Our smartphones are indispensable nowadays, especially if you’re a student. But a smartphone is not made great just by the fact that you can make phone calls and Google stuff, but by what developers and programmers have created to make your life easier. If you’re a high school student going into college, or are already in college, check out these apps.

For high school students

Google Drive

The Google Drive app is Google’s mobile cloud storage solution. It’s a robust app that lets you keep up to 15 GB of files up in the cloud for free. This is helpful for storing and syncing all of your documents between your computer and cellphone.

Android | iOS


If you’ve ever had a note or an idea you wanted to capture on the fly, the note-taking app Evernote is for you. The basic plan, which is free, gives you 60 MB of new uploads per month, and lets you sync across two devices.

Android | iOS


Now there’s an easy way to cite sources on the go: with the EasyBib app. It’ll let you take a picture of a barcode and get a citation, or email your sources to yourself for that big paper you’ve been working on.

Android | iOS

Google Maps

A good map app is especially helpful if you’re going to college in a new town.

Android | iOS


Reddit, the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet,” will keep you up to date on the latest news, discussions and, of course, memes. There are many Reddit clients out there in the wild, so what you pick is up to you. For Android users, Slide for Reddit is a free, open-source app that works well. For iOS users, Narwhal is a good pick.

Android | iOS 


RaiseMe allows you to obtain "micro-scholarships" throughout high school. You can earn scholarships when you take AP classes, score high on your SAT or ACT, play sports, do community service and much more. If you use an Android, you can use their mobile-friendly website on your phone. (On the topic of scholarships: Scholly is an app for scholarship searching and matching, but it does require a monthly fee.)

Android | iOS

For college students 


Spotify, the music streaming service, is available on desktop and mobile. Normally it’s about $10 per month for unlimited access (though there is a free version with ads), but if you’re a college student, you can opt for a student discount and pay only about $5 per month for full access. Plus, as of fall 2017, Spotify is throwing in a Hulu video streaming subscription to the student subscription.

Android | iOS


If you’re a college student, Amazon offers a discounted Prime service. With the app, you’ll get one-tap orders delievered straight to your door in just two days. It’s a convenient way to stock up on things you can’t find at your college’s bookstore.

Android | iOS

Chegg Study

We’ve all heard how expensive textbooks can be, but thankfully Chegg is making it easier and less expensive to get your required textbooks. It also offers an online tutoring service (your college might offer a free, in-person service as well).

Android | iOS


Start your professional life as soon as possible by making a LinkedIn profile. College is a great time to start networking, so take advantage of it while you can.

Android | iOS


Undoubtedly you’ll be in a group chat sooner or later (gotta plan those group projects and roommate trips to the dining hall!), but not everyone will be on the same page, technologically speaking. Thanks to GroupMe, you can all chat together as one, regardless of what kind of phone you have.

Android | iOS


WolframAlpha is like a calculator on steroids. Plug any equation or problem into WolframAlpha and it’ll be solved, step-by-step. (Except for the problem of how to get enough sleep during finals week.) Buying the app from the App Store or Google Play Store gives full access.

Android | iOS


If you want to quickly transfer money to a friend or family member, Venmo lets you do that, right from your phone. The funds come right out of your linked bank account, and it’s a quick and easy way to pay someone back instead of splitting a check (or writing one).  

Android | iOS

Student with longboard walks campus and talks on the phone


is a senior at UNC and is planning to graduate in December 2018. He is studying journalism and writing, with an emphasis in news and multimedia. He has a passion for marketing, technology and writing, and hopes to work in marketing after he graduates. When he's not at work, he likes to listen to music, read, study, write and spend time with friends.