10 iPad apps for back to school

The summer is almost over and for students that means it will be soon time to get back to school. Those carrying iPads back to to the hallowed halls of academia should look at these apps.
Topic: Mobility
1 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

10 iPad apps for back to school

If you are a student with an iPad or are about to send one back to school these apps will go a long way to help keep on top of things once the school year starts. There are apps that help keep track of a busy class schedule and help prevent assignments from falling through the cracks.

There is an app that can replace those expensive graphing calculators, and another that makes learning elements a thing of joy. One of the apps helps get rid of big, heavy textbooks and put them right inside the iPad.

Some of the apps are free and most just a few bucks so no breaking the bank.

2 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Quick Graph+: Your Scientific Graphing Calculator

This app puts a full graphing calculator inside the iPad. It has an equation editor that makes it as easy as can be to get the information in the calculator and then solve them with full 2D and 3D graphing.

Commonly used equations can be stored for retrieval and graphics can be saved to the photo library on the iPad.

From the developer:


- Unlimited graphs.

- VGA Output.

- 2D - 3D equation plotting.

- Library for commonly used equations.

- Wireframe and solid visualization.

- Support for cartesian, polar, cylindrical and spherical coordinate systems.

- Pinch to zoom.

- Drag to rotate - move.

- Swipe to delete equations from the equation list.

- Shake to reset view to original state, or to clear entry fields.

- Double tap to change visualization modes.

- Enhanced 2D mode for great hi-res graphics.

- Adaptive 2D algorithms.

- Enhanced 3D mode with better graphics.

- In-app email so you can share graphics and equations.

- Save to photo library.

- Copy to clipboard.

- Enhanced equation visualization.

- Hyperbolic and Inverse functions.

- Special functions such as Min, Max, if.

- Interactive expression evaluation.

- Implicit graphs and inequalities.

- 2D tracing.

- 2D independent axis scaling.

- Labels and notes for library entries

- Roots and Intersections

- Value Table

- Turn graphs on/off.

Price: $1.99

Download: From the iTunes Store

3 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

The Elements: A Visual Exploration

Every student has to study the periodic table at some point, and The Elements is a fantastic way to do so. The table is presented in an animated fashion that presents lots of information about each element when tapped.

This app is one of the best on the iPad and shouldn't be missed.

From the publisher:

Go to each element's second page and you find a fascinating story about the element, surrounded by carefully photographed objects representing it. Every one of these objects, well over 500 in total, is a freely rotatable, live object that you can examine from all sides and pinch zoom to see in unprecedented detail.

Touch the element name at the top of the page and you can see that element’s name in over a dozen different languages. Choose one and you’ll find that the entire book, stories, captions and all, switches to that language: The Elements includes both the full English original text and over a dozen full translations.

Pinch-zoom or tap any object to bring it up full screen, where you can split into a pair of stereo 3D images. Using inexpensive 3D glasses you can see all 500 objects pop off the screen in 3D, and you can spin the objects, in 3D, with the touch of a finger. You can’t get much more virtually real than that.

Price: $13.99

Download: From the iTunes Store

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iStudiez Pro

This app not only tracks basic assigments but will also track lectures, labs, project deadlines, and more. It can be used to plan homework for those with the busiest course load.

There is a Today view that provides focus for all of the various tasks at hand that is very useful. It is a full planner that even allows tracking information about each course instructor, including office hours and contact information. Students can even track their grades/GPA on the fly.

From the developer:


Unique built-in planner lets you input and easy manage all types of schedules including classic, alternating (A & B weeks), rotating and block schedule.

Not only you can enter most common course details, but also add instructors with all related information such as office hours, affiliation, phone number and email address. As well you are welcome to add holiday periods and even cancel separate classes in case of outstanding events.

In addition, you are supplied with an expanded set of icons designed especially for iStudiez Pro to mark your class types and extracurricular activities. Color labels are available for your convenience to mark each particular course.


Special section is dedicated to keep track of your homework and assignments. Whatever is the way you are used to manage your tasks, you will find it all in iStudiez Pro. Either you want to organize your assignments by date, by course or by priority, or sort them into pending and completed, you have all options at your hand.


Once your schedule is added, the summary of current classes and tasks is automatically reflected in Today view.

You'll see list of events and assignments including all details such as event type, location, time left, class instructor, number of tasks pending and what's next on schedule.

