The days are getting shorter. The “Back to School” ads are getting harder to ignore. All signs point to the school year being just a few weeks away. RIP summer vacation. If you’re one of the millions of college students across the country you’re probably already preparing for another year of school. Whether this is your first year or sixth year we want you to be prepared to dominate your classes. A smartphone at your side can make college life much easier (and more fun). Check out these Android apps for college students!
Textbooks can be the most expensive and annoying part of college. You’re at the mercy of your professor when it comes to how many books you will need, and sometimes they require books that are never used. It sucks. Chegg is a great website for renting and buying books for cheap, but their Android app offers even more. Tap into a library of over 2.5 million guided solutions, 7-day access to rented textbooks, and eTextbooks that can be read on your device.
One of the most helpful tools for reading and writing is a dictionary at your side. Dictionary.com is a great place to look up words, and their Android app is even better. This app offers access to the full English language and Thesaurus for over 2 million definitions, synonyms, and antonyms. It even goes deeper with idioms, phrases, word origins, and audio pronunciation. Plus, you can grow your vocabulary with the Word of the Day.
The most tedious and annoying part about writing a term paper is often the bibliography. You have to keep track of all the references you use, and then make sure to use the correct citation format. EasyBib makes this process much easier. You can even use it to scan bar codes from physical books and get the info auto-filled. Just keep track of things as you go, then email the bibliography to yourself when you’re ready for it.
Easy Voice Recorder, Free
Taking notes during class can be very difficult, especially if your professor is a fast talker. A tried and true method of note taking is to record lectures for later listening. With a smartphone you have a tape recorded right in your pocket, and you never need a new cassette. We prefer Easy Voice Recorder, but there are plenty of other options that work just as well.
Evernote is a household name when it comes to note-taking apps, and for good reason. This mega popular app is a perfect companion for any college student. It’s much more than just an app for taking notes. You can do sketches, organize notes with tags, doodle on images, save webpages, and so much more. Everything you do is synced to your account so it can be accessed everywhere. Never worry about losing a note ever again.
Learning a new language can be a very difficult task. If you have any language classes you should use an app to help you along the way. Last month we made an extensive list of the best Android apps for learning languages. We covered everything from flashcards to direct help from native speakers. Check it out if you are interested in using an app to help with your language classes.
RealCalc Scientific Calculator, Free
You probably already own a scientific calculator if you’re a halfway serious college student. That’s great, but what do you do if you accidentally leave it at home, or you can’t find it? RealCalc can help you do scientific equations right on your Android device. Don’t expect your professor to allow your phone during an exam, but for other situations this can be handy.
We can’t talk about studying apps without mentioning WolframAlpha. This service is chock full of answers to questions you might have. Wolfram describes their service as the modern-day Star Trek computer. Simply type or speak a question and you will be given an answer. “What is the unemployment rate in Chicago? What is $49.99 in euros? What are the tides in Honolulu?” Ask an ye shall receive an answer. Just make sure you fact check.
Clockwork Tomato, Free
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that can help your studying techniques. The idea is pretty simple. Break up your studying by taking a 5 minute break every 25 minutes. After four 25 minute sessions take a 15 minute break. This technique is based on the idea that frequent breaks help mental agility. Clockwork Tomato is an app that keeps track of your Pomodoro and tells you when to break and get back to work.
Google Drive/Docs, Free
We probably don’t have to tell you to use Google Docs and Drive, but we’re going to do it anyway. This suite of apps is the best and easiest way to keep papers, notes, and anything else safe in the cloud. You can access your files anywhere, easily share them with group partners or professors, and collaborate on projects. A lot of people think Microsoft Office is a necessity for a college student, but Google Docs is more than capable. Join the 21st century and do your work in the cloud.
When you’re a college student there are a million things you need to do every day. Automating some of those tasks can make your life much simpler. IFTTT (If This Then That) is the best tool for the job. Get an alert when the weather goes bad so you’re not stranded across campus with no umbrella. Save email attachments to Google Drive. The limit to what you can do with IFTTT is only your imagination.
My Study Life, Free
My Study Life is a planner for students to make your study life easier. It allows you to store your timetable, homework and exams in the cloud making it available on any device, wherever you are. The days of carrying around a class planner are long gone. Quickly see what’s on tap for today, including assignments, classes, and exams. All of it is color coded and organized neatly so you’re never left wondering what to do.
