Best Android Apps for Graduate Students & Researchers

As you may know, I've worked in cutting edge education technology for nearly a decade now.
However, I also get to wear a student's hat as a Ph.D. student.  My needs are quite a bit different from a K-12 or even undergraduate since my scholarly undertaking is all in research, language acquisition, and translation.  However, just FYI, here is my list of must-have apps on my Android tablet (Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7) or for my Windows computer.

1. Google Drive - So I have my files on the go.  Could not live without this anymore.  I also have my word process set to auto-save documents to Google Drive in case my system crashes, et cetera.  In the first week of all my classes I show students how to set this up.  If they have Internet they have no excuse for lost work.

2. Anki (AnkiDroid)
-  Adaptive flashcards, I can create decks that are text, contain media like images and audio (maybe video, not so sure), can prompt for answers, et cetera with Anki.  Decks can be uploaded to be shared, and with an account your decks and practice synchronizes across devices (I use it on my PC and tablet--great for making productive use of bus rides). I have notifications set up so it does not allow me to get more than one day behind without reminding me to review.  These are very helpful because while I might not review right then, it does prompt me to get them done before they pile up.

3. Zotero  (computer only-no mobile app)- This is a free (300 MB storage) citation-management software that works with various formats of citations, can search through various databases to find citations, et cetera, and can then add citations and create bibliographies in documents.  I do not know how I lived without it.  Works as a plug-in for Firefox and various word processors.  Unfortunately, there is not yet a workable app that makes this really usable on the go.  One can use the app EasyBib, create citations, e-mail them and then upload to Zotero, but I find it easier to just create the citation on Zotero once I am actually at the computer.  There is one mobile app to access your Zotero library, Zandy, but the results are less than perfect.  I pay $20/year for 2GB of storage, and that is plenty of room for me for now and at least several years in the future--just don't upload huge .pdf documents to it.

4. Google Docs - I use them for notetaking since it is more seamless for me.  I then import these notes into Zotero as/if needed once I am actually writing up my research.  I can also use the voice-to-text option to note take, saving me a little time.  I have a Bluetooth keyboard but it stays in my office for the days I do not bring my laptop in, but I prefer to just dictate notes when I am on the go rather than taking it with me.  It isn't perfect, but it works just as good as my $200 DragonSpeak software I used to use.

5. CamScanner - Basically just allows picture taking as .pdf documents.  The OCR was a little unreliable in the premium subscription-based version, so now I just work with the images created.  I can also import these into Zotero once I am at my computer.  I have yet to find a good pen scanner with acceptable OCR (Optical Character Recognition) that does not have to be plugged into a computer when using.  This is an enormous lack.

6. Adobe Reader - I use this constantly.  All courses I teach now only use electronic texts, mostly in the form of .pdf files.  Students can choose to print the texts or not.  With the Adobe Reader app, I can also highlight and annotate locally saved copies.  Besides my e-mail, this is the most frequently opened app for me.

7. OpenDocument Reader - Just a necessary productivity app for me since I use OpenOffice (which I love) and often save in .odt format.  Also the Zotero plug-in works wonderfully in OpenOffice but just be aware of the settings (they will not auto-synch if you save the document into .doc, so if you must, do that as a last step and remember to keep editing the .odt document and not the .doc document--learned that the hard way).

8. EBSCOHost - Journals database; I have premium access through my institution. I can search, read and download from the app.  I prefer to use EBSCOHost at the computer, but I do use this when without my laptop.

9. Google Calendar - I used this continuously not only to manage appointment and calls but to create reminders for landmarks, for when grading assignments or assignment submissions must be completed, reminding me about conference and call for paper deadlines, etc..  It is my outsourced memory.

10. Google Translate - I use this as a dictionary for German, Indonesian and Khmer.  It is basically unworkable for translating a document, but I just need it as a dictionary and this saves me from having multiple apps for each language.  I have two separate apps, though, for Pali language and Sanskrit, as well as searchable .pdf dictionaries for them that I think are actually a bit better than the apps.

11. Evernote - It actually leaves a lot to be desired; I use it primarily because there is no real working Zotero app that would allow me to enter notes from my tablet and that I can use it to capture and save entire Web sites on my tablet and import them into Zotero later or access them offline.

12. Kindle
- I use Abode Reader more than Kindle, but it is helpful as some texts I have are only in .mobi format and for newer books I often buy the Kindle version rather than hard copy.  Also, I get my periodical subscriptions on the Kindle so I do not have magazines piling up in the house.

13. Skype - I do occasionally use this as a student to conference with peers, professors, or even get Skyped into a lecture on occasion.  I wish there was some way to share my screen or add multiple individuals to a call on the mobile app, though, as I have not figured out how to do that.

Also, alternative keyboards: not really apps, but I have a Khmer and Devanagari fonts on my tablet.  A device that supported multiple fonts was essential for me since I occasionally do need to input different syllabaries and must read non-Roman texts/Web pages.  Many mobile devices do not support these.

When We Were Young

Family 8mm video from the early 1980s . . .

Anticipating Summer 2014

This is just a transition entry.

My summer is mostly about language studies. I'm going to be spending the summer in Malang in East Java.  Allow me to issue a quick disclaimer:
This blog and any comments, discussions, images, etc.,  are not endorsed by, maintained by, or otherwise associated in any way with the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, American Councils for International Education, or Ohio State University/Ohio University.
I hope I get to visit many of the candi (temples) in the area to photograph them.  My summer plan is just to get my Bahasa Indonesia up to par, increase my Khmer vocabulary by 600 words and write at least six blogs in Khmer.  I'm going to be reviewing Sanskrit verb forms, and in the fall when I get back to Hawai'i I plan to sit in on a Sanskrit course with our new professor here at UH.  I will also try to get my dissertation proposal into shape.  That already seems like too much to accomplish.