Courses reflected in Today view are easily modifiable in each and every detail.

Today icon always sticks you to the current date!


This option is based on assignments (support of weighted/non-weighted assignments), and GPA calculator is available both for current and past semesters. Support of most world used grading scales (letter grades, percents, points).


You will always be up to date with pending tasks and upcoming classes and events with iStudiez Pro. The app boasts Push Notifications feature which allows you set general alarm time for your classes and separate alarms for each of your assignments and homework.

Setting the alarms is quick and smartly integrated within the interface of the app, so prepare to be the most resulting fellow ever with no special memorizing efforts!


No way you will ever lose your data if something's wrong with your device. iStudiez Pro takes care of you and offers the option to back up your data by sending it to your e-mail address with tapping just one button!

Price: $2.99

Download: From the iTunes Store

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World Atlas 2013

This is an interactive atlas that leaves the old paper version in the dust. The world is presented through a variety of maps that the student can manipulate with touch on the iPad.

The maps include a time zone map, satellite map, physical map, and a political map. 

From the publisher:

Time zones map, physical and political map with zoom possibility to the country’s size.

✔ Detailed country’s official information, such as the flag, coat-of-arms, hymn, language, prevailing religion, official currency, climate and time zones, telephone codes and other valuable information.

✔ Three map types for a larger zoom: standard, satellite and mixed.

✔ Search of the necessary location on the map and its tagging with a flag.

✔ Distance calculation between two points on the map.

✔ “Find yourself” function indicates the location of the user on the map.

✔ Compass function indicates the route from the place you are to the location chosen on the map, through an arrow.

Price: $0.99

Download: From the iTunes Store

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This app isn't just for students but is just as good for them as anyone. Evernote is a cloud-based note app that makes it easy to take notes that include text, audio, photos, and images captured from other apps. 

While not a full word processor Evernote includes a rich text editor to handle common formatting to make notes look pretty decent. Users can organize those notes in a variety of ways so the method that works best is at hand.

Since the notes are cloud-based they can be accessed from just about any smartphone or tablet. This is a handy feature for students who often need to refer to notes while running around the campus, even if the iPad is back in the dorm.

Evernote is free with a paid version available for those needing extra storage in the cloud. It works on both the iPad and iPhone

From the developer:

• Sync all of your notes across the computers and devices you use

• Create and edit text notes, to-dos and task lists

• Save, sync and share files

• Record voice and audio notes

• Search for text inside images

• Organize notes by notebooks and tags

• Email notes and save tweets to your Evernote account

• Connect Evernote to other apps and products you use

• Share notes with friends and colleagues via Facebook and Twitter

• Works with Evernote Business: Capture, browse, search, and share Business Notes and Business Notebooks from your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

◦ Premium feature: take notebooks offline to access them anytime

◦ Premium feature: allow others to edit your notebooks

◦ Premium feature: add a PIN lock to your Evernote app

Price: Free (Premium service available at cost)

Download: From the iTunes Store

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Students with full schedules will love this app that is designed to keep track of class assignments. The interface makes it easy to enter new assignments, and the app will give reminders as the due date draws near so nothing is forgotten.

In addition to tracking assignments on the iPad, iHomework uses iCloud to make the information accessible from Macs and iPhones.

From the developer:

iHomework Features




Keep track of all the upcoming work for the school year.

Repeating assignments let you quickly enter work due every day, week, or month.

Record your grades for every assignment and let iHomework figure out what your report card is going to say.

Add partners to your group assignments and have quick access to their contact information.

Email assignments to your friends (when they forget to show up to class).

Organize your information however you like it.

Keep track of your work on iHomework's built-in color coded calendar.

All new integration with Questia (www.questia.com) puts you one tap away from all of the research you'll need for your homework, paper, or group project. Search Questia's huge library without ever leaving iHomework. When you find something you like, you can have iHomework automatically launch Questia for an amazing reading and research experience.

Reading and Books


Keep track of any reading assignments you have during the week. Link the reading with a course and any assignments that are related. Bookmark definitions or important paragraphs so you can go back to them anytime.

Your list of books is a great place to keep notes about your text books (like how expensive they are) and the author.



Remember what you need at the grocery store with Reminders.

Keep reminders around so you don't forget those daily to-do's that you need to get done.

Great for anything in your life that isn't school work - keep everything you need in one convenient app!



