Tech You Need For Uni Now Your UCAS Is Complete
Well, sweet young ones, you made it! You finally managed to reach the end of the grueling process that is filling out one’s UCAS application.
Whether you made it this far without a bit of blood, sweat and tears is another thing entirely…but you did it. You’re here.
Now it’s time to start thinking about what you may want to take to uni, should you actually get in…and whether you’ll need to buy this stuff in advance for some midsummer reading (i.e. playing computer games on your new Macbook).
It doesn’t matter if you got your UCAS submitted smugly by deadline or whether you were one of the ones keyboard-bashing until midnight…you’re going to need to be prepared. These eight tech must-haves are sure to help your time on campus life go as smoothly as possible…and hopefully avoid the dreaded essay all-nighter.
Dropbox is one of the most commonly used cloud services around, and for good reason. Its free to use, its safe, its easy…and all media formats are allowed.
Whether you simply want to back up all of your work to access from any machine (on campus or at home); send a file to a friend or even just have a ready music collection to hand…Dropbox can save your life.
There’s also a Dropbox app so you can sync all of your desktop files with your phone and tablet, and you can upgrade to a Premium account if you need more space (though we think the free version is pretty generous enough).
Get it: https://www.dropbox.com/
GoodReader for iOS
Small but mighty, Goodreader will enable you to view any Microsoft Word or PDF document on your iPhone or iPad. It may not seem that important right now, but better to be safe than sorry.
Get it: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/goodreader/
Google Books an app available for the iOS and Android and is an extensive online library of leading academic resources. Use it to access journals from your tablet or smartphone, for essential reading on-the-go, or for when you’ve left your physical copy at home.
Unlike Apple (whose iBookstore titles can’t be read on Mac) and Amazon (which requires an additional app to view Kindle books on PCs and mobile), journals purchased on Google Books can be viewed anywhere, anyhow. Over the years it has partnered with major book publishers such as Powell’s to give the best collection, and also supports ePub and PDF formats. Go through this Book First website for the different types books information.
Get it: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-play-books/
Getting back to the basics, a dictaphone is a less-fancy but definitely handy piece of equipment, for all of those lectures you’re too tired to take in. Whether you’ve had a late night and plan on snoozing your way through…or simply have a particularly fast-talking lecturer; a dictaphone will catch it all.
Sony do a decent selection of dictphones and voice recorders for between £30 and £50 – perfect for the student budget.
A new app that arrived in 2014, RefME is the long-awaited referencing tool that the students of yesteryear could only dream about. By crowdsourcing information to make referencing fully automated, it allows students to create references and footnotes for their essays and dissertations in just a matter of seconds. Ideal when you’re just hours away from deadline…
To create a reference, users just need to take a photo of the book barcode or paste the article URL into the app. RefME will then create your citation automatically (including the page number), saving you a heap of time and frustration.
RefME will also suggest other reading resources it thinks you may find useful, and it caters for 7000 different referencing styles. It’s free to use, but you can always upgrade to Premium for £6 a month, giving you more storage and additional features.
Get it: https://www.refme.com/
The MacBook Air may definitely be one of your most costly purchases (and it’s certainly not the only option in the laptop department). But nobody can deny the luxurious practicality of having a laptop so compact that it slips effortlessly into your bag without weighing you down.
You can also get a decent discount off your Air if you use your student email address when purchasing. Just head to the Apple Education Store and click ‘Select Your Institution’, where you’ll be treated to up to £159 off a new Macbook and £26 off an iPad.
The Macbook Air also comes with an impressive battery life – up to 8 hours for the 2012 model, and up to 12 hours for 2013 and later models. This makes it perfect for taking to lectures, coffee shops and friend’s houses.
Mint is a useful app that helps you manage your weekly/monthly budgets, whether you choose to handle them from your computer or want to manage them on the go from your mobile device.
With Mint, you can create customised budgets depending on your needs and circumstances; schedule bills and payments and be notified of any changes; find out your credit rating and get tips on how to improve it. As Mint gets used to your spending habits, you’ll also be provided with regular tips on how to get more from your money, and everything is controlled with a secure 4-digit pin (making Mint one of the most secure money-management apps on the market).
Whatever your living situation, Mint is helpful for splitting bills among housemates or simply working out how you can get the most out of your student loan.
Get it: https://www.mint.com/
TV licences don’t come cheap, and what are the chances that you’ll watch all of those Freeview channels anyway?
For the very best in home entertainment, your best bet is an Amazon Prime membership, which gives you access to thousands of big-hitting TV and movie titles to both stream or rent on DVD. You can also enjoy free next day delivery on all of your Amazon purchases for a year, unlimited borrowing on thousands of Kindle storage and unlimited photo storage.
For those who think Prime is too pricey, fear not. Students can need only pay half price to get all of these incredible benefits (£39.99).
Get it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/student/signup/info