Essential Apps for Freshers

Features Science and Technology

Deliveroo (free – iOS, Android, Windows)

Stress-filled essay crises are easily remedied by good food. With an average delivery time of 32 minutes, Deliveroo brings your favourite local restaurants home to your doorstep. Browse restaurants and takeaways in Oxford from the comfort of your bed – burritos, burgers pizza and noodles are naturally in mouth-watering abundance, but sushi, falafel salads and detox juices are also available for those few students who take an active interest in their own wellbeing.


Companion (free – iOS, Android)

Companion is an essential get-home-safe app. It shows your approved contacts where you are on a virtual map, allowing them to track your journey home. It is also able to detect signs of stress, such as might occur if you fell over or started running (it probably reaches high levels of concern accompanying people home from the club). If you do not confirm that you are, in fact, merely tipsy, the app will set off an alarm to attract help. There is also an option to inform your designated contacts that you feel unsafe, or even contact the police in an emergency. Just make sure you know how to disable it before you go for a run.


Duolingo (free – iOS, Android, Windows)
Whilst nothing can compare to learning languages in situ, if you’re looking to brush up on the bus or supplement your classes at the University’s Language Centre, Duolingo might just be up your street. Launched back in 2012, the app now offers its 120 million users 19 different language courses from English, with another 8 in development (including Czech, Hindi and, of course, Klingon). Activities are engaging and encourage commitment, and if you’re not starting from scratch, placement tests can quickly work out where you need to be.


YikYak (free – iOS, Android, Windows)

For anyone who’s been living under a rock for the past year, Yikyak is basically anonymous Twitter for university students.  Publish anonymous 140-character yaks, or posts, visible to your ‘herd’ – meaning other students in Oxford – and upvote or downvote other students’ yaks. Once a yak receives five downvotes, it is brutally deleted from the feed, allowing users to police the content of their herd. While it provides fantastic opportunity for procrastination, it also can provide emotional support for those looking for someone to talk to or share their woes with (until your self-pitying yak gets trolled, of course). Now everyone can be unreservedly creepy without fear of social retribution!


DO Note (free- iOS)

Minimise the number of apps you use by adding another: DO Note. This allows you to complete any number of tasks such as updating your status, booking cinema tickets, and creating calendar entries, from just one app. Its wonderfully simplistic layout is clear and refreshing, and might just serve to convince you that you are, in fact, being productive, rather than just continuing to mess around on your phone with a different app than the one you usually use to procrastinate.


SpeakToSnooze (free – iOS, Android)

Having stumbled into bed semi-dressed (or undressed), made-up and glitter-coated after a magical night at Plush, it is highly unlikely you will remember where you dropped your phone on the way in – if your phone made it home with you at all. Avoid the head-banging horror of trawling blindly through the mess on your bedroom floor at 7am, while your alarm evasively chirrups on at an ever-increasing volume. SpeakToSnooze uses voice control to allow you to speak to, or perhaps yell at, your phone alarm to snooze or switch off from the comfort of your bed.



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