February 24, 2014
Photo of phone with mobile apps on it

Mobile Apps for College Students

Here at FRCC, we are aware that it is, in fact the 21st century, and that your smartphone might be your only actual computer! So here is a list of apps you can use in college that make it possible to do a lot of coursework without being chained to a computer.

Research and Citations:

Questia (iPhone, Windows 8) – A large collection of online books, magazines, and scholarly journals from a respected library resource provider. They have 24/7 online help from real librarians and research tutorials. It has an auto-citation feature like EasyBib built in.

Easybib (iPhone, Android) – As a webpage or an app, easybib generates well-formatted citations in a variety of styles (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.)

Save it for Later:

Instapaper (iPhone, Android) – This is a simple way to save web-based content to be read later, and works across devices on a single account.

Evernote (iPhone, Android) – Evernote is essentially a more robust version of Instapaper, and has added features that focus on doing research, as well as integration with your phone’s camera. You will never feel so nerdy when you take a picture of a book’s title page.

Making a Calculation:

Wolfram Alpha (iPhone, Android, Kindle, Nook) – Advertised as the “Computational Knowledge Engine,” Wolfram Alpha can answer complex mathematical formulas, search large datasets, make graphs and charts, and even perform linguistic analysis. Simple to complex, Wolfram Alpha takes anything numerical and makes it easier to understand.

Medcalc (iPhone) – From “Allowable Blood Loss” to “Vascular Resistances,” Medcalc gives healthcare providers a handy tool that guides you through hundreds of health-specific calculations.

On Reading PDF:

Many, many good resources come in PDF format, which is generally hard to use on mobile devices, so here are the top contenders for PDF readers on iPhone and Android devices:

PDF Expert for iPhone

ezPDF for Android

About the author:

Joe Grobelny is a reference and instruction librarian who focuses on collaborative, critical information literacy on the desk and in the classroom with five years of undergraduate and graduate instruction experience. He has half of a music degree, a BA in History from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and an MLIS from the University of Denver.

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