It’s that time of year again – the semester has officially begun and college students are back to juggling classes, extracurricular activities, social lives, part-time jobs and internships. With so many responsibilities, balancing everything can be quite the challenge! Most of us turn to apps on our smartphones and tablets to help us pass time and manage responsibilities. But as of 2015, there are over 3 million apps available in the major stores! That’s why we’ve created an updated list of must-have smartphone apps to help you succeed this semester. From finance to fitness to plain ol’ fun, here are 10 productivity-boosting apps to use this fall. (And for even more must-have apps, check out last semester’s list!)
1. Quizlet – Hand-made flashcards are so old school. Instead of hand-writing terms and definitions, create a study set with the Quizlet app or on the website. Quizlet will then generate flash cards, tests, study games, and more. Studying has never been easier – and with the app, you can study on the go!
2. MyFitnessPal – Whether you’re a macro-counting expert or just a health & fitness newbie, this app is for you. With a food database of over 5 million foods, MyFitnessPal lets you log your meals, calculating your calorie intake and daily nutrients so you can make informed and healthy decisions about what you eat. It even syncs with virtually any fitness app so you can keep track of your physical activity too!
3. VSCOcam – You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take quality photos on your smartphone. VSCOcam includes a camera with a variety of tools and features, or you can import your photos to edit them using the wide selection of filters and editing options. Your food pics never looked so good!
4. Level Money – If you thought managing your money was complex and time consuming, think again. Just connect your accounts to the app and Level will do the rest, analyzing your income and expenses to answer the question: “What can I spend today?” It’s safe, secure, and surprisingly simple.
5. Flipboard – This app is like Pinterest, but for news articles. Follow topics you care about – anything from space exploration to yoga – and Flipboard will create a “personal magazine”, showing you articles and stories that you’re actually interested in.
6. Duolingo – Learn a new language for free – and have fun while doing it! This app lets you learn on the go with engaging mini-games that test your knowledge. Duolingo has nine languages available for you to master. And did we mention it’s completely free? If you’re planning on studying abroad in the future, this could be a fun way to prepare yourself.
7. Yelp – Going to college often means dropping your bags in a new town and new surroundings. How do you know where the best pizza or coffee shop is? Yelp can help you with that. With more than 70 million (!) crowd-sourced reviews of local business, small and large, you can narrow your search to what’s important to you. As a bonus, Yelp can also help you make reservations at a new restaurant you just found or order select goods and services like flower deliveries, beauty treatments, and more.
8. Google – Got a question? “Googling it” just got even easier. With the Google app, users can use the “Ok Google” feature to ask a question while browsing any web page. Researching the life of George Washington? Just say “Ok Google, where was George Washington born?” and Google will speak the answer aloud for you! You can also view weather, news, and traffic info and get updates to your phone about sports, movies, events, and more.
9. Lumosity – Give your brain a workout with fun games and activities that don’t feel like work at all! Designed by neuroscientists, Lumosity’s mini-games games challenge and train your brain. The app tracks your progress, allowing you to view your progress over time. If you think improving your memory and attention could do you some good now that you’re back at school, consider giving this app a try!
10. Plants vs. Zombies – Finally, if you want to take a study break or you just have some extra time to spare, check out my favorite mobile app. In this strategy game, you must use an arsenal of zombie-fighting plants to knock down waves of zombies before they break down your door! With 50 levels to play and 44 achievements to unlock, this game-of-the-year award-winning app can keep you entertained for hours. (Just make sure you finish all of your assignments first!)
Serah was a social media intern in the SUNY Office of New Media, having graduated from the University at Albany with Business Administration degree with concentrations in marketing and finance and minors in economics and communications.