New app brings the University of Iowa to your phone

The University of Iowa has launched UI Mobile, a smart-phone application that provides users easy access to news and event headlines, campus maps, library services, course information, and even the status of residence hall laundry machines.

Currently available as a free download for Apple iOS or Android devices, the app is the latest mobile initiative led by UI Information Technology Services (ITS), with support from the Office of University Relations (OUR), University Libraries, and other campus partners.

Previous efforts focused on creating mobile web services available at m.uiowa.edu. The new app provides alternative ways to access these services.

“We understand that students, faculty, and staff increasingly rely on mobile platforms for information,” says Steve Fleagle, UI chief information officer. “These new applications provide a portal that pulls together useful information into what we think is a convenient format.”

Both the m.uiowa.edu web site and the apps provide central platforms that various University units can use to reach their audiences. The ITS/OUR team behind the projects is soliciting ideas from potential campus partners.

“We need to keep pace with the rapidly growing demand for mobile options to access information and interact with the campus,” says Tysen Kendig, vice president for strategic communication. “This solution should continue to evolve into a one-stop UI mobile hub. Campus units shouldn’t need to go it alone as they look at their mobile options—we can offer advice, assistance, and infrastructure in a platform that serves a myriad of audiences.”

The features and look of the UI apps will continue to evolve. The immediate goal was to establish a solid presence in major app stores and offer a springboard for future growth. Find links to both iOS and Android versions of the app at m.uiowa.edu/app.

Recent related projects include:

Bus on the Go, or BONGO, which lets users track Cambus, Iowa City, and Coralville bus routes from their phones. The service is available at ebongo.net or via m.uiowa.edu.

A new version of the UI home page that’s optimized for small displays, offers easy access to m.uiowa.edu, and offers a model for making other standard web sites mobile friendly.

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