Back to School: Top 10 Android apps for students

cell phoneThe dorm rooms have been cleaned and a steady buzz of techno is drifting from the corner suite which can mean only that school is back in session. Getting back in the swing of things can be a challenge but here are 10 applications for your Android phone to make the school year easier and, best off all, most of them are free.

For easy access to any of these applications, simply click on the name and you'll be taken to a description page that includes ratings and a QR code that you can scan with your phone's camera for a quick download.

SnapTell: There are plenty of ways to find cheap textbook prices, but SnapTell offers the most ways to price check and searches more online stores than its competitors; all from your phone's camera. SnapTell searches for books, movies and more by UPC or by taking a picture of the book. Since you can price check a book by taking a picture of its cover, this app is really handy for course packets that obscure UPC/ISBN numbers. Once you take a picture SnapTell can search eBay, Amazon, Half.com, Barnes & Noble and even local stores for price and availability. The bottom line; don't go textbook shopping without SnapTell.

CoursePro: Designed to take the place of your school-branded assignment book, CoursePro makes staying on top of your studies simple. The free version lets you add four courses with 5 assignments each, but if you pay $2.99 for the full version, you can put all of your assignments into the system as soon as your syllabus arrives. From the main screen you can see all upcoming assignments and pull up course info like classroom, schedule, professor and even email contact. CoursePro lets you weight assignment types and enter grades so that you can also keep track of how you're doing, According to the developer, future versions of CoursePro will let users view their class schedule at a glance.

Share Your Board: If you find yourself with a professor who refuses to embrace PowerPoint presentations and instead fills the whiteboard with important notes and equations, you can either get busy writing or get busy snapping pictures of the board with the Share Your Board app. After taking a snapshot of the board, Share Your Board will analyze the image, transform it, clean up and adjust the white balance for easy readability. After it's been adjusted you can add searchable comments and send it to your classmates. There's no easier way to capture whiteboard notes that with Share Your Board.

WordPlayer Book Reader v3: As good in the classroom as it is for fiction reading WordPlayer is a great application for reading books on your Android phone. Whether you're exploring the application of Sun Tzu's Art of War to modern business or attempting to understand the Machiavellian mindset by reading The Prince for Humanities, you can find free ebook versions of these and many more classics from the WordPlayer library and download them directly to your cellphone. WordPlayer also provides easy access to plenty of fiction titles. Factor in the ability to highlight or bookmark passages and its ability to read the books to you and you'll wonder how you survived before this app. WordPlayer also integrates with Calibre on your computer for access to even more file formats.

GDocs: Gdocs is a simple-to-use program that connects to your Google Docs account for easy access to your current documents and can create new documents. Great for last-minute changes to a paper or for updating a shared document between group members. Currently GDocs only lets you create new word documents, though you can view spreadsheets. If you want a fuller feature set, check out Documents to Go Full Version which is $29.99 but will let you create and edit more office file types.

Wapedia: While most professors won't accept a Wikipedia citation, easy access to this compendium of knowledge is a must have for quick facts in class or to kick off a research project. Wapedia loads articles in a similar fashion to the mobile version of Wikipedia, but also adds quick access to the contents of a post, ability to send an entry as an email and access to a multitude of other specialized wikis. The predictive results when you're searching Wapedia round out an easy-to-use app.

Study Aids: Several Apps on the Android Marketplace are too useful to be left off of any phone on a college campus, even if they only are used on limited occasions. That's why the free apps Calculator, Elements and StudyDroid all make the cut. Calculator is a handy scientific calculator that handles science-based operations with ease. Elements is great for anyone who needs quick access to periodic table information. StudyDroid is a flashcard application that will help you study for exams by yourself or with a study partner. You can create Flashcards online and download them to your phone so you're not stuck typing out every card on a small keyboard.

ColorDict Universal Dictionary: ColorDict is more than just a dictionary; it's a thesaurus, bible dictionary and foreign-language dictionary all rolled into one. After choosing the additional dictionaries that fit your needs, search results will return definitions, similar words and even Biblical references. Go ahead and download this powerful combo and you're sure to wow your prof by turning in the only paper that doesn't re-use the same adjective 50 times!

Last.FM: Last.FM is a great app for adding some music to your study sessions and downtime. Like its popular competitor Pandora, Last.FM lets you create stations based on favorite artists or songs, but it can also hook up with your music preferences by paying attention to music you listen to on your computer on a variety of media applications.

Babbler and Twidroid: All study and no play makes for a very boring college student.Babbler, which connects you to Facebook, and Twidroid, which hooks up to Twitter, are recommended "reading" for any student with a MyTouch 3G. Both applications offer free versions that provide basic functionality and if you need more you can get Babbler for $1.49 and Twidroid Pro for $4.89. These apps are just as good for planning a party as a study group and a must have for any fan of social networking.

If you're still in need of a top notch app to fill a need in your life be sure to check out the Android Network Awards, which showcases the top applications in the Android Marketplace as decided upon by users.

Have an iPhone? Check out the best Back to School apps for your iPhone and be prepared for the first day of class.


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