Dictionaries, thesauruses, translators, and other reference books are an essential part of any education, whether you’re in grade school or college. Paper versions of these books can be heavy, unwieldy, and expensive, but luckily, there are a slew of reference apps you can download from Apple’s App Store to help with studying, papers, homework, and more.
World Atlas HD ($0.99) – This app from National Geographic puts maps of the entire world right in the palm of your hand. The app uses high resolution, press-ready images directly from National Geographic to give you rich detail, accuracy, and artistic beauty when studying geography. The app has an interactive 3-D globe that can be rotated, zoomed in on, and entirely explored, plus a database of world flags and facts. You can learn all about the world around you with the included geographic and socio-economic data, and you can find any spot on any map using the extensive search capabilities.
Dictionary.com Ad Free Dictionary & Thesaurus for iPad ($4.99) – There’s a free version of the Dictionary.com app, but it’s worthwhile to pay the extra $5 to experience Dictionary.com’s extensive database ad free. You might think that this app, which also includes a thesaurus, might be unusable offline, but that’s not the case. This app functions online and offline, so you won’t need an Internet connection to search for words. Dictionary.com’s app includes more than 2,000,000 definitions, synonyms, and antonyms, plus daily content like Word of the Day. There’s also voice search, trending searches, and the ability to explore words simply by shaking your iPad.
Articles ($1.99) – Articles is a Wikipedia reader for the iPad. You simply enter a search term and Articles will locate what you’re looking for, displaying it in an easy to read format that improves upon the original Wikipedia design. There’s an integrated maps feature to learn about interesting places and historic events around your current location, and you can also shake your device to find random articles to explore. You can save the most interesting articles that you find for later, and search for specific passages on each page.
Google Translate (Free) – You shouldn’t use Google Translate to complete all of your foreign language homework, but it can be a useful tool for looking up words and conjugations that you can’t remember. With this app, you can translate words and phrases between more than 60 languages – it even supports voice searches so you don’t need to type anything in. You can listen to translations spoken aloud, which will help you with pronunciation, and while this app only works online, it does save your translation history for offline use.
Ultralingua Dictionary (Free) – Ultralingua is a multi-language dictionary that comes equipped with dictionaries in English, French, German, Latin, Italian, and more. With this app you can search for words and catch misspellings and irregular verb conjugations, making it a useful tool for homework. The app includes all tenses and forms for every verb, slang, common usage, plus example phrases and idioms. This app offers free trials, but you will need to purchase the dictionaries and thesauruses themselves, which range in price from $1.99 to $8.99.