Some may blast the iPhone as an unnecessary expensive piece of bloatware, but after spending almost a year reveling in its applications, I can’t help but scoff. Fine, I only have an iPod Touch, but it’s changed my life. I play Scrabble in class and surf the Internet during particularly dull Kellogg studies. (Kidding! Please don’t stop giving me money.) Here are five ways the iPhone can change your life at Northwestern for the better:
Schedule your homework: Before I found iProcrastinate (free), I only remembered the week’s assignments if I pasted a giant pink Post-It note to my computer. The iPhone boasts an impressive cadre of to-do list managers and personal organizers, but iProcrastinate dominates when it comes to managing the readings, tests, quizzes, essays, blah, blah, blah that come hand-in-hand with NU classes. You can divide homework by class and set the priority level of assignments – you know, so you skip that clearly irrelevant sociology reading when there’s a five-page essay on the horizon.
Silence your neighbors: My neighbors hold late-night cookouts in their backyard. Fine and dandy for them, I’m sure, but I work at 9 a.m. and appreciate sleep. Enter Ambiance ($0.99), an amped-up white noise generator. I usually select a calming thunderstorm, but their massive library of sounds appeals to anyone. Want to fall asleep listening to a distant revolutionary battle? A womb? Someone brushing their teeth? Go for it. I’ll stick with rain.
Skip the line: Thanks to Northwestern’s collective hard-on for Chipotle, the line typically stretches out the door at 5 p.m., the height of my post-class hunger. But now, equipped with Chipotle Mobile Ordering (free), I no longer wait in line behind hordes of hungry football players. (Really!? Two burritos?) From the comfort of my couch, I build the perfect burrito. Then after sitting around a little longer playing PS2, I bike to Chipotle and grab my food. Done.
Travel downtown: I fell in love with the iTrans series of iPhone apps during my two-month stay in NYC. Inexperienced with the complicated mess that is the Manhattan Transit Authority, iTrans NYC got me to work on time and home from LaGuardia without a hitch. I have less difficulty with the El, but iTrans CTA ($1.99) still helps out with its handy time charts (minimizing waits at the Davis El stop) and simple directions to any location in the CTA system – handy if you ever want to graduate from the Red Line.
Eliminate stress: Some may consider this a little sadistic, but if your classes are stressing you out, download Pocket God ($0.99). There, you have free reign of a tiny island inhabited by cute little pygmies. Feed them coconuts. Teach them to fish. Or, ideally, enjoy the many ways the creators have devised to kill the little buggers: pygmies eaten by sharks, Pygmies thrown into a volcano. Even revive them as zombie pygmies.