An App a Day: Six useful apps for poor, poor college students

While college students’ addiction to smartphones mostly serve as a class distraction, a place to put everything on Snapchat and the reason for running into people and falling onto pavements, there are few handy apps to optimize your time with your screen. Here is a list of six useful apps for college students.

1.) Waze

Because students are always on the go, a useful app to get you from point A to B as quickly as possible is Waze. The app functions similarly to Google Maps, except it accounts for traffic and accidents a lot quicker; changing the route as necessary to get you to your destination the quickest. And because we’re broke college students, we can’t risk getting ticketed. Waze warns you if there’s a cop car ahead as reported by other Wazers on the road. Waze will also notify over objects on the road ahead or if there is a car pulled off on the shoulder. If you have a passenger in the car, make sure they’re (no wazing and driving) noting these hazards and warnings down so you can get points. As you will see, I’m a sucker for point-based apps.

2.) CareZone

Juggling assignments, work and other involvements sometimes takes away from a very important part of our daily routine: taking your meds. If you have prescriptions you take regularly, a great reminder app is CareZone. You input all you prescription information, dosage, how often you’re supposed to take them, when you should refill and more. A notification will pop up for as often as you take your prescription. The app is also a secondary location to input medical insurance information. There is also a section to input allergies, blood type and any other medical conditions. You can track your prescription progress as well as track blood glucose, blood pressure, pain, headaches, mood, sleep, weight and many more. Lastly, there’s a section to input your pharmacy’s information to ease the refilling process.

3.) Cinemark Theatres

Calling movie-goers, an app I use regularly when getting all my movies in is the Cinemark Theaters app. The app is an easy and efficient way to see what’s available at Cinemark Theaters in your areas, buy tickets and gain points (!!!!). Every time you see a movie at Cinemark, you simply scan the QR code on the Connections tab and you collect points toward entering sweepstakes, winning movie memorabilia and getting discounted concessions. It’s a must for $5 Tuesdays at Cinemark.  

4.) Fivestars

Another point-based app, surprise surprise. The Fivestars app makes going to your favorite stores and restaurants a little bit more affordable every time you go. The app provides a map of your area of discounts. Whether it’s a free donut at coffee shop or 25 percent off your meal, the map shows you all the deals. Many locations like, The Soup Peddler (personal favorite), JuiceLand , Teapioca Lounge and Summer Moon have the tablet ready at their checkout. After your order, you just enter your phone number that’s attached to your Fivestars account and you can rack up points and eventually get discounts.

5.) Nowait

While going to school in Austin has an array of benefits, one sore spot is definitely crowds in restaurants– especially for your weekend brunch at Kerbey. Instead of wasting your life away waiting for an hour for a table, the Nowait app lets you put yourself in line ahead of time. It shows you how many parties are ahead of you and gives you the opportunity to wait from somewhere other than an excruciatingly boring line. While not every restaurant is partnered with Nowait, popular destinations that are include Kerbey Lane, Pluckers, Iron Cactus, Chilis, Maudie’s Cafe, Bouldin Creek Cafe, Chuys, Austin Java and more. When you open the app, you can see wait times for each restaurant and then make your decision of whether you want to take a place in line or not.

6.) Target

I would be remiss to write an app listicle without mentioning the Target or “Cartwheel” app. Head to your favorite Target, whether it’s on Manchaca or Sunset Valley and get to saving. The Cartwheel Offers tab is categorized by apparel, beauty, electronics, food, health, pets and more to show you current discounts at your closest store location. You can add up to four items in your “wallet” at checkout and all you have to do is pull out the barcode, scan it and you’re saving. Make your sporadic Target trips a little bit more financial efficient with this app. It really adds up.