A new uni semester is about to begin, but life at uni can be pretty hectic. Here are a bunch of our favourite apps to help make life on campus a breeze.
The iTunes U app aggregates all the iTunes U content in one handy place. You can keep all your lectures here; see all assignments and check them off as you complete them; access audio lectures, videos, books, documents and even relevant textbooks available through iBooks. You can check here to see if your university is available, or browse the full list of participating schools here.
Some individual universities in Australia have their own apps, either official or unofficial. These range from things like maps, locators, course information and event updates. We've included the ones we've found below.
When it comes to dictionary apps, Dictionary.com has almost everything: a large vocabulary hosted on your phone so that you always have offline access; a thesaurus; a pronunciation guide; etymology; voice search; favourite words; and spelling suggestion. The only problem is that it's US, so you need to be aware of the various Americanisms so that you can correct for them. But hey, it's free.
Get your sleep cycle in order and wake up refreshed and ready to learn every day. The Sleep Cycle alarm clock analyses your natural sleeping rhythms based on your movements throughout the night, and will wake you up at the best time to ensure bright eyes and a bushy tail.
If you're taking notes on an iPad, Notability is pretty amazing. You can type or handwrite your notes, annotate PDFs, add pictures from your photo library, all the while recording your lecture in audio. As the lecture records, it syncs up with what you are writing or drawing, so that you can review both your notes and the lecture at the same time — and it's all backed up to cloud storage as you go. And then you can share your notes via email, Dropbox, iTunes file sharing and AirPrint. (For an iPhone app, try AudioNote.)
Going from a high school to a massively sprawling university campus can be a bit of a shock — and finding things can be a bit like trying to navigate a maze. Lost on Campus is a free app that has maps for 42 Australian universities, with every room, cafe, car park, public transport stop, toilet and every other landmark — all searchable. The app even has GPS in-built, so that you can follow the map to where you need to go.
/ Photo: Student Services Australia
Individual university apps
Sleep Cycle alarm clock
Lost on Campus
The Happiest Hour
All Recipes Dinner Spinner
My Weekly Budget
TuneIn Radio Pro
Plague Inc (and other games)
If you have your textbooks in an ebook format, you'll need a reader for them. Alternately, apps such as iBooks and Kindle are places where you can often get cheaper digital editions of your textbooks. It's much easier than lugging around a massive bag of books, that's for sure. Here are some free options for both reading and purchasing ebooks.
Now this one will come in handy for sure. Using your phone's GPS, it will search for nearby pubs and bars, and allow you to search for happy hours for either beer, wine, cocktails or food so that you can have the cheapest night out available.
Just because you're a student, you don't have to eat ramen every day. All Recipes' Dinner Spinner will help you find easy-to-cook meals based on ingredient, type of dish and how long it will take to cook. Plus, if you're really stuck for ideas, just give your phone a shake for a random recipe. Easy-peasy!
There's a timetable integrated into iStudiez Pro, but that's the least of its tricks. It also allows you to enter in homework and assignments to keep track of what you have on and when it's due, it sends you reminders for classes and due dates, and tracks how well your marks are tracking on a cumulative basis.
TED may not help with your uni life directly, but you're there to learn things, right? And sometimes, your brain gets a bit fatigued thinking about the same topics constantly. Switch it up by listening to smart people talk about interesting things, and give your brain some space to just listen and absorb without having to worry about being tested later.
Instapaper is awesome because it allows you to save web pages from your Safari browser to the Instapaper app to read offline later. This saves you data if you have a particular page, for instance, that you return to many times, or if you don't have time to read a page, you can hang onto it for later; and for those who have 3G-less iPads or iPods, it's truly useful.
A very user-friendly, very useful app that allows you to read documents in PDF, TXT, DOC, PPT, XLS, iWork and HTML formats. You can also mark them up with notes and highlighting — and sync it to Dropbox, SkyDrive, SugarSync and a variety of servers. It's the best PDF reader for iOS out there. You can find the iPad version here.
This one's actually probably good for everyone, not just students. If you're not used to budgeting, My Weekly Budget will help you keep track of your moolah so you don't blow it all on fancy vinyl records and flared trousers. That's what the kids are into these days, right?
This is one of those "get yourself organised" apps that allows you to create to-do lists, notes, dates and schedules, and then set reminders so you don't forget to do them. It's simple, clean, intuitive and won't crash out and lose all your important information.
With the Urbanspoon app, you can shake your phone to find a place to eat, or search based on location, cuisine and price, which is really useful if you're down to your last tenner. It also uses your phone's GPS to locate restaurants near you, and you can vet venues based on handy reviews provided by other customers.
Having an encyclopedia at hand is extremely useful for checking quick facts. This version of Wikipedia has been optimised for iPhone — although, the information contained therein should always be taken with a grain of salt. However, it's a great starting point to find reference articles at the very least.
In between the classes and the beer and the checking out of local bands, a body sometimes just needs to chill. What better way than putting your feet up and killing off the world's entire population with a custom designed epidemic?