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App Smart: Flash Card, Math and Organizer Apps for the 21st Century Student

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StudyBlue helps people create flashcards and use them as study aids.

When you’re not distracted playing Pokémon Go, your smartphone can be a great study buddy with apps that help you meet deadlines, do homework and take notes — especially now that it is back-to-school season.

Flash card apps are helpful tools for memorizing facts. StudyBlue offers flash cards, and it’s free for Android and iOS users. It works like this: You create a set of flash cards for a topic you want to learn by typing the relevant information on each card. You can add a photo to help visualize the data, or add audio. Then the app lets you quiz yourself using them.

The real power of StudyBlue is that you can share flash cards with classmates or teachers. Better yet, the app lets you search flash card sets uploaded by students and teachers around the world, so you can probably find a premade set that is relevant to you by looking up keywords or searching by school.

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Symbolab promises to help users understand a variety of math problems, including algebra, trigonometry, calculus and matrix problems, by showing the solutions and the steps used to solve them.

The StudyBlue app has many features, so it may take some time to master it — and it requires setting up a free account and an internet connection to make the most of its offerings. If you pay $19 a month or $80 a year, you can upgrade to “pro” level, which unlocks extra features, including additional options for formatting cards.

If StudyBlue doesn’t suit you, try Cram.com flash cards, available on iOS and Android. The app works similarly to StudyBlue in that it offers access to numerous prebuilt flashcards uploaded to the app and the website. Cram.com’s menus and interface are slightly more clunky, but it is free (with pop-up ads).

For solving tough math problems, the Symbolab app may be what you seek. This app, available on iOS and Android, promises to help you understand a variety of math problems by showing the solutions and, most important, the steps to solving the problem.

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My Study Life is a smart calendar that can keep track of class and assignment schedules.

Symbolab can understand and solve algebra, trigonometry, calculus and matrix problems. Users put in problems using an intuitive, math-friendly keyboard, before pressing “go.” The app takes just a few seconds to display the answer in the form of an equation that is sometimes accompanied by a graph. The keyboard tool is handy, so long as you’re not using it to cheat on math homework. There’s one sticking point, though: To use this tool (and turn off advertisements), the cost is $7.

Staying organized is a critical part of being a disciplined student, and the My Study Life app is an excellent organizer. Free for both iOS and Android, this app is a smart calendar that can keep track of class and assignment schedules. It also lets users share their calendars with classmates or teachers. The app has a slightly old-fashioned interface but plenty of useful features.

Lastly, Google Keep is a simple note-taking app that lets you jot down information in class and search through it later. Keep also lets you add photos and has many other tricks, like extracting text from a photo. It synchronizes across your devices, and it’s free for iOS and Android.

Quick Call

Learning to code used to mean sitting at a computer, but the Mimo app changes that by offering lessons in C++, HTML, Python, Apple’s Swift and many other languages via your iPhone or iPad. The app’s lessons are bite-size to make it easy to squeeze coding into your busy day, and it has a beautiful interface. Only some chapters are free, however, and you’ll need to pay $50 a year for full access.

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