If you’re entering college this fall you well know that your precious phone is also a game console, a book reader, a note taker, a camera, a language translator and last but certainly not least, a computing device that can run all kinds of apps that do incredible things.
According to Neilsen‘s 2014 data, “85% of Millennials aged 18-24 own devices” and “men and women in the U.S. own smartphones almost equally”. You can bet that trend is continuing upward for anyone of college age and we expect campuses to be flooded with smartphones and tablets like never before.
Laptops tend to be more widely used for actual school work but phones and tablets are more frequently used overall and are used more and more for school work, not just entertainment between classes.
So, what can and should be done with all this usage time? Funny you should ask, in this post we cover a lot of ground; note taking, schedule management, study aids and much more.
Just continue on down and read about the Top 21 Android Apps that we think every college student should not leave home without.
Google Drive – (Free) – Cloud Storage – access to your files anytime, anywhere
Students are likely to use multiple devices while working on a project and group projects are a regular part of college life. Google Drive makes your documents available to you on whatever device you happen to be using and collaborating with fellow students on these projects is a breeze.
Students with a Gmail account already have a Google Drive account and can use the app to create, share and collectively edit presentations, spreadsheets and documents.
Drive is a cloud-based service that provides students with 15GB of free storage for documents, images, music or other files. These files can then be shared and are accessible from any device; iOS, Android, and desktops.
Which one is best for you depends on many factors and there’s nothing wrong with using more than one, especially since there are apps, such as File Expert with Clouds, that can easily tie them all together.
Google Classroom – (Free) – Improves communication between students and teachers
It lets you use Classroom on the go and keep you in touch with what’s happening with your classes and assignments.
Teachers can create, review, and grade assignments quickly, all in one place. Students can see all of their assignments on an assignments page, and all class materials are automatically filed into folders in Google Drive.
The overall benefits to keeping it simple while also making sure everyone is on the same page are substantial.
Dictionary.com – (Free) – Dictionary & Thesaurus
The Dictionary.com app is a must-have for anyone and especially for students. It’s not just for those studying literature or languages either.
As a student you will be constantly exposed to new subjects and information, much of which with it’s own particular vernacular. Don’t be intimidated if you come across a word you’ve never even seen before, just tap on your dictionary.com app and in seconds you’ll have it nailed.
A nice addition is that it also includes a Thesaurus which will help you avoid using the same words over and over again and painlessly expand your vocabulary.
Evernote – (Free) – Multimedia note taking and sharing
It’s fully cross-platform, with an app for every device and an extension for every browser. PCWorld has a terrific article to help any newbies get the most out of it. The article is a bit dated at this point (2 years old) but does a great job of orienting new users to it’s key functions.
Evernote makes it easier than ever to store your notes, photographs, documents, and other details you may need for class. Students regularly use it to organize the materials associated with specific courses or to retain information that will help throughout the degree experience.
Features like keyword search simplify the process of finding the notes that users need to study, write papers, or quickly revisit critical information.
The Evernote apps synch your notes across all of your devices (iPhone, Windows Phone, Android and desktops) and in doing so really amps up its value. You can use the device’s camera to create a new note by snapping a picture, say, of a classmate’s notes, or the office hours posted on your professor’s door.
Any text visible in any images that you save becomes searchable, and Evernote can also keep track of where each picture was taken. Nice.
Tons and tons of other apps let you save things to your Evernote account—a few of our favorites include LectureNotes, the cross-platform image-annotation tool Skitch, and the incredibly flexible IFTTT.
AudioNote – ($4.99) – Audio recording synched with written notes
So where do you get your class notes when you just don’t feel like writing or typing? Try AudioNote, a very capable cross-platform recording app that connects your sketches and the notes you take with what you’ve recorded.
The built-in voice recorder can capture your lecture or small-group discussion, while you jot down notes that are automatically synced up to the recording.
Later you can just tap a note to jump to that part of the recording. That means you no longer have to worry about scribbling down everything important that’s said, and you can be more present in the discussion instead of focusing on taking detailed notes.
You can then easily share your notes and audio files together or separately with your study mates using email or cloud storage.
OfficeSuite – (Free) – View and edit MS Office and PDF files
It lets you work on the go using your iPhone or iPad and connects to all popular cloud storage services so wherever you park your files, you’ll be able to access, edit, and share them with this app. No need to download and upload as additional operations either, just open and save just like you would for local files.
