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Apps We (Bwog Staff) Love: 2019 And Perhaps Only Edition

I, like you, have a phone. That phone has apps. Not all of them are all that useful, I suspect most are junk, and if recent reporting is to be believed, we really ought to just throw anything remotely connected to the Internet away and become the neo-Luddites we were made to be. We may be able to stave off the Singularity yet.

(Ooh, face aging app! Never mind.)

Anyway, here’s some apps that we at Bwog find useful and/or fun for your Columbia and NYC needs. [By the way, this’ll be me talking.]

Julia Ulziisaikhan, Daily Editor

Venmo (iOS/Android): “Useful for when you have to pay your friend back for that slice of Koronets.”

Letterboxd (iOS/Android): “Helps keep track of what movies I’ve watched and want to see.”

Google Arts and Culture (iOS/Android): “Very informative on museums and all art.” [You may know it better at that selfie-art comparison app.]

Twitter (iOS/Android): “funny as hell” [and wouldn’t you know, we’re on it, check us out]


Jenny Zhu, Editor in Chief

Adobe Scan (iOS/Android): “THE goat for stem classes in which you need to scan/submit handwritten p-sets online!! Super easy functionality – and convenient, too.” 

Co-Star (iOS): [Android brethren, there’s no analogous horoscope app on the Play Store, so here’s an alternative.]


Zack Abrams, Managing Editor

LIChess (iOS/Android): “A fun, free, and still intellectually stimulating way to pass the time while waiting in line at JJ’s or standing on the downtown 1 platform.” 

[Zack, saintly rat king he is, is also offering you lucky readers some free chess lessons. I’m not kidding. Someone actually take him up on this and make him regret it.]


Jake Tibbets, Senior Staff Writer

[Jake literally listed every food delivery app known to man, so I’m linking one. Seamless, because it’s GrubHub, but NYC-branded.]

DoorDash/Postmates/Grubhub (Seamless)/Caviar/UberEats (iOS/Android): “For food.”

The Infatuation (iOS/Android): “10/10 for deciding where to get food.”

(“i am a big fan of food.”)


Sarah Braner, Staff Writer

Citymapper (iOS/Android): “I’m gonna say Citymapper before anyone else!!!” [Damn you.]

Apple Maps (iOS): “That rat bastard app got me so freaking lost during NSOP and I was just wandering around Manhattan alone hauling a giant tower fan in 90º weather. Made me swear off going into the city alone for a month before I realized the real problem.”


[Real shit, GPS sucks in Manhattan. I was at 30 Rock a few months back, and ended up getting a band of British tourists lost after giving them bad Google Maps directions. Still haunts me that they may have never made it to their destination.]


Sarah Harty, Senior Staff Writer

CamScanner (iOS/Android): “loml u will never need to physically scan again.”

[Again, only linking one. Eenie meenie minie… StubHub.]

StubHub/SongKick (BandsInTown)/Eventbrite/TodayTix (iOS/Android): “For getting tix to things.”

Classpass (iOS/Android): “For cheaper boutique workout classes like Flywheel or Barry’s. 

Bar&Club Stats (iOS/Android): [ID scanner.]


Isabel Sepúlveda, Events Editor

Scanner++/Tinyscanner (iOS/Android): “Yet another scanning app.”

Forest (iOS/Android): “Forces me to put down my phone in the library and not get distracted while growing a cute animated tree that does if I use my phone before time’s up.”

MyNoise (iOS/Android): “If you don’t like listening to music while you study but can’t stand the sound of people breathing in Butler, download this app full of amazing noise generators.” (“Though, the iPhone app currently has more robust functionality than the Android app.” [typical.])

Period Tracker (iOS/Android): “Exactly what it says on the tin. If you’re a person with a period who has not kept track of your cycle before, this is a good way to get in the habit.”

Word Reference (iOS/Android): “A great dictionary app to get you through the language requirement, also has a huge forum/community that probably has already answered your question about that one weird Italian idiom.”

[Gonna add one for the “estudiantes” in the room: SpanishDict (iOS/Android).]

Mint (iOS/Android): “Make a budget! Track your spending! Check your credit score! All in one handy free app.”

Goodreads (iOS/Android): “Keeps track of what I read during the year, helps motivate me to keep reading for fun.”

Canvas (iOS/Android): “For easy access to your reading/assignments.” [Columbia calls its instance of Canvas “Courseworks,” in case that confuses you.]

Wikipedia (iOS/Android): “For late night rabbitholes about Keanu Reeves’ full filmography.

[Isabel also recommends you download: your bank’s official app to track your finances; and your news app of choice. Unfortunately, there’s no Bwog app, but did you know Columbia students get free access to the New York Times?]


Zoe Sottile, Internal Editor

Mint (iOS/Android): “Good for budget tracking! College is EXPENSIVE – you can customize it a lot and it’ll send you emails telling you if you went over budget, if you stayed under, etc. to keep you accountable to your goals.”

