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NU develops iPhone app

Photos and artwork from the Northwestern University digital collection, a campus directory, the latest NU news, sports and events info, campus maps and more. They’re all available on a new application that launched this week created by the university for the iPhone and other mobile devices.

Photos and artwork from the Northwestern University digital collection, a campus directory, the latest NU news, sports and events info, campus maps and more. They’re all available on a new application that launched this week created by the university for the iPhone and other mobile devices.

The new app, which is free, is available from the iPhone App Store and on iTunes. To access it, simply go to the App Store or iTunes and search under the name “Northwestern University,” and then download the application onto your iPhone.

The application is currently available for the iPhone and the iPod Touch. A less robust version that will work with any Web-enabled mobile device also is available, and work is nearly complete for a beefed-up version for the Blackberry, said Robert Taylor, director of academic and research technologies.

“With an increasing number of our students, alumni, faculty and staff using iPhones and other mobile devices, we wanted to provide them a way to access Northwestern information quickly and easily,” Taylor said. “This puts a number of University resources literally in your pocket.”

The new app was developed by staff from the academic and research technologies group of NU Information Technology and the Web communications group of the Department of University Relations. Working with Blackboard Mobile, the company that originally developed a university iPhone application for Stanford University, the Northwestern team was able to design and build the new app in less than three months. Northwestern library developers also contributed to the application suite and provided access to images from the library’s Special Collections.

“This was a project that moved on a very fast timetable, but we were able to pack a lot of features into this first version. Plus, we’re already thinking about things we can add when we do an update,” said Janet Dobbs, director of University Web communications.

The application currently provides information in the following categories: news, events, maps, directory, library, images, videos and athletics. By following the links, a user can do such things as get the latest news from the University, find buildings on the Evanston and Chicago campuses, get the e-mail addresses of people at Northwestern, check to see if a book is available in the library, check the latest sports news and view photos of campus as well as other images. In addition, the video link takes users directly to Northwestern’s YouTube site, which now has approximately 350 videos.

Plans for upcoming releases of Northwestern Mobile later this year include live GPS updates on the locations of campus shuttles and the Frostbite Express, an expanded suite of library services and delivery of e-books, and course communication services from Blackboard course sites.

More information is available online.

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