Apps for students

All smartphones come with pre-installed applications, often shortened to just ‘apps’. These provide the user with content, specifically for information and/or entertainment. But first, these tiny computers must have an operating system which is able to run these apps and because of competition, there are many operating systems to contend with.

But applications are not solely found on smartphones. A popular item found amongst our generation of students is the tablet computer. They only became commercial when Apple brought out the original iPad in 2010 – even though they were first invented in a primitive form by Alan Kay. It was called Dynabook and this was back in 1968.Apple provides the popular iOS, Google developed Android, Symbian is used by Nokia, RIM brands the BlackBerry OS, Samsung produces Bada and the Windows Phone is powered by Microsoft.

Tablets are easy to carry around as they are quite lightweight and although you cannot do all the things a laptop or netbook can, it saves loading time and you can quickly take notes on it in lectures – something you can do on smartphones which looks less studious and appears as if you are being rude.

Android has taken over from the iPhone and now has the largest share of the installed base of smartphones among consumers in the UK. Android has a 36.9% share of the smartphones in use among UK consumers as of early 2012, whilst Apple’s iPhone models have the next biggest share, with 28.5%.

However, Google’s Android sales are split amongst Samsung, HTC, LG and Motorola handsets whereas Apple’s iOS is only available on the iPhone. Unfair advantage?

The most popular smartphone amongst students in Carlisle is the new iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S III says Andrew Shaw, a Customer Consultant from Carphone Warehouse.

Criminology student Ziear Rana has a BlackBerry and uses the BlackBerry Messenger app the most. “It’s free and my mates use it. Everyone has an iPhone and the ones who don’t, want to have an iPhone.

“Indeed I want one; I think I will then keep my BB also, solely for BBM.”

Rana also uses his camera app a lot for convenience purposes. “People carry phones around all the time whereas a camera is a more obtrude object to carry round. I may take a camera if it was an event like a wedding or something.”
Babs Israel, from senior sales at O2, believes that Blackberry sales are actually declining in the UK. “Very few people are buying BlackBerry’s and the ones that do are in the 10-14 age bracket.

“The iPhone is popular because it sells itself. Its apps are kept more up-to-date than the Android. The iPhone has the most apps as well.”

Shaw also confirmed this, saying: “BlackBerry’s tend to be bought by young teenage girls.”

Leading tablets on the market at the moment is the Google Nexus 7 as it is more affordable for students and has similar apps with the iPad but with more free apps, but costs only £195 RRP compared to upwards of £300 for the Apple tablets.

Shaw said: “Apple has a lot of quality restrictions that Google doesn’t. Google make a lot of revenue from advertising.

“The most popular apps for students are Evernote (available on Android and iOS), which is essentially a fancy version of post-it notes and has online storage capabilities. You can create notes and links that you can share on social networking sites. Also, CloudOn and Dropbox have similar uses.”

If you are on the network O2, Israel said: “The Priority Moments app gives users discounts at local businesses by tracking the location of your smartphone or tablet. It is free to download from the app store.”

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