4 Smart Ways to Use Your Smartphone in College

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  • If you don’t like the idea of lugging a laptop around campus but you’re not nuts about buying a tablet either, think about purchasing a top-of-the-line smartphone instead. Tablet sales have declined in recent years; even the mighty iPads aren’t selling so briskly, as How-To Geek reports. And while they aren’t going to entirely knock off the tablet market, smartphones are offering a lot of reasons for college students to choose them over a tablet.

    Read on for four smart ways smartphones deliver solid mobile services to college students of all ages.

    Read class assignments keep up with news

    You will have online reading assignments. Wouldn’t it be nice to take advantage of downtime between classes, jobs and other responsibilities and read your assignments on something you always carry with you?

    You can read on a tablet, of course, but the newer smartphones are almost as large. After years of shrinking, smartphones began growing again a few years ago until some of them, like Samsung’s Galaxy line, began to look like smaller tablets. Why carry both a tablet and a phone when one will do the job?

    Check out the current Galaxy S7 Edge at T-Mobile. It offers a 5.5-inch, 1440 x 2560 pixel screen that’s 33 percent sharper than the iPhone 6, according to a side-by-side comparison from GizMag. And although the Edge is a bit smaller than the iPhone, that extra space isn’t actually devoted to the phone.

    It isn’t only assignments that you’re reading. Use apps to get news alerts on topics you follow. Take advantage of subscription discounts to professional journals in your field. The online versions may even be less expensive than mailed hard copies.

    Use the smartphone camera to capture class notes

    If you weren’t allowed to use your smartphone to snap photos of whiteboard notes in high school, don’t worry: Lecturers will be happy to allow this (just be sure to ask before they start erasing).

    Today’s smartphone cameras are as good or even better than stand-alone digital cameras. Check out this Tom’s Guide review of the best smartphone cameras thus far in 2016.

    Of course, you can use your smartphone camera to capture scenes of campus life to share on Facebook and other social media. Use your photos to submit to the campus paper, yearbook and other college publications. And while photos are memory hogs, the latest smartphones come with more memory packed in and can be expanded. The Edge comes with 4GB RAM/32 ROM and can expand to 200.

    Access your computer through your smartphone

    Do you need to see something on your desktop? Don’t rush back to the dorm or apartment. Chrome’s remote desktop app syncs your PC or laptop to your computer to let you see documents, photos and other items you keep on it.

    Get a phone with lasting battery power memory

    What good is a phone that conks out after a few hours or flashes that annoying "insufficient memory" message? Make sure your phone can last at least a day on campus without a recharge and can handle the information — including memory-hogging photos and apps — you put in it.

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