Summer is winding down and soon it’s going to be time to head back to class. You’ll pack the necessities: clothes, food, computer, cell phone. That phone (or iPod Touch or iPad) is going to become a whole lot more useful this fall. And you’re going to be hearing a lot about something called Cal U Fusion.

What is Cal U Fusion?

From the June 21, 2010 issue of the Journal:

Cal U Fusion is Cal U’s mobile initiative, designed to make learning–and campus life–more accessible, mobile and fun. Eventually, this initiative will use smart phones, iPod Touch or iPad devices as interactive tools for teaching and learning. But first it will make campus life even safer and more convenient.

This fall, Cal U Fusion “apps” will be available for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Initial offerings will let users:
  • Press a button on an iPhone to summon help in an emergency.
  • Order and pay for food “to go” from AVI Fresh, the campus dining services vendor; the meal will be ready for pickup when the customer arrives.
  • Find their way with an interactive Cal U map that helps users navigate the campus and find a building’s location.
In addition, a “shuttle tracker” will make it easy to catch a ride on the University’s Vulcan Flyer fleet. Riders can use any smart phone, mobile device, laptop or desktop computer to track the path of Vulcan Flyer buses on their route between the south campus at Roadman Park and the main campus.
  • Download the Cal U Fusion app [link coming soon!]

Free Apps for Students

Here is a collection of free apps that should make your time at Cal U a lot more fun and productive:

Listen

  • WCAL Radio (iPhone app coming soon!) – listen to the campus radio station on the go; even call in requests!
  • Pandora – personalized internet radio
  • iheartradio – stream more than 750 American radio stations on your iPhone/iPod Touch

Organize

  • myHomework – keep track of what needs done and when
  • Evernote – create notes and sync them on your computer and your mobile device
  • Google Calendar – keep track of your busy life with this online calendar

Local

  • yelp – find places nearby and read community reviews

Reference

Socialize

  • Facebook – you know you need this
  • Twitter – updates in 140 characters or less
  • Foursquare – let your friends know where you are

File

  • Dropbox – sync your files on your computer and your mobile device

Design

Read

  • iBooks – Apple’s e-reader

Stay Healthy

Volunteer

  • Catalista – find volunteer opportunities in your local area

Don’t see your favorite app in the list? Feel free to add it in the comments.Be sure to subscribe to the Mac Lab Podcast where you’ll find a new weekly segment dedicated specifically to mobile apps. Have a great semester!