Posted by Chris Martin 23 September 2013
5 of the best apps for students on smartphones and tablets
You've probably got a smartphone or a tablet, or maybe even both, but have you unleashed it's potential as a work horse?
It might be tempting to crack out a smartphone or a tablet in class to play a bit of Plants vs Zombies 2 (see review on page XX), but why not utilise your gadgets to avoid confiscation and give those grades a boost?
We've rounded up five of the best mobile apps for making your school life a bit easier and maybe even more productive.
See also: 5 of the best apps and games for kids.
If you haven't got it already, Evernote is the ultimate note-taking app. You can digitize and search notes you took on paper. It's fully cross-platform, with an app for every device and an extension for every browser. And it's incredibly powerful with synchronisation across devices, to do list and, of course, notes. Evernote for iPhone, Windows Phone, and Android can also use the device's camera to create a new note by snapping a picture of, for example, written notes or an important timetable. Any text visible in the images becomes searchable.
Available on: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and WebOS.
Dragon Remote Microphone
Dragon Remote Microphone is a companion app for the full Mac and PC software which is a speech-to-text tool that will let you dictate your notes and research papers instead of typing them word by word. If you can't keep up with what you're being taught then why not record what's being said. Now you have your notes written for you and you can also use it to create your own essays and reports. The beauty is that it doesn't matter when or where inspiration hits you, you can capture it as long as you've got your smartphone or tablet.
Available on: Android and iOS.
For Android users, Quickoffice is your best friend if you need to create, view and edit documents when you're laptop isn't to hand. Google now owns the firm and has made the free app available for everyone, not just Google Apps for Business subscribers. Quickoffice can handle Word, Excel and PowerPoint formats – 97' to 2010' formats - and the free version now includes support for PDF files. There's Google Drive integration for up to 15 GB of free cloud storage but there is also support for Dropbox, Evernote, SugarSync and others.
Available on: Android.
Studying normally involves big and heavy textbooks, but why not carry around a weightless digital version instead. You don't need to own a Kindle e-book reader either because Amazon has made the Kindle app free for a number of platforms. Using the Kindle app means you can take all your textbooks with you wherever you go and take advantage of its features like bookmarks, built-in dictionary and highlighting. Kindle editions of your required reading list might even be cheaper than the physical version saving you money.
Available on: Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.
You've probably been told to back up your work, and that person was right. Dropbox is one of the best cloud storage apps around for saving all those documents and files you've created with the other apps – it's also a great way of storing photos and other media. It's free across multiple platforms and not only synchronises your files across devices but allows you to easily share the content. Dropbox offers 2GB of storage for free but you can earn more by doing things like referring other people. If you need more, you can always pay for it.
Available on: Android, iOS and BlackBerry.