Keep track of your course information and teacher contact info. Mark the location of a course on a map - great for new college students on a large campus.

iHomework will calculate your grade using a simple point-based grading system or a very highly customizable weighted system. Keep track of your schedule for the year - you'll never "forget" to go to class again!



iHomework lets you record class times no matter what kind of schedule your school is on.

Whether weekly or block schedule, iHomework lets you enter your schedule and keep track of all your courses.

Price: $1.99

Download: From the iTunes Store

8 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet


This to-do manager is not just for students but is a great fit for them. It is easy to use and helps keep track of things that need to get done.

To-do lists can be shared with friends and colleagues, making Wunderlist good for team projects.

From the developer:

Wunderlist syncs across all your devices to keep you on top of all the things you want to do, from anywhere.

• Easily share lists with your colleagues, friends and family to collaborate on anything from team projects to group dinners.

• Intuitive design and friendly reminders ensure you never forget important deadlines (or birthday gifts) ever again

Price: Free (There is a paid version with additional features that requires a monthly subscription)

Download: From the iTunes Store

9 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

My Gradebook for Student Grades and Homework

Those wanting to keep close watch on their grades while having the ability to track assignments may find this app to be just the ticket. It has a very simple visual interface that makes it easy to enter assigments and grades on the fly.

My Gradebook works with Dropbox cloud storage to keep all data backed up and protected.

From the developer:

✔ Assignment Tracking

Stay on top of your school assignments using My GradeBook assignment tracking. View all your assignments on a calendar or in lists by course. Mark assignments as not done, completed or graded and sort by due date or status to keep track of which to do next. Add extra credit and reading assignments, too!

✔ Grade Reporting

My GradeBook calculates your course grades for you based on the assignments you enter. View your semester and overall GPA's, precisely calculated based on both courses you are currently tracking with My GradeBook and courses you took previously. View grades by assignment category to better assess where your strengths and weaknesses are.

✔ Fully Customizable

My GradeBook handles weighted (percentage-based) and standard (points-based) grading systems. You can tailor the app to the grade style of each individual course using the grade-scale and categories options. If you are having trouble setting up your course to match your teachers grade system please contact support for help.

✔ Easy to Use, Beautiful Interface

My GradeBook's intuitive interface is simple to learn and quick to use. You can add assignments in bulk with the multi-add feature to help save you time typing. You can even customize the app with your favorite theme color to help keep school fun!

✔ Never Lose Your Data

Backup your data using Dropbox, a free file-hosting service. It's quick to sign up for and once you link your account, the app will auto-backup every week.

Price: $0.99

Download: From the iTunes Store

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Study Aid

Many students like to use flash cards to help study for exams and this app makes it easy to create them. The flash cards can be customized in appearance to a form that works best for the particular student.

Once the flash cards are created the Study Aid app presents them in the best way to test the student.

From the developer:

- Easily Alter the font and font size for your cards

- Change the text color for questions / answers (affects all questions or all answers)

- Change the background color

- Flip Questions and Answers (useful for vocabulary!)

- Embed HTML in cards.

- Use with an external display (requires iPad and VGA Dock connector) (version 2.1 or higher)

- Search through your cards. (version 2.1 or higher)

Price: $1.99

Download: From the iTunes Store

11 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Kno Textbooks

In this digital age there is no need to carry those huge, bulky course textbooks. Kno Textbooks is an app that provides access to over 200,000 textbooks (which must be purchased).

Once the textbook is bought the iPad is used to access it much like the paper versions, with some advantages. The books can be searched, a powerful feature, and many have multimedia content to aid the learning process.

Students can import PDF documents for use right in the app.

From the publisher:

· Enhanced Content: Watch videos, interact with 3D models and simulations, or access web links to see your books come to life.

· Advanced Search: Your textbooks with a search engine. Find the answer faster by searching through all your Kno content.

· Journal: Your personal study guide instantly created from your highlights, notes, and bookmarks.

· Flashcards: Flashcards are automatically created from the glossary for easy review (only available in some books).

· Kno Me: One stop, personal study dashboard that enables you to track your learning engagement, a leading indicator of learning success.

· PDF Reader: Import your PDFs from the web, email or Dropbox, all-in-one place.

· Social Sharing: Save time by exchanging your notes and highlights with classmates with the click of a button.

Price: Free (Textbooks purchased in app)

Download: From the iTunes Store

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