XU releases mobile app
After nine months of design and development, the Xavier Office of University Communications, in collaboration
with Blackboard Mobile, has launched a Xavier Mobile application for smart phones. The app provides quick and
easy access to University information, including news, sports, maps, photos, videos and emergency numbers. It can be downloaded for free from the Apple iTunes store, the Android Market and the Blackberry World Store. "The app is easily accessible on a mobile device," Kevin
LaVelle, director of web and media for the Office of University Communications, said. "Since we know a lot of students, faculty, staff, alumni and prospective students are increasingly looking at information on their phones, we wanted to make sure that Xavier had a space there."
The Office of University Communications partnered with Blackboard Mobile, an online division of the Blackboard company that provides platforms on which to build mobile applications and has worked with schools such as Princeton, Stanford and Duke. The Office of University
Communications provides the content to Blackboard Mobile, which then approved it and sub mitted it to the three major mobile markets — Apple, Android and Blackberry. "Apple, Android and Blackberry control about 90 percent of the mobile app market, so having our app on those three platforms was really important to us," LaVelle said. "We're really the only school locally that has an app available on all three platforms, which helps us to meet the needs of all of our users."
The home page of the application offers eight icons from which to choose: directory, which allows users to find faculty and staff information and contacts; athletics, which offers news, schedules and scores for all of Xavier's Division I sports; events, which offers a calendar of Xavier and local upcoming events; maps, which provides a detailed map of campus, including photos and audio recordings with information about each building; videos, which connects directly to Xavier's YouTube channel; news, which streams the latest Xavier newsfeeds; images, which displays photos of items such as athletics, campus, Cincinnati and historical Xavier that can be downloaded to the phone; and finally an emergency icon that offers one-touch dials to Xavier's emergency lines and 911.
The Office of University Communications hopes to continue to refine the application in the future, including a potential integration of the X-Cash app that is currently provided by the Office of Auxiliary Services.
"Our goal is to continue to make Xavier information as accessible and convenient as possible for our users," LaVelle said.
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