Apps

5 free productivity apps for students

Apps to help you ace those classes!

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Every student knows (or should know) that part of excelling in school work is not just studying hard, but also studying smart. Luckily for kids today, there are now apps that help make a student’s workflow easier and more efficient.

From task reminders to instant citation makers, here are my top five picks for free productivity apps that will help any student.

Forest

Sure, having a smartphone is convenient, but it can also be pretty distracting. Trump the urge to fiddle with your phone when you’re supposed to be doing something else — like studying — with this app.

Here, you’re tasked to grow trees, and eventually, a forest. The catch? If you leave the app, your tree dies.

The premise is as simple as that, but it proves to be an effective way to keep focused and grow a lush virtual forest. Download it here.

DropTask 

Group projects and assignments can be daunting and unorganized tasks. Lucky for you, there’s DropTask to help.

DropTask is a unique task manager that will work on your phone or your laptop. It allows you to organize every single thing in your school life. Group together certain assignments and even share tasks with classmates to ensure smooth workflows and efficient task distribution.

It also helps that it has a pretty colorful visual design, perfect for those who aren’t so fond of normal lists and notes. Download it here.

Google Keep

For a lot of things in school, note taking is something you can’t get out of. Might as well find a way to make this activity easier, right?

One great app for this task is Google Keep. It has an easy interface that allows you to organize notes like post-its, plus it allows for plain text, lists, and even photos.

Google Keep has a dedicated app, but you can also open it up via your web browser. It syncs everything to Google Drive and saves offline edits so you’ll have only one set of updated notes. It’s the small victories in life, kids. Download it here.

Exam Countdown Lite

When exam season is around the corner, scheduling and meticulous planning are key. Make sure you have all your bases — erm, subjects — covered with this app.

Exam Countdown Lite takes care of your test scheduling woes. It allows you to take note of all the important dates and organizes everything in a way which allows you to see everything, including countdowns to the very second your exams start.

The app also has alarms, social media integration (so you can share your deadly schedules to the world!), and even note-taking capabilities. Download it for Android or iOS.

Citationsy

We all know that research papers are hard and formatting is especially a pain. Say no more: We have just the app for that.

This ingenious app not only formats citations in more than 1,500 styles (which includes APA and MLA), it also does this by scanning the book’s barcode. Yep, that easy.

Unfortunately, this free app is only available for iPhone and iPad users, which you can download here.

Of course, we found something for Android study folks. Citation Maker is a good alternative app; unfortunately, it doesn’t support barcode scanning. Download it here

Happy studying! 🤓

Apps

Instagram possibly letting users pay for a blue badge

Copied from Twitter’s playbook

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Twitter got the internet into an uproar after implementing a way to pay for a coveted blue checkmark. Despite the controversy, other social media platforms are potentially introducing similar systems soon. As spotted in new code, Instagram has started referencing paid badges, hinting at a similar feature in the future.

First noticed by developer Alessandro Paluzzi (who spotted other unannounced developments in the past), Instagram’s coding includes mentions of an “IG_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV,” via TechCrunch. Additionally, Paluzzi found references to a Facebook version of the same code. To cap things off, he also discovered a few references to an upcoming subscription product from the current code.

A word of caution, though: Small references inside code might not mean much for the platform’s future plans. Paluzzi himself says that the feature is essentially unconfirmed for now, especially without a prototype.

Given the controversy surrounding the paid blue checkmark, it’s likely that Facebook and Instagram are waiting if Twitter’s experiment translates to better revenue in the long run. Though the initial Twitter Blue brouhaha simmered down for now, the new feature — along with Musk’s other changes to Twitter — are still experiments to test the new ownership’s vision for the platform.

For their part, both Facebook and Instagram have experimented with additional features to expand their offerings to their users. It’s not unheard of for either platform to draw inspiration from the winning features of other social media platforms.

SEE ALSO: Twitter reverses Facebook, Instagram ban

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Apple Music launches ‘Rihanna’s Road to Halftime’

In anticipation of Super Bowl 2023

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Apple Music Rihanna

After succeeding Pepsi as NFL’s official Super Bowl Halftime Show partner, Apple Music is pulling all the stops as it braces for its first ever show in the sports event, which features music icon Rihanna.

In anticipation of her upcoming Super Bowl LVII halftime performance in Glendale, Arizona on February 13, Apple Music has launched Rihanna’s Road to Halftime”, letting streamers experience the superstar’s music catalogue in deeply-enriched multidimensional sound.

Apple Music Radio will also be holding a Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show press conference on February 10, with Nadeska Alexis interviewing Rihanna herself ahead of her highly-awaited performance in United States’ annual sports spectacle.

An 8-episode “Rihanna Revisited Radio” will also keep fans engaged as the countdown to Super Bowl LVII continues ticking.

Even after the performance itself, Apple Music will have people covered with its Halftime Recap Radio” to wrap everything up.

Meanwhile, the new Apple Music Sing feature will also allow subscribers to take the mic and reenact Rhianna’s hits on compatible iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV 4K models.

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Controversial Netflix policy might ban users for sharing passwords

Company says plans are still unconfirmed

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Likely eclipsed only by Twitter, Netflix has gone through a ton of changes since last year. Underlying most of the new changes is a desire to curb password sharing. Now that 2023 is alive and kicking, the platform is readying its grand strategy to eliminate the phenomenon once and for all. Before the company can reveal their plans, a new report has leaked what’s coming for subscribers.

According to The Streamable, Netflix has changed its Netflix Help Center to reflect the new strategy. Based on the changes, the platform will require all profiles using a single account to be from the same primary location. If the platform detects that someone is using the account in another location, Netflix can reportedly block that user automatically.

To remain in the fold of an account, devices must sign into their home Wi-Fi every 31 days to check in. Any device who can’t do so might get blocked. Incorrect blockings can only be resolved with a call to Netflix’s support.

Now, the biggest controversy revolves around those who travel regularly. Users can reportedly request for a temporary code from Netflix to use the service in another location for seven consecutive days.

Though the changes were spotted on Netflix’s official pages, none of them have been officially announced yet. The page has been reverted to a vaguer version which only asks users in other households to have their own account. In a separate statement issued to The Verge, the company has stated that plans for subscribers (in the United States, at least) are still unconfirmed.

Still, the changed website is viewable via archiving sites like Way Back Machine. A change in the official support page might have come from a premature announcement, rejected plans, or an error.

SEE ALSO: Netflix confirms One Piece adaptation coming this year

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