From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student’s life and budget.
We looked at 29 favorite Android apps, while keeping the needs of today’s cash-strapped students in mind. If you’re on a student budget feel free to browse away. The apps we cover in this list offer plenty of options and are totally free. These Android apps are also inexpensive to buy if you decide on a paid upgrade to unlock all the features.
Our selection of the best free Android apps for students offers everything from apps to help you get to lectures on time, to organizing your notes and managing your class schedule. We even cover a few good apps to keep you entertained when the textbooks are put away.
Free Apps to Take Notes and Stay Organized
Try the free versions of Evernote, Google Keep, ColorNote Notepad, My Study Life and LectureNote for Android devices.
TechRadar calls Evernote the original and best note-taking app. It allows you save ideas, create to-do lists, record voice reminders and capture photos straight from the app. It looks like an excellent choice for busy students.
2. Google Keep
Google’s note-taking app lets you capture what’s on your mind and get a reminder about it later. You can speak a voice memo and have it automatically transcribed or grab a photo of a document and easily find it in search.
3. ColorNote Notepad
The ColorNote Android app offers a simple way to organize all sorts of notes and checklists. According to this CIO review, you can create lists in the app and then organize them by date, name or color.
4. My Study Life
My Study Life helps students stay ahead of lectures and assignments. As noted in this ZDNet review, My Study Life can integrate lecture times, homework and assignment deadlines, revision classes and other events.
The LectureNotes Android app works for note-taking by handwriting on the screen with a stylus. While useful to professors preparing a lecture, students can use the app to take handwritten notes during a lecture. The free version is fully functional, but limited to two notebooks with eight pages each.
Free Calculators for Students
Best free Android calculator apps include Mobi, Fraction Plus and RealCalc.
6. Mobi Calculator
Android Authority calls Mobi Calculator a classic scientific calculator in terms of look and feel. It has a crowded interface with a lot of buttons but it is a good choice for students looking for the basic stuff along with logarithms, trig functions, Radix mode and percentages.
7. Fraction Calculator Plus Free
Fraction Calculator Plus makes dealing with everyday fraction problems an easy task. Calculations are shown in a crisp, clear, elegant type that you can from a distance. Fraction results are automatically reduced to its simplest form and also shown in decimal to make conversions a breeze.
8. RealCalc Scientific Calculator
This Android calculator is a fully featured scientific calculator which looks and operates like the real thing. RealCalc includes a number of features including algebraic or RPN operation, unit conversions, physical constants table, percentages, trig functions and more.
Useful Reference Apps for Android
Best free Android reference apps include Dictionary, Word Reference, EasyBib and Google Translate. Don’t forget that Webopedia’s own technical term definitions database is optimized for mobile devices. Just point any mobile browser to webopediastg.wpengine.com!
9. Dictionary.com App
The Dictionary.com App is a free English dictionary, offering more than 2,000,000 definitions and synonyms. The app works on or offline and includes audio pronunciation, voice search, quizzes, spelling suggestions and more.
10. WordReference.com Dictionaries
The WordReference.com apps provides quick access to the dictionary translation website, extensive dictionaries and forum discussions.
11. Google Translate
The Google Translate app helps break language barriers. The app translates between 90 languages and you can translate with your voice, camera, keyboard or handwriting. The app works offline and lets you save translations to access from any device.
A bibliography organizer is a critical tool for students. Simply scan the book’s barcode to add and index a reference to your work, or use the search function to find the text you’re referencing from. EasyBib supports MLA, APA, and Chicago style citations.
Alarm Clocks to Help You Get to Morning Lectures
The list of top free Android alarm clocks includes Funny Morning Alarm, Wave, Life Time, Alarmy and Smart Alarm.
13. Funny Morning Alarm Ringtones
Tired of the same old beep waking you up in the morning? The accurately named Funny Morning Alarm Ringtones app lets you wake up to anything from creepy to crazy. The alarm app features 79 “funny” morning alarms (that double as ringtones), notifications and an easy-to-use GUI.
