It's official: Apple has announced its newest addition to the smartphone family, the iPhone 5. The new iPhone features a thinner, lighter body; a larger, 4-inch screen; and will come equipped with Apple's new mobile software update, iOS 6.
The evolution of mobile technology has changed many aspects of higher education, from one school offering free smartphones to incoming freshmen to the development of apps that help students organize their daily schedules. Mobile technology has also impacted professional and social networking, with sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter top of mind when college students think of networking.
"I think it's really revolutionized the way I get in touch with people," says Chelsea Orcutt, a senior at Syracuse University. "I think they've brought down a lot of walls to networking, which is great for students."
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For college students who are hoping to use the new iPhone 5 as a professional tool, here are five iPhone apps they should consider.
1. JobChangeAlert: One way to keep up with professional connections is through the social network LinkedIn. For many students, finding a way to keep consistent correspondence with a contact can be difficult. JobChangeAlert, which uses information from your personal LinkedIn network, pushes a daily notification to your iPhone that shares any LinkedIn connection's recent employment moves.
Oftentimes, job announcements are lost on the social network, and this app provides a way for students to stay on top of changes and proactively offer congratulations or get information about a contact's new role or future ambitions.
2. About.me: Many career advisers would argue the importance of students having their own websites. For students who lack the technical chops to build one, about.me allows users to create a one-page site that houses a person's bio and links to social networks and personal sites, along with the option to upload a personal image as a background.
"LinkedIn is like your professional résumé," notes Ma'ayan Plaut, the social media coordinator at Oberlin College in Ohio. "About.me allows you to share a little bit more about who you are, and personalize it a little better."
The mobile app allows users to "compliment" another person's page, and a user can enable location settings to find other about.me users nearby who share similar interests. And, for students who want to share contact information, but not personal E-mail addresses, about.me provides them with a contact page to share.
"I like being able to be contacted without having to give out my E-mail address," Plaut says. "It gives students the ability to decide if they want to respond to people."
[See how social media can help or hinder a grad's job search.]
3. Evernote Hello: One of the most difficult parts about networking with a lot of people is trying to remember every single person you've met. Evernote, most known for its note-taking cloud service, attempts to go beyond the traditional contact list by providing a way to chronicle a history of networking with a person.
New contacts can be added to Evernote Hello either by the user or the acquaintance, and connections are encouraged to take a photo of themselves to upload to the app. Subsequent meetings with the acquaintance can be noted in the app, as it collects location and time data to add context to a budding professional relationship.
4. ScanBizCards: Although some professionals use mobile networking apps, many still rely on traditional business cards to share contact information. For students who rely on technology to stay organized, ScanBizCards is an app that scans and stores business card information in a device's address book.
At networking events, "everyone just hands you business cards," says Mike Lesczinski, the public relations manager at Excelsior College.
"By the end of the event, I always have a pile of cards that I never look at," he notes. "Now, I'll take a picture of the business card at the end of the day and upload it to the app."
The app goes beyond just filing contact information; it also allows users to follow up with a LinkedIn request or an introduction E-mail without leaving the app.
5. Bump: Business cards have long been synonymous with networking, giving students and professionals a convenient way to share contact information. But mobile applications such as Bump, which uses cloud services to share contact information and images between devices, may eventually make business cards obsolete.
Students can share contact information through the Bump app by literally "bumping" mobile devices together. The app uses cloud services and location-based information to match the devices and share the chosen information.
[Buying the iPhone 5? Find out what to do with your old iPhone.]
With Bump, not only can students personally edit their information each time they share a "bump" with another person, it adds a convenience factor that business cards may not provide, notes Rob Engelsman, a multimedia content specialist at Ithaca College in New York.
"I've had a stack of 500 business cards on my desk for the past year, and when I need one, I don't have one on me," Engelsman says, "but I always have my phone."
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