The Office of Information Resources and Technology began posting a series of videos on YouTube June 29 to showcase the features of version 2.0 of DrexelOne Mobile, which will be released later this summer.
The new application is being developed for the iOS, Android, WebOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone platforms. It will add to the capabilities of the current version of DrexelOne Mobile and will be designed to offer more efficient overall performance, according to Ken Blackney, associate vice president for Core Technology Infrastructure.
“The key difference [between versions 1.0 and 2.0] is that this is a set of native apps and not just a mobile website accessed from an app. This allows us to dramatically improve speed and offer offline use for cached data,” Blackney said.
The announcement comes nine years after the original DrexelOne Mobile was released. In a time when mobile technology was relatively new, Blackney said the original application was well received.
“Usage was quite low because few people then had mobile phones with Internet access. However, among the small user base, it was popular and used by some folks multiple times a day, particularly at the beginning and end of terms,” Blackney said.
Many of the features in the new version of the app are already available in the existing version. Some of the new features for students include quick links to view Bb Vista course announcements, campus announcements, holds on one’s account and upcoming co-op interviews. For faculty and staff, the new app offers a quick view of accrued leave time and a revamped class roster view. All course instructors, including teaching assistants, can quickly view the list of students in all of their classes and email the entire class with the touch of a button.
“Tapping on a course displays the list of students who are registered in the course, including their photo, name, major, program (undergrad, grad, law, etc.) and year (freshman through senior),” Blackney said. “Tapping one of the students displays a bigger picture along with the student’s email address and a list of the advisers for the student with tappable email and phone buttons. This page also lets the instructor see the Blackboard Vista gradebook entries for the student in this course.”
Another new feature available to all users will be GPS-based real-time tracking of Drexel shuttle bus locations, though Blackney said this particular feature might not be ready for the app’s initial release.
“The buses aren’t all configured yet. We’re still hoping to get this into 2.0, but it might become a 2.1 feature,” Blackney said.
The exact release dates for each version of DrexelOne Mobile have not been set, but the apps should all be finished within the next couple months.
“We expect that Windows Phone 7, iOS and WebOS will all be ready by mid-August. The BlackBerry and Android apps are coming before the start of the fall term. They are behind because the folks working on those versions had more pressing matters to attend to and couldn’t work on D1M for a little over a month,” Blackney said. “We don’t want to wait until all five builds are ready to let the first one out.”
For more information on the app, visit www.youtube.com/user/DrexelTechnology.