iTunes U

iTunes U

Pick a course and learn something new without leaving your iDevice

Using your iPhone or iPad as a educational tool has been a prominent idea ever since the two devices were first introduced to the market, and with the release of iTunes U another step forward has been taken.

This app allows the user to access complete courses from universities and colleges all over the world, in a wide range of subjects. iTunes U is absolutely jam-packed with free content that takes full advantage of the multimedia aspect of iOS in that there are video and audio files to be explored in addition to the text. In fact, being an Apple app, iTunes U comes with an iBooks sync that means when you download a course collection, any relevant books that accompany that programme can be downloaded to your iBooks shelf for you to read at any time. You can also bookmark and highlight passages, which are then stored in the notes section of your course guide. It’s a sleek piece of syncing that will encourage users to take the courses they download more seriously than they first expected, instead of just browsing topics of interest.

In terms of functionality there is nothing to worry about when it comes to using this app. As previously mentioned, this is an Apple product, and therefore sticks to the tried-and-tested formula we’ve seen in apps like iBooks. The bookshelf home screen remains, while the Catalog follows the design of the App Store and iTunes, so the familiar layout should mean you have no issues navigating through the various courses on offer.

From the content available it’s obvious this is an app still in its infancy, with most of the courses coming from the larger US colleges. Nothing is on the scale that we know Apple is capable of.

There are a few issues with regular crashes, but catch it on a good day and you might find yourself filling your iTunes U shelf very quickly, touching upon subjects you’ve always carried an interest for but never followed up on. That’s the beauty of this app being free; without cost to hold you back, you can be ruled by your curiosity.

Rated 4 out of 5

As this app and its content grows, it’s only going to get better.