TAMUMobile

Renovation of Texas A&M University's Mobile App

KLK Communications & Technologies

We specialize in university application renovations with a primary goal of increasing the communication on every campus. Founded by Kristin DeFelice, Lauren Muska, and Kirsten Morrison in 2015, KLK aims to better communication between students and faculty on college campuses.

Current Problems With the TAMUMobile Application

Poor Bus Route Navigation

The current TAMUMobile application makes finding your proper bus route far too difficult. The routes, more often than not, will not load, as seen in the photo on the left. For students and visitors trying to stay on top of a time sensitive schedule, a faulty bus route application is simply not acceptable. Students are speaking out against the University application, and some students have stopped using the TAMUMobile application all together because of how unreliable it is. Anna GraceMiller, a junior student at Texas A&M, told KLK in an exclusive interview that she, "used to use the TAMUMobile app to track her busses, but stopped using the app after multiple days of being late to class because of the wrong times being displayed" (Miller, Anna Grace).

-Lauren Muska

Unreliable Maps

For both students and visitors of Texas A&M University, the TAMUMobile application is one of the only available campus maps for people to use to navigate the campus and buildings. This poses a huge problem considering how unreliable the map service is on the current application. For example, Texas A&M's buildings are all designated a specific abbreviation that students use to find specific buildings. The maps, however, do not recognize many of the largely recognized building abbreviations, such as the Mitchell Physics Building, abbreviated MPHY. This leads many to become frustrated with the fact that their only source of information is failing them, and their time is being wasted lost and with no direction. Another issue with the maps on this application is that it, like the bus routes, will not load. Even with good cellular signal and Wi-Fi, the application still takes many minutes to load, if it decides to load at all. TAMUMobile application user, Daniel Downs, commented on the TAMUMobile iTunes Preview Page saying, "the most important function of this app, the bus schedule and map, fails to load. Also, the app interrupts service when running in the background. Don't bother downloading this app”. This is one of many negative user reviews that show just how badly the University application needs to be remodeled. Even with good cellular signal and Wi-Fi, the application still takes many minutes to load, if it decides to load at all.


-Lauren Muska

Problem with the Howdy Portal

Just like the other services offered on the TAMUMobile application, theHowdy Portal suffers from connection errors resulting in a severe lag. Another TAMUMobile app user, Louis Escobedo, recognizes the lag issues as he wrote an app review on the Android Apps On Google Play page saying, "the Howdy Portal is really slow and laggy. This app could be MUCH better though" (Escobedo, Louis "Texas A&M..."). Students notice that the application needs help. Another key issue with the Howdy Portal is how it logs its users out every time they switch pages. Vothav, another TAMU app user, wrote a review on the iTunes "Customer Review" page saying, "it also logs you out of Howdy portal every time you close the app. I suggest the developers look to other college apps (especially UT's) as references, and make some major changes." Texas A&M should never have to be told to take a lesson from UT, so this should be a wake up call that it is time to put the university application developing responsibilities into more capable hands, the hands of KLK Communication & Technology.

-Lauren Muska

Proposed Solutions for the TAMUMobile Application

Updated Technology

Technology used in the TAMUMobile app is just outdated. With technology moving at the pace that it does, there is no excuse for such an important application to have last been updated, according to the iTunes App Store TAMUMobile page, one year ago, on December 9, 2014 (Texas). The TAMUMobile application almost never loads when you need it to, whether you're using wifi or a service provider. To make matters worse, the app is slow at best and turtle-speed at worst, with a crash after almost every click you make.

These issues could easily be fixed with a simple update to the TAMUMobile program. Baylor’s OsoMobile app, for example, runs quickly and easily. They have a great system in place and their application is useful for their student body (Baylor). I have experimented with this app for the purpose of research and know that it is very useful for its students. With just a few tweaks to the TAMUMobile app by KLK, the student body could be greatly benefitted. -Kirsten Morrison

New Functions

When using the TAMUMobile application, tracking the bus you need can be a hard task (Texas A&M). To resolve this issue, we should update the application to include a more active GPS tracker for the Aggie Spirit that tracks in real time, as opposed to the laggy updates the students experience currently. Howdy is another side of the functions of the application that can be improved. When a student tries to access Howdy, the application crashes. USA Today rates us as one of the colleges with the best mobile apps, but many students disagree with this outlook, and isn’t our reputation important to us as Aggies (Lynch)? To fix the problems with Howdy would be as simple as updating the software that the application utilizes, which would be beneficial for students as a whole. Howdy is a crucial feature for Texas A&M students, so an upgrade to this part of the application is heavily needed. -Kirsten Morrison

