Well, it looks as though the summer vacation fun is quickly coming to an end. As stores stock their shelves with the ‘Back to school’ gear the reality becomes too evident, summer is over, and another school year is about to begin. Fret not BlackBerry users (or soon to be BlackBerry users). Everyone at CrackBerry is here to ensure that your back to school BlackBerry experience is the best that it can be. In this editorial we will go over some of the essential apps for heading back to school -- and don’t worry -- we will also go over some of the ones that will just make school life that much more enjoyable. So continue reading to get the full run down on which apps will help you succeed this school year.
Apps to keep you productive
One thing BlackBerry smartphones and tablets do quite well is keep you on top of things, and keep you productive. The following are applications from various developers that have been designed to help you maintain your calendar, keep lists, and keep track of notes in class.
Evernote for BlackBerry smartphones and tablets
If you’re looking for an all in one note taking platform look no further! Evernote is your saving grace. Evernote allows you to install their application on your desktop computer, BlackBerry smartphone, and your BlackBerry PlayBook. Having the application available on a wide variety of devices is crucial for being a student, you don’t always have the ability to use a laptop or tablet, and your phone just has to make the cut. Evernote is available for free in BlackBerry App World.
There are tons of ways to use Evernote for your personal and professional life. Here are some ideas:
For research and class notes
For client and sales meetings
To stay in-sync with your desktop notes, web clips, and files
To snap photos of whiteboards and business cards
As part of your GTD system to help you stay organized
Being a student, I know all too well how easy it is to get caught up in campus life and forget the important things. Things like what you need for the next party….. I mean what research needs to be done for your next essay. I introduce to you Better Tasks. Now Better Tasks isn’t a replacement to the default BlackBerry tasks application, it just beefs it up a little. This application takes all the clutter away from your default task application and organizes your upcoming tasks in categories. Now you can separate school and your party life, while still knowing what you’ve got to get done before the next big event. You can download Better Tasks for $3.99 in BlackBerry App World.
While Evernote makes for a very compelling in class note taking application, sometimes you just want a simple pad to take a ordinary note. This is where you will find Antair Notes is the leader. Antair Notes is available on the BlackBerry PlayBook and is as straightforward as it gets.
Create and edit as many notes as you want.
Easy browsing through existing notes.
Full search capabilities.
Portrait and landscape modes with a unique way of working in each perspective.
A selection of fonts, text-sizes, and text colors.
Email your notes!
One place I’ve found this application handy is when I’m out with friends and we are discussing what things that will be needed to for a class project. Once you’ve completed a note you can grab everyone’s email address and distribute it to the entire group. Easy, attractive UI, and all from your BlackBerry PlayBook. Antair notes can be purchased from BlackBerry App World for $0.99.
If you’ve ever worked on a group project you know that collaboration is the key to success, but oh is it a pain. Many emails, Many attachments, and many various versions of documents make collaboration nearly impossible, but not with DropBox. DropBox is available on BlackBerry smartphones as well as a desktop application is available.
Browse the files in your computer's Dropbox folder easily.
Open images and other media directly through the app.
Upload photos to all of your computers at once.
Share links to your files over email.
Search through your Dropbox instantly.
Export files to other apps.
DropBox will allow you to set up a group folder and have all the members upload their drafts into that folder, and replace the old one when they’ve made a change. By using DropBox you’ll be eliminating about 60% off the stress related with group work in school. Dropbox is available for free in BlackBerry App World.
While school is all about studding and getting that College degree, it wouldn’t be a traditional college time without a little fun. Here area a few applications that have been designed to help you get a little fun and ‘me time’ out of your BlackBerry smartphone.
foursquare for BlackBerry smartphones
While your parents may hope that you will be spending all your time in the library, in class, and in front of your computer working away, we all know this isn’t going to be the case. foursquare is the largest location based social networking game available, and it’s still growing. foursquare has a simple concept, check-in to locations and beat your friends, and other foursquare members to mayorship.
foursquare users are able to create locations from within the BlackBerry application to check in, while gaining points for every check-in. So the next time you’re at the campus library, or that next campus pub event make sure you have foursquare on your BlackBerry and you’ve checked-in. Heck, you don’t know the next check-in may make you the mayor. Download foursquare for free from BlackBerry App World.
If you’re in school, chances are you’re a music junkie. Trust me, I know those long nights all to well. So why not use BBM Music to get your jam on? BBM Music is a social music platform that has been developed by BlackBerry. The music service runs for $4.99. When you subscribe to the monthly service you are given 50 songs to add to your list. Now, you’re probably thinking that you have fifty times that on your computer, but it doesn’t stop at 50 songs. As you add BBM friends to BBM Music you will also gain their 50 songs, so if you have 10 BBM contacts on the service you will actually have 550 songs at your disposal, not bad eh?
Create your music profile* from a catalogue of millions of songs and keep it fresh by swapping songs every month • Make friends and listen to their music selections
Play single songs or entire playlists created by friends. Listen to a giant playlist that includes all tracks from all your friends
Create playlists that are all your own – using songs from all your friends’ profiles
Post comments about your friends’ music and chat with them about music in real-time
Discover what your friends are doing by watching the timeline - friends adding friends, new songs, playlists, comments
Listen offline, while not connected to the wireless network (listen on subway, airplane, cottage, etc.)
Now, the fun doesn’t stop at adding 50 of your favorite songs, by the way you can change out those 50 songs once a month. The fun is truly when you get to see your college buddies music list, then start to harass them because they’ve got some Taylor Swift on their BBM Music collection. Of course the harassing is all in good taste.
If you’re going into your second year at College, University, or High School then you will already be quite accustomed to having your BlackBerry smartphone die at about 1:30pm, and for those just starting first year be warned. While the battery drain is a colossal issue due to unfriendly cell reception in Schools, there are things that you can do to extend what juice you have. One of the biggest things you can to ensure your BlackBerry battery lasts as long as possible is by using a WiFi network. The downside to using a WiFi network is that you need to remember to turn on you connection when you get to school. If you leave your WiFi radio on all the time, you will actually be draining the battery on your way to school. This is where SmartWifi for BlackBerry smartphones comes in handy.
SmartWiFi is a lightweight application that runs in the background on your BlackBerry and manages your WiFi connections based on location. The application uses cell towers and not GPS, giving you the lowest battery draining location detecting option. Setting up is actually quite easy. To setup SmartWifi on your BlackBerry smartphone jut follow these straightforward steps.
Install SmartWiFi from BlackBerry App
World Open SmartWiFi
Select ‘Add location’
Say ‘Yes’ to turning on your WiFi Connection
Let SmartWiFi work it’s magic
Repeat for each new Wi-Fi network and location (i.e. Library, Gym, Home, Campus Pub)
So there you have it. Saving battery life on your BlackBerry smartphone just got a lot easier, just use SmartWiFi! SmartWiFi can be found in BlackBerry App World for $1.99
These apps should be great to get you started. If you have any back to school apps that you swear by, be sure to let us know in the comments. Stay tuned as we'll check out the best accessories for heading back to school as well.
CrackBerry is in no way Affiliated with BlackBerry. We take pride in our unbiased content, however do occasionally receive free products from vendors that we review or discuss. For more info click here.