Back to School 2010 Buyer’s Guide for iPod/iPhone Lovers

Our next installment in our Back to School guide is aimed at iPhone and iPod users. Check out some of our picks for must haves, cool gadgets, and more.


Originally $79.99 (New Model Coming Soon), Blue Microphones

Even if your iPhone has a built-in mic, a good external mic like this one from Blue will help you record your lectures for later playback. This particular Mikey is coming later this summer, so keep an eye on it as the current model doesn’t work well with the iPhone 4.

External Speaker Dock

$79.95, Apple Store

What better way to listen to those recorded notes or relax with some tunes than through a good pair of speakers? The Philips DS3000 speaker dock is one of many great options. This particular model features the ability to sync with your computer, provides an external line out and can also run off batteries for portable use.

Nike+ Sports Kit

$19.95 – $29.95, Apple Store

When you want to get away from hitting the books and enjoy a nice run, don’t forget your Nike+. With Nike+ you can keep track of your pace, time and distance as you workout. Newer iPods and iPhones have the Nike+ receiver built-in, so you may just need the external sensor for your Nike+ shoes. Older devices are compatible if you get the Nike+ kit that includes a receiver.

iTunes U

Free, iTunes

Your university provides a wealth of content all around your campus, but you can take that experience further and explore the content from universities all over the world in iTunes U. Download lectures and other content from your field of study or use it to explore something totally new, like learning a new language. Best of all, it’s totally free.

Belkin RockStar

$19.95, Apple Store

Studying in the library with your significant other is a little easier with a headphone splitter. A splitter is a great little adapter to carry with your iPod for those instances where you want to share what you’re listening to with someone else. Most headphone splitters support splitting into two signals, but if you want to go to the extreme (or have multiple significant others), the Belkin RockStar supports splitting an audio signal five ways.


Free ($4.99/month for Premium), App Store

If you haven’t developed good study skills yet, you’re about to be in for a shock. Use a service like Evernote to keep track of all the information you encounter. Tag it, sort it and pull it up when you need it. With the free iPhone app, you’ll have access on the go. For more on Evernote, check out our article on it.

iStudiez Pro

$2.99, App Store

Taking organization even further, consider an app like iStudiez Pro (for both iPhone and iPad). Throw in your schedule, track assignments and deadlines with push notifications and even keep up with your grades with this useful little app. It’s universal, so the same app will also work well on your iPad.

Free, App Store

Expand your vocabulary with the free app. It has a built-in thesaurus and even offers audio pronunciations of the words. Plus, if you’re just looking up a word, you don’t even need a connection to the net.


Free, App Store

We all love our Facebook and the dedicated app is no exception. Recently updated to support the iPhone 4, the native Facebook app is a great way to keep up with all your friends when you’re on the go.

Graphing Calculator

Varies, App Store

Instead of investing upwards of $100 in a bulky graphing calculator, take a look at several of the dedicated iPhone apps that provide graphing calculator functionality. There are a number to choose from, ranging from free to just a few bucks.

This list represents a fraction of a growing number of great apps and accessories for students. If you have any that I’ve missed, feel free to share them with us in the comments. Also, be sure and check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our series and be on the watch for the last part, the Back to School Guide for iPad users coming soon.