Improved User Experience

When you type buildings into the campus map, probably the most important feature on the TAMUMobile app, it is a rare occasion that the buildings appear, or that one can even navigate through the app to them. For visitors, this problem is even harder to deal with. An easily-downloadable application with a great navigation system through Google maps would be so helpful for new Aggies and their families and would benefit the families of Aggies for years to come. If the application were to have a “visitors only” section, it could boost the university’s public opinion and create a welcoming spirit for potential new students and their families. For current students and faculty, the renovation of the app would be helpful, especially with an easy-to-use home screen and “students only” features that could be accessed with a UIN. -Kirsten Morrison image credit

Proposed Cost for Renovations of TAMUMobile

Your Money Put to Good Use

The pricing for creating mobile applications for Universities can be quite extensive. CNN released an article titled "8 things you should know before building a mobile app" by Seth Porges who discusses the price ranging from $10,000 to more than $20,000 (Porges). YOU'RE IN LUCK! We are fortunate enough to inform you that since we are remodeling the current app rather than creating a new one, the price will be much more realistic.

In addition, licensing fees are already being paid for! Apple requires $99 a month for apps which is no new cost considering the app is already created.

One more cost will be towards boosting the wifi. The Houston Chronicle released an article titled "What component is used to boost wifi signal strength" by Scott Cornell in which he discusses that the simple action of adding an antenna can boost the strength and only costs about $100 per antenna (Cornell). This cost was afforded for the rebuild of Kyle Field with success and the same idea can be applied for the mobile app.

For $200,000 we will boost the wifi for stronger connections, pay for licensing fees and work hard at enhancing this app.

-Kristin DeFelice

Visualize TAMUMobile's Upgrades

How Will This Benefit Texas A&M?

Imagine a school so well known for its great communication that future students are lining up to hand you their tuition money! After potential students visit Texas A&M University and discover how user friendly the mobile app is they will be disappointed by every other potential school!

-Kristin DeFelice

Howdy and eCampus

The glitches accessing Howdy and eCampus via the app will be a thing of the past! With one tap, students will have everything they need right in this one app. Email and professor updates will be sent directly to them so students never miss assignments. Faculty and student directory will be right there for student use. This will make students more efficient and effective in all their classes and improve grades by improving the campus communication.

As the Board of Regents, you will see a change in the campus. The students will be less flustered by disorganization and be on time to class more often which in turn improves grades. Students will be proud to state their campus truly cares about them because you will have heard their cry for an improved app and complied. Potential students will hear about this, and as a growing campus, you will be happy to receive their tuition money.

-Kristin DeFelice

Transportation

Anyone navigating around campus will be able to do so with ease. Tap Walk lists on their website under the page titled "University Benefits" that one of the main benefits of a mobile app is "enhanced student navigation experience with interactive campus maps" (University Benefits). As seen in the image, maps listing interactive routes for busses and walking will be featured to show where to buildings are located and bus routes will take you.

Imagine an app that shows the exact route to take whether walking or bussing. The app will list where each building on campus is and how to get there from your current location. The bus routes will be easily distinguished from one another and tell you exactly which bus to get onto in order to reach your destination.

-Kristin DeFelice

KLK

Contact us to enhance your communication!

Works Cited

Baylor University. OsoMobile. iTunes App Store. Vers. 3.7. Apple Inc., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.


Cornell, Scott. "What Component Is Used to Boost Wi-Fi Signal Strength?" Houston Chronicle. Web. 28 Nov. 2015.


Lynch, Loreal. "5 Colleges with Great Mobile Apps." USA TODAY College. USA TODAY, 15

Aug. 2012. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.


Miller, Anna Grace. Personal Interview. 22 November 2015


Porges, Seth. "8 Things You Should Know before Building a Mobile App - CNN.com." CNN. Cable News Network, 3 Feb. 2012. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.


Texas A&M University. TAMUMobile. Computer software. ITunes App Store. Vers. 4.1. Texas

A&M University, 9 June 2009. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.


"Redevelopment of Kyle Field." Frequently Asked Questions. 12th Man Foundation, 2013. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.


" University Benefits." Mobile App Benefits: Universities « TapWalk. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.