Between classes, assignments and exams, it’s not easy to keep your workload under control at school. You have to put in a lot of effort and dedication if you want to excel at this. While it’s certainly quite a challenge, the good news is that your iPad can be an incredible tool to lighten the load a bit.
With the right apps, you can transform your iPad into a powerful productivity and organization machine that will keep you busy during your study sessions. From note-taking to homework help, these are some of the most useful iPad apps for students of all ages.
1. Apple Books
Apple Books is a native app for iPhones, iPads, and Macs that saves a lot of money by finding textbooks for sale, some even for free. Once you download these books, you can read them anytime, anywhere, regardless of WiFi, with your Apple device.
With Apple Books, you can annotate and highlight key passages, take notes, and mark individual pages for easy reference. If you’re studying while commuting or in a dimly lit room, you can easily adjust the text size, font, and brightness of the screen to your liking.
All your notes and bookmarks are synced across all your iCloud devices, so you can pick up where you left off on your iPhone or Mac. The best thing about Apple Books is that you can ditch the heavy backpacks because you don’t have to carry gigantic textbooks everywhere you go.
To download: Apple Books (free, in-app purchases available)
Zoom is by far one of the best video conferencing apps to host and join meetings. The app took the world by storm at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, replacing classrooms around the world with remote virtual meetings. In most settings, Zoom is more of a requirement than a nice-to-have app.
When classes are impossible to teach on campus, your teachers or professors will likely ask you to join an online class in the form of a Zoom meeting. It is currently the preferred video conferencing platform due to its cross-platform support, recording features, and support for up to 100 participants on the free plan.
In addition to attending lectures, you can also ask your friends to join a Zoom call so that you all can easily study together. The app lets you share your screen, stay on schedule with meeting reminders and a whiteboard for instant diagramming.
To download: Zoom (free, subscription available)
3. Good Notes 5
There are many great note-taking apps for the iPad, but GoodNotes 5 offers the best experience. The app lets you create interactive digital notebooks that are more customizable and flexible than paper ones. You can easily add text types, handwriting, drawings, audio recordings and anything you can imagine.
It’s like a blank canvas that allows you to dump all your thoughts and ideas into one place. You can then organize those ideas by dragging and dropping each item on the page. The best part is that you can use the Apple Pencil to create handwritten notes that look incredibly realistic. Writing or drawing with this app feels completely natural and fluid.
GoodNotes 5 offers much more, such as annotation for PDFs, collaboration features and the ability to convert handwriting to plain text.
To download: GoodNotes 5 (free, subscription available)
4. Google Calendar
Google Calendar is great for organizing your class schedule and study sessions because it syncs all your classes, assignments, exams, and other events in one place so you never miss a thing. Once you’ve added your class schedule, you’ll receive a notification 15 minutes before each class starts. You can even add the location of each class so you know exactly where to go.
For assignments and exams, you can add them to your calendar as soon as they are announced. Set reminders for the day before and the day of the due date so you don’t forget anything. The app is also very suitable for organizing study groups and project meetings.
To download: Google Calendar (free)
In combination with an Apple Pencil, iPads are just as capable as full-fledged drawing tablets. This is mainly due to the dozens of versatile drawing and design apps available on the App Store, and Sketchbook is one of the best out there.
A wide range of brushes, colors, and customizable tools make it easy to experiment with different techniques and styles. It also features a layer system similar to Photoshop, which allows you to work on multiple elements at the same time.
While the app is great for art school and expressing yourself, it offers a lot of usefulness in other areas as well. For example, architecture students can use measuring instruments to make detailed plans or 3D models. Those who are into fashion design can use it to sketch clothing designs with accurate proportions.
This versatility makes the app an excellent tool to try, even if you enjoy drawing or sketching. It’s good enough that you’ll eventually become addicted to using the Apple Pencil.
To download: Sketchbook (Free, in-app purchases available)
6. Google Docs
If you’re still using offline word processing apps for typing, whether for theses, essays, or job applications, you should switch to Google Docs. It is a must-have as all your documents are backed up and stored in your Google Drive where you can view them at any time.
It’s also great to collaborate with other students on group projects. You can just share a link that will give your friend editing access to the document and let them pick up where you left off. If you have ideas you’d like to share, you can highlight specific areas of the document and leave comments.
Google Docs automatically saves as you type, so you’ll never lose work if your iPad crashes or loses power. It also has cross-platform support as it’s a web-based app, which means you won’t lose access to your documents no matter what device you’re using.
To download: Google Docs (free)
7. Chegg Research
If you ever feel like you can’t come up with a math equation or are stuck on the themes to cover in your English paper, you need to download Chegg. It is an app that helps you do your homework with resources such as textbook solutions, question and answer sections, and videos. You can also find flashcards for just about any course you can think of.
Chegg also gives you 24/7 support thanks to the help of expert tutors. You can ask any question or take a picture of your homework to get answers from verified Chegg experts. However, chances are that your question has already been answered in the library of 60 million fully solved homework questions.
To download: Chegg Study (free, subscription available)
Enhance your lessons with these must-have iPad apps
All of these apps help you improve your learning experience in one way or another and allow you to stay ahead of the curve in your classes. It’s surprising how good the iPad is as a learning tool for students of all ages. The fact that so many note-taking and drawing apps work flawlessly with the Apple Pencil makes the experience even better.
In addition, modern iPads are powered by excellent processors. Some of them even have the same Apple Silicon chips found in MacBooks. However, iPads are still not a good replacement for MacBooks, mainly due to some limitations of iPadOS.