW-students should download on their hand-held devices to accomplish tasks quicker, easier, and more efficiently. These may not be the best mobile apps available on the market, but these are very helpful applications that are great for college students; and the best thing of all is they’re FREE!
For saving money on textbooks: Chegg – only for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
Chegg is a website that allows students to sell their textbooks, rent books, and buy new or used books. Chegg’s warehouse is located next to a UPS air hub, which allows them to ship orders out quickly. Students may search for books by entering the ISBN, title of the book, or the author’s name. However, if you have the app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch you can use the camera to scan the barcode of the book.
Student can rent textbooks from Chegg, at a discounted price and for a certain amount of time (typically for a semester). When you rent, you’ll be e-mailed a pre-paid barcode that can be printed out and applied to any box to return the book. Students are allowed to write and highlight in the rented books and are given a “21 Day ‘Any Reason’ Guarantee” return policy. Aside from allowing the users to rent, buy new or used physical textbooks, Chegg now allows students to download digital books. Chegg has built other services that allows student to lean easier, by starting up a program similar to studyblue.com.
For writing papers: Dictionary.com – iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android devices, Blackberry, Windows devices, and more.
Dictionary.com is the largest online dictionary, pretty self-explanatory. This app is available to almost all smartphone devices. It acts as a pocket dictionary that allows student and users to search for word definitions and use it as a thesaurus. The awesome thing about this application is that you don’t need internet access to search for words.
For taking notes: Evernote – iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android devices, Blackberry, Windows devices, and more.
Evernote allows users to access information from a mobile device, home computer, or laptop. This app is incredible for not only taking notes but organizing them as well. Students can also upload files such as images or audio files. The software allows its users to sync updates via internet access across all Evernote accounts too. This means if you’re taking notes on your phone, you can save them and access them later on your home computer. A cool new option allows users to share their notes with the web, thus allowing you to see other people’s notes, but not edit them.
For choosing classes: Rate my Professor – only for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch
Everyone has heard of ratemyprofessor.com and this app provides easy mobile access to the site. Everyone wants to know if their professor is nice or at least not a strict grader. Ratemyprofessor.com has about 1 million professors and more than 10 million comments about them.
For research on the go: Wikipanion – only for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Wikipedia is a very popular online encyclopedia that almost everyone who has ever used a computer has visited. Wikipanion allows users access to Wikipedia very quickly. (If you get the paid version of this app, you can access Wikipedia without internet access.) Wikipanion conveniently allows users to search for various things and bookmark sections within a certain page.
For Badgers: Mobile UW– Only for Andriod devices and iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A set of essential tools for UW-Madison students, faculty, parents and alumni, the app has all the campus life basics. “Keep up to date on news, events and sports. Or find your way around campus on foot, car or by Madison Metro bus. Or watch campus video content, along with other handy features.” The app features a campus map with directions and parking information and quick access to campus news, sports, and events.
Related entries essential for student survival: