Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, June 14, 2010

Michigan iPhone app offers access to range of
campus information

With a few taps on an iPhone people now can search for somebody in the U-M directory, navigate campus, access the Magic Bus system and even check out what’s being served in the dining halls.

Michigan features
• Navigate campus locations
• View Magic Bus current location, routes and schedules
• Read the University Record, Record Update, Michigan Today, Michigan Daily and U-M News Service
• Search the U-M directory and automatically add contacts directly to your cell phone
• Check out what’s being served in the dining halls
• See what events are happening on campus
• Connect to iTunesU

Click here to download the Michigan app, check out the developer toolkit and learn about other mobile initiatives.

Designed to connect students, faculty and staff, Michigan is a free iPhone app that provides access to news, events and other university information. Michigan and the Mobile Center, a new website with mobile resources, were created to encourage and support mobile computing needs at U-M.

“Our desire is to build a U-M mobile community that fosters sharing across organizational boundaries and builds collaboration among and in schools, departments and central offices,” says Laura Patterson, associate vice president and chief information officer. “The Mobile Center is the first step to connecting the thriving developer community we have here at Michigan.”

The U-M Mobile Center toolkit contains all the information a mobile-computing developer needs to create, license and distribute an app. The forum provides an online discussion environment where U-M developers can give and receive help on building applications. Developers can share their ideas about mobile computing and add resources for other campus developers.

The website also will serve as a catalog for U-M-related smart phone apps. Michigan is the first app available in the catalog and can be downloaded by current students, faculty and staff starting today. Michigan also will be available in the iTunes store later this summer.

The foundation of the Michigan app is iWolverine, an iPhone application built by Tai Shing Kevin Chan and Zhiwei Mark Yang, two U-M engineering students. Information and Technology Services purchased iWolverine in March.

“Mark and Kevin had an excellent start on a general U-M app with iWolverine. Their app allowed us to jump start our development,” says Cassandra Carson, mobile applications product manager. “Right now the team is talking to people around campus to define the next wave of apps. The key is finding those things which require mobility and immediacy, and then providing those services,” says Carson.

Carson’s team already is hard at work on two new applications. Mfile and AuthN are the next iPhone apps that will be listed in the Mobile Center catalog and ready for download later this summer. Mfile will allow users to download files from their U-M Institutional File Service home directory to an iPhone, and AuthN is a Cosign Single Sign-On authentication app for developers. The team also is building apps for other types of smart phones.