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

Microsoft is ditching Edge for new Chromium-based browser for Windows

It’s time to let things go

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Are you one of the few users of the Edge browser? Since its debut on Windows 10 in 2015, the replacement for the once-popular Internet Explorer wasn’t able to become the go-to browser it was expected to be.

The Edge browser was built from the ground up with a new rendering engine called EdgeHTML. It was designed to be lightweight, fast, and secure. The browser had a rocky start and was not favored by both users and web developers. That’s why Microsoft is pulling the plug soon.

According to Windows Central‘s insider, the Redmond company is putting all these efforts aside and will create a new web browser powered by Chromium codenamed “Anaheim.” It’ll be similar to Google’s Chrome browser and will take advantage of the popular rendering engine Blink.

After all the pushy and in-your-face prompts to make Edge more popular among Windows 10 devices, this new browser will replace Edge as the default browser. It’s still unknown if Anaheim will use the Edge brand and user interface, but the inside report confirms EdgeHTML’s demise.

What’s in store for users when Microsoft goes full blast with Chromium? Websites will behave how they should, especially those that work best on Google Chrome.

It’s worth noting that the Edge browser app on iOS and Android are already using rendering engines native to their platforms, so the shift to Chromium will be more beneficial to Windows 10 users. We could see Anaheim come to life by 2019.

SEE ALSO: Windows 10 will soon go full white with a light theme

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Apps

These are Apple’s top apps and games for 2018

Did your favorite app make the list?

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Apple likes to keep track of the apps you download and games you play on their devices. They like it so much that they now have a list of the top apps and games for 2018. The list features all categories in the App Store globally and locally.

From a global perspective, self-care apps became a revelation in the App Store. Apps such as Fabulous, Headspace, and 10% Happier made self-care and wellness more accessible to anyone. For gaming apps, battle royale-style games like PUBG Mobile and Fortnite took over. Both games feature fast-paced, last-man-standing action, with Fortnite even adding bases to the mix.

However, editorial picks reflect something different. Across the iPhone and iPad, editors picked education and creativity apps like Procreate Pocket and Froggipedia as their top choices. Procreate Pocket is a creativity app for artists to draw, sketch, and paint on the go. Froggipedia, on the other hand, is an interactive education app for children to teach them about frogs and their life cycles.

For gaming, the same theme follows as the editors picked Donut County and Gorogoa. Donut County is an education game that mixes puzzles with concepts in physics, while Gorogoa introduces hand-drawn stories to the puzzle genre. The selection goes against the findings of dominance across battle royale games globally.

Within Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore, photography and video streaming apps became the talk of the town. For iPhones, photography apps like kirakira+ and TouchRetouch topped the list, as users can play around with filters for their pictures and videos. Streaming apps like TikTok and Viu opened the door for people to share their videos on a global platform.

Battle royale and multiplayer games, such as PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, dominated the App Store in Singapore. Despite the success of these games, people also took notice of locally produced games. Cat Quest, an action role-playing game, became part of the top paid games for the iPhone for 2018. 

To know more about the lists, you can check them out in the App Store through the Today tab.

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Accessories

Gift ideas for the important people in your life

Make a list and check it twice

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Making Christmas lists can be daunting. One minute you think you already thought of the perfect gift for the people on your nice list, but next thing you know, they already have it or you doubt they’ll ever use it. So, you drop the idea and go back to square one. Other times, you come up with the most generic lists just so you have something to give: belt for dad, purse for mom, a pair of socks for the brother, a scarf for the best friend.

Sometimes, all you need are fresh ideas. Here are some to jump-start your holiday shopping this year!

1. For the one who travels for work

Productivity and portability rarely go hand in hand, but there are devices and accessories that help maximize remote work for anyone whose jobs allow it. Creatives could use a stylus, while writers and entrepreneurs could use a keyboard case. You can even get a nice backpack or sleeve to house it all in!

2. For the one who embraces a minimalist lifestyle

There are those who dream of having a walk-in closet, and those who try to keep their belongings to a minimum. That said, minimalist people are probably the toughest to buy material things for, but that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate a thoughtful gift. If you know that they have something that needs replacing, help them find out if they can have it recycled or traded in for a new one. Apps for mindfulness and meditation, learning a new language, or even an Audible subscription would also be great!

3. For the one who works out a lot

Gym rats almost always have everything they already need for their workouts, yet some of them haven’t invested in a smartwatch or a fitness band. If they have, you can give them new straps or cases so they can sport their wearables outside the gym and continue tracking their activities. Subscriptions to coaching, music streaming, or meal planning apps are also something they’d appreciate.

4. For the one who needs a pop of color

We all have that one person in our lives who wears neutral colors all the time or have had a pretty lackluster year — at least I know I do. Whether a guy or girl, everyone could use something bold once in a while: a pair of shoes in red, a wool coat in yellow, or even a phone in coral. More than making a statement, colors have the power to change moods and brighten up one’s day.

5. For the one who dresses to kill

She’s all about making an impression and takes dressing up seriously. She’s the woman in your life who takes a little bit longer to get ready in the morning putting an outfit together. A daring red lipstick, a pair of sexy pumps, jewelry, or a designer watch are all great options. Even better: a smartwatch in a bold color that is a statement on its own.

While they don’t always have to be material things, there’s something to be said for getting gifts for family and friends, no matter how small or cheap. Gift giving during the holidays is a way to give back to the important people who made your year merrier. The more thought and effort you put into it, the more meaningful and fitting it is for the person you’re getting it for. There’s no better feeling than knowing you made a difference in someone’s life through a gift — whether that’s in making them more efficient with their work, in their road to fitness, or in simply making them feel good about themselves.

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