New Ohio State app developed as part of Apple partnership

Four Ohio State undergraduate students helped develop an outline for an app with Apple’s development team that will be loaded on iPads given to incoming students beginning Autumn Semester. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State

Four Ohio State undergraduate students helped develop an outline for an app with Apple’s development team that will be loaded on iPads given to incoming students beginning Autumn Semester.

The app is being produced specifically to make the transition from high school to college easier for students, and campus resources more accessible, said Undergraduate Student Government President Andrew Jackson.

Jackson, a fourth-year in political science, said the app will resemble Twitter, where users will get to choose categories of interest to register with student organizations. The groups will have the ability to post information to news feeds.

“This app will have several components, one of which will feature useful materials for incoming students, such as their orientation schedule,” said Benjamin Hancock, director of application development at Ohio State.

Ohio State’s app development team is still in the process of creating specifics for the schedule portion of the app.

The team will be responsible for creating the app over the next several months.

Additionally, Jackson told USG members last week they will have the opportunity to be part of the testing phase.

Hancock said the team will openly ask students to take part in testing groups.

The app will be part of the current Ohio State mobile app on phones but will be a separate app on iPads.

“The Ohio State app is more focused on delivering a great experience on your phone while this [new app] will be more iPad-focused,” Hancock said.

When Ohio State students visited Apple HQ in Cupertino, California, they described freshman orientation to the development team on their first day. The team then came back with a sample of what the app could look like, specified to the needs of students at orientation.

Jackson said the Apple team sent the detailed designs to Ohio State’s app developers. The app’s design was initially made for first-years’ iPads, but the app development team is hoping to expand to cellphones.

“Our goal will be to make the content accessible to iPhones and hopefully Android phones,” Hancock said. “There are some technical hurdles to overcome before we can say this with certainty, but we want this experience to benefit as many students as possible.”

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