The best music apps for your iOS Device (Part 3) - ITUNES U, VOXER

4/13/2012 5:18:04 PM


If you've ever been to college or know someone who has, you know that one of the biggest and most frustrating expenses is books. Textbooks can cost anywhere between $50 to $200 each. Some classes require more than one book and when you sit down and crunch the numbers you could be spending thousands of additional dollars on course materials. Because of this, it can be very hard for students to be financially comfortable while attending a university and it can really put an emotional strain on their studies. Apple is aiming to solve this dilemma once and for all by presenting its iTunes U application for use on its iPhone and iPad devices.

Description: ITUNES U

This application operates much like Apple's iBooks app or its Magazine Stand. Once in the application, you are presented with a "virtual bookshelf" and are given access to a special store that houses a massive collection of course material from a variety of different Universities and technical schools. You can search for textbooks by title and subject matter. The app also allows you to search for your current university or for a school that you are planning to attend. From there, you can see what kinds of courses and programs you can expect at the school and what textbooks and materials their curriculum uses. Once a book is purchased and downloaded it can be easily accessed from the virtual bookshelf. These textbooks act just like their physical counterparts and even offer things like practice problems and test preparation tools.

The application also offers full length collections and programs from specific schools and publishers on a wide variety of subjects. For example, you can take a calculus program from Stanford, or learn how to program from Harvard. These collections contain an amazing amount of information. You can view written materials, and pre-recorded lectures, all from the comfort of your home on your iOS device. These programs will challenge you with practice exams, problem solving games, and even mock tests. This creates an "in-class" learning experience without the actual process of attending a physical school setting. But that isn't what makes the iTunes U app so important.

The biggest plus to this app is the price point for most of these materials. These virtual books are available for a fraction of what a physical textbook costs and they are identical in information. Some of these courses and books are even free to subscribe to and the "classes" can be taken without spending a dime. This is a god-send to the student who cannot afford pricey textbooks and course materials via the "school store", and allows them to be more financially stable while pursuing their degrees.

If you're looking for cheaper textbook alternatives, then iTunes U is exactly what you've been searching for. You don't have to be a student to take full advantage of this application either. Have you ever wanted to learn a specific subject like Programming, Creative Writing, or even Acting? This impressive application can help you with all of those things, without destroying your bank account.


Remember the first time you ever sent a text message? You were probably amazed at how easy it became to communicate with people without actually having to make a phone call. Texting revolutionized the way that we "talk" to one another. Phones that had custom built in keyboards to make it easier to type started to hit the market and texting became almost as popular as calling. It's hard to imagine that anything could          be easier than texting, right? Well imagine no more, there is something easier than texting and it's called Voxer.

Description: VOXER

Voxer is a personal walkie-talkie social media hybrid app from Voxer LLC. Signing onto the application is quick and easy and you can even sync your Facebook account for easy activation. Once you're logged in you can "search" for other users by their name, email, or phone number. After locating them, starting a conversation is as easy as clicking "Chat Now." Once you're engaged in a chat with someone you have a variety of options at your disposal. You can press the "hold and talk" button and speak a message into it. Letting go of the button will save your message and send it immediately to their Voxer application. From there, they can play the message through their handset or speakers at any time by simply "touching the message." This is an incredibly quick way to send short little voice messages without the need for a proper phone call. Better yet, it doesn't waste your minutes if you're on one of those pay-as-you-go plans. Messages are also "saved" in a timeline fashion, much like a text message. You can listen to messages whenever you want or even play them over again.

You don't have to use Voxer like a walkie-talkie though. If you're in a situation or area where you cannot "speak openly then simply hit the "text" button. From there you can send a typed text that appears in the same timeline as the voice messages. You can even send pictures by hitting the "photo button." From there you can add a picture to the message from your Camera Roll or by taking a new one. All of this is conveniently located in the time line and conversations are separated between individuals like they are in a text message.

But Voxer takes it a step further by adding a "social media" aspect to its application. Buy hitting the "add contact" button on any conversation, you can add a third, fourth, or however many friends in your group. With a group created, you can all "Voxer" back and forth to one another. The application keeps everything organized and labels each user clearly so you know who is talking and when. It even keeps track of things like how long a message is and when the message was sent.

Sending messages has never been easier thanks to Voxer, and it will definitely streamline your social ability. Voxer is free to download and free to use and doesn't bother you with those pesky "in app purchases." Voxer LLC is constantly working on updates to make the program more stable and appealing, but I can personally say that the app functions wonderfully. I haven't come across any problems as of yet and I am thoroughly enjoying how easy it is to communicate with my friends. If you're a social butterfly or just looking for an easier way to "text", then this is the perfect app for you.

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