Students Launch iAndover iPhone App

Campus news is now only a finger tap away thanks to the “iAndover” iPhone application released September 30. The application, created by Greg Hosono ’14 and Makenzie Schwartz ’14, allows students to access nine modules—campus news, athletic schedules, the Student Activities information, Paresky Commons, maps, photos, Andover’s Vimeo account, Andover facilities and emergency information—directly from their phone. The application is available for free on the iTunes App store for Apple devices. It is not presently designed for the Android or Blackberry systems, but Hosono and Schwartz hope to develop Android and Blackberry capable apps in the future. The duo was inspired to create the app because they “wanted members of the Andover community to be able to access quickly important information that was collected in a single place, a concept we thought was really helpful to students,” according to Schwartz. The “News” portion of the application features articles from the Phillips Academy website. The “Athletics” module includes team pages, schedules and score records for each Andover team. The application also features a link to the Weekender, Andover’s weekend event schedule, and a “Paresky” module, which displays the weekly menu for Paresky Commons. There is also a section titled “Map”, which includes a comprehensive map of campus, “Photos”, a gallery of pictures taken on campus, “Video”, a link to Andover’s Vimeo and Youtube accounts. The final module is “Facilities”, information about the buildings on campus, and “Emergency,” which includes emergency contact information. Hosono and Schwarz coordinated with Chris Capano, Student Activities Coordinator, to incorporate links to the Weekender and to the Phillips Academy sport teams into the application. “The website’s links [to the Weekender and the sports schedules] are maintained by the Student Activities Office and the Athletic Department, so the application essentially updates by itself, and the information is always ready to go for students,” Schwartz said. Hosno said they released the application in Fall to gain student users and modify the interface depending on student feedback. Students can provide feedback through comments on their iAndover App blog and from the feedback forms on the iAndover App website, and then create edits to the application. Hosno and Schwartz began working together on the application last spring, without the help of a faculty advisor. Hosono created preliminary drafts for the design and content of the application, and Schwartz, a self-taught programmer with five years of experience, started building the application. In order to decide what information to make available in the application, Hosno and Schwartz ranked ideas for potential modules by their importance in campus life and ultimately selected modules based on student opinion and Schwartz’s ability to create the modules. “The project was totally our own,” Hosono said. “We created early drafts of the app and I showed them to kids in my dorm to get student feedback so we could make changes along the way.” Hosono came up with the idea to create Andover’s very own mobile application for after coming across “iStanford,” a mobile application designed for students at Stanford University, which is located near his home in Palo Alto, California. “We didn’t copy the iStanford App, but we used the idea of [having] maps, videos and other campus content all in the same place to develop our own Andover-based idea,” said Hosono. They also are looking to make more information available on the application and add more modules. By the time Schwartz and Hosono graduate, they hope that the application will have evolved into a staple online resource for students.