The fall semester is well under way. Many smartphone-toting college students may be wondering if there are any apps that can help them, and the answer is yes. Mental Case, myHomework, Graphing Calculator, and Dictionary.com are just a few of the apps that can make a college student’s life easier and more fulfilling.
Mental Case for iOS is specifically designed as a study aid. At heart, it’s a flashcard application, but it’s considerably more advanced than the competition. “Mental notes,” as Mental Case calls flashcards, can include not just text but images and audio. Once the notes have been constructed, users can go through them with an unusually stylish slideshow presentation fitting for iOS. Mental Case also uses algorithms based on actual psychological research to automatically prepare a lesson of the notes the user needs to study most.
It even comes with free access to the study card repositories Quizlet.com and FlashcardExchange.com, so users may not even have to write most of their cards themselves. Mental Case isn’t just an iOS app; there’s also a Mac version, and a user with both can directly sync their notes between the two devices with a Wi-Fi connection. Notes can also be shared through Bluetooth, email, and iTunes. The iOS version of Mental Case costs $4.99, but there is also a free Classroom Edition in which notes are created by the teacher and shared through DropBox.
myHomework is a productivity tool. It allows the user to keep track of their homework by entering it in when it is announced. The myHomework app then provides regular updates to remind the user to do their homework. The user interface has an attractive, homespun-looking notebook/paper theme, but it’s a serious app with Retina screen, multitasking, and push notification support. Users can even view their homework on a desktop through myhomeworkapp.com after entering it into the myHomework app.
Time Magazine chose Graphing Calculator as one of the best back-to-school iPhone apps. It provides function plotting and scientific calculator features. Multiple equations can be plotted and traced on the same graph. It features a custom version of the iPhone keyboard that makes it easy to enter in equations.
The user can navigate the graph with common iOS functions, pinching to zoom and sliding to scroll the graph in real time. The graph view supports both the landscape and portrait modes of the iPhone. It can even render the graph to a picture that the user can email to themselves for later use.
Dictionary.com isn’t just a website, it’s also an excellent smartphone application. It includes definitions for almost 2 million words, as well as many synonyms and antonyms and audio pronunciations. The app can make spelling suggestions as the user search, so it’s easy to use even if one isn’t particularly adept with touchscreen keyboards. One can even speak a word into the microphone and the program will attempt to find an entry for it. No internet connection is required for these main features.
About: Author Amy Southerland is a career advisor and contributing writer for thebestdegrees.org, a site providing lists of regionally accredited online schools as well as rankings and reviews for the best degrees currently available.