It also provides a gallery of templates for Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. If you try the free version and decide it fits your needs, you can upgrade to the “Pro” version for $14.99, currently on sale for $9.99. That’s a one-time full license, not an ongoing subscription as is the case with many highly functional productivity app.
Wolfram Alpha – ($2.99) – A computational knowledge engine covering a broad array of topics
OK, we get that the first thing you do when you have a question is to “google it”. But there are questions that Google just can’t handle very well. That’s where Wolfram Alpha comes in.
Wolfram Alpha is a reference app that curates scientific, technical, mathematical, and other resources.
It covers an amazing number of domains and uses its vast collection of algorithms and data to compute answers and generate reports for you. Parts of Wolfram Alpha are even used in Apple’s Siri assistant.
Sounds like a pretty useful study buddy to us.
Mathway – (Free) – Instant answers to math problems
Mathway can not only solve your maths questions but if you subscribe to its service it will also show you how to arrive at the answer with a step-by-step explanation.
The math topics it can handle range from basic math, Algebra and Trigonometry to Calculus, Finite Math and more.
Its breakdown of the solution is especially valuable and can be a great help when you’re trying to master a new topic.
RefMe – (Free) – Citations made easy
Writing research papers is tedious and the most tedious part is making sure you have all of your citations correct. The bibliography page has been know to make strong students weak and weak students cry.
RefMe does a great job of letting you focus on the content and avoid figuring out the nuances of MLA versus Chicago style.
The app allows students to scan the bar code on books and journals, use book/article titles, ISBN numbers or copy and paste a URL to get citations in various styles, including Harvard, American Psychological Association and Chicago style, as well as most school-specific styles.
You can export via email or Evernote, and send work straight to MS Word using the application’s Web platform.
My Study Life – (Free) – School, homework and exam schedule manager
This powerful planner and scheduling app starts by storing your information in the cloud allowing you to synch your schedule across all of your devices. It then keeps you on track with all of your tasks, from classes to homework to exams.
My Study Life works even when you’re offline and shows you if you have any conflicts in your schedule. It will let you store your exams and supports day and week rotation class schedules.
You’ll never again (unintentionally) miss an assignment deadline, exam or class with its notification feature.
Chegg Textbooks & Study Help – (Free) – Cheap textbooks, rentals and study help
A stack of college textbooks can cost more than major surgery. This app will keep your wallet nice and fat: Snap a photo of your book’s barcode or search by title, author or ISBN number, and you’ll save up to 90% on buying it.
Don’t want to buy it? Not a problem, you can rent textbooks or etextbooks as well.
hey’ve also got you covered if you need some study help.
If you don’t see what you need in their library of textbook solutions you can submit your question to the online community of subject experts or even set up an online tutor 24/7.
AnkiDroid Flashcards – (Free) – Rote memory drills
If you’ve ever used good old-fashioned flashcards to memorize vocabulary words, foreign language words, historical dates or any other rote memory items you know how valuable that type of practice can be.
Today, apps like AnkiDroid put that concept on steroids by making good use of your phone or tablets immense capability.
AnkiDroid enables you to make digital flashcards to let you study on the go. You can create your own cards or use any of the thousands of free decks available on many topics and in many languages.
During any time that you have a break, simply take out your device and study the flashcards.
Pocket Physics – (Free) – Basics physics concepts and formulae on your phone
If you’re taking physics in high school or college then you know it is a challenging subject.
For most students it takes review and practice with problems to wrap your brain around it and have any hope of a good, or even passing, grade.
Any help is appreciated and this app should be part of your arsenal.
Aldiko Book Reader – (Free) – Access to thousands of ebooks
This reader has some pretty cool features, is fully customizable, and supports EPUB, PDF formats, Adobe DRM encrypted eBooks, as well as ebooks from public libraries.
While a tablet is going to give you a better overall experience, this app works quite well on phones so if you’re on the train or bus you can catch up on your reading with just your phone.
Wikipedia – (Free) – Millions of online articles covering every conceivable topic
OK, so you have a paper due and you need to get started on it. Sure the library is a great place to do some research but if you want to get started right now this is the app for you.
You’re probably at least somewhat familiar with the Wikipedia website so this shouldn’t be totally new to you.