Studious is a similar app to My Study Life. This elegant and minimal app helps you organize your study schedule. You can organize things by class, homework, exams, and timetable. Each day you can see what classes you have, any homework that is due, and if you have an exam on that day. It’s a great way to stay on track and be productive. Don’t let that nasty procrastination take you buy surprised. Be prepared for everything.
7 Minute Workout, Free
We’ve all heard of the “Freshman 15,” but what can you do to avoid it? College life can be full of classes and unhealthy food. There’s not much time to set aside for working out. 7 Minute Workout is a great app that can help you exercises in less than 10 minutes per day. The workout consists of 12 exercises (30 seconds each) that can be done anywhere. All you need is a chair and a wall. Don’t let the Freshman 15 take you by surprise.
Car Locator, $3.99
Parking on campus can be a real pain in the butt. Not only do you have to pay in most places, but sometimes you can be forced to park miles away from your class. Remembering where you parked can be as hard as finding a parking spot. Car Locator is a great app for finding your car and keeping track of meter time. It uses a nifty radar feature to let you know if you’re headed in the right direction.
Protip: You can also let Google Now automatically save your parking location by enabling it in the settings. Here’s how to do it.
A big part of being in college is meeting new people. Hooking up with fellow classmates is probably a more popular activity on most campus’ than going to football games. This makes college the perfect place to use dating apps. Tinder, especially, has become widely used by college-aged people. Be sure to check out our full list of the best dating apps for Android. While you’re at it, check out our list of guitar apps. Everyone knows there is no better way to pick up chicks than by playing guitar.
Depending on where you go to school, the cafeteria food can be anywhere from amazing to downright disgusting. Regardless, sometimes you just want to good old fashioned delivery. It’s late at night, you’ve been experiencing the “college life,” and a pizza sounds amazing right now. Load up GrubHub on your phone and choose from a wide variety of locations that will deliver food right to your dorm room. It’s easy, fast, and painless.
If you’re attending a college far from home you may get a little homesick. Don’t be embarrassed, it happens to the best of us. You might not be able to afford a trip back home, but you can afford a free video chat. Hangouts is a great way to talk to and see whomever you’re missing back home. The hardest part is helping your technologically-challenged parents figure out how to use it.
Lyft / Uber
It’s no mystery that a lot of drinking goes on in college. Once the school year comes around bars get flooded with college students. Many responsible students will call a cab when they are too drunk to drive. That’s great, but there is an even easier (and cheaper) way. Lyft and Uber are the perfect apps for a night on the town. Simply use the app on your phone to call a car to pick you up. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.
For many people college is the first time that they learn about managing their own finances. If you’re not prepared you can find yourself in a world of debt. Mint is a great service for keeping track of your spending, creating budgets, and setting alerts. Are you spending too much on ping-pong balls and Solo cups? Mint will let you know. The Android app is great for checking on things while you’re on the go. Do you have enough money in your account for that new textbook? Open the app and take a peek. Simple as that.
A college campus is full of thousands of people, all very different and unique. Some of these people can have very bad intentions. SafeSpot is a great app to use if you ever walk through areas that make you feel unsafe. First, create a group of trusted people to be contacted when you’re in trouble. Next time you feel unsafe just open the app and hold your finger on the button on the screen. If you should ever pull your finger off the button your trusted contacts will get sent your location. Help is on the way.
That’s our list! College is a great time to make new friends, have a lot of fun, and of course learn. If you’re a college student we’d love to hear about the apps you use. Let us know below if you’re a college student. Good luck!
This is a pretty good list. As a teacher, and student, there were a few gems in here, EasyBib in particular, that will definitely be added to my current toolbox and recommended to my students. Thanks, Joe.
Legit. I may be going back to school to pursue a different degree, but that would be next year. I’ll hold keep these in mind. I shole was using some of these though. LoL!!
Dictionary and Thesaurus was legit. Of course I used Google Docs before I knew my school gave us Office for free. >,.,<
A couple points. Calcu is a much nicer product than realcalc. Also, Google now will remember where you park which saves the $4 of car locator. The GPS method both of these use isn’t ideal though. Using obd2 with dash is more accurate
Google Now can do that?! If only had mentioned that in the list…
Don’t forget Quizlet! Great app and website for making flash cards and studying with friends or alone.
The only app noticeably missing is Craigslist. So your lazy “im gonna stay at home FREE for my entire college career” child will find a job and actually leave after college. If you let them theyll freeload off you into their 40s.