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10 apps for living and studying in London

19th March 2013 Chris Clark London Life, News and Events

In comparison to student accommodation, technology news moves at a rate similar to the speed to our rooms selling; Fast! New products are released month on month, and the amount of software to go with them appears infinite. So how do you find the best apps to aid living and studying in London? You can trial and error over a period of time, or you can look at our top 10 apps for living and studying in London. We have chosen to leave out the usual Google Maps and other well known app, as you probably already have them!

1. Hailo (iOS/Android)

Not to be mistaken with a console game, Hailo is an app that ‘hails’ the nearest black cab taxi to your location, where ever you may be in London. The app was an invention of three black cab drivers, who realized the nuisance of finding a taxi at peak times of the day. All you as a user have to do is set up an account, make sure your GPS or location services are switched on, and the cab driver will pick you up from your location. At peaks times on a Friday and Saturday night you will be required to put in your debit card details for pre-payment of the fair, and the minimum fee is £10. But having personally used it myself, having an account on file can save you so much time from standing around in the cold trying to ‘hail’ a cab.
This is easily the best app if you are in need of a taxi quickly.

London taxi

2. London Underground Free (iOS / Android /WP8)

With the London Underground the oldest and one of the largest tube networks in the world, it is quite easy to get lost in. With so many stations and names to remember, a newcomer can easily forget where to change station when trying to get to his/her destination. London Underground tube map allows even the most experienced Londoner to figure out which tube station they need to get to, on the move, and what stops they need to change at. I personally use it at least 2-3 times a month in conjunction with Google maps to figure out how to get somewhere, and I’ve lived in London for the past 4 years!

3. Bus Checker (iOS/Android)

Bus checker is especially useful at night when the London underground has stopped running (although the tube will run until 2pm at weekends come 2015). Enter the bus stop you are at to find out the bus routes running from it, or select a destination you need to get to and it will pin point the bus you need. Bus checker helps get you home when app 1 & 2 on this list aren’t an option.
Truth be told, its helped me out more times than I care to remember on cold nights in the winter!

4. Time Out London (iOS / Android)

When studying all week and needing a bit of time off, Time out London is a great app for finding out the latest culture, nightlife, and events happening in Central London. Its so easy to get caught up in an area and not explore what London has to offer (as I know all too well). Don’t let it happen to you!
We will no doubt be covering various things you can do whilst studying in London on further blog posts, but for now, this is a good app to use as you please.

London Big Ben

5. Dropbox/Google Drive/Skydrive/Box (iOS / Android / WP8)

Which ever eco-system you buy into, one of these will fit the bill. All offer different online storage solutions and sizes, and no one is far greater than the next.
I personally started with Google Drive but found Microsoft’s Skydrive much more intuitive and easy to use, whilst Apple fans will no doubt use icloud to back up their work.
If all of this has so far gone over your head and you don’t know what Dropbox/ Google Drive or icloud is, then let me explain. Essentially its storage space for all your files, but instead of being kept on your computers hard drive, its uploaded to a server aka ‘cloud’. From here you can access your files from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. It’s a great tool for backing up work, as you never know when your computer might pack in and break. Personally I use it to share files or documents with colleagues whilst on the move, but I’ve known others to buy extra ‘cloud’ space and upload all sorts. These apps are must haves for the modern age.

6. Secret London (iOS)

Secret London lets you in on other peoples discoveries and great places to visit. From food and drink to unknown theaters and galleries, Secret London allows anyone living at urbanest student accommodation to discover places off the extremely noisey London radar.

7. Epicurious (iOS / Android)

So you fancy a night in, or don’t know what to make for dinner? Let Epicurious help you out. The app has hundreds of great recipes to hand, all divided up into managable sections. Choose from weeknight dinners, to decadent desserts, or even fast breakfasts! The app also lets you grab the shopping list for any recipe in a split second, and favourite recipes you try and love to make again another day.
Definately worth checking out if you are the type of student that gets stuck with what to make.

8. Vouchercloud (iOS/Android)

Let’s face it, London can get expensive at times, especially when you’ve had a long weekend out and about. This is where vouchercloud app can come into play! Vouchercloud is an app from the guys behind vouchercloud.com. The app allows you to find great discounts across loads of selected brands, and these can range from urban outfitters/Topshop to B&Q/Pizza Express. The companies offering discounts change regularly too, so its wise to check back once in a while for great discounts on otherwise great products.

Student using tablet

9. Evernote (iOS / Android)

There are hundreds of productivity apps floating around the ‘app’mosphere but (bad puns a side) there are very few that actually make you more productive. As a student living and studying in London there are always times you need to make a quick ‘to do’ list, or jot down ideas, images, notes to yourself. Evernote allows you to keep everything in one easy to use space, which is also available to access and managed whilst using your tablet or PC. If you are already overly productive, then maybe you need to add a bit of creativity, which is where our next app on the list comes in…

10. Vine (iOS)

The new ‘buzz’ app on the block. The company was recently acquired by Twitter and re-launched, but in the long run how will it fair? It isn’t that different from other GIF makers out there, but because its got the Klout of Twitter behind it, its already taken off in a big way.
The main premise behind it is that a user can record 6 seconds of video (whether its continuous or lots of snippets stitched together) to create a short looping video. The app can allow the user to be as creative as they want with it, and there have already been some brilliant video loops produced. I know this doesn’t actually help with living or studying in London, but its a great way to be creative, blow off some steam, and even brag about where you are living a little bit.

Related – Best London apps to have on your phone right now

What are your favourite apps? Let us know in the comments! Also be sure to visit our student accommodation in London page.

Chris Clark

Chris Clark

For more great posts from Urbanest about accomodation, London life, study tips and much more, visit the Student Journal.