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Android apps for college campuses

by Kristen Nicole

Summer's not quite over, but college campuses are filling back up. Between shopping for dorm necessities and preparing for a semester of studying, there's a lot to take care of when heading back to school.

Here are some Android apps that can help college students prepare for the new year, whether they're frenzied freshmeat or seasoned fifth-years.

Shopping and socializing

Shop for text books and dorm-room decor from a single app. Search Amazon's online store using its bar-code scanner or image-capture tool to find exact or similar products, or do a keyword search. Free, the app displays product reviews and easy purchasing options to order everything you need.

Plusmo Fanzone is a sports app that will keep you updated to all your favorite college teams, including your home team. Get the latest scores, catch news updates, and show your team love. Add the sports categories and teams you want to follow, and interact with other fans via chat. Plusmo has other sports-specific apps, for football, golf and more.

There's nothing like meeting a friend for coffee between class and studying. See where they're headed, with Loopt's Android app. Free, Loopt will let you search for, and chat with, nearby friends, discover new friends, and recommend local venues for meet-ups.

Staying organized

A+ Timetable’s Android app will keep you on track with its useful organization features. Mark the days and times for your courses, which are categorized for easy input. Color-code your schedule for easy viewing, with separate tabs for odd and even weeks. The free app supports text-to-speech recognition, a home screen widget for quick overviews and more.

Listen during class, and review notes later. Share Your Board takes an image of your teacher's board notes, with text-recognition for easy organizing after the lecture is over. Edit and add to your notes, share them with friends, and never stress over note-taking again. ShareYourBoard is free for Android users.

For more easy listening, try OverDrive Media Console. This free app will play audiobooks from various retailers and libraries, so you can listen to books as you walk through campus. Features include bookmarks, table of contents and in-app sound options.

For tracking your course details, homework and grades, check out CoursePro. The $2.99 Android app organizes everything for you, and keeps you on task with to-do lists, running grades and course overviews. Set custom assignment types for different grading schemes, and have your data automatically backed up at all times.

Study buddies

myPocketProf is a note-sharing tool that keeps you in sync with your course. Organize your notes according to your classes, with support for audio, video and text files. This free app acts as a mobile library, where notes can be shared publicly or privately. You can even sell your notes within the app's network.

Build your bibliography automatically as you read course books, by scanning their bar codes into the free BibTeXLib Android app. You can also enter book information manually. The app provides a running list of book information, including cover art, publisher, ISBN and more.

handyCalc turns your Android phone into a calculator, so you can do basic or advanced calculations. Free, the app has an auto-suggest tool to help you solve the problems you get stuck on. Chart graphs, solve equations, run conversions (including currencies) and more.