Great Phone Apps for Grad School

After resisting (and resisting and resisting) for over 3+ years, I finally retired my “dinosaur” LG flip phone and caved-in to being a proud owner an HTC smartphone.  In all honesty, I was probably more “forced” to move in the direction of smartphones rather that freely choosing to move in that direction since almost all  phones packages now require a data plan.

I can quickly tell you, my feelings of resistance have quickly turned into regret – regretting the fact that I didn’t make the switch sooner.  I thought I would never say this, but I am – I will be forever a smartphone user.

So, since I will be a smartphone user for life, I decided to blog about one of the great features a smartphone can offer you:  applications.

Below are a few of the useful (and not so useful) applications that you, as a graduate student, could use if you have a smartphone.  Every one of these apps I have on my phone so I can personally speak to their usefulness in respect to graduate school and/or in my personal life.

Before getting into the app list, the first thing I recommend you do is download the Amazon Market app.  Every day, Amazon offers a “free app of the day” that you normally would have to pay for any other day of the year.  The Amazon Market doesn’t have quite the selection as Android’s market; nonetheless, if you like the “free” app, then download it.  Because its free.  And if you find it useful.  I’ve been able to download Angry Birds and SoundHound ad-free which is really nice.

Apps For Grad School:

1.  Linked-in. This is a very useful app to have on your phone, especially if you are student in the FCOB at The Ohio State University.  As we all know, having access to a professional network is very key for success in any career.  It’s a lot easier to log-on and the features are fairly streamlined and its a great way to stay connected with your classmates.

2.  Facebook for Android. Hypothetically speaking, let’s say you are sitting through MHR 854 Economics and you want to update your Facebook status to reflect all the wonderful, mind-blowing revelations regarding labor demand/supply, opportunity costs and efficiency wage models.  Not only will you be educating all your “friends” about the joys of economics but I am sure there are other members of your class cohort who are doing the same thing. Like.

Apps For Fun.

1.  Google Sky. If you want to find out “where in the sky” the Belt of Orion is located, curious about the Little or Big Dipper or even just want to gaze at the sky while holding your phone, then this is the app for you.  Kinda cool if you are into star gazing.

2.  Angry Birds (Original, Seasons & Rio). Who wouldn’t want to waste about 2-3 hours a day launching birds at egg-stealing pigs?  The answer, you say?  Me and about 10 million other people.  I love Angry Birds.  As of a week ago, I have completed every level in every Angry Bird.  Now I just need to get 3 stars in each level.  Wish me luck.

3.  Alchemy. This is an interesting app.  Maybe because it feeds the nerdy side of my brain.  The game is based off of 4 elements (fire, water, earth & air) and you have to combine these elements together to create other elements like wind, trees, seeds, ghosts, boilers, dams, butterflies, etc.  I have found it very addicting.  Currently, I have unlocked 74/360 elements.  I got a long way to go on this one.

4.  Slizzard. This is a great app for you if you hit up the Varsity Club with your cohort after evening classes.  It calculates your blood alcohol level based on your height, weight and the types/kinds/number of “beverages” you’ve drank.  Basically, you’ll be asking yourself one question:  Taxi or no taxi?

Apps For Whatever.

1.  Ambient Fire. All this app does is provide you a romantic, log burning fire complete with the crackling and popping a fire makes.  You may have seen this used on the Cap’n Morgan commercial where the guy and girl get stuck in an elevator and he pulls up this app.  Although I can’t guarantee this “same” situation will present itself as it did in the commercial – but if it does – you’ll be prepared.

2.  Shazam & Soundhound. Ever heard a song on the radio and want to know who is singing it?  Well, Shazam!  Shazam and Soundhound are great apps to use to locate music or find out who sings that song you can never remember.  Just load the app and either hum the tune or run it when the song is playing.  Within 15 seconds, song name and artist delivered!

3.  Open Table. Great app for making dinner reservations at some of the swankiest places in Columbus (and the US).  If you need a reservation to Eddie Merlot’s in Polaris, then you can do it right from your phone.  Just make sure you bring a couple hundred bucks because that’s what it will cost you to dine there.

4.  Barcode Scanner. Tired of your Kroger, Giant Eagle, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Lifestyle Family Fitness and Meijer’s keychain scanner bogging down your key ring?  If you are, then this app is for you.  Easy to set up and it sure makes  like easier checking out of the grocery store or gym.

Again, these are just a few of the thousands of apps that are available to download.  If you have any favorite apps you would like to share and have found useful, fun or other, be sure to comment them to the blog!