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August 15, 2014

Back-to-School Apps for Windows Phone

It’s the dog days of summer, but a hint of autumn is already in the air. And that means it’s almost the start of another school year. 

If you’re a high-school or college student – or if you have one in the family – check out these Windows Phone apps for your Lumia. They’ll help you organize a busy academic schedule, ace exams, and one will also be your digital assistant for term papers, class notes, Excel files, and other important school stuff.

powerplannerPower Planner

I wish I had this app when I was in school: Billed as the “ultimate homework planner,” this perennial favorite back-to-school app has recently been updated.

Power Planner helps keep you abreast of all of your homework assignments, upcoming tests and study-group sessions, and even calculates and tracks your class grades and GPA.

Designed specifically for Windows Phone, Power Planner’s features include reminders when homework is due, and with its Live Tile capability, you can pin your class schedule and assignments on your home screen.

While the app is free, if you upgrade to the paid version (99 cents), you’ll have extra features such as secondary tiles for each class and the ability to add as many photos as you wish to exams and grades.


Old-fashioned paper Index cards are a wonderful study tool –they came in handy in my high-school anatomy and physiology class, when I had to memorize the different parts and systems of the human body.

But it was easy to lose index cards, and they often got crumpled at the bottom of my backpack. This free app, designed in association with Harvard faculty and students, solves those dilemmas.

Even handier, Flashcards+ comes with a database of 8.5 million user-created “Quizlet” card decks. That way, you likely don’t need to create your own flashcards for that biology or French test (though creating them is very intuitive).

And, if you’re studying for an Advanced Placement subject test or SAT – or even the bar – there are quizzes for those standardized tests, too! One neat feature of Flashcards+ is that you can “shuffle” a deck by shaking your phone.

3danatomy3D Anatomy

Speaking of anatomy and physiology, this comprehensive app maps out the human body from the skeleton, ligaments and muscles to the circulation and reproductive systems.

What’s cool is that you can zoom in and out and rotate the different parts of the body for a truly three-dimensional view. Another cool feature: virtually peel back the various layers of muscle to see the anatomical structure underneath.

Priced at $3.99, the app features quizzes and the information is based on the classic textbook, Gray’s Anatomy.

Scientific Calculator

Back in the day, you had to lug a compass, ruler, notebook and scientific calculator, among other paraphernalia, to math class. This free app helps lighten the load.

It’s simple and clean design means you can use it both as an everyday calculator as well as a scientific one, and the app’s history overview means you can see your past calculations. It’s a useful tool for any student’s virtual toolbox!


Do you have notebooks full of notes, graphs and illustrations from your various classes? What about videos and photos? You probably have so much stuff for school that it could fill several flat-bed trucks.

But you can easily access all of it on your Lumia, computer or tablet with OneDrive. It’s easy to create, delete, edit and share files with classmates or teachers, and you can pin specific folders to your Lumia home screen.

OneDrive recently got updated, and among the new features are the ability to download files to your phone and choose where to save them, and a new progress page for uploading and downloading information.

Of course, this app isn’t just geared to students, but it does seem especially suited for academia or any field that’s information-heavy.

A new Lumia 635 for a new school year

Here’s a great opportunity to check out these apps for yourself on a new Lumia 635. We’re looking for 30 high-school or college age students in the U.S  to test-drive this competitive and affordable smartphone. Participating in this activation offers you the chance to win Microsoft prizes such as an Xbox One and a $500 Microsoft Store gift card! If you’d like to be considered as a participant, please fill out this form. Thanks for your interest!

What do you think of these apps? Do you have a favorite?