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3 Must-Download Free Smartphone Apps for College Students



With nearly half of all smartphones being owned by the 18 to 34 demographic — which includes approximately 18 million college students — apps designed specifically for students make up more than their fair share of the market. The wide range of products available ensure that there’s absolutely no reason to pay for any of them, perfect for the college student on a budget. No matter what kind of student you are or what you need from your smartphone, there’s a free app out there that’s perfect for you.

Below, I’ll list three of my favorite free smartphone apps for college students. The best part? All three apps listed below are available for both iPhone and Android.



One of the most popular apps among college students, Evernote is incredibly useful not only for its note-taking functions but its cross-platform capabilities, allowing you to clip pictures, sound files, videos, and pages from multiple sources but access it from your phone, desktop, or browser.  (For more, check out our post on how to use Evernote to get organized!) Best of all, it’s accessible even offline, so you don’t need wi-fi access to keep track of all your ideas and notes.

Cons: Consistently formatting your notes can be tricky; Evernote doesn’t always seem to preserve them well.

Wi-Fi Finder


Wi-Fi Finder is great for the tech-savvy student who can’t bear to be offline for more than a few minutes at a time. It can search for public wi-fi stations anywhere in the world and filter results by location, such as café or hotel. No matter what you need wi-fi for, whether it’s to check your email, Skype someone, or download course notes, Wi-Fi Finder has you covered.

Cons: While it has an offline database, this feature can sometimes be buggy and result in errors.



Urbanspoon is a hungry college student’s favorite app. If you’re the kind of person who loves finding new places to eat, the randomness of Urbanspoon’s selections are exciting. For those of you who are on a budget, have specific preferences, or don’t want to walk too far, Urbanspoon allows you to customize your search results by price, type, and distance. Get your results with a shake of your phone.

Cons: The restaurant review database is not as extensive as Yelp’s – I recommend visiting Yelp to compare reviews.

What do you think?

What are some of your favorite smartphone apps? Do you have any go-to apps that you use every day? Let us know in the comments below!

Posted on on March 2, 2012 / Filed Under: College Life / Tags: , , , ,

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10 Responses to “3 Must-Download Free Smartphone Apps for College Students”

  1. 1
    March 2nd, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Even though the free version is a little bit limited, I LOVE Shazam. Whenever I hear a song at a party or a coffee shop that I like, I just use that to find out what it is. The disadvantage to it is you have to pay for an app upgrade if you want unlimited use (worth it, IMO) and it won’t recognize a song if it’s live or sung by you, it has to be the actual recording. Still, I’ve found and kept some awesome music that otherwise would have only been fleeting encounters.

  2. 2
    March 2nd, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    great apps! evernote and urbanspoon are also on for blackberry..which is where i use them.

  3. 3
    March 2nd, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    My iPhone has really helped me throughout the semester in terms of getting organized. I use the recorder to capture lectures. The playback is crystal clear. miCal is a wonderful calendar application that allows you to set up multiple alarms for an event. Shazam is useful as well. The ICE Standard app is crucial. You can put your emergency contacts, meds, blood type, etc and generate an image that can be set as your lock screen. God forbid anyone would be in an accident, emergency personnel could quickly spot the info on your phone.

  4. 4
    March 2nd, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Great app suggestion for people are in love with apps! Especially urbanspoon for fattys like me!

  5. 5
    March 3rd, 2012 at 12:31 am

    I found Evernote a few years ago and it has been an absolute blessing to my college career. I use it for everything, more recently and more importantly, my senior thesis. I can clip anything from articles to videos and it saves the URL’s of them so I can easily access them. Plus the tagging feature makes it so much easier to find what I’m looking for. Quintessential college student app.

  6. 6
    March 3rd, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I’d suggest Yelp over Urbanspoon. Way more reliable and way more expansive!

  7. 7
    March 4th, 2012 at 11:11 am

    My favorite school related (FREE) app is Grades 2. It’s basically an app where you put in your syllabi for your classes, like (4 tests, each worth 20 percent, 30 homework assignments, 20 percent total) and it will keep a constant grade total for you and tell you what you need on your assignments to get the grade you want.

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