Ivon Foster-McGowan, PhDAssistant to the Provost for Special Projects & Academic TechnologyThe University of AlabamaMobile Apps & Mobile WebSACRAO 2013February 5th, 1:30pmSession T3.1
NOTE: The majority of the session consisted of live demonstrations of the apps noted on each slide. This presentation is intended to provide an overview of the points made and the apps demonstrated. Please send questions to Ivon.Foster@ua.edu.
Native Apps vs Web AppsNative apps can only work on the platform they were built for, and take longer to developNative apps can take advantage of hardware: push notifications and smoother look and feelNative apps can include links to web appsVisibility increased thru app storesUpdates dependent on useriOS & Blackberry reviewed prior to availability; delays updatesCost is higher, vendor often involved, more time and effort even if built in house Built with standard web technologiesWeb apps easily used by most devices mobile devicesCan be designed to look like native appsLess visibility, do your own marketingNo download requiredUpdates automaticallyMore efficient; in house web resources can typically pick up programming easilyThe difference is narrowing
AlabamaVendor partner: Blackboard MobileiOS launched 4/24/11; Android & Blackberry June 2011 Over 110,000 downloads to date60% iOS 30% Android 10% BlackberryUsers in over 150 countries#1 complaint: "Where's myBama & Blackboard?!"Delivered portions of myBama & myTickets with web app and integrated Mobile Learn fall 2012Future: web app for Places; native e-Accounts (one card); parking??; computer labs??
Caution: Student Developers Brilliant minds with great ideasMust have university involvementSustainability & enhancements: who develops it after graduation?Who will handle updates & bug fixes "UF Mobile no longer available" - see letter from student developer
Mobile WebMost universities have mobile version of website, at least top tier sitesMost libraries have gone to mobile webGiving cannot be done in native app, at least not iOSMany university native apps have mobile web featuresTransLoc - buses
Bridging Native AppsAccessing a native app from another appRequires download of both appsStanford is the king of app bridgingNorth Dakota tours
Creative DesignOU2GO & GA Tech coolestTexas & Arizona uniqueWest VA very sleek & simpleSamford & Seton Hall: no branding once in the app
Functional DesignMost univ apps have basics: directory, map, news, video, athletics, etcParking! OU2GOPurdue & North Dakota - labs featuremyUCR (CA Riverside) - requires sign or create acct??? Didn't botherLoyola - beautiful, but took a second to figure it outOle Miss - NEWS!! Hard to find app features
Maps & BusesApple iOS 6 - Killed Google Map Kit - see Alabama and Vanderbilt, no buildings or labelsCustom map - ArizonaNone work without network!TransLoc integration
AdmissionsAppsBetter to have independent admissions app or unified institution app?
ConclusionBenchmarking is essentialInvolve more than IT, need user communityConsider your developer options: in house, vendor, students....in any case, there must be a responsible partyIf vendor, don't hesitate to push the limits, get them out of their boxAlways think about sustainability and enhancementsUnified app or independent apps