The Pursuit of App-iness

If you’re reading this, you almost certainly own a smartphone or tablet. Well, here’s a selection of software that can help you get to lectures on time, send covert messages to friends across the hall, and have a dog do your background reading

Feature by Peter Simpson | 03 Sep 2013
  • Pursuit of App-iness

First thing’s first, you need to get to class on time. Enter Studious (Android, free), a timetable app with a few neat twists. Set up a weekly class on the app and not only can your phone remind you of what to take with you and when to leave, but it can automatically turn off your low-quality Kings of Leon ringtone for the duration of the class. Never again will Caleb Followill shouting about how his sex is on fire interrupt a lecture on the Salem witch trials.

Notability (iPad, £1.49), meanwhile,  takes the classic act of in-class doodling into the 21st century. The app lets you annotate and amend any kind of document you can think of, then link your notes and other course material together in neat little bundles. The best part is that Notability can also record audio of your lecture and synchronise it with your notes, meaning that if you drift off in class you can find out what you missed when you started drawing a cock on that vector diagram.

If you’re the group-leading rather than cock-drawing type, then Trello (multi-platform, free) is the app for you. Trello lets you organise group working by dividing the tasks in your project into ‘cards.’ Use it correctly and you can divide up the entire project into little pieces, see who’s doing what and when, and jazz things up with the occasional .gif left smack bang in the middle of everyone’s work.

Speaking of unexpected online deliveries, we aren’t going to recommend everyone’s favourite obscene photograph delivery system Snapchat. We are going to recommend Voxer (iOS and Android, free), because it can turn your phone into a walkie-talkie. You’re welcome. Voxer lets you send voice, photo and location messages to your friends over WiFi, allowing you to alert all of your new university friends at once to the fact that you are in a playpark at 4am while also providing a photograph and precise GPS location of said playpark.

And if you really want to see some bizarre images sent from an app, then grab an iPad and download (iPad, free). It’s a news app – add your favourite sites, sources and articles to its feed, and then choose from a dog or a robot.’s gimmick is that the web is read to you by a creepy disembodied head that sounds a little like Stephen Hawking, with your head options ranging from small animated animal to Japanese anime man to the robot from that Bjork video back in the day. That’s the future you’re helping to create, students – a world where dogs read the news.

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