Whoever decided to label today's mega-pocket-computers "smartphones" had the right idea. Thanks to these snazzy devices and the ever-growing pool of applications they support, even college students can better manage their busy lives. These top 10 apps for college students prove it.
1. Wi-Fi Finder
Your roommate is hogging your dorm room and you have a paper to research, and fast. Maybe you are maxing out your phone's data limit and need a Wi-Fi connection to send out something viral-worthy. Where can you go? Whip out your phone and launch Wi-Fi Finder. This cleverly named app does just what it promises -- finds the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot, and at no cost.
2. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
Imagine a world where you can get less sleep, but wake up feeling more refreshed. That is precisely what the $0.99 Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock app offers. Just set your latest wake time and tuck your iPhone under your bed sheet; this app will monitor your sleep cycles, waking you during your lightest sleep phase. In other words, you can kiss your college sleepies good bye (at least until your next lecture with Professor Snooze).
Finally getting a night out with the guys (or girls) and aren't sure where to go? Urbanspoon offers a free app that lets you look up nearby restaurants, make reservations and even look up where your friends like to dine. You can even browse options by price -- an important feature for anyone getting by on a college budget.
Money? What money? College may be a time for strict budgets, but you don't need a finance degree to manage your moolah. Mint.com -- one of TIME Magazines 50 Top Apps of 2011 -- allows you to monitor your money and stick to your budget on the go, wherever you are.
5. Pulse News
Even busy college students need to keep up with the world's latest news. The award-winning Pulse News app is a free application that aggregates your favorite news feeds onto a single screen (even the smutty gossip ones).
6. Food on the Table
Sick of chowing down on Ramen noodles? Food on the Table can help. This free app will automatically search your favorite grocery stores' circulars so that you can find the best deals. Click on a sale item and automatically browse tasty, user-rated recipes that feature it. FOTT can even populate your grocery list using voice support.
Facebook may have lost its cool edge when Grandma got on board, but it is still the most popular social network around. Keep tabs on friends and family members on the go with their free app.
Meet someone special at a party? Need to network with your new study mates? Never lose a number (or get stuck without a pen) again; with Bump, you can just bump your phones together to share contact information. It's like a cooler, higher-tech business card minus the square.
Public transportation not only helps you save money, but can buy you some valuable study time on the go, too. The problem? It can be difficult to figure out the best route, especially in a new city or when you need multiple transfers. Enter HopStop, a free app that will map your route using public transportation, including bike routes and jogging paths. You can even track your calories burned on commute.
Between school, work and everyday living, college life can be pretty chaotic. Who can blame you for forgetting to, say, pay the rent or turn in your paper? Organize your life with Springpad, a productivity app that lets you access and sort notes, tasks, recipes and even bar codes on the go.
Outsmart your smartphone
Computers and smartphones have revolutionized the way we do just about everything, from planning a shopping trip to gaining an education (online colleges, anyone?). The apps above can help you stay on top of your game, but try not to rely on them too much lest you lose your phone or drop it in a puddle (again!). Many cell phone providers offer cloud technology that can back up your apps and information digitally. Contact your provider to discover what options are available to you.
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