50 Smartphone Apps for College Students

smartphone apps

It’s no surprise that today’s college students are busy. Many are working full-time jobs and raising kids while studying and attending classes. When your schedule’s this crammed, you’ll gladly welcome a way to make life more efficient, entertaining or even a bit less expensive!

Do you need an extra boost of organization in your life? A way to budget your money better? Believe it or not, your mobile device could host a variety of apps to help you tackle your daily to-dos.

We put together a list of 50 smartphone apps for college students to help add some efficiency in your life so you don’t have to sweat the small stuff. Keep reading for smoother sailing ahead!

Education apps

1. Evernote

Do you need a place to track and keep notes from class? This app will help you with that and more. You can record voice memos, to-do lists and notes, having mobile access to these while you’re on the go. Additionally, find this app on your home computer and download it to your browser. How’s that for taking notes?

Available on iOS®, Android®, Blackberry®, Windows® and WebOS®

2. StudyBlue

Did you run out of time to study before the next class of the day? This app can help! Evernote’s StudyBlue transforms the study materials you've organized in Evernote into digital flashcards and practice quizzes. Additionally, you can set reminders, message others, personalize your study sets and back up your study materials.

Available on iOS® + Android®

3. Graphing Calculator

Looking for a great calculator but don’t want to pay the big bucks? This app gives you just that with its ability to quickly create plots, equations, graphs and more. The bonus? You can take screenshots of your work, so you can remember past equations or graphs at a moment’s notice.

Available on iOS® + Windows®

4. Wikipanion

Not sure where to begin your research for that next big paper? Although it’s typically not considered a reputable source for class papers, this app can help you get a good start and help you get familiar with the subject matter to jump-start your research.

Available on iOS®

5. Oxford American Dictionary & Thesaurus

Are you in need of a dictionary but don’t want to lug one around in your bag? Take a look at this app for your dictionary and thesaurus needs. You’ll have more than 200,000 dictionary definitions at your fingertips with the ability to search online or off.

Available on Android® + iOS®

6. Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Need another option when it comes to app dictionaries? Check out this pick. With new and enhanced entries and definitions, your vocabulary might be top of the class.

Available on iOS®, Android® and Windows®

7. SparkNotes

Did that last chapter of your assigned reading leave you stumped? Don’t fret. This app comes with study guides for several books and access to many more online. Read the study guide, chapter summaries and more in 10 minutes or less.

Available on iOS®

8. EasyBib

Need a quick fix on your latest paper’s citations? Download this app to build and manage your cited works. You can email your citations list or scan the barcode on the book to create a citation in APA, MLA or Chicago style. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Available on iOS® + Android®

Financial apps

1. Mint

Are you looking for a resource to keep your finances in order? This free financial tracking app lets you look at all of your personal banking accounts on-the-go. Track your expenses like rent, gas, car payments and food. You’ll even be reminded when your bills are due with handy notifications.

Available on iOS® + Android®

2. Dashlane

Dashlane is an app for people on the go who don’t want to keep a wallet or purse with them at all times. This app keeps your personal checking cards, credit cards and more all in one place and provides an option to keep and track all of your receipts right in your device. And don’t worry – the app’s built-in encryption software will keep safeguard all of your personal data.

Available on iOS®, Windows® and Android®

3. Slice

Have you ever forgotten about that online order you purchased a few weeks back? Streamline your online shopping transactions with this handy app. It tracks your online purchases, orders, shipping and receipts all from your email accounts. Notifications let you know when packages arrive, so you won’t forget another anniversary, birthday or even that textbook for your next class.

Available on iOS® + Android®

4. Toshl Finance

ToshI Finance makes setting up a monthly budget a breeze. Just input your income and your expenses with reusable tags to get a clear picture of where your money is going. In the budgeting section you can set a hard line — like $250 a month for groceries. Visualizing your finances with a progress bar can help you stay within your limits.

