Barnes & Noble's new app wants to change how you study


Back in my day, we carried backpacks loaded with six or seven textbooks... up a hill... both ways in the snow. Once we got to class, we had to take all our notes in equally large notebooks. A new app from Barnes & Noble called Yuzu is making life easier for kids these days, offering youngsters all the books without the chronic shoulder pain. The iPad app allows you to tote around all your textbooks and add notes or highlight key points in them as you read. Books are organized by class, and are synced online, so if you're too lazy to bring your iPad with you to Anthropology you can still follow along from any web-connected computer. Yuzu can be accessed via Internet Explorer or Safari 6.1/7 (standard-issue for school-locked computers), and everything you do can be pulled up on your tablet when you're back at the dorm. Later in the semester when you opt to go to a playoff game rather than study for finals, all your notes can be pulled together on a single page for a high-speed court-side cram session.

Barnes & Noble is one of the largest textbook retailers in the US, and currently has a digital product called NookStudy. With Yuzu, it's being phased out, and sadly any pricey books you've already bought through that service are incompatible with the new app. If you'd rather save some of your money for beer (and who wouldn't?), Yuzu-friendly versions of books will also be available for rent. Even better, professors who want to earn a little extra credit can use a tool called FacultyEnlight to create and share special course-specific workbooks and more within the app, turning it into an even better resource for students. Anxious to get started? Yuzu officially launches this summer, but teacher's pets can get their virtual bookshelf ready for next term now by grabbing the free app from iTunes.