Wednesday, December 18, 2013

15 Android Apps Students Will Love to Use in Class

As a student I have loved using my smartphone and tablet both in and outside the classroom, especially when studying last minute right outside the examination hall. It's just so handy having all your needs in one place and saving so much time and energy, to do other important stuff like catching up on GOT. These apps will help you in so many ways and make life simpler for you, but one thing they can't do is study for you. Tough luck, you're on your own there.

1. Evernote:

Download here

How can a list like this start without mentioning Evernote. I'm sure most of you have heard and used this app by now; if not, (a) stop reading (b) download it here now and then (c) come back and see what other cool apps I'm about to show you.
Evernote has taken the simplicity of jotting down a note onto a whole different level. It has great options to help organize your notes into notebooks, by adding labels and sorting them by dates and location. You can take a photo of your scribbled notes and it'll transcribe it into text for you.
It has great formatting tools to give your notes a more polished feel, and that's why you can type entire letters and assignments on to this app complete with bullet points and a bold red headline.
All of these features are great, but what makes this app fantastic is that you can access it everywhere; via apps on your smartphone, tablet and computer and online (from its website) through your friend's computer. I've often used this to take notes (or discreetly write articles for my blog) in the classroom and sync unfinished papers between devices.

Further more, as a privileged android user take advantage of placing widgets on your home screen to make the app more accessible and easier to use. You have to download a separate app, Evernote Widget, to get the whole range of widgets (makes no sense to me either) but its worth the extra space.

2. Presentation Remote:

I love this app. As a business student, I was required to deliver 2-3 presentations a semester. I would make and practice it to perfection, but my biggest hassle wasn't the speaking part, rather it was coordinating the slide's timings with the person sitting next to the laptop. This app is such a blessing, as it allows you to control your presentation from afar through your phone or tablet. It connects both devices via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and works seamlessly allowing you the freedom to stray away from your laptop, switching slides from the palm of your hand. It also has a built-in timer.

3. Subject- Specific Dictionaries:

I think this goes into the list without saying why its important. My favourite English dictionary which includes synonyms and offline access is Merriam-Webster. But when you're studying a certain field of education then subject-specific dictionaries are the best. In class my friends would score brownie points with our teachers by checking the definitions of business terms asked, under their desks. When choosing between subject dictionaries in the Play store, look for those with offline access. The best ones in Law, Medicine, and German are mentioned above.
Image taken from app description in Play Store 

4. Pocket:

Pocket is perfect for saving webpages. It captures articles, videos or websites you want to check out later, in a smart and easy-to-use layout. This is especially helpful for students when gathering online content for class research, which you want to use or read later. You can save class readings onto your device to read later at the bus stop. The best part is that it is deliciously fast and allows for offline viewing. The second best part is that it syncs across your phone, tablet, and computer so you can view it anytime on any device, without an Internet connection.

5. Cloud Storage:

Cloud storage is the floppy disk of today, only its invisible. From the many services to choose from, the most popular is Dropbox followed by Google Drive and Microsoft's Skydrive (if you don't know what all this means, stay tuned for an explanatory post coming up on cloud storage by subscribing via email on the left).
I'm sure you use it already to backup files and photos, but its golden purpose in college lies in the one click transferring of files between your computer and smartphone. Assignments, class readings, presentations, notes... you name it; just drag and drop the file into the dropbox/drive folder on your computer, and you can pick up from where you started on your phone and work offline.

6. Mobile OCR:

Download: Free or Paid ($4.12)

A handy app to convert all your handwritten notes into regular computerized text - image to text. For those more comfortable jotting down notes by hand in class or the slow typers, this app will help bring you the dark side. Typed notes can be immensely useful; you can make notebooks in Evernote and organize your notes by tags. Searching a particular word from all your notebooks takes less than a second. Most of all, it saves space and is great for travelling. All of your notes available on your phone, tablet or laptop, backed up and always available.
Image taken from Lifehacker

7. ListNote Speech/Text Notepad:

Download Free or Paid ($4.99)

Here's a useful dictation app for those with slow typing speed (or the ultra lazy).  Listnote is great for typing up long passages of text for you and then let's you further organize those notes or ideas by category and colours. I often dictation applications when having to write pages of "my own words" out of books or webpages, but I usually fluctuate between the Android keyboard's own built in voice command and Listnote. If you can afford to shell out $200 go for the Dragon Naturallyspeaking app on PC and its companion app on Android.

8. QuickOffice:

This free app from Google lets you create and edit Microsoft® Office documents, spreadsheets and presentations on your Android phone and tablet. Your files automatically backup in Google Drive allowing you access from any device. It can also be used to open and view PDF files.

9. RealCalc Scientific Calculator

Download Free or Paid ($3.25)

Math is everywhere when studying, you'll need this.

10. Studious

I wish I had found this app sooner. I have been the joke of the class with many thanks to my phone singing pop songs during lectures. For the forgetful student whose Mum loves to ring during school hours, this app will save you the dirty looks from your teacher by automatically turning your ringer to silent for class, according to your timetable. You can also add notes and set homework and test reminders.

11. Books!

Play Textbooks
Amazon Kindle
Amazon and Google Play are continuously adding textbooks to their libraries, but even so not all your textbooks are available online. Now and then, I would find a book online and loved having them on my tablet and, for the others I owned in paperback I would scan certain chapters using the handy app (item #12) below and add them to my library within the Kindle or Aldiko app. Furthermore, you can highlight text and add notes at any point in the book. Most of all you'll enjoy the search feature, it is ten times more useful than the index.

12. Studyblue Flashcards

As the name suggests, STUDYBLUE is an app which lets you create flashcards with text, pictures or audio. The online search feature gives you access to millions of other flashcards available online. Furthermore it offers quizzing, tracking for study session progress, messages to your classmates and more. 
Image taken from app description on Google Play

13. Wolfram|Alpha

Download here ($2.99)

An app to answer all your mathematical and factual questions in math, art, computer programming, economics, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, finance, history, and much much more. This beats Google by giving you a straight-up answers to complex mathematical formulae and in-depth reports on almost every topic imaginable.

14. CamScanner - Phone PDF Creator

Download Free or Paid ($4.99)

CamScanner is an intelligent document management solution, which basically turns your smartphone into a scanner. So no need to buy that fancy new HP scanner you were eyeing if you've got a good camera-phone. It is the perfect fit for those who want to scan, sync, edit, share and manage various contents on all devices and lets you quickly scan documents with optimum quality. The bonus features of the paid (ad-free) version are extracting text from documents, 10GB of cloud storage, higher quality scans and no watermarks.
Image taken from app description on Google Play

15. Khan Academy:

Download Free or Paid ($1.99)

The unofficial app of Khan Academy features video lectures from the popular website, which can be downloaded onto your phone and saved for offline viewing later. For those unfamiliar with Khan Academy, you'll find this website and app pretty useful in understanding topics which books and teachers aren't able to help you with. For free you can learn about math, art, computer programming, economics, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, finance, history, and more. It's good for those moments when you hit a roadblock when studying, and in revising concepts. This app just about does the job on your phone, but it still needs much work to be done on it. In some ways you may be better off accessing the website from your desktop, but its worth a try.

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