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New smartphone app hits Drake’s campus

Photos: Jeff Nelson

Drake University took a step further into the technological world recently with the launch of its new blueMobile application. The app was created for faculty, staff and students alike to access important information.

Angela Embree, director of computer information systems at Drake, felt that taking this step was both relevant and needed.

“It’s the future of computing,” she said. “Everyone’s connected and wants more information more quickly. It’s a great way to get you what you need to know and what we want you to know.”

Sophomore magazine major Jeff Nelson agreed with Embree.

“I think it’s great that they’re taking this step,” he said. “A lot of people have smartphones and it will be a great way to connect with students.”

The blueMobile app is set up as a set of apps within one app. The internal apps include a directory, map, events page, news feed, grades and a student’s schedule.

“The features aren’t useful for Drake students for the most part,” Nelson said. “It could help freshmen. It’s good for you if you don’t know where the buildings are. I’m sure as time goes on they’ll take feedback into consideration and make improvements and add more features.”

Embree stated that they do plan on improving the app as more feedback comes across her desk.

“We plan to keep adding and adjusting to meet the needs,” she said. “The more feedback we get, the more we can get them (the students) what they want.”

So far, the only feedback she received was one report that was easily corrected.

Sophomore Kyle Gingrey feels Drake has some improvements to make.

“It lags a little bit, so they should speed it up,” he said.

Nelson also had some suggestions for improvements.

“I’d like to see a social media or networking feature to open communication and make it more interactive,” Nelson said. “Also, it doesn’t show current grades; they’re only shown for previous semesters and you have to sign in every time to access features.”

A dining menu, nutritional information for the dining halls and a voting mechanism are on the list to add to the app.

To download the app, go to http://oit.drake.edu/blueMobile on the browser of a mobile phone. Downloads are available for Android and iOS devices. Students and faculty can send feedback through the app itself or through the OIT website. The next phase of improvements for the app will take place in November.

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