The smartphone is more than a communication device for today’s college student.
With the thousands of Android or iPhone apps available for download, a smartphone can become a powerful study resource or the perfect time-waster.
As students get ready for fall semester, The Globe polled 30 Salt Lake Community College students to find out which apps help the college experience.
15 out of the 30 students surveyed say Facebook is their favorite app.
Between status updates, check-ins and games, Facebook is largely used for entertainment purposes — but that’s not all.
While the social media site is a favorite pastime for millions, student Samuel Mazzaro has a word of advice for first-year students: “If you’re taking more than 12 credit hours, you should get rid of Facebook.”
Students chose the Canvas app because of how easy it is to look up class announcements, assignments, discussions and grades on a smartphone.
“Canvas is great one, they’ve improved that app so much over the past couple years,” says SLCC communication professor Matt Merkel. “Now you can actually do submissions, write your paper and check your grades.”
Students can also download PDF documents and PowerPoint presentations to follow along in class, which is convenient for students who do not have laptops.
Students favor this app for its filters and intensity. And unlike Facebook’s clutter, Instagram cuts to the chase by letting the photo tell the story.
“I use Instagram as a journal,” says first-year SLCC student Samantha Ferguson. “It’s like an online scrapbook.”
Students who take and share pictures of their college experience can also have their photos published in the print edition of The Globe.
MyFitnessPal can help new college students combat the “freshmen 15” and is a favorite of current SLCC students.
This app stores information about your goals, counts calories and tracks every minute of activity throughout the day.
The app also includes a free online fitness journal that students can use to be more aware of what they consume and how much they exercise.
Despite receiving just seven of 30 votes in our informal poll, the SLCC students who picked Pandora love the playlist feature.
Pandora has a great selection that appeals to all types of musical taste. Students can set up separate playlists for sleeping, working out, commuting to campus or studying.
6. Gmail (for BruinMail)
BruinMail is the official student email account at SLCC. Using this account for emails from teachers and administration is a great way to separate work from play.
Since BruinMail is a part of the school’s Google Apps for Education, students can download the Gmail app to access their campus mail.
“I don’t ever log onto my BruinMail from my computer,” says SLCC Veterans Center employee Matt Butcher. “If I didn’t have the Gmail app I would be so behind.”
Most of these apps are well known, but there are always some underrated apps just waiting to be downloaded.
Despite not being the most popular among students, this app is a hidden gem.
“Evernote will help you with your everyday life. Making to-do lists, and what you have to do for homework, to keep on top of that … simple stuff,” says second-year animation student Vasileos Drossos.
This app saves it all – your outlines, schedules, reminders, business plans — anything you don’t want to forget. The best part is, Evernote basic is free.
Wolfram|Alpha is the ultimate encyclopedia of the digital age — so much so that Siri and Google pull information from it.
“Anything that you really wanna know … it’s in there. Tables, measures, math, nature, art — any of that,” Merkel says.
Merkel adds that instructors also use the app because “the categories Wolfram|Alpha have seem to be endless.”
Note: Wolfram|Alpha costs $2.99, but is worth the price for the wealth of knowledge you can have at your fingertips.
If you struggle to find something to do in between classes or are looking for new ways to make your life a little easier, try a new app.
“There’s plenty of apps out there, that can make you more productive and social, and make you more involved in the community,” Merkel says.