Engineering is a very complex and diverse field, the study of which requires not only intense focus and effort, but also a slew of tools to make your life easier as a student. Apps are perfect companions for engineering students because they provide access to powerful handheld research and problem-solving capabilities. With that said, here are 12 apps that every engineering student should install and try out at least once:

1. Wolfram Alpha

If you haven’t heard of this app yet, you probably haven’t been an engineering student for very long, or you’re just starting to take interest in engineering apps. In short, the app is a computational knowledge engine that can answer questions related to any field of engineering, so it’s useful whether you’re pursuing a degree in automotive engineering or a masters in engineering management. If you’re thinking that this is just a compiled database of facts and links like a curated search engine, you’re partially wrong – it can actually formulate comprehensive answers in sentence form instead of just linking you to resources. Wolfram Alpha is available in Android’s Play Store, iTunes, and the Microsoft App Store for $3.

2. Chegg

Chegg is an app that aims to make studying all topics easier for high school and college students. You can use it as a platform to rent digital and physical textbooks. It also facilitates more effective communication between educators and students, so it’s an ideal app for engineering students who are utilizing the assistance of a tutor.

3. Engineering Unit Converter

As an engineering student, you’re inevitably going to need a way to run conversions while you’re on-the-go. While you could just use a website for this, it’s much faster and more convenient if you have an app to take care of it. This app supports conversions for units of energy, length, electric charge, entropy, and other common methods of measure. It’s available for Android, iOS, and Windows devices.

4. CamScanner

Most engineering students will find this app to be highly useful because it turns your mobile device into a very effective scanner. Obviously, that means you can use it to scan architectural drafts, blueprints, diagrams, mathematical brainstorming sessions, and other handwritten content into digital form. CamScanner is available for Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry devices.

5. iStudiez

This is great app for any kind of student because it helps you keep your studies organized and well-scheduled. If you’ve been finding it difficult to keep track of all the curriculum and deadlines, iStudiez is the perfect app for helping you stay on top of your engineering assignments and projects in a streamlined manner. Plus, you can input your grades to calculate your current grade point average automatically. While this app is available for free for both Android and iOS, there’s also a premium version that’s worth looking into. 

6. DropBox

If you’re not already using a cloud storage app to sync all of your files, now is the time to start. Engineering projects can become fairly bulky in terms of the amount of data involved, so it makes sense to keep all of those crucial files backed up. After all, the complexity of engineering means that it’s not always possible to easily replicate previous work if you happen to lose it. DropBox is one of the best cloud storage apps because it’s available for free, has affordable upgrade plans, and can be installed on every major mobile operating system.

7. Lecture Notes

Taking your own notes is always a great idea, but using the Lecture Notes app can give you access to a database of lecture notes taken by other students and educators. Engineering students can use the app to examine topics from different angles without having to worry about the accuracy of the notes because all lecture notes are vetted by the app’s management team. This curated and centralized collection of notes can prove to be highly useful for engineering students and is available for Android and iOS.

8. Electrodroid

Electrodroid is designed to help electrical engineering and electronics students with a database of tools and resources that can be used to enhance your studying and facilitate faster workflow during the completion of assignments. Overall, it’s a must-have app for any student who is studying the aforementioned fields. It’s available for a variety of mobile operating systems including Android, iOS, and Blackberry. You can also purchase a paid Pro version if you want to eliminate the distraction, which might be useful when you’re working on solving complicated engineering problems.

9. Office Lens

This is Microsoft’s take on the mobile scanning app genre and is therefore the app of choice for many engineers who frequently need to digitalize documents. It provides a number of useful features that simplify social sharing and streamline the process of converting files into PDF, JPG, or Word formats.

10. Wabbitemu

This highly useful app gives you the ability to access virtualized versions of a variety of Texas Instruments graphing calculators on your Android or iOS devices. It comes with accurate emulators for all of the most popular engineering calculators of all time. Of course, this is a much cheaper and more convenient option than buying and carrying around a bulky, expensive calculator.

11. AutoCAD 360

Most engineers use AutoCAD or an alternative. The AutoCAD 360 app makes it easy to get your ideas into the software from the convenience of your mobile device. This is widely considered to be the best drafting program, so one could argue that it’s an essential tool for all engineering students to have.

12. Mathpix Problem Solver

Why go through the hassle of typing a problem into a calculator manually when you can just snap a picture of it with your mobile device and the Mathpix app will use optical character recognition (OCR) technology to input the equation and solve it?

Upgrade Your App Arsenal and Get Better Grades

Students who practice organization and use apps are more likely to get higher grades than those who rely solely on conventional studying techniques. For that reason alone, every engineering student should become familiar with the apps listed above.