How to Find Discounted and Free Apps that Don’t Suck

LATEST DISCOUNT: $399 Mac Apps bundle for about 8 bucks, Papers for iOS ($15 to $10), Reeder for iPad ($5 to free) and Reeder for Mac ($5 to free).

academiPad’s mission is to share ideas about how to use iPad, Mac and the web for research, teaching and learning… and to save you time and money by showing you the best discounted and free apps for iPad, iPhone and Mac.

New technology is fundamentally changing the ways in which we teach and learn, how we collaborate with colleagues and peers, and how we appropriate, communicate and share information. And there is no shortage on apps out there in Apple’s app stores and the web that help us to increase our productivity and efficiency. But what are the good ones?

HINT: Scroll down to Recent Discounts to see the latest savings.

 

Save time and money with academiPad

Discounted and free appsacademiPad is your guide to the best workflows and apps. Its articles and reviews are a helpful resource to overcome two of the biggest disadvantages of a rapidly growing app marketplace: There are often too many apps to choose from, and few apps can be tried out before buying.

academiPad saves you time and money, but you can save even more cash by checking out AppShopper.com.

AppShopper tracks price changes for all iPad, iPhone and Mac apps. These changes occur more frequent than you might think: Some developers repeatedly discount their apps for a couple of days or even weeks in order to improve their position in the app store rankings. Sometimes, paid apps are even made free for a few days, which is the ultimate bargain. [Read more…]

Simplenote: A free service to sync notes across all your devices

SimplenoteHave you ever lost an idea or email address you wrote on an obscure piece of paper? Are you constantly emailing yourself to keep all your notes “in sync”? May I introduce Simplenote: A better way to manage information in academia that even poor grad students can afford (it’s free).

Integrating all your devices with each other is a big focus here on academiPad. You can sync your task across iPad, Mac and iPhone via Wunderlist, and minimalist writing apps like ByWord and iA Writer let you sync your writing projects over the cloud. But what about pieces of information that are not really a task, and which are not really something you want to clutter your writing environment with? What about all these little notes academics constantly write down? Are these forever lost on post-it notes or the backside of envelopes? Nope… [Read more…]

30 online resources for academic life, writing, and technology

Online Resources for academic lifeThe web is full of great resources for academics, and this is a list of my personal favourites. They offer great advice on writing, productivity, creativity and managing your career. Although they are a great inspiration, they not always go into the nuts and bolts what technology is available for researchers and students. Luckily, thats what academiPad is for. [Read more…]

Free updates

Why would you join academiPad’s free email or RSS feed? Because it is the right thing to do! Oh, you are the scholarly type who is rational and needs objective reasons? I see… Well, here are 6 good reason why you should follow academiPad’s free updates:

 

1. Save time: Get updates automatically

At whatever stage you are in academia, chances are that time is your scarcest resource. So instead of checking the webpage for update every hour, just get notified when new content is available. The latest posts will be automatically delivered to your email inbox or RSS reader.

You can read new posts at your convenience, skip them if the topic doesn’t interest you, star and instapaper them for later reading, or forward them to a colleague or peer.

Especially the email feed works by the “set it and forget about it!” principle. You will never miss a post, and you can use your time more efficiently to get your research, teaching, and studying done.

 

2. academiPad is devoted to people in Higher Ed

Are you tired reading blog posts that praise games about enraged, feathered vertebrates? Do you wonder where all the good apps are for people in higher education? [Read more…]

Just released: Readability for iPad

Readability for iPad and iPhoneHave you ever wished that reading on the web would be a more pleasant experience? Are you annoyed by all these blinking and moving ads? Readability is a fantastic free service that de-clutters your reading experience by removing all distracting features and replacing it with a clean, visually pleasing interface. On top of that, you can also add webpages to your reading list to read them later, similar to Instapaper (except that the Instapaper app is not free). [Read more…]

Why Prezi won’t revolutionize your presentations

Today, Ekant Veer shares his thoughts about Prezi. Ekant is a Marketing professor at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), publishes frequently in a number of international marketing journals, and runs his own blog on academic life. Oh, and he is one of the most engaging and entertaining presenters that I have ever seen! So let’s see what he has to say about this new presentation paradigm.

