One of the most useful back-to-school supplies might be something students already keep in their back pocket: a smartphone. A well stocked app suite help students connect with new friends, keep organised, and stay informed.
Here are the must-have apps for college students.
Say you write a homework assignment by hand and don't have time to type it up before submitting it on the class website. CamScanner lets users take pictures of their homework (or anything) and order the sequence of shots. It then consolidates the images in a single PDF.
It beats handing in nothing.
Silicon Valley's favourite team communication app has hit campuses nationwide.
At Stanford, the student entrepreneurship association, BASES, relies on Slack to get stuff done. Every team in the organisation has a channel, and when a special event arises, administrators create a new channel.
Slack helps eliminate emails and increases transparency across the group.
SideWire is a platform that lets conversations from people whose opinions you actually want to hear float to the surface.
The news aggregator curates politics stories and attaches a live feed of insights from newsmakers -- like journalists, speechwriters, and political pundits -- to each link. It's kind of like Twitter for politics.
In 2016, your most effective study-buddy might just be your phone.
Brainscape enables users to create their own flashcards on the website or mobile app, or choose from thousands of existing flashcards written by publishers, teachers, and students.
Research out of Columbia University suggests people who study using Brainscape tools, rather than books and old-school flashcards, retain information twice as well.
Hand-written notes are sooo high school. With Evernote, users can compose notes, bookmark keywords, and combine documents into virtual notepads for better organisation.
Forgot your laptop in the dorm? No worries -- you can always access your Evernote papers online or from their mobile app.
Up-and-coming calendar app Fantastical 2 displays a traditional five-day calendar at the top with a scrolling list of your upcoming events below, allowing you to quickly scan your schedule.
The calendar includes a search function and maps, so you can get where you need to be fast.
While away at college, students can use FaceTime to catch up with friends and family back home. The app allows users to make video calls from their Mac to another Mac, or to an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.
Making new friends is as important as keeping old ones.
You're bound to run into fellow Pokémon trainers at 'Pokéstops' across campus. It's easy enough to strike up a conversation since you already have a shared interest.
Pro tip: Bring along an external battery charger and offer your new friend some juice.
The worst part about group messaging is the flood of notifications whenever the conversation picks up. GroupMe allows you to mute specific chats, which is helpful if you're involved in a half dozen threads for different student-run organisations.
It's also easier to attach links and media to GroupMe messages.
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