Always on the look-out for the latest, coolest and most life-enhancing technologies, Collegiate Gateway recently polled high school and college students, asking them to share their favorite apps and websites. And while the survey turned up a lot of the usual suspects (like Facebook, Twitter, and Spotify), it also brought to our attention a number of lesser-known contenders. Of those, we selected our six favorites, all designed to help you be more productive, informed, and generally more excellent versions of yourself. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Candy Crush did not make our list. Just say “no” to Candy Crush.
Ok, so this one isn’t exactly unknown, but it’s great, and if you’re not using it, you really should. Pulse takes your favorite websites, blogs, magazines, social networks and newspapers, and puts them all together into a colorful and interactive display. All the content you want, updated constantly. It even lets you save stories for later. The app earned praise from Steve Jobs, won the prestigious Apple Design Award, and was named one of TIME’s top 50 apps of 2011. Best of all? It’s totally free.
Formerly known as Read It Later, Pocket is an application that allows you to save articles, videos, or web pages you want to read later in one convenient place. It doesn’t automatically curate content the way that Pulse does, but it does sync across all your devices, and comes with a plugin for your browser so that you can easily save whatever page you’ve encountered for later.
The first website to crack our top five list, LifeHacker is basically GameShark for the real world. Though the focus is mostly on how to use computers and technology more efficiently, the site has featured articles on virtually every topic, from financial advice to “two ingredient pizza dough recipes.” Overall, an excellent resource for those looking to work smarter, not harder.
The self-proclaimed “center of the iPhone Universe,” iMore.com is an interesting hybrid: two parts content provider, one part e-tailer. Focused mostly on the world of Apple’s mobile devices and associated software, the site features news, reviews, tech support tips, buyer’s guides, forums, as well as an iMore Store, where you can shop for all the iPhone and iPad accessories your heart desires.
The Any.Do app is a profoundly powerful organizational, or “life planning,” tool. Essentially, Any.Do is a to-do list on steroids, with multiple functions that let you plan your day, keep track of tasks, and set reminders. The app will even sync tasks from your phone to home computer, and features a Chrome extension that works with Gmail as well. You can also download Any.Do’s sister app, “Cal” that lets you view your upcoming tasks and events on an easy-to-use calendar. Also in the works: “Mail” and “Memo.” Can you even wait??
Last but certainly not least, AroundMe uses your phone’s GPS to provide you with information about your surroundings. For example, say you need to figure out where the nearest gas station, restaurant, or hospital is located – AroundMe will give you about a dozen options, in order of closeness. It also lets you make reservations directly from the app, and it syncs with OpenTable and Booking.com.