I was hoping to get my Patani chapter done of my MS, but I think it is better to get something of a draft together and then work on it once I get back.

While I have finished all my coursework for the Ph.D. in philosophy, this is my last year of taking courses. I finished my culminating exams just a few days ago.  My summer reading list is only in part meant to prepare for my dissertation proposal, but it looks pretty ambitious.  The three themes of the reading are similarity and analogy, Buddhism and violence, and Indonesia.  Feel free to read something with me :)  In the meantime, with the little downtime I have this week I am reading The Dravidian Languages. 

My summer reading list:

Learning Indonesian: Memasak soto mi

Hari ini saya memasak soto mi dari resep dari kuliah saya.  Resep ini di bawah!  Kami suka.  Saya kira itu tidak enak kerena pertama tidak ada rasa tetapi bila selesai enak sekali!  Dan isteri saya kira pun!

Resep Soto Mi
Dimasak soto

Untuk 5-6 orang



500 g daging sapi
2 l air
3 bungkus (500gr) mi kuning
1/2 kol
bawang goreng
krupuk udang
3 telur rebus
5 batang daun bawang
2 buah wortel diiris kira-kira 0,5 cm
2 batang seledri diiris setebal 1 cm (aku tidak menambah--isteriku nggak suka seledri)



1 batang serai, dimemarkan
3 helai daun jeruk
1 helai daun salam
3 siung bawang merah, dihaluskan
3 siung bawang putih, dihaluskan
1/2 st bubuk kunyit
1 st merica putih, dihaluskan
3 butir kemiri, dihaluskan
garam secukupnya
(aku menambah sedikit lengkuas dan sedikit jehe, diiris, dan satu biji adas manis atau anis bintang dan dua atau tiga cabai merah dihaluskan)



10 butir cabai merah, dihaluskan
1/4 st garam
1 st air jeruk nipis


Daging dipotong kira-kira 2x3 cm lalu direbus dengan 2 liter air di api sedang selama satu jam. Masukkan bumbu halus, serai, daun jeruk, daun salam, dan seledri. Direbus selama 15 menit lalu masukkan wortel dan masak lagi selama 15 menit. Masukkan separuh daun bawang. Sajikan dengan sisa daun bawang, bawang goreng, krupuk, dan mi (sebelum disajikan mi diseduh dengan air panas).

Learning Khmer : លំហាត់

So, I'm trying to learn Khmer.  It isn't so easy.  This summer I will try to blog in Khmer at least four times a month to stay in practice (I'll be in Indonesia this summer, and I'll blog in Khmer on another site, Learn Khmer With Me; I'll also be keeping an Indonesian language blog about my time there).

I'm nearing the end of my first year of intensive study, and I thought I would share what my homework looks like at this point.  By the way, the word for homework or drill in Khmer is លំហាត់.  The words I have to look up I try to write and define so I remember them especially when I am trying to re-read my stories. 

Below is the story of Big Brother Mao.  Big Brother Mao is basically an extremely lazy good-for-nothing who does not brush his teeth and continues to live and leach off of his mother. The story (and grammar) below is pretty simple.  He wakes up late and wants to go to the nearby zoo, but he does not want to walk and does not have any money.  If you know Khmer, feel free to correct my mistakes!

រឿងរ៉ាវ នៃ ថ្ងៃ បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ
ផ្នែក មួយ

បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ ភ្ញាក់ ១០ ម៉ោង។
គាត់​ បាន ដេក ច្រើន។

នៅ ថ្ងៃ នេះ គាត់ នឹង ទៅ សួនសត្វ។
គាត់ នឹង ឃើញ សត្វ។

ម្តាយ គាត់ ធ្វើ កាហ្វេ។
បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ ចូលចិត្ត ផឹក កាហ្វេ នៅ ពេល ព្រឹក។
គាត់ ចូលចិត្ត វា ផ្អែមណាស់ ជាមួយ ស្ករ ច្រើន។

គាត់  ទៅ នៅ ខាង ក្នុងបន្ទ ប់ទឹក។
គាត់ មិន កោរ ពុក មាត់ គាត់។
បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ ខ្ជិលណាស់។
គាត់ លុប មុខ ប៉ុន្តែ មិន ដុស ធ្មេញ។

គាត់ ស្លៀក ខោ ខ្លី មិន ល្អ។ 
អាវយឺត គាត់ មិន ល្អ។
ម្តាយ គាត់​ បោកអ្ញុត ប៉ុន្តែ គាត់ មិន មើល ទៅ នៅ ខាងក្នុ ងទូ។
គាត់ ស្លៀក អ្វីមួយ នៅ ជិតស្និទ្ធ ពី គាត់។
បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ​ ខ្ជិលណាស់!

សួនសត្វ នៅ ជិត ផ្ទះ គាត់។ ដប់ នាទី ពី ផ្ទះ បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ.
គាត់ សួរ: "ម៉ា!  សូម លុយ!"
គាត់ មិន មាន ធ្វើការ។
គាត់ មិន មាន លុយ។
គាត់ ចង់ យក ម៉ូតូ ទៅ សួនសត្វ។
គាត់ មិន ចង់ ដើរ។
គាត់ ចង់ ទិញ សំបុត្រ សួនសត្វ។

បន្ទាប់ពី គាត់ មាន លុយ គាត់ បាន ទៅ។
គាត់ ជិះ ម៉ូតូ។
បន្ទាប់ពី មួយ នាទី គាត់ មកដល់ នោ សួនសត្វ។

ខាងក្នុង - Inside
ខ្ជិល - Lazy
អ្ញុត - Iron (clothing)
សួរ - Ask
មកដល់ - Arrive

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