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Students share their must-have mobile apps

Cassandra Krome, S'20, reads a story on her Facebook app outside Shillman Hall on Friday. Photo by: Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Whether it’s connecting with friends, checking coursework, banking, or getting campus news, almost everything can be done with the tap of a button on our phones. Mobile applications can be essential to daily life, especially on a college campus where there is so much to keep track of. And in an increasingly mobile-friendly world, apps that free users from carrying physical money are becoming particularly popular. We asked some Northeastern students which apps they’re using the most.

Keeping it social

Various social media apps were invariably first in the list of most-used apps mentioned by students. The responses mirror Nielsen data of top smartphone apps from 2015, which show Facebook leading the charge with 126 million unique users each month.

Students play on their phone in Hillman Hall on Friday. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Students play on their phone in Shillman Hall on Friday. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

At Northeastern, some students said they more often use the Facebook Messenger app than the Facebook app itself.

“I’m mostly using it to keep up with what everyone else is up to,” said Matthew Atherton, DMSB’16, of the Facebook app. “I’m not necessarily putting out updates about myself.”

Instagram and Snapchat, both photo-heavy social apps, were among students’ favorites.

“Oh, I’m on Snapchat all the time,” said Sandra Nygren, E’20. She and friend Sofia Kirkman, S’20, both studied abroad, and said they also use internet-based messaging apps like Skype and WhatsApp to keep in touch with international friends.

Students, especially those closer to graduating, said they also used the professional networking app LinkedIn to supplement their job search.

“I’m looking for a job right now, so it makes sense,” Atherton said.

Staying organized

Many students said they use apps to keep track of assignments and classes.

Blackboard is my No. 1 app, easily,” said Kimberly Lazar, E’20. The platform allows students to view class announcements as well as participate in discussions and manage their tasks.

“I’m checking what I have for homework constantly,” Lazar said.

Friends Katalina Park, AMD’19, and Austin Pratama, DMSB’20, said they also use Courseoff, an app designed to help students create class schedules.

“It keeps me organized,” Park said.

Money matters

Applications that enable students to make purchases without carrying physical money are also popular.

Lazar said she used the Starbucks app—which allows for virtual payments—almost daily. “I never have money on me, but I always have my phone and I always want coffee,” she said.

Nygren and Kirkman also noted Venmo, an app that allows users to swap money.

Image by YoungHee/Northeastern University

Image by YoungHee Jang/Northeastern University

“That’s not one I necessarily use every day, but it’s really useful if one person pays for lunch or dinner or something,” Nygren said.

Students also listed mobile banking apps, such as the Bank of America app, as being among their financial favorites.

School pride

NUGO, a hub of information for Northeastern students, was popular among many. There, students can get campus information, view their course schedules, add money to their Husky Cards, find services near their location, and more.

“I really do use that a lot,” said Nicole Doherty, SSH’19.

Other Northeastern-specific apps include the Mobile ID app, which can be used in place of a student’s Husky Card, and Go Huskies, the university’s athletics app showing upcoming games and rosters and offering live-streaming access.

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