Available on iOS® + Android®

5. Left to Spend

If you’re looking for something that’s a little simpler, you can set a spending allowance in this app and it subtracts from there. No bells, no whistles, just straightforward budget tracking. If you’ve ever tried the “$20 in an envelope every day” budgeting method, this is essentially the digital equivalent.

Available on iOS®

Music apps

1. Spotify

Wishing you could stream your favorite artists’ new album straight from your phone? This app allows you to do just that. Share your top picks with friends, save the best songs to play again and create playlists. It’s like a jukebox on the go!

Available on iOS®, Android®, Windows® and Blackberry®

2. Pandora

Find your favorite personal radio station and play the music you want to hear while studying or driving to class. Create playlists based off your favorite artist, genre, songs and more, and the app will configure a station for you. It’s a great way to listen to your favorite classics and discover your future favorites!

Available on iOS®, Android®, Blackberry® and Amazon®

3. iHeartRadio

Looking for a radio station to help you study? Find more than 1,500 live, commercial-free radio stations on this app. Save your favorites, create a custom station and share your stations with friends.

Available on iOS®, Android®, Blackberry® and Windows®

4. SoundHound

Have you ever heard a great song while sitting in a bookstore or coffee shop studying, but you don’t know who wrote it? Download this app to identify the song title and artist. You can find out more information about the artist, videos and much more.

Available on iOS®, Android®, and Windows®

Productivity apps

1. iHomework

Looking for a streamlined process to organize your school to-do lists? This app does just that. iHomework helps you keep your course schedule, appointments, homework and more all stored in one place. With notifications for when your next assignment is due to when the final exam is, you’ll be up-to-date on your next to-do.

Available on iOS®

2. Wi-Fi Finder

Need a quiet place to study that offers free internet connection? Wi-Fi Finder is your new best friend. With Its built-in navigation will help you find the nearest Wi-Fi connection. With more than 650,000 locations in 144 countries worldwide, you’ll be able to study in peace in no time.

Available on iOS® + Android®

3. Studious

Replace your old planner by downloading this app. You’ll be able to track your daily class schedule, homework assignments and future exams. Have you ever forgotten to turn your phone off during class? This app will even silence your phone during your scheduled class time.

Available on Android®

4. Notability

Forgot to bring your pen and paper to class? The Notability app is for notetaking, PDF annotation, typing and recording. In addition, you can add links and photos to your notes. Plus, just tap a word from your notes to hear it played back to you in an instant.

Available on iOS®

5. Trello

Are you looking for a more organized approach to studying and collaborating with your peers? Cut down on the meetings for group projects and manage tasks with this great app. Organize the entire project from the beginning stages all the way to the final product.

Available on iOS® + Android®

6. 1Password

Do you struggle with all the passwords you’re expected to remember? This password manager maintains all of your passwords, logins, credit card information and more so you don’t have to. Keep them stored in one secure, easy-to-access location available to you with just one password.

Available on IOS® + Android®

7. Clear

Are you looking for an app that will assist you with more than just organizing your college life, but will also help you to tackle your personal to-do list? This app is for you! It’s simple, efficient and should help you organize your busy life.

Available on iOS®

8. Any.Do

Are you in need of some help organizing your crazy schedule? This app will help you keep track of all of your family’s commitments. Maintain a streamlined schedule and receive notifications when events are taking place or things are due.

Available on iOS® + Android®

9. TeuxDeux

Do you enjoy organizing and making to-do lists? Here’s another handy app option for setting reminders and housing your to-do lists.

Available on iOS®

Reading apps

1. Amazon Kindle®

Read your favorite book on the go without having to carry it in your bag. Just download the Kindle app to your mobile phone and you can access books, magazines, newspapers, textbooks and more.

Available on iOS® + Android®

2. Instapaper

Browsing your favorite online publications and news sites can be time consuming. Save time and catch up on the latest news with this app. Save web pages, blogs, newspapers and magazines while you’re on-the-go and revisit them after work or class.