14. Wave Alarm
Wave Alarm uses the front-facing camera on your phone or tablet to snooze or dismiss alarms by letting you wave over the device. As mentioned in this Android Central review, you can set it to either snooze or completely disable your alarm when you swipe, or even turn off the feature if you like the clock face.
15. Life Time Alarm Clock
Perfect for habitual over-sleepers and strung-out college students, the Life Time Alarm Clock app features “Smart Snooze” to limit the amount of time you can snooze. You can wake to curated music or your own MP3s stored on the device.
16. Alarmy (Sleep If U Can)
With an 8.5/10 rating on Android Authority, Alarmy (Sleep If U Can) is a bit of a mean spirited app designed to help those who have trouble waking up in the morning. As noted in the review, you take a picture of something in your house — the kitchen sink or TV in the living room — and every morning you have to wake up, get out of bed and take a picture of that same object to turn off the alarm.
17. Smart Alarm Clock
Smart Alarm Clock is a completely free Android app that offers a simple user interface that you design yourself. Features include repeat alarm, auto-dismiss with a time limit, math problems to turn off the alarm and ringtones or songs.
Apps to Keep You Entertained Between Study Sessions
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter are the top 5 social apps on Google Play.
18. Facebook for Android
No surprise that the official Facebook app is featured as the top free app in social on Google Play. The Facebook app helps you connect with classmates and family and friends at home. You can use the app to share updates, photos or videos and get notifications on Facebook likes and comments.
The Instagram social app lets you share photos and videos. The app features photo editing, creative tools, find and follow, instant share to multiple social sites, and private photo and video messages.
Snapchat lets you enjoy fast and fun mobile conversation. Simply Snap a photo or a video, add a caption, and send it to a friend. Unless a screenshot is taken, the Snap disappears after it is viewed. The app also features live video sharing.
Missing your daily dose of eye-candy goodness? The Pinterest app for Android lets you keep up-to-date with easy options to pin from your mobile browser, add a map to any of your boards and a context menu to pin, like and share quickly.
22. Twitter for Android
Twitter’s official Android app uses standard Twitter menu options. The familiar interface allows you to comment, tweet, link and more from your mobile device. Now, if you want something a little different or better than the official app on your device, Jon Worth covers a number of Android Twitter app options in his blog.
Cool Android Apps to Watch Movies
Check out Flipps and Cackle for free movies and TV shows.
A positive review on Joy of Android calls Flipps a nifty app which allows you to watch great movies on your smartphone, tablet or TV. The Flipps HD app is free. You can stream unlimited videos in HD quality, watch hundreds of channels and switch from watching on a TV to a mobile device without interrupting playback.
Crackle (available to US & Canadian residents) is updated monthly with new TV shows and movies. You can view thousands of full episodes from popular television series or choose from hundreds of movies. There’s lots of totally free content available on Crackle with no fee required.
Best Free Music Apps for Android
Free music apps for Android devices include Google Play Music, VLC for Android and DoubleTwist.
25. VLC for Android
TechRadar calls VLC for Android an incredibly versatile media player that can handle pretty much any file that you can chuck at it. This free and open source cross-platform multimedia player that plays most multimedia files as well as discs, devices, and network streaming protocols.
According to this Android Central review, DoubleTwist is a favorite of Android users with deep roots in the iTunes ecosystem. This music player and podcast manager features music sync functionality and easy-to-use interface. The basic download is free, but an in-app purchase is required to unlock all the features.
27. Google Play Music
Google Play Music lets you play and share the music you love on Android and the web. You can play songs, listen to the radio and add songs from your personal music collection. It functions as a cloud library for your own music and the player to listen to it on your device.
Fun Android Camera Apps to Try
Not happy with your current camera app? Try Google Camera or Camera MX on your Android device.
28. Google Camera
Google Camera is a standalone camera app that’s available for users of all Android models, offering a simple interface and background blur effects. According to TechRadar, Google Camera is a good choice for those using Google’s Nexus line of phones.
29. Camera MX
Camera MX is a free point and shoot camera app with features, special effects, and editing tools. As noted in this Tom s Guide review, the camera interface features tap-to-focus, zoom, a timer, and an FX menu loaded with filters, overlays and frames.
This article was originally published on April 30, 2015