WEB MASTER TUCKER HOTTES
suggests a few apps every college student needs
College students: you need these apps
It’s been a little while since I’ve had the pleasure of being a full-time college student. (Our College Extra section this week is bringing me back). I wasn’t in school during the Stone Ages, but I do come from a time before smartphones — our highest tech communication was text messaging and leaving instant messenger away messages to let people know what we were up to (away messages were like Twitter for us). We made the best of what we had, but most communications and Internet-type-stuff was still very much tied to a computer or laptop. There are lots of reasons I wish I could go back in time, but if I was going to do it over again, I’d want to bring a smartphone and/or tablet, and I’d damn well make sure I had some or all of the following apps that would have made college life even better. You should already have some of these apps, but if not, get on it.
Calendar and Scheduling
There’s never enough time in the day to balance all school and social obligations, but you can do your best with a well-kept calendar. Naming a specific app is a little tougher than other types of app, because aside from iPhone/Android differences, you’ll want your calendar to sync somewhere. Are you using iCal? Google Calendar? Microsoft Outlook? Make sure you pick a calendar app (or use a built-in one) that will connect and sync to your online or computer-based calendar, and you’ll never miss an appointment. Just make sure that syncing is working properly before you rely on it as a reminder of next week’s meeting with the professor who already thinks you’re a slacker…
I remember it (not-so) fondly: swiping the debit card only to find out your balance is $5 shy of the purchase you’re trying to make. Avoid the embarrassment by checking out your bank’s mobile banking app — deposit emergency checks, keep up to date with balances, and even set alerts if you’re running low on cash and need to make one of those “pretty please” calls back home.
For keeping track of notes, lists, and basically any other bit of important information in your life, Evernote is the top of the game. It works on most smartphones and has apps for your computer or web access when you’re on the go. Save text notes, photos, links, voice notes, videos — anything you can think of to keep your memory in check.
One of the easiest ways to share files between friends and occasionally the lab partner you try to avoid is by setting up a Dropbox account. Pass documents, resources for class, or share any type of file in your own, securable online storage and access it from anywhere, including your phone. Don’t lose your flash drive with two weeks’ worth of a project sitting on it, just keep it all in Dropbox and feel safe.
Find My Car (Android)/MyCar Locator (iOS)
Let’s face it — you’re probably going to have mornings when you wake up a little… foggy. Sometimes it’ll be in a strange place. Sometimes it’ll be hard to piece together the events of the evening. But most importantly, where the hell is your car? Pull out one of these apps and tag your current location. Then, when you can’t remember where your vehicle is residing, see it on a map with the click of a button.
Of course, if you got towed, you may find an empty spot when you return, but unfortunately there’s no app for that.