The best apps and streaming services for students

The best ways to stream music, TV and games, stay organized, back up your files and keep your snacking in check.

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It's true that most of Engadget's back-to-school guide has comprised, well, gadgets, but as every nerd knows, a piece of hardware is only as good as the software it runs. That's why, to close out our guide, we wanted to highlight some apps and services worth downloading or subscribing to.

On the media front, this is as good a time as any to see if you can survive in the adult world as a cord-cutter -- it's not like you're going to have a cable subscription in your dorm room, after all. If your parents are willing to share (or at least foot the bill), we recommend loading up on subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and HBO Now -- you'll want different programs from each at some point. If you're a gamer and own a PlayStation, Sony's PS Now service is also worth the extra bucks, while Xbox One owners might want to pony up for EA Access. Music lovers will enjoy either Apple Music or Spotify, but your choice will come down partially to the other devices you own.

As for schoolwork (yes, that thing), Google Drive is our favorite cloud-storage service, while Evernote and Bear both rank highly against other note-taking apps. Adobe's Creative Cloud could be worth it (or even necessary), depending on your major. Oh, and if you're worried about the "freshman 15," try MyFitnessPal -- it's a free app many of Engadget's own editors use to keep their calorie intake in check.

Gallery: Back to School 2017: Apps and Services | 14 Photos

  • Creative Cloud subscription
  • Prime subscription
  • Music subscription
  • Bear Writer
  • Evernote
  • Drive storage
  • Now subscription
  • MyFitnessPal
  • Premium subscription
  • PlayStation Now subscription
  • Premium subscription
  • Hulu subscription
  • Orange with Cloud DVR subscription
  • Access subscription for Xbox One
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