Not everything in Apple’s iPhone App Store is fun and games: And now that it’s back-to-school time, students should check out some of the handy educational tools and reference guides in the App Store.
One new, popular utility that could be useful for students is Convert, a 99-cent unit calculator that’s currently the no. 2 best-selling app in the App Store.
It converts dozens of unit types, ranging from measurements you might use in maths class — angles and area; to science class — temperature and force; to design class — typography and computer file sizes.
It’s also been a big hit. The app’s developer Tap Tap Tap tells us that it’s sold 100,000 copies of Convert since it went on sale in mid-August. After Apple’s 30% cut, that’s about $70,000 in sales so far, in less than a month. Not bad!
Other interesting apps for students include several digital organisers, which could replace a paper calendar and assignment notebook.
The free app MyHomework is one popular example, and it’s currently the no. 2 most downloaded education app in the App Store. It lets students keep track of their classes, homework assignments, projects, and tests, with a fun, simple user interface.
College students may be more interested in iStudiez Pro, which seems more tailored to the nature of university studies, helping you keep track of lecture and lab sessions, tasks, homework, scheduling, etc. At $2.99, it’s currently the no. 1 most popular paid education app in the App Store.
One apparent disappointment: An iPhone app that hooks into the Blackboard software that many schools and colleges use, which seems like it could be a great help. But we stop short of recommending the free “Blackboard Learn” app that’s in the App Store.
Why? Reviewers have given it terrible grades — a 1.5 star rating out of 5 possible stars, complaining about all sorts of shortcomings and bugs. We don’t have access to a Blackboard server, so we couldn’t try it first-hand. But it sounds like it could use an update.
Have any favourites for students? Let us know in the comments section and we’ll add the best to our list.
Need to get your algebra knowledge in shape? These apps -- a series of five, for $2.99 each -- include practice, videos, and tests for algebra factoring, graphing, systems, equations, and real numbers.
Converts dozens of unit types, ranging from measurements you'd use in maths class -- angles and area; to science class -- temperature and force; to design class -- typography and computer file sizes. Currently the no. 2 most downloaded paid app in the App Store.
There's plenty of paid dictionary apps in the App Store -- Apple is currently promoting a $25 dictionary, for example. But this one is free and includes audio, etymology, and a thesaurus. Caveat: It's a big file because it's designed to work offline, too. So it's a good idea to install it over a wifi signal -- or USB sync.
The iPhone comes with a built-in note taking app, but it's an ugly yellow design, and requires you to plug in your phone to sync it with your computer. Simplenote syncs wirelessly to a Web interface, so you can take notes in class and pull them up on your laptop, even if you left your iPhone cable at home.
For mainstream novels and reference books, Amazon's Kindle e-book platform is the industry leader. This app lets you read and bookmark any e-book that Amazon sells for the Kindle. If you also have a Kindle or Kindle DX, you can keep your latest page synchronised across all devices.
This game is not educational, and is very addictive. But we snuck it in here because it blissfully wasted hundreds of hours during our freshman year of college, and might as well do the same for you!
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