Your smartphone is your best friend when you’re in college. Not only does it help you contact your friends and find out where the next party is, it gives you access to valuable information that will help you complete your schoolwork, which is more important anyway (right?). Here are the must-have reference apps that every college student should download now.
Dictionary.com – Dictionary and Thesaurus; Free
Every college student needs two primary reference materials: a dictionary and a thesaurus. With this app from Dictionary.com, you’ll be able to access both. There are more than 2 million words and definitions, and you can access them offline. Audio pronunciation will tell you how to say unfamiliar words, and the Word of the Day will teach you new words that will impress your professors. If you get only one app as a college student, get this one. An ad-free version costs $2.99 and includes voice search.
Because as a college student you need help with more than just academics, the WhitePages app is essential to download. It can connect you with more than 200 million business in the United States, giving you contact information and driving directions. Use GPS to find businesses near you, and you’ll always be able to locate a mechanic, repairman, bookstore, or pizza parlor near you.
Ancestry; $0.99 and up
The Ancestry app gives you access to all the information you can find online, including birth, marriage, and death certificates; census records; and more. When you need to do research for a history paper or locate primary source documents, this app will make it easy. It’s also great for researching your own family history as you learn more about yourself at college.
Urban Dictionary Definitions; $0.99
In college, you won’t just come across unknown words or phrases in your textbooks. On campus you’ll come across people from all over the country and from many different backgrounds. If you can’t decipher someone’s slang, use the Urban Dictionary, and you’ll be able to communicate. It’s an incredibly entertaining app to have for reference in the social sphere.
Wikibot – A Wikipedia Articles Reader; $2.99
Wikipedia is a student’s dream because it gives you quick information on just about every topic you under the sun. It’s a great starting point for any project or paper, and it’s a great place to just read about things that interest you. Wikibot is one of the best apps that allow you to access the full library of Wikipedia pages. It’s easy to read and save the pages you need. For $9.99 you can get Wikibot Offline, which allows you to access everything without an Internet connection.
Legal Buddy; Free
It wouldn’t be college without some risky business and potentially illegal activity, right? Well, download Legal Buddy, and you’ll be prepared for any situation when the cops come knocking at your door or pull you over while driving. Drug possession? DUI? Car accident? This app has you covered. Of course, it’s no substitute for real legal advice, and the better alternative is to probably avoid these sticky situations in the first place.
Mark Weatherford is a high school English teacher and published author who enjoys writing when he has the time. He directs most of his content toward helping students with college choices and college essays.
Photo Credit: University of Miami Admissions