Available on iOS® + Android®

3. Pocket

Looking for an app to bookmark the articles you want to read later? Check out the Pocket app. This app collects links, videos and news articles, saving the content for you to access it when you’re ready.

Available on iOS® + Android®

4. Flipboard

Bring together your favorite local and global news channels with this cleverly presented app. In addition, you can sync your personal news within this app: Facebook, Instagram and more.

Available on iOS® + Android®

5. SmartNews

Curious what news stories are trending? SmartNews brings you those stories and categorizes them based on subject. The app excels in digging up fresh content that will actually interest you. Some of their partners include NBS News, Quartz, Reuters, Perez Hilton and more.

Available on iOS® + Android®

Fitness apps

1. Fitnet

Your camera device is good for more than selfies. It can also help you reach your fitness goals. With this app, you follow workout videos from personal trainers and then it uses the camera on your phone or tablet to determine how well you did during the workout. The app also provides real-time feedback so you’ll always know how you’re doing and how to improve.

Available on iOS® + Android®

2. Sworkit

Don’t have access to a gym? No time for an extensive workout? Don’t sweat it! Sworkit provides high-intensity workouts ranging from five minutes to an hour. Choose the type of workout you’re looking for, such as strength, cardio or yoga. You can even create your own custom workout.

Available on iOS® + Android®

3. Pump Up

Do your friends make jokes about your #beastmode workout Facebook posts? This app provides a place to post your progress photos and motivate others like you who are working to meet their fitness goals.

Available on iOS® + Android®

4. Spring

Music is an important part of your workout! Spring uses music to help push you to work out harder and longer. DJs create playlists with songs that have a similar range of beats per minute. What do you have to do? Just run to the beat of the music!

Available on iOS®

5. Charity Miles

You run, bike or walk because you want to be healthy and fit. But did you know every mile you put in could be earning money for charities? With the help of corporate sponsors, this app will donate 10 cents for every mile biked and 25 cents for every mile walked or ran.

Available on iOS® + Android®

6. MyFitnessPal

This calorie-counting app lets you log meals quickly through its extensive database of brand name foods. Make something by scratch? Just input the recipe. The app also saves your food lists, tracks your weight loss and helps you stay accountable.

Available on iOS® + Android®

Storage apps

1. Dropbox

Are you looking for a way to access your files on the go? With the Dropbox app, you can keep everything with you on your mobile device. From videos and audio to papers and notes, store them all here!

Available on iOS®, Android® and Kindle Fire®

2. Google Drive

Are you a Google® user? Did you know all of your documents and files can be stored on your mobile device? Download the app for your phone and experience sharing and access to your files anywhere. You can also edit and share files with your friends.

Available on iOS® + Android®

3. Box

Looking for a different online storage option for your mobile device? Check out Box. With 10GB+Sync, this app makes it easy to access your files, share and stay connected to anyone you may being working with on a school project.

Available on iOS® + Android®

4. OneDrive

This app is the place to keep everything from your personal to work life. It gives you free online storage that you can use on a variety of devices, including your phone, computer and tablet. You can automatically upload photos and videos, open files in other apps (including Microsoft Office apps,) search for files and folders and more!

Available on iOS® + Android®

5. MegaCloud

Store all of your documents in the cloud with this app. Save your files, sync and share with any computer or device instantly. Access everything on the go and make sharing easier.

Available on iOS® + Android®

6. Cloud Print

Do you have a file in the cloud storage app of your choice above, but need an easy way to print it? This app allows you to do just that. With Cloud Print, you can print your documents straight from your mobile device.

Available on Android®


Did we forget your favorite smartphone app for college students? Add your recommendations in the comments below!

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This article was originally published in 2012. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2016.

Jennifer Pfeffer

Jennifer is a Content Marketing Specialist at Collegis Education who researches and writes articles on behalf of Rasmussen University. She is passionate about learning and higher education and enjoys writing engaging content to help current and future students on their path to a rewarding education.


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