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Holiday Gift Guide: iPhone apps for students


Welcome to TUAW's 2011 Holiday Gift Guide! We're here to help you choose the best gifts this holiday season, and once you've received your gifts we'll tell you what apps and accessories we think are best for your new Apple gear. Stay tuned every weekday from now until the end of the year for our picks and helpful guides and check our Gift Guide hub to see our guides as they become available. For even more holiday fun, check out sister site Engadget's gift guide.

Lat week, we looked at iPad apps for students and now it's time to look at their iPhone companions. We have a mixture of apps that'll help you play hard and work hard during your days as a co-ed. Those following the Holiday Gift Guide may recognize a few titles from the iPad list as I purposely chose a few universal apps that'll let you share your data across devices. If there are any must-have student apps not on the list, feel free to add them in the comments.

Schedule Planner Pro ($5.99)

Between classes, recreation and social events, students have a busy lifestyle and need an app like Schedule Planner Pro to help them manage their many appointments. The app has all the basic features you want in a calendar app including categories, recurring tasks, and support for notifications. It links to Google calendar, iOS calendar and Dropbox, so you always have a copy of your schedule backed up somewhere. Like many iOS apps, Schedule Planner Pro also has a gorgeous interface that makes using the app a pleasure.

Jetpack Joyride ($0.99)

School isn't all work, you need to make time for play and a good way to put some fun in your life is with Jetpack Joyride. Made by the folks who created Fruit Ninja, Jetpack Joyride lets you strap on a jetpack, fly around obstacles and collect coins as you go. It's one of those games you can pick up and play when you have a few free minutes.

Pocket Money ($4.99)

Pocket Money is an excellent banking that'll help you keep track of your often limited finances. You can setup all your accounts, track expenses by category and generate reports that'll let you see where your money has gone. You can also setup a budget and watch your monthly spending. If you have more than one iOS device, you can easily sync your registers between both devices.

University Apps (Free)

Most colleges now have their own iPhone app filled with information for incoming students. You can get campus maps, cafeteria hours and even the phone number for the library on your phone. Don't hesitate to search for your school as big schools and even small schools like my alma mater have embraced the iPhone.

Fring (Free)

Fring is a video chat app for iPhone, Android and Symbian. It supports video chat (up to 4 people), voice calls and text chat. It also works over 3G, 4G and WiFi connections. It's a lot like Skype, but is a bit less serious business-like.

Find My Friends (Free)

Find My Friends is an Apple-branded app that uses the iPhone GPS to locate your friends and family on a map. You can turn the location tracking on and off, so your parents will see you when you're studying at the library and not at the local pub. It's a simple app, but sometimes those just work the best.

Grades 2 (Free; $0.99 to remove ads)

Grades 2 is a grade tracking app that'll help you calculate the scores you need to pass a class. The app lets you enter in all of your assignments, your current grades and your target GPA. The app will work its math magic and tell you what you need to score on your remaining assignments if you want to reach that goal.

Flashcards* (Free; $2.99 to remove ads)

Flashcards* is a flashcard app with sets for almost every subject. The app ties into the Quizlet service which lets you create flashcard sets on the desktop and share them with other devices. You can also send your sets to Dropbox and share them others. It's available on the iPad, so you can share your quizzes between your iOS devices.

iThoughts HD ($7.99)

iThoughtsHD is a mind mapping application to help you organize your thoughts. It's great for planning large written essays and designing scientific experiments. You can import mind maps from a variety of desktop applications and export your mind map to PDF and PNG files. You can also store your creations in the cloud using Dropbox,, MobileMe or WebDAV-based services. iThoughts HD is available on the iPad, so you can potentially share your mind maps between your iOS devices.

iHomework ($1.99)

iHomework is an app to help you manage your course workload. It will keep track of your assignments and set reminders for when they are due. You can also log all your grades, so you can calculate how well you are doing in a class. There's even a section for course information that lets you store the course location, the time and the professor's contact information.

iStudiez Pro ($2.99)

iStudiez Pro is an all-in-one app that'll help you schedule your courses, keep track of your assignments, and calculate your GPA. It's very similar to iHomework, but has a different look that some might prefer. It also has a slightly higher price tag.

TED (Free)

The TED app is filled with over 900 TEDTalks from the top minds in technology, education medicine, business and music. If you want to be challenged by the best of the best, then you should download this app and spend some quality time watching the videos or listening to the TEDRadio stream. It supports AirPlay so you can stream the audio or video to your HDTV if you have an Apple TV.

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock ($0.99)

Getting a good night's sleep is critical to students who are often sleep-deprived from alternating nights of studying and socializing. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock is a unique app that'll help keep your sleep cycle in check. You place the iPhone under you pillow, turn on the app and let it monitor your sleep. When it detects that you are out of deep sleep, it will look at your alarm and pick the best time to wake you up.

Amazon Student (Free)

The Amazon Student app is Amazon Price Checker for students. The app uses the scan feature of the camera to pull up Amazon prices on textbooks, games, movies, and more. If you have a book you no longer use, you can use the app to get its estimated value and decide if its worth trading it in for an Amazon gift card. You also get six months of free two-day shipping when you start using the app.

Movies by Flixster (Free)

Movies by Flixster is your connection to the best that Hollywood has to offer. You can watch trailers, find local showtimes, and browse movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes. You can even purchase tickets from your phone and find local restaurants (with Yelp reviews), which is especially helpful if you decide at the last minute to turn a quick movie into a night on the town.

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