Introducing KSU Mobile, New iPhone App
At the start of October, the leaves changed, the air got crisper and the forces of technology and academics joined at Kent State University as it established its first iPhone application. This first phase of the project features Kent State news, events, university directory and map, as well as access to Kent State images and videos.
Phase two, which is planned to hit the iPhone App Store by late November, will allow users to obtain library materials, sports scores and a list of courses. Phase three, slated for an early 2011 launch, will include a virtual tour of the university as well as a bus schedule.
In July, the Division of Information Services and University Communications and Marketing partnered with Blackboard, a company that works to transform the educational experience, to develop the free iPhone app.
According to Kent State’s Vice President for Information Services Ed Mahon, developing mobile applications for smart phones is a strategic initiative that extends Kent State's information services offerings to devices that are being adopted by students.
“With the rapid growth of the mobile space, we are excited to be stepping into the mobile application-development front, to provide yet another dimension to the technology services we already engineer and support,” Mahon said.
The Kent State app also will be available for Blackberry and Android as the university progresses in its technology efforts.
Team member Nick Gehring, coordinator of electronic communication and web content services at Kent State, said the app, under the name KSUMobile, is now available on iTunes and is a way for Kent State to adapt to the technological age.
“Mobile Internet is growing at a blazing rate,” Gehring said. “Some reports have it taking over traditional PC-bound use in five years. In order to stay competitive and relevant, we had to develop a strong mobile website and phone applications.”
Gehring also said smart phone applications help users obtain information faster by storing features data and images rather than loading information from the Web.
“This is a project that will never be completed,” Gehring said. “We will continue to add more features to our mobile presence and hopefully make them useful and relevant to our students, faculty, staff and alumni.”