iMore presents the ultimate guide for going back to school

Cupertino, August 17, 2023

Going back to school can be an intimidating prospect for students around the world. If you want to go back to school with Apple products, you want to make sure you know what you’re in for. From the latest scheduling apps to the best backpacks, iMore’s ultimate back to school guide goes over everything you need to know when it comes to going back to school, as well as some tips on Apple student discounts.

Best high school and college backpacks for students

With all the supplies, books, and electronics that they need for school, students need a sturdy and roomy backpack to start the year off right. There’s quite a lot students need to consider when putting the cash down. Some bags sell themselves on how easy they are to pack up, others have more than enough pockets to fit all your things. All that, and you still have to think about style — you want something that looks good too. Hop online to try and find one, however and you’ll soon notice a problem; there are too many to count. There are way too many choices for just one student to search through, leaving you aimlessly wandering around the proverbial shopping aisles of Amazon looking for one to tick off every box.

Best iPhone and iPad apps for college students

Apps aren’t just a nice way to spend your time when you’re bored — they are also an excellent way to more efficiently manage your day, learn new information, and manage all of your work. To get the most out of your tech (and your school experience), you will need a broad range of apps. Going back to school can be a little bit overwhelming if you aren’t fully prepared for everything, so it’s worth taking the time out now to learn how the App Store’s impressive suite of apps can better help you out.

How old of a MacBook is still good for a student?

Though MacBooks have always been impressive devices, they start to get a little powerful with age. As apps get better and better, the tech needed to run them needs to catch up. This means, as time goes on, older devices no longer run the same old applications. You want to make sure you are paying for something strong enough to get through everything a student needs to do. Older devices, however, ar often cheaper, which can leave you with a dilemma. If you’re picking out the perfect MacBook for a student but you’re working on a budget, you have to account for specs, compatibility, and value. That will, eventually leave you looking for older models, and leave you asking a question: Should a student buy a Mac mini?

The best scheduling apps for students

Going back to school can be a very hectic time for students. Each new year comes with brand new lessons, friends, and distractions. Luckily, your iPhone or iPad are fantastic at helping you organise your life a little better. With so many scheduling apps available, it can be tough to find the best ones. As you get into the school year, you may be wondering: 

The best HomeKit lights for students

Bringing the smart Apple ecosystem into the home, HomeKit has some really cool ways of playing with lights. From Nanoleaf Hexagon shapes to a standard smart bulb, lighting is a choice that really brings a room together. When a student will spend most of their study time in their room, it makes sense to commit to a setup that feels comfortable and cool to live in. On first glance, it is easy to miss how customizable lights are and students should pick out lighting that gives a very broad feature set.

The Mous Extreme Commuter backpack is perfect for students

The Mouse Extreme Commuter backpack has many selling points. It’s a secure backpack that keeps your items safe even if you drop it from a high height. Smart pocket design leaves room for tonnes of books, bottles, electronics and more. Accessories and devices are all kept in separate compartments, allowing you to smartly pack things into their own specific sections. If you're looking for the perfect backpack to keep all of your items safe while you are at school:

Does your high school or college student need a MacBook?

MacBooks have been the device of choice for lots of students for years now. With great integrated software, a clean feel, and a nice screen, it makes sense they are so popular. Apple is also somewhat a fashion statement for those who are tech aware. It can be hard to decipher if students really need something quite so flashy for their schoolwork. If you are unsure, you may be wandering:

Does your high school or college student need an iPad?

Fitting somewhere between a laptop and a phone, the Apple iPad’s touch screen can be very handy for students who need to create schedules or have art modules in their course. Though you may want an Apple Pencil to go alongside it, the creative possibilities with an iPad are truly great. There may be better options out there for new students, depending on their needs and how they plan on using it.

Does your high school or college student need an iPhone?

Being one of Apple’s most recognisable bits of tech, the iPhones take up 8 of the 10 most sold phones in 2022, according to Forbes. With the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max just around the corner, it makes sense that a student may want a nice new upgrade to go into the school year. Potential students and customers need to know what an iPhone is capable of and which of Apple’s devices are the best choice for a student. With so many alternatives available, it’s worth asking:


What is an app that helps with school work?

Khan Academy is one of the best apps for schoolwork as it has a bevy of lessons from math and computing all the way up to arts and economics. It can take you through an entire course but can also be used to supplement your traditional lesson. No matter where you start in your educational journey, you can get something out of it.

Do students get a discount on MacBooks?

While Apple doesn’t do direct discounts on MacBooks at any time of year, it does offer gift cards to the Apple store when you buy a MacBook or Mac. The deal also tends to come with accessories like a pair of AirPods. If you are planning on studying in a library or cafe, it's an excellent combination. If you really want a discount, then you should head over to a big-box retailer like Amazon or Best Buy, which do reduce the prices on Apple products. If you absolutely have to buy a Mac or MacBook from Apple, but still want a discount, you’ll want to check out the Apple refurbished store, where you’ll find older, refreshed Macs at slightly lower prices.

Is there an app that creates a study timetable?

Istudiez Pro is a great app that allows you to add in classes, dedicated study time, and more. If you find yourself losing track of certain lessons or can’t seem to plan out everything you need to do in a day, this is a fantastic way of doing so. It gives you an overview of your day but also has a planner for long term planning.

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