If you’ve never heard about Prezi, here’s a quick overview (and see video below)… but it’d be far better to go to their site and have a play. Prezi is a reasonably new means of creating presentations. Instead of a linear series of slides, you create a mindmap or a flow diagram of your topic and include content as you go. The platform offers a very different feel from your standard Powerpoint or Keynote presentation by zooming in and out of your mindmap. [Read more…]

5 free iPhone apps for academics

When the iPad came out, many people immediately recognized the benefit this device offers researchers and university students, and latest since its Education Event last week Apple has made clear that the education sector is an important playing field for their iPad ambitions. Even before the iPad came out, the Mac was widely popular in academia, and it continues to be so.

The iPhone, on the other hand, does not carry the same image of being an important device in academia. Don’t get me wrong: it is not that academics do not use iPhones as an easy-to-use mobile communication device (in fact, iPhones are quite easy to spot on campus). It is just that, for most people, the iPad and the Mac are more strongly associated with education than the iPhone is. Even for Apple, the iPhone (and iPod touch) is seen as their “third device” in education.

However, there are a couple of apps that can turn the iPhone into a powerful tool for university professors and college students alike. I am listing five of my favorite iPhone apps in this post. [Read more…]

Apple’s flirt with academia

The Apple Education Event that shook up the Big Apple last Thursday stirred up the usual hype that surrounds everything Apple does these days. “Apple reinvents the textbook” is a headline you can see frequently on the web. Yeah, maybe, but what are the immediate consequences for educators and students at universities and colleges? Unless your campus has gone fully iPad already, you don’t have to hold your breath. Apple’s event mainly focused on high-schools, and the few textbooks that are available right now are not for the university level. So while there is nothing going to change for you tomorrow, I believe Apple’s Education Event is an indication of changes to come in the next two to five years.

In this post, I am discussing the possible “fallout” of Apple’s Education Event. If you are interested in learning about Apple’s groundbreaking take on text annotations, or if you are interested in how Apple’s focus on education might help you to engage your students through peer-learning and customized textbooks, this post is for you. [Read more…]

Add some ZEN to your desktop

When Mac OS 10.7 Lion came out, one of the most exciting features for me was Misson Control. Basically, Mission Control wants to give you an overview over all your open applications and spaces, and it also gives you easy access to your Dashboard. What does Mission Control have to do with academia? The answer is simple: With a few and easy tweaks to Mission Control, you can add some ZEN to your computing experience that might help you to focus, relax, and be more productive.

 

Meet Lion Designer

Lion Designer is a small little Mac OS 10.7 app that you can download for free and that allows you to exchange the background images in Mission Control and other Lion specific places (e.g., Dashboard, Launchpad folders, Login Screen, and some other tweaks). Don’t be irritated by the somehow cluttered design and the free price tag: Lion Designer performs well once you have figured it out, and I had no problems so far. And if you don’t like your tweaks, you can revert to the original settings. The developer accepts donations for his efforts. [Read more…]

Task management for academics

Task management is a tricky topic in academia: Faculty members and students alike juggle a lot of different tasks while pursuing many different projects; often in collaboration with others. Yet, our projects often don’t require the same level of organization as in the corporate world in which tasks are delegated, have fixed start and end times, and are populated with resources and attendees. At least as a graduate student right now, I therefore don’t need a task manager with all bells and whistles. On the other hand, a simple to-do list is not powerful enough to juggle various research projects with teaching and other commitments. That’s why I am using the free Wunderlist task management apps.

 

Manage your tasks on all your devices

Wunderlist is an elegant task management solution that blends a small feature set with a wonderful design. It avoids the complexity of other task managers without compromising on the most important features. Of course you can have multiple lists to sort your tasks, you can add notes, due dates, and reminders to your tasks, you can make some tasks your favorites, and you can sort your tasks using various filters. You can also share certain lists with other users. [Read more…]