Review: iStudiez Pro
iStudiez Pro, by Andriy Kachalo
• Nice planning tool for organizing school/semester
• Easy to add classes, modify schedule
• iPhone and iPad universal binary
• Adding grades is not intuitive as I would like
• Does not include “non academic” activities
iStudiez Pro is a well developed student organization app. It allows students to monitor their classes, assignments, and overall schedule. Basically, this app tries to make sure students no longer have any excuse for missing class or forgetting an assignment. And to a large degree, it succeeds.
iStudiez Pro is primarily a management app. It’s goal is to present important information to students – information primarily along the lines of due dates and class schedules. The majority of the app is focused on presenting information in a calendar/daily planner view. With the iPhone, you have a “today” view, a calendar view (which can also include a weekly view when holding it in landscape), an list of assignments view, and the planner view (to input classes, assignments, and so forth).
In the iPad, the views are somewhat different. You still have the same overall goal (acting as a daily planner) but with the larger screen, the iPad combines the today and calendar view (while missing the weekly view). You still have a planner mode and an assignments mode, but the iPad also includes a separate “instructor” icon to add professors or instructors (this can be done in the iPhone version, but it is through the planner mode).
The daily view/calendar view can show you regular schedule, it can show days with exams on them, and it can show the specific due dates for upcoming assignments. The assignments view can be sorted based on due date or by course (in the iPhone version, also by priority). You can also show current assignments (uncompleted) or completed assignments.
Adding a course (or assignments) is pretty straight forward. In the planner mode, simply tap on the “+” button, and start to add information about a course (meeting schedule, when the exams are, etc). Once the course is added, you can then add assignments within the planner mode. You can also turn on grades individually for each course (although the grades option has to be enabled within the overall settings).
Grades can either be based on percentage (95.5%), a simple letter grade (A, B, C), or a simply point system (1, 2, 3, etc). Within a course, you can give each assignment a classification (homework, project, report, essay, etc), with each classification getting a specific weights. You can also simply use a “point system” by not assigning weights – in that case your grade is calculated simply by the points you received divided by the total possible points.
There are a lot of customization options available, and additional details you can add. In the calendar, you can assign colors to each class so you can see at a glance what you have coming up. You can set up notifications to be reminded of assignments. You can modify the class times, length of the class, even the semester as needed. You can specify more information for each class – type of class (lab, lecture, seminar, study group, etc), you can specify the location (building and room number), you can add details about the instructor (website, photo, contact information). The study group option is particularly nice, because you can include study groups in your regular schedule! When you have assignments, you can indicate it is a group assignment and add partners from your contacts.
Having said that, I wish there were some features you could add. Like the ability to import a PDF syllabus for viewing. The ability to incorporate non-academic, but school related scheduling (band practice, play rehearsal, student government meetings, etc) would also be a plus. But for a scheduling app focused on academics, this application is great. I look forward to being able to incorporate the scheduling with the iPhone/iPad calendar with the new iPhone 4 OS.
All in all, this is a solid, well designed application to help students keep their lives in order. It allows students to monitor their semester schedules, keep track of classes, assignments, as well as their grades – ideally resulting in fewer excuses that instructors may receive when something is missed. It has a large variety of customization options, ranging from colors on the calendar to adjusting the semester length to including information about the professors teaching the course. If you are a student who is finding yourself overwhelmed and unable to keep track of everything, iStudies Pro at $2.99 might just be able to help you out. Four out of five stars.
Please note – the photographs in the iPhone apps forum are from the iPhone, and in the iPad apps forum are from the iPad. This is a universal binary app, so you can look at the other photos in the other forum to get an idea of additional features, but the app may look different from the photos based on the device you are using.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.