Signal (iOS/Android): [From the devs: “Signal uses an advanced end-to-end encryption protocol to keep your conversations private.” Do with that information what you will.]

LinkedIn (iOS/Android): “so you can sell out”

Duolingo (iOS/Android): “Helps you with that language requirement! Plus, it’s a great way to kill time on the subway instead of just scrolling through Twitter. 

Headspace (iOS/Android): “A great app for meditating!! Meditation is a fantastic way to help manage anxiety and stress. I just did the free starter meditation set and now keep up a daily meditation practice.”


Jeffrey Ndubisi, Staff Writer/Me

Office Lens (iOS/Android): I know, I know, another mobile scanner. But this one’s first-party (Microsoft), can convert scans to Word docs, and can save to OneDrive. Ignore all other apps. Would I lead you astray?

Dark Sky (iOS/Android): Hyperlocal weather app. Tells you when it’s gonna rain down to the hour. I like it, but your regular weather app will serve you just as well.

Wabbitemu (Android): Your TI-84, in your app drawer. Sorry, iOS users.

Pharos Print (iOS/Android): Takes a minute or two to setup (here’s CUIT’s guide), but you can send docs to PawPrint (Columbia’s printing system) from your phone. Like, for example, if you need a copy of that doc you scanned with Office Lens.

Interval Timer (Android): Lit Hum texts are long and tedious. I try to gamify things by challenging myself to complete a page a minute. This app lets me set up a recurring timer to do just that. It’s more so for workouts, but I’m exercising my brain, so… (Here’s a similar app for iOS.) 

Alarmy (iOS/Android): It’s loud, it’s obnoxious, and it won’t shut up until you answer fucking calculus questions or shake your phone like it’s a damn Shake Weight. Perfect for the 8am classes that I willingly signed up for!

Angry Birds: I want to live forever young in 2009.

That’s all, folks! Let us know in the comments if you’ve got any other apps you’d like to recommend. Alternatively, feel free to ask for any recommendations for applications/programs for your own niche needs – I’ll gladly be your tech guru.


Header image by Jeffrey Ndubisi

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  • Zack Abrams says:

    @Zack Abrams please hmu if you want chess lessons!!

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Zack is so woke, he makes black go first.

  • anon says:

    @anon Why is this Columbia College magazine all Barnard students and ultra liberals?

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous It’s a shitty first year Barnard blog masquerading as some Columbia publication. They’re all social rejects anyways. Ignore them.

      1. anon says:

        @anon Sad. It used to be a witty, intelligent Columbia College publication.

    2. anon (amara tere’ banks,, 3107453272) says:

      @anon (amara tere’ banks,, 3107453272) 1. say it with your chest “””anon”””
      2. the current board is entirely cc ??
      3. if you care even more than one ounce, go to a meeting and make a pitch instead of leaving pathetic comments

      1. Abby says:

        @Abby Glad they finally got the thumbs up working so I can give you one

      2. anon says:

        @anon praise bagel

      3. anon says:

        @anon You went to Barnard. Opinion discarded.

  • Remember folks says:

    @Remember folks It’s okay to be white

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Before buying any software, check out and
    There is a good argument why open source software is better than that you pay for.
    Basically, open source has more users, hence more bugs get caught.
    Believe it or not, many firms are so anal they won’t let employees use expensive software,
    afraid it will somehow cost them too much. But open source gets used like crazy.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Get the grub app to multi-boot. Put plain DOS 6 on the root partition with exactly 555 MB, Then do an Android partition. Then choose one of the “special spin” Linux (Fedora Scientific Spin, Quantian, CAE Linux, Bio Linux, Poseidon Linux, Science Linux – with all the hard science software pre-installed). Then put Windows (Microsoft was never intended for adults). Then make a data partition in a format all the software can access.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous If you do any serious chemistry you need RD Kit.
    If you do any serious data analysis you need WEKA.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Columbia used to be a serious Linux shop. What happened? I hate MicroSoft.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous The coolest app for STEM is Jasymca, a sub-clone of both Matlab and Macsyma. It is available in Java, Android and Apple versions. You can use the Java version almost anywhere. So you can’t do definite integrals, doe sit really matter on the subway, where you can plot your model before you get to your desk?

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous There exist Android matlab emulators (addi and scilab) as well as r-language (com.appsopensource.r.apk) a “Honda” version of Macsyma (Maxima), texportal, “zielm” emacs with way too tiny font, Kortsaridies WEKA, and even a CAD viewer. I have had trouble however, using Java on Android.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous is cool. You can shoehorn your Windoze software to run it from a USB without installing. You can get freeocr, emacs, ganttproject, gnucash accounting, miktex, pdfarchitect, PUTTY, R, FreeMat (matlab), maxima, SCP and XAMPP, Elmer multiphysics FEA, GMESH, and Open Office.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I heard there is a cool app that uses just the plain microphone, speaker and camera on a cell phone to find out if those boobs or balls are real. They call it something like “signal scavenger”.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Hey, we need a computer help-each other space.
    Maybe in the NWC library.

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