14 Tech Apps We Love
Have you ever wondered what apps the IT department loves? Well, you're in luck! This Valentine's Day we are sharing 14 apps that we love and would recommend to Tommies for their academic, personal, and professional lives.
For the One Living Off-Campus
1. Plowz and Mowz is kind of an Uber for--you guessed it---plowing and mowing. When shoveling the driveway in the winter is more than you bargained for, you can hire out someone to take the yardwork off your hands! In this app you provide your address, choose from a list for the size of your driveway, and the request goes out to plowing services who are near your neighborhood. When they're done, they send a pic of your newly plowed driveway.
For the One who Likes Books
2. Audible - listen to audio books on campus or on your commute. One of our staff members "read" 99 books on audible last year alone. Top recommended books from our staff include classics like Count of Monte Cristo and War & Peace.
For the One with Roommates
3. Splitwise - Splitwise takes the trouble out of sharing expenses with friends, with roommates, with anyone. You enter in the total expense and the app helps manage who still owes you money for that event, utilities, groceries, etc. Everyone pays fairly and can be setup with Venmo so that they can pay you ("settle up") electronically by transferring funds directly into your bank account.
For the One Going Abroad
4. Duolingo - Duolingo is an intuitive way to learn a language. It's 100% free, fun and science-based. The app can be linked to your LinkedIn account to demonstrate to future employers your proficiency level. You can also create groups for accountability.
5. WhatsApp – Perfect for communicating with friends or family overseas. This easy-to-use free app allows you to send texts, calls, video calls, photo sharing (over wi-fi) in private groups, and more.
6. Maps.me - You can download the map of the country or city you are traveling to so that you can use it to navigate while offline. It only uses your GPS location instead of data so that you can find your way around town without finding high international data charges later.
7. Google Translate - You can use your phone to take photos of signs, menus, and documents in other languages to convert it into your native language. This helped immensely for our staff in their travels to other countries with the advanced camera features in addition to the assistance of translating one word at a time. For Android. For iPhone.
8. Voxer - This "walkie-talkie" style app allows you to send short voice messages to family and friends. When you are in a different time zones, busy exploring a new place, or have a weak wi-fi signal it can be easier to send short voice messages instead of setting up a Skype or FaceTime session.
BONUS: Eduroam wi-fi network - St. Thomas joined the eduroam network this past fall semester. Hundreds of other higher education institutions across the country and around the globe also participate in this wireless network. Be on the lookout for the eduroam network as a login option as you go to different campuses to visit friends, give presentations, attend conferences, or study abroad. If you see the eduroam network, you can login with your St. Thomas credentials and have full secure access to the internet. Chemistry professor, Eric Fort, wrote to us over J-Term saying, "I am teaching a study-abroad class in Germany right now and found an eduroam hotspot in the Deutsches Museum in Munich today. It was a pleasant surprise to find an international location and the service was better than any hotspot I have found on this trip so far. What a great idea to come out of ITS to join this network."
For the Dog Lovers
9. Rover – a dog walking service. Rover users provide comments and rating on the designated dog walkers. One of our staff members noted, "the dogs and I love Gretchen, our walker. She posts pics and sends notes about them via the app, plus I can pay her on the app." I mean... if you're also looking for part-time work and love dogs - you could setup a profile and snag some extra cash.
For the One who Meditates
10. Calm- an app for mindfulness and meditation to bring more clarity, joy and peace to one's life. Bonus: this app has been a great white noise tool to fall asleep too.
11. Headspace is another staff favorite. It offers guided 10-minute meditations for dealing with different types of stress. They even have different series to go through like Foundational Meditation skills, SOS, Sleeping, Sports, Health, Relationships, Performance and more.
Ps. Stop by the STELAR Center on campus to experience meditation through virtual reality apps.
For the One Who Wants to Stay Organized
12. Todoist – keep track of tasks, categorize by work/personal/academic, schedule out when items need to be completed so you can improve prioritization. You can even integrate the app with your full version Outlook so that you can setup reminders for emails you need to take action on or respond to by a certain date.
13. Office 365 - When you create a new document right from Office 365, it automatically saves your file into OneDrive so that you can access it from any device and ensures you won't lose your hard work on papers and assignments. Utilize OneNote to capture all of your meeting or class notes with the ability to add screenshots, pictures, links to relevant sites, and access all of the resources you need.
For the One who Doesn't Want Their Identity Stolen
14. LastPass - LastPass is a password manager that can be installed in your web browser or as a mobile app. You create one master password and lock your other passwords in a protected vault. It's random password generator ensures that hackers won't be able to access your email or bank accounts, security questions, and the other vital information that can lead to identity theft and financial loss. When LastPass notices that you are on a website that is associated with your vault (ie. Amazon, bank, etc.) it will auto fill the password for you and protects it with encryption. It is also a secure digital wallet app.
BONUS Apps because we want you to be extra secure:
Setup two-factor authentication to verify that it is you logging into your accounts. You can utilize the Google Authenticator for your Gmail and Google Drive accounts. You can use some of these authentication apps for other apps too. Our Chief Information Security Officer puts Microsoft Authentication on his Amazon account so that no one tries to make a purchase with his credit cards or personal information.