Be cool with this back to school collection of Windows Phone apps

Where the heck did summer go? Many parents are sending their kids off to their first day of school – and older kids are getting back in the groove of waking up at the crack of dawn – but it’s still early enough to help students get a leg up with the 23 “Back to School” collection of Windows Phone apps.

Students, here are a few favorites from the collection:

This is Encyclopaedia Britannica for the next generation. For more than two centuries – two centuries! – it has been an essential student reference tool. It comes with plenty of cred in its expertly researched and written sources ranging from presidents to scientists to Nobel laureates and many historical figures. Now, its 80,000 articles on subjects from A to Z are available on your Windows Phone 7.5 or 8 device in a fully searchable database for $4.99. Download articles for offline viewing too.

If advanced math is on your class schedule, put this free, full-featured Scientific Calculator on your Windows Phone device. It offers everything from basic arithmetic, percentage calculations, and powers and roots up to trigonometry functions, integer and fraction modules, factorials and special memory operations.

Flashcards will give you a flashback to childhood study guides, but this free app for Windows Phone 7.5 and 8 devices is a lot easier than carrying around a stack of index cards. This app lets you study from six built-in decks covering cell biology, French vocabulary, Spanish vocabulary, state capitols, trigonometric identities – and even sports trivia. You can create custom decks on subjects you’re currently studying, too. Handy “review” mode flags cards you’re having trouble with, and “quiz” mode lets you test yourself.

With Power Planner (Homework Planner), it’s a breeze to keep track of your classes, daily homework assignments and upcoming tests – all for less than a buck. Its Live Tiles display current homework assignments, so all it takes is a glance to keep you on track. Automatic reminders keep tabs on what comes next. Those first few weeks of school, it can be a challenge to remember your schedule, but pinning the Schedule Tile tells you when and where your next class is throughout the day. And the quick-math “What If” mode tells you what you need to score on your final exam to keep your “A.”

Now, if gross anatomy figures into your studies at all, then the free Skeletos app is going to make it a whole lot less gross. The human skeleton comes to life (in a non-zombie way) as you explore and study it, bone by bone, in 3D. Animate, rotate and zoom as you go, and tap any bone to view its name – double-tap to view it in detail.

There are many more apps in the “Back to School” collection in the Windows Phone Store, so do some homework on them now, and save a lot of time later when it’s crunch time on assignments – you’ll be ahead of the game because you’re prepared and organized.

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Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff