10 Necessary Mac Apps for the College Student
Going through the first few weeks of college, I’ve found a few apps that have made my university life so much easier. Some of these apps will be things you have heard of. Hopefully, some will be new to you. Most of the apps have been designed for a much larger audience, but greatly help college students in particular.
Quite simply, this app keeps your Mac from falling asleep or dimming your screen brightness. Although it is extremely useful for watching YouTube videos, this app is great for students. Just click the ZZZ’s in the menu-bar when you go into class, and your computer won’t go to sleep during the lecture. It can be very annoying to pause taking notes for a few minutes and to return to a sleeping Mac. Download here.
This is a super easy, super simple, to-do list program. It has all I want with none of the bloat. Its interface is stripped to the bare essentials. My only gripe with to-do list apps is that I rarely want to check an item off the list and still want to see it. Just get rid of it right then. Either way, this apps is nice to have running on your Mac to quickly add and remove things you need to do. Download here.
This is by far the best flash card app I have seen. It works incredibly well and has beautiful transitions. It has a cool full screen study mode. I have to add this onto my list, because it helped me memorize everything perfectly for my Quiz in RELI 122. Download here.
If you’ve ever roamed around a college campus, you’ve probably went through a bunch of wi-fi spots. iStumbler is a great utility that helps you sniff out what wi-fi signals are out there and how strong they are. It also has sweet integration with Growl (big plus). If you ever catch a low signal in your dorm room or in the classroom, iStumbler can help you out and get you connected to the best and strongest signal. Download here.
Lots of university classes are switching to digital submission for homework. One of the popular standards is SVN (a version control system). SVN is pretty confusing for the new user, so check out this app to make that process easier. I’ve also written a thorough tutorial on getting SVN set up. Any college students should skip step 1, but the rest of the info is really useful. Download here.
Everyone knows Omni. If you’ve been in any classes that might remotely be assisted with a flow chart, you have to check out OmniGraffle. It is amazingly intuitive and powerful. This app can be used in almost every subject offered in college. Flow charts are a great way to visualized info and to study info, and OmniGraffle is the best flow chart maker available. Download here.
Taking notes on your MacBook in class is really useful. You can, however, get a bit distracted with all the other stuff a computer offers. Think is a cool app that keeps your focus on the front-most app, your note taking app. With this app, you’ll never get distracted, and you’ll make great grades (I hope). Download here.
Not a big surprise, but I highly suggest that college students get organized, and iCal is the easiest way to do that. Its dead simple and helps you keep up with your busy college life. I’ve put all my classes into iCal so my Mac reminds me when to go to class (as if I ever forget). You already have it!
Like iCal, this comes with Mac, but you probably didn’t know it existed. You can find it inside the Applications folder. It’s in a folder called Utilities. Grapher is powerful graphing application for plotting complex (and simple) mathematical equations. If you are an SE (science/ engineering) major, you will probably gain a lot from having this in your repertoire. You already have it!
And finally, how about an app geared more towards entertainment? What college student doesn’t live around Facebook? Give this iPhoto meets Facebook Photos mash-up a try. You can view all your friends’ photo albums in a cool Mac interface. Download here.