Texas A&M University has rolled out its newest version of its mobile app for Apple iPhone users with updates that include innovative and customizable technology.
TAMUmobile 3.2.2 features augmented reality, an advanced technology from Blackboard Inc., as well as several other new features.
“Our initial launch of mobile apps enabled us to put valuable, relevant information and resources about Texas A&M right at the fingertips of our students, faculty, staff, former students and fans,” says Jason Cook, Texas A&M’s vice president for marketing & communications. “The new version of the iPhone app only enhances this and shows Texas A&M’s commitment to keeping up with the active, mobile lifestyle that we all — particularly our students — have today.”
Texas A&M has become the seventh campus in the nation to use this version of augmented reality, a technology that represents a major step forward in app progression, explains Diane C. McDonald, the university’s executive director of marketing and social media.
“We saw augmented reality as an opportunity to improve one of our most used features, maps, to further enhance the experience of visiting the Texas A&M campus,” she adds.
Augmented reality uses the iPhone’s camera, GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope and compass to allow users to explore and learn more about the places around them. For example, users using the technology can find out more about the buildings around them, all through the camera lens of their iPhones. By simply pointing the phone at a campus building, a user can find out information about that building, including its name, historical information, how far away it is, and more.
“Augmented reality integrates all of the phone’s technology to allow campus visitors to gauge things in the virtual world, like how many minutes it takes to walk to a place on campus,” explains Erick Beck, Texas A&M’s director of web development.
With the latest update, the app contains three additional features. Applicants, students, faculty and staff can now access the mobile version of the Howdy web portal containing university records and resources from within the TAMUmobile app. Additionally, an enhanced campus directory allows users to search for information via department in addition to individual people. The update also allows users to customize the TAMUmobile app icons by reorganizing them into ways that are more convenient to them.
Texas A&M was the first public institution and the largest in the nation to introduce a mobile suite in 2009. The app, which is available for Blackberry, Android and Apple devices, provides users with a campus directory, bus routes, dining menus, the latest university news and more, all just a tap away.
The university’s suite of mobile apps was also recently recognized by USA Today for its usability and easy navigation.
The latest version can be downloaded directly from any iPhone or iPod touch, as well as directly to a computer via iTunes.