The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

Updated app puts information within arm’s reach

Erin Mullins, Staff Writer

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There’s a new buzz all over campus…and it’s coming from people’s phones!

The updated version of the NKU app was launched on Wednesday which allows students to have access to their grades, campus information and other handy information all at their fingertips and it appears to be a success.

Thomas Barker, manager of web & mobile development, said that in the first 24 hours after this update was available, they had 775 new android users and between 550-600 new iPhone users.

“That’s really exciting,” Barker said.

Kathy Bennett, director of Enterprise System Group who oversaw all project management for IT during this project agreed and said it was nice to see people using the app.

“That’s really good feedback,” Bennett said.

Bennett said feedback helps to know what’s working and what needs to be improved, but  sometimes things suggested just can’t be added to the app.

Barker explained that they always get suggestions to add blackboard and webmail to the app but there are issues with including those on the app and that the experience is better anyway using their phone web browser.

“Why reinvent the wheel,” Barker said.

 

New app, new experience

As the statistics show, several new users have already downloaded the app, but if people had the older version on their phone before, they should have the updated version already.

Maria Collins, junior marketing major didn’t realize she had the new version on her phone until she turned it on and after browsing it for a few minutes said she liked it.

“It’s running a little faster,” Collins said. “I feel like it’s easier to find everything.”

Jason Thomas, sophomore computer information technology major agreed with Collins and likes the new version.

“I wish I had this when I was looking for parking information because it took me half an hour to find it so I could buy a stupid parking pass,” Thomas said.

Thomas also thinks the app will be useful for people other than students, faculty and staff.

“The map would be especially nice for people that usually aren’t here,” Thomas said. “Like my dad, he’s usually never here.”

 

Keeping up with the technology

Bob Byles, director of Enterprise System Group who oversees all development work on primary university administrative systems said the computing power in cell phones these days far outweigh the computing power of the largest mainframe computers when he first started in this business, but most young people who’ve always had this technology have grown to expect it.

“They think that all that functionality and connectivity is a utility just like turning on a switch,” Byles said. “They expect it to work.”

Bennett said with changes in technology, there is a “drive towards mobility” which Barker then added that mobility is, “just kind of the direction computing is going” but that the goal is that users don’t notice all that goes into making it work.

“The transparency…that’s the goal so you can have that stuff that just works without having to think about it,” Barker said. “That means that we’ve succeeded at our job.”

Marie Hiles, sophomore social work major agreed with that and said people use technology a lot more these days.

“Phones are a big deal for kids our age,” Hiles said.

Felicia Henry, sophomore respiratory care major echoed Hiles statement by saying people her age are, “all cellphones,” but it can be a good thing.

“[The app] makes it easier for them and the easier it is for them to get [information], the more likely they’re actually going to use it,” Henry said.

The updated app is available at the App Store for iPhone and Google Play for Android devices.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Updated app puts information within arm’s reach