By Pao Ling Lopez
Rutgers University has taken into consideration the growing numbers of smartphones owned by college students, and has developed a mobile application geared to members of its community.
The free application is meant to allow students, professors, alumni, parents or anyone associated with the university to easily access university wide features on the go, yet most students at the Rutgers-Newark campus are unaware of the mobile application’s existence.
“I didn’t know about the app,” said senior and anthropology major Vid Gandhi.
Version 1.0 was released in March 15, 2012 and the initial application allowed for owners of Apple devices to check bus schedules, campus news and events, as well as web shortcuts for MyRutgers, emergency alerts, and campus libraries.
Version 2.0 released in Aug. 2012, began supporting Android devices and Version 2.5, which is the most updated version of the app, developed ‘RU-info’, a new channel for general Rutgers inquiries sent by text, email or voicemail, according to the Rutgers Open System Solution’s website.
According to the Pew Research Center, 57% of American adults own a smartphone and use it to go online. The mobile app is a convenient way for Rutgers students to access the functions of their myRutgers portal, where they are able to view their grades, account balances and schedules right off their phone. Most of the people within the Rutgers-Newark community however, have not been taking advantage of the usefulness of the app.
“I had no idea that this app even existed,” said sophomore and accounting major, Karen Ruiz.
Ruiz, who is in the process of registering for winter classes, downloaded the mobile application and was able to check the schedule of courses offered in the winter without having to use a computer.
The app allows its users to browse the university’s online library catalogs, check on hours of operation, and mobile databases. The app also features an option to chat with a librarian right from their phone.
The application is useful when it comes to students’ academics, some students believe that it fails to provide support for the Rutgers Newark student campus life.
“It’s useless,” said biology major Heta Patel. “I downloaded it, but uninstalled it after a week.”
It has a ‘Bus’ tab, which is supposed to provide up to date bus schedules, but it does not have any information to display. The Food tab under the Newark campus also fails because it only provides an overall idea of what can be found at Stonsby Commons and Eatery; not any specific locations to eat.
“I don’t think I would’ve downloaded it anyway because it doesn’t seem to be related to the Newark Campus,” Cruz added.