The big advantage of the app is that you can access all that amazing content in a phone or tablet friendly format. Makes a big difference in readability on your mobile device.
The good folks at Wikipedia are not content to rest on their laurels, however. As easy as it is to use this app, it has recently undergone a major overhaul to add some great new features and update and improve its UI. Check out the beta release of this major new design.
Either way with this app you’ll be sure to crush that assignment.
Essential Anatomy 3 – ($9.99) – Human anatomy in beautiful 3D images
A herculean task to be sure but one made significantly easier with today’s powerful hi-res phones and tablets. The question is which of the dozens of anatomy apps is the best one?
Essential Anatomy 3 has won numerous awards and for a mere ten bucks you have an incredible learning tool at your disposal.
Using highly detailed anatomical models coupled with a powerful 3D graphics engine, this app delivers much more than just a nice 3D drawing of muscles and nerves. You’ll be amazed at the interactivity it offers and the impact it will have on your learning curve.
If the $10 for this app is pushing your budget, we suggest you give the free app, Anatomy Learning – 3D Atlas, a try.
My Money Tracker – (Free) – Track you money to avoid paying late charges and overdraft fees
It’s the last week of the month and your crew is going out for hot wings and brewskis. Can you afford to go?
Keeping a close eye on your finances will make sure you can pay your rent, put gas in your car, and have something left over for fun.
My Money Tracker will make it as easy as possible to keep you in the black and know exactly when you need to hunker down to avoid overdraft fees or be in a position to splurge on those new bluetooth earbuds you’ve been jonesing for.
It has tons of great features including easy to understand graphical displays of key financial data and flexible budget planning.
Map My Fitness Workout Trainer – (Free) – Track all of your activity and calories to hit your fitness goals
What’s great about this app is how flexible it is. Fitness is not just about running or any other single activity. It’s about being active and if you’re going to keep it interesting that means a variety of activities such as biking, running, walking and going to the gym.
May My Fitness Workout Trainer helps you keep track of all the various ways you exert yourself (well, almost all of them) and also lets you track your calorie intake. If you’re trying to lose that “freshman fifteen”, or not gain it in the first place, it’s critical to keep track of input and output.
Consuming 2,500 calories a day is fine as long as you’re burning them up, and they’re reasonably healthy calories to begin with.
Scoutmob local deals & events – (Free) – Find out where to go and what to do around campus
Pizze again? Why not? It’s cheap, quick, and oh so delicious! Yum! But ok, after pizza three nights in a row, maybe, just maybe, you’re ready for something else.
Scoutmob (somewhat like a Groupon on the go) clues you in to the newest and, more importantly, the most budget-friendly deals at lots of off-campus restaurants.
Whether you’re in a new city or living at home and commuting to college, we guarantee there’s tons of stuff you don’t know about what’s around you. Go explore the neighborhood, you never know what, or who, you’ll discover.
Your GPS-enabled phone gives Scoutmob your all important location and will alert you if there’s a Scoutmob deal on the menu—or if there are better dining discounts in the vicinity.
This is about much more than where to eat cheap, with Scoutmob you’ll also know if there’s anything going on this weekend near you that might be of interest.
Barcastr – Local Bar Finder – (Free) – Check out the local bar scene and hook up with friends
But not only that, it also gives you the skinny on what’s happening at a bar you might want to check out. It will show you live male to female ratio and age range at the bar. And to think you used to have to actually go to a bar and give it the once over to know that. Welcome to the 21st Century!
With the instant feedback feature you can see what your friends are saying about it and whether or not you want to check out someplace else.
This app will do just about everything possible to make sure your night out is not wasted, even if you are.
TripAdvisor – (Free) – Find the lowest cost airfare and hotels
At some point you’ll either head home or plan a trip to get away over the break. Why spend more than you have to?
TripAdvisor will give you all the info you need to get the cheapest hotels and airfares, not to mention great restaurants and things to do when you get to wherever you’re going.
With over 225 million reviews and opinions posted, you’ll not only find the cheapest way to get there but you’ll also be up to speed on what other liked and didn’t like.
Of course if it’s a road trip is what you have in mind, we’d like to point you to GasBuddy to make sure you’re saving money at the pump.
Top 21 Apps for College Students — published by AndroidAppsReview.com