School and lifestyle apps make smart devices even smarter

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(Infographic/Lauren Quintela)

The 21st century: an era in which users can track their sleep patterns, receive motivation to reach their fitness goals and organize their lives all on one device. Smart phones already allow users to perform a myriad of tasks, but these apps can make our “smart” devices even smarter.


The “Best of the Best” apps for school

Organization: MyHomework

Never again experience the dread of completely forgetting a homework assignment (or worse: a test or quiz). MyHomework Student Planner, compatible with both iPhone and iPad, allows students to input due dates for upcoming assignments and assessments. Students can rank their assignments by priority, class, type or due date. For those prone to dismissing deadlines, the app can send reminders until the assignment is finally marked “completed.”

Free from the App Store.


Projects: Pages

Compose a properly-formatted letter. Design a colorful flyer. Create a newsletter or pamphlet. With Pages, a step up from the typical word processor, users can work on a project entirely from their iPad with astounding ease. The app contains a variety of templates and allows users to input photos, create charts and customize any project with seemingly endless color, font and formatting options.

$9.99 from the App Store.


The “Best of the Best” lifestyle apps

Fitness: 30DAYS

30DAYS brings the motivation of a personal trainer directly to the device. With 30-day training programs such as burpee, push-up and plank challenges, the app encourages users to stay committed to their fitness goals. On day one, users complete as many of a certain exercise as they can; from there, 30DAYS does the work, increasing the intensity of the workout each day (while still allowing the occasional day off, of course).

Free from the App Store.


Sleep tracking: Sleep Better

With the hecticness of the school year and the (occasional) sleepless nights, sleeping soundly as often as possible proves important to many students. Sleep Better works while users rest, analyzing sleep quality, patterns and time spent in bed. Additionally, the Smart Alarm feature attempts to wake up users during light rather than deep sleep to make crawling out of bed in the morning a bit easier. The app also includes a dream diary for notes about good, bad and neutral dreams.

Free from the App Store.


The runners-up

Organization: Procraster

For students who have felt that a task is too big to tackle or for those simply don’t know where to begin, Procraster fights procrastination by guiding users to overcome their mental barriers.

Free from the App Store.


Fitness: Sworkit

Sworkit provides workout videos with the click of a button. Select a workout length (ranging from five to 60 minutes) or create a customized workout and press play — no equipment necessary.

Free from the App Store.


Sleep tracking: Sleep Cycle

Like Sleep Better, Sleep Cycle tracks sleep patterns and features a Smart Alarm, but unlike its counterpart, this app costs money (albeit only $1).

$0.99 from the App Store.


Projects: Canva

A design-focused iPad-based app, Canva contains templates for projects, blog graphics, posters and more and features an extensive catalog of graphics and images.

Free from the App Store.

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