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And the Top Five Apps for students are . . .

There are a ton of apps marketed towards students. They are young, connected to the latest gadgetry, and rely on computers and smartphones to keep track of a good chunk of their lives. So it makes sense that places like the App Store and Google Play would have a sizeable amount of apps aimed at the busy grad.

Unfortunately, not all apps are created equal. Take a short stroll down the wild west that is Android’s digital store, or even the highly curated inventory on Mac and iOS, and you’ll see that, while there may be a few gems, the majority of those student-centric apps are grade A garbagio.

While finding the best mail client or note taking app may seem like a herculean task, we here at Mocovox have waded through all the rabble to bring you the creme de la creme. Here are the top five apps no student should be without.

 

Note: We’re not including first-party apps that ship with platforms (like iTunes on Mac, for example) because, even if you don’t use them, you already have them.

 

1. Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design & Web Premium - adobe.com - $350 (at MC Books and More)

Anyone even remotely familiar with graphic design knows that there’s no substitute for Adobe’s suite of software. If you plan on having a career in just about any design-related field, you’d better get familiar with Adobe’s extensive lineup of tools. It’s been the gold standard among digital artists, illustrators, newspapers, and web designers for decades. And at just under two grand, it’s also really freakin’ expensive, unless, of course, you happen to purchase it at your school store.

Take our advice and invest in a copy now. The best part about programs like Photoshop and InDesign is that there are a million different ways to accomplish the same task. So even a few years down the road, older versions are still just as good as the latest and greatest copy, even without the newest bells and whistles.

2. Sparrow Mail/Postbox - sprw.me and www.postbox-inc.com, respectively - $10

If you’re like us, then you probably have way more mail accounts than you know what to do with. Multiple Google accounts, Yahoo, school mail, maybe a Hotmail account for good measure; if only there was a way to keep track of all those accounts from a single centralized location. Well, luckily for us, there are a couple of options.

The Sparrow team may have been gobbled up by Google recently, but their awesomely simple mail client is still available. Sparrow’s interface is more Apple-ian than Apple’s own mail client, and makes sorting through all those accounts a relatively painless process.

If you’re on Windows or want a bit more control over your mail viewing experience, Postbox is as strong as they come. It may be similar to the open source Thunderbird client, but this is definitely a case of getting what you pay for. The interface is clean and and Postbox makes sorting and archiving important messages a breeze.

 

3. Pages/Google Drive - AppStore/google.com - $20 and free, respectively

We all know Word is the de facto choice for creating anything that has to do with, well, words. From essays to that amazing screenplay you always swore you’d write someday, Word may be the most well-known choice, but it is by no means the best. Apple’s Pages is a cleaner alternative to Word for Mac users. Made specifically for Macs, Pages offers all the functionality of Word, without the clumsy interface and all-around unpleasant experience of using a Microsoft product. It’s also way less expensive, which is always a plus. Best of all, Pages features iCloud support, so you can swap your documents across your iPad or iPhone.

If you don’t have a Mac, Google’s browser-based Drive (formerly Google Docs) offers a clean - if a tad too simplistic - interface, as well as syncing across any computer with an Internet connection. Drive is also free, and we like free.

 

4. iProcrastinate - AppStore - free

 Keeping track of dates, assignments, and other notes is an absolute must if you plan on actually graduating, but who wants a gigantic stack of notebooks to lug around all day? There are a ton of organization apps to choose from, costing upwards of $40. Thankfully, one of the best in this category happens to be 100 percent free - no ads included.

iProcrastinate may seem simple at first, but with the ability to make multiple color-coded folders, include specific dates for notes, and a handy calendar view, it serves as a decent all-encompassing replacement for a bevy of other apps.

For those on Windows or Android, Wunderlist is also a good, free option.

 

5. Dropbox - dropbox.com - free (2 GB limit) with monthly subscriptions available

 How could we possibly forget good ol’ Dropbox? While nothing can replace the ever-reliable thumb drive, Dropbox is an excellent option for saving and sharing large files.

It’s free to start, the interface is simple, and 2 GB will be more than enough for most folks (provided, you do a little house cleaning every once in awhile). The only drawback is that it relies on an Internet connection, and we all know how dodgy campus wifi can be.

By Brooks Clarke

MoCoVox

 

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