Everywhere you look these days there’s a student casually holding £500 worth of high-tech equipment in the form of an iPhone. Whether it’s a fashion statement, or a means of being able to post those annoying Facebook statuses every two minutes, it’s not difficult to see why the smart-phone revolution has taken off in recent years. Affordable monthly contracts ensure these phones are accessible to us - the apparently ‘broke’ student market. The army of app-producers have begun to tap into this market, creating mini applications designed to improve and enhance everyday student life. It’s not just those with iPhones who can benefit, nearly all of the apps mentioned here are also available on Android phones.
Aside from the obvious apps (Facebook, Twitter, Angry Birds), here are a few of my favourites that no student should be without, so get downloading!
Best for new music
SoundCloud(free) is a music-lovers best friend, providing the perfect way to discover new music from both unknown and established artists. A bit like Twitter, the activity stream features new ‘sounds’ posted by artists that you ‘follow’. For fans of remixes, the app is a must have, and if you’re willing to have a bit of a browse, you could find the next big thing. You can favourite tracks creating an individualised playlist that can be played offline. Plus, if you fancy yourself as a bit of a musician, you can post your own tracks and gather a following of your own.
Best for the kitchen
Recipes 4 us – Student Edition(£0.69) gives a brilliant selection of 60 student-friendly recipes, with options to use alternative quantities depending on how many you’re cooking for. You can also email recipes to friends or housemates.
Best for social networking
Hootsuite(free) is a brilliant way to sync all of your social activity, with the ability to hook up your Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Linkedin accounts. You only need to have one app running in order to manage all of your networking activity, making life a lot easier. It makes Twitter in particular a lot simpler to navigate, as it helps you to split your stream into different lists and sections. If you need any more convincing, unlike similar apps such as Tweetdeck, you can use Hootsuite from any computer without having to download software.
Best for discounts
Pink Gorilla(free) is a discount and lifestyle app designed especially for students in Leeds. Featuring discounts for a variety of shops, beauty treatments, cafes, restaurants and bars, as well as up to date information on Leeds nightlife, what’s not to like?
Best for organisation
Evernote(free) is the superhero of note-taking software. The application allows for the integration of text, photos and audio in your notes, as well as syncing to an online account, meaning you can access your notes anywhere. For those who prefer a keypad to a pen and paper, Evernote is especially handy for taking notes in lectures, seminars or even those society meetings you end up going to. Other nifty features include Twitter integration, geo-location and the ability to search for text in photos. It is featured in the NY Times “Top 10 Must-Have Apps” list and has over one million registered users.
Best for budgeting
My Student Budget Planner(free) is a straightforward way of keeping track of how much money you’re spending, and what on. Budgeting is a vital part of student life, unless you want to end up fighting a losing battle with your overdraft. Whilst keeping track of receipts can be a bit boggling at times, the ability to track expenditure while you’re on the go is made incredibly easy by having this handy little app at your fingertips whenever you go shopping. You can also set up alerts to let you know when you’ve gone over budget, which is a fantastic way to stop yourself from sliding into debt.
Best for homework
myHomework (free) is like a grown up school planner or homework diary - remember those things they used to give you in secondary school? You can create a calendar of colour-coded assignments, and we all know that colour-coding anything is a brilliant way to avoid actually doing any work, whilst still feeling that you’re being productive. Procrastination heaven, eh? As well as this, you can keep track of your class schedule, meaning no need to carry around that battered timetable printout anymore, as well as receiving push notifications for assignment deadlines.
Best if you lose your phone
Find My iPhone(free) uses GPS technology to help you track your device if it is lost or stolen. By installing the app on another iOS device such as an iPad or MacBook, you can link your devices and locate your missing phone on a map. You can then choose to display a message, play a sound, remotely lock the device, or erase all data on it. It’s also pretty handy if you misplace it in that massive pile of rubbish on your bedroom floor. Unfortunately, the app only works if the phone is connected to the Internet.