Top Five Free Android Apps for Serious Students

Written by: Tamar Auber

This year, many students will find a new Android tablet under their Christmas tree or exchange their Hanukkah gelt for a trendy new tablet. While Android tablets are usually hyped as entertainment systems intended to play Angry Birds, watch videos or check your e-mail, serious students can turn their new toys into a power study tool with free apps that can help make cracking the books a little easier.

A Samsung Galaxy Tablet

An Android tablet can be a powerful study tool.

While not a replacement for a laptop, the touch screen capability and portability of a tablet makes it the perfect take along study aid. In addition, while lacking the cool factor of an iPad and the Apple store, Android users will be pleasantly surprised by the number and variety of applications available, often for free, in the Android Market.

As a graduate student and researcher, my Acer Iconia tablet is my go to gadget for reading files, keeping notes tidy, and even scanning documents during my hours of weekly library research. Want to put your tablet to work on campus this semester? These five apps can help you make the most of your study time and your tablet.

iFlashcards- If you are studying a subject that requires memorization, this is the perfect app for you. The iflashcards app allows users to create cards, sync cards with the web, and even transfer them between devices using an sd card, so that you can practice using your phone or computer as well as your tablet. Last semester, I put this handy little free app to great use memorizing dates for history and verb conjugations for Hebrew class.

Evernote-Evernote is the ultimate note taking and filing system for your tablet. While my tablet will not allow me to take notes directly on the touch screen, I can snap a picture of my handwritten notes or type with the on screen keyboard and Evernote quickly files it away for safe keeping and exam time. You can also install Evernote on multiple devices and work with your stored information from several locations, great when you have a term paper to write or a final exam information to cram.

Repligo Reader– This free app is buggy at times, but it is still my favorite pdf reader. With Repligo, I am able to download all of my semester’s articles from my course web site onto a thumb drive at the beginning of the term and open the files with ease on the week the readings are assigned. Repligo also allows me to annotate files, turn pages easily, and access multiple articles quickly. The downside is that occasionally Repligo ‘forgets’ that the thumb drive is docked in my tablet, and I have to exit the program and try again. Repligo will also work if you do not have a USB drive, but requires more work since you have to e-mail yourself the article first.

CamScanner-I was skeptical of this free app. However, the fact the ancient scanner at my school’s library was always down encouraged me to take the risk. I was very pleasantly surprised. Camscanner works just as promised, allowing me to use my tablet’s camera to snap pictures of documents, pages in reference books or anything else I need to keep handy. An added benefit, CamScanner works keep track of quotes and sources for term papers, simply snap the page where the information is found and the title page.

Google Books-For students of history, literature any many other fields, Google Books is a must have in your study arsenal. The free app, pre-installed on many tablets, offers thousands of searchable academic books, many of which can be viewed in their entirety. Looking for a specific phrase or keyword? No worries, Google Books will allow you to search inside the texts and show you exactly the page on which the phrase is found.

These free apps can turn your Android Tablet into a hardworking student tool that will help you keep your notes and research organized and study time more productive, leaving more free time to enjoy Angry Birds or your favorite movie on your new tablet.