With the start of another schoolyear lurking in the next corner, what else can you do but savor the last days of summer?
Or, you can use your smartphone or tablet to download the latest apps to make school work just a bit easier, while giving yourself an edge with homework helpers and learning aids. There are also apps to help stave off the (occasional) boredom. Just make sure you abide by your school’s policies on gadgets before attempting to get app-y in the classroom.
1. Stanza (Free, iOS)
This e-book reader lets you load your own books into the app. A “get books” feature also allows you to download classic titles for free-a big help when everyone in your batch has bought the last copy of “The Good Earth” or whatever required reading has been assigned.
2. Catlendar ($1.99, iOS, Free, Google Play)
Make scheduling fun with cheerful cats in the background. The calendar syncs with your iCal data so you don’t have to input everything again. You can input events and diary entries, complete with cute stamps.
3. Dictionary.com (Free, iOS and Google Play)
Turn your smartphone into a portable reference source by installing educational apps. The free Dictionary.com app lets you look up words easily. A built-in thesaurus is also included for times when you want your school paper to sound super-smart.
4. National Geographic World Atlas ($1.99, iOS)
You’ll never flunk geography again with this app. Always have a globe in your pocket, and an interactive and 3D version at that. Facts and statistics for each country are regularly updated making you more current than your history textbook.
5. Grades 2 (Free, iOS)
This grade calculator will let you know whether you should study harder on that next test or if you can afford to skip it and watch a movie instead.
6. MyHomework (Free, iOS, Google Play and Windows 8)
You’ll never have an excuse to turn in your homework late with this student planner app (of course the app can’t force you to do your homework, but it will remind you). You can even get lesson modules, notes and class schedules from teachers who are on Teachers.io.
7. CaptureNotes 2 ($5.99, iPad)
One of the best note-taking apps out there, Capture Notes lets you jot down notes in your handwriting or type it using the pop-up keyboard. You can insert images and record audio while adding flags that will help you jump to a certain point in the lecture. You can keep recording the lecture and tune out the teacher while ogling your crush.
8. WolframAlpha ($2.99, iOS)
You’ll never need to second-guess your math answers again, thanks to WolframAlpha. The sophisticated calculation engine computes a wide array of mathematical formulas ranging from simple arithmetic to calculus. Too bad it can’t take your finals for you.
9. Surviving High School ($0.99, iOS, Free, Google Play)
If your own personal school drama isn’t enough, this episodic game involves you in juicy high school situations that involve love triangles and skipping school to go on dates.
10. Wake n Shake Alarm Clock ($1.99, iOS)
Are you one late away from being dropped from a morning class? Try the Wake n Shake Alarm Clock. There is no snooze button and the app requires you to shake your phone vigorously in order for it to stop wailing. The app adds a competitive element to waking up, where you can compete with your friends to see who the earliest bird is; don’t forget to give them the worm. •