You’ve raised them since they were toddlers; you helped them take their first steps; you changed countless diapers. Now your little baby is going off to college. One of the best ways to give your kid an advantage in school is by offering them a competitive edge through technology.
The first step is buying them a Windows Mobile cellphone. The next is loading it with the coolest downloads that any college kid would love.
1. Give Them Instant Access to Blogs With HubDog
In today’s academic world, students are gathering just as much information for research and homework help from blogs as they do from other “official” informational sites. Blogs often provide valuable links and resources, but with added commentary that helps students understand concepts. Bloggers are almost free tutors for college students, and blogs have become an invaluable resource.
One of the best mobile apps to stay connected with your favorite blogs is HubDog, which provides access to blogs and news, as well as an integrated music and video podcast player.
I mostly use Hubdog to stay on top of the latest gadgets and technology news, but if you click on “Discover,” there are countless topics you can choose from. As you can see on the right, the blog and news updates are displayed in an easy to read format on your mobile screen, with nice clear pictures and easy touch screen or keypad navigation.
2. Use vTap To Watch Videos Or Research On Wikipedia
Every time I find myself trapped in an airport terminal, or waiting in a doctor’s office, I find myself firing up vTap to pass the time. Travis previously reviewed vTap here. Whether it’s passing an hour between classes or looking for the latest news, vTap offers students access to thousands of streaming video clips.
The video content students can access through vTap include categories such as news, sports, movies, music and more. Trust me, it’s impossible to get bored with this app on your mobile phone, and the feeds are constantly updated with new content all the time.
I’ve attempted to use mobile video streaming sites before, and I’ve always been disappointed by quality. To test vTap’s video streaming capabilities, I downloaded a clip of the trailer for the movie Twilight. To my surprise, using a standard AT&T cellphone data network, the file downloaded in under two minutes and the video quality was surprisingly good.
The screenshot above doesn’t do it much justice, but considering the screen size and the fact that the video was streamed over a cellphone network, the quality was better than any I’d seen before. Although keep in mind that vTap serves an international audience, so read the titles carefully so that you know what language the videos are in before you download it.
And should students have the need to conduct instant research on Wikipedia in class? vTap now offers instant, searchable access to all Wikipedia content. This fact alone makes vTap an extremely valuable mobile research tool.
3. Access to Instant 24 Hour Streaming Radio With Mundu Radio
At the very center of almost every student’s life is music. College students listen to music while walking to class in the morning, while waiting between classes, or while working out at the gym. One of the greatest benefits to having a Windows Mobile device is access to the Internet, where there are countless sources of streaming radio stations broadcasting 24 hours a day.
Mundu Radio gives students the ability to plug headphones into their mobile device and transform it into a music machine, no matter where they are. The application provides a long list of music genres to choose from, and a nice clean player interface with simple controls to play and stop the music or adjust the volume.
Let’s face it, most students don’t have the cash to keep buying MP3′s to download. And the last thing you want is your kid dumping their scholarship money (or your savings account money) into music downloads. Mundu radio lets a poor (or frugal) college student listen to great music 24 hours a day without spending a dime.
4. Find Wi-Fi Hotspots Anywhere With WeFi
Now here’s a secret for parents considering purchasing a Windows Mobile device for their kid, but unsure about the expensive monthly data charge. Another alternative is to do what many mobile laptop users do – go hunting for Wi-Fi hot spots.
WeFi lets you search for an active network within range, where you can run unlimited data transfers at no cost. David mentioned WeFi in our article about WiFi hotspot finders, and Tehseen reviewed it as well. These days, there are free Wi-Fi networks everywhere, and most universities have Wi-Fi across an entire campus.
WeFi offers a useful Wi-Fi map tool on their website displaying free Wi-Fi networks near you. Just have a look at the Boston area for example – no problem finding free Internet access there!
The application, installed on the mobile device, has a nice, simple interface and is easy to use. After installation, it includes a status display on the “desktop” that shows the current wi-fi network that’s connected as well as the connection status.
Launching the application (as shown on the right), displays all of the available hotspots in your area, and lets you choose which network to connect to, as well as entering any login details if required (like on a university network.) With this app, a student can quickly connect to any free hotspot with just a few clicks.
5. A MiTo Doodle Pad for Those Boring Classes
Every student ends up taking one of those classes – the boring lecture or the terribly dull class where there’s any place else that you’d rather be. The solution for that boredom is the addictive MiTo Team Paint app. Pull out your mobile phone and launch this paint application, and get to work doodling your work of art.
The application lets you pick whether you’ll draw with a pen or a sprayer, and you choose from 7 basic colors, or use the RGB selector for more color options.
As you can see, some of us are a bit more gifted in the “art” department than others…
6. Always Stay Connected When You’re Mobile With Fring
As usual, I’ve saved the best for last. There are few mobile apps out there that have the functionality and capacity to keep you connected with all of your social networks in one easy to use application. Fring pulls it off in style. Aibek listed it as one of 20 apps that should be on your mobile and David listed it on his 5 cool mobile apps list.
This particular mobile app gets high reviews for good reason. These days, students have accounts on many social networks like Facebook, Skype and MSN. Having an application that gathers all of those contacts in one place where you can chat when you’re mobile is a very useful tool.
Adding your networks is as simple as clicking on the icon and entering your logon credentials. Even the Facebook display shows your current status, friends, and all of the details listed under your account. The tabs on the bottom let you flip between chat sessions with your friends. This particular mobile app is a student’s dream come true. They’ll never need to spend another moment offline again.
Are you a college student with a Windows Mobile phone? What are your favorite mobile apps? Share your opinions